Thursday, February 26, 2015

Cosatu and Nehawu respond to budget speech 2015

Oscar Thomas
26 February 2015

The Congress of South African Trade Union said it is concerned at the nature and tone of the 2015 budget, as there was no radical economic transformation provided within the budget as mandated by the Freedom Charter.

Minister of Finance Nhlanhla Nene on Wednesday delivered his first budget speech and announced that there would be a tax increase including personal income tax.

Cosatu Spokesperson Patrick Craven said they are worried at the Minister’s silence on the country’s triple crisis of unemployment, poverty and inequality.

Craven said we didn’t feel that it came to grips with the seriousness and the depth of the crisis we face particularly unemployment, poverty and inequality.

South Africa has not been able to break the massive unemployment levels of 34.6%, by the more realistic expanded definition, and woefully low levels of economic growth and unbearable levels of poverty and inequality over the past 21 years of democracy.

Surely business as usual will not enable us to escape this unsustainable economic crisis.

Meanwhile the National Education Health and Allied Workers Union said there was nothing new in the speech.

The union has however welcomed the undertaking by Treasury to release a discussion paper on the financing options for the National Health Insurance and the White Paper.

Nehawu Spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said we felt the Minister was not talking to the poor.

Pamla said it’s an insult to people who get grants a R60 increase, it’s an insult considering that they themselves the political principles and political office bearers are currently contemplating giving themselves an 5% increase despite the fact that they are earning men with benefits.

Pamla said they are currently waiting on President Jacob Zuma to approve of a 5% increase for themselves and yet they throw around scraps to the poor majority and workers.

“From where we stand there is nothing radical about what was presented” Pamla added.

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