Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Government digging deeper into tax payer’s pockets

Mbasa Gqokoma and Jaimie Faith Poonah
25 February 2015

Over the next three years government has promised to spend six hundred and forty seven billion on basic education, one hundred and forty five billion on municipal infrastructure, five hundred and two billion on health, four hundred and ninety eight billion on social protection, thirty six billion on school infrastructure.

Meanwhile excise duties on alcohol beverages and tobacco products will again increase.

A bottle of wine will cost fifteen cents more, quart of beer goes up by fifteen cents, bottle of sparkling wine will increase by forty eight cents, whisky by three-rand-seventy-seven cents and a pack of twenty cigarettes goes up by eighty-two-cents, Ciders and alcoholic fruit beverages by seven-cents

State old age grant will increase from 1350 to 1410, disability grant from 1350 to 1410, foster care grand from 830 to 860, care dependency grant from 1350 to 1410 and child support grant from 315 to 330.

Government has also vowed to decrease expenditure in its departments for catering, entertainment, travelling, hiring of venues by eight-percent.

Minister of Finance Nhlanhla Nene said the first phase of implementation of the National Development plan is elaborated in Governments medium term strategic framework.

“If we remain united and energised around its implementation- government, labour, business and all South Africans we will continue to make progress towards a just and prosperous future Nene added.

Minister Nene said “Today’s budget is constrained by the need to consolidate our public finances, in the context of slower growth and rising debt.”

He added that “We must intensify efforts to address economic constraints, improve our growth performance, create work opportunities and broaden economic participation”.

Unemployment remains our single greatest economic and social challenge. Government continues to prioritise measures aimed at generating employment.

“These include tax incentives for employment and investment, support for enterprise development, skills development and employment programs”, Nene added.

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