Tuesday, 19 March, 2019

2018 budget: S/Africa hikes Value-Added Tax, fuel prices

EFF slams the 2018 Budget Speech        By DESTINY MAN REPORTER EFF slams the 2018 Budget Speech By DESTINY MAN REPORTER
Patty Aguilar | 21 February, 2018, 17:40

The speech also marked the first budget under new South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba says his Budget will cause economic pain but that its proposals, including a one percentage point hike in the Value-Added Tax rate and cuts in state spending, are necessary to stabilise the country's finances. Below-inflation adjustments to personal income tax brackets will contribute US$500 million.

South Africa remains polarized by inequality more than two decades after the end of white-minority rule in 1994, with the lion's share of the economy still in the hands of the white minority population.

The policy is a gamble for the ruling African National Congress (ANC) as it could hurt its poor and black middle-class electoral base going into elections in 2019.

Moody's, which rates South African debt on its lowest investment grade rung, placed the country on review for a downgrade.

Gigaba said the current zero-rating of basic food items such as maize meal, brown bread, dried beans, and rice will limit the impact on these households. "If you live on an extremely tight budget and have to count every rand you have, it will affect what you can buy".

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Weinstein has done a lot of stupid remarks that he would like to be able to withdraw, there has been no physical altercation. Enraged because of the good reception of the movie but he thought that it wouldn't work, I was assaulted.

In another development, the excise duty rate on luxury goods goes up from 7-9 percent, the minister said.

Growth rose to 0.9 percent last year from a paltry 0.3 percent the previous year. The tax hikes are part of a package of measures to raise an additional R36-billion in light of a revenue gap of R48.2-billion in the current year.

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba briefs then-Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa ahead of his visit to the United States of America for the IMF World Bank Spring meeting and his meetings with the rating agencies at the Deputy President's official residence OR Tambo House in Pretoria on April 18, 2017. "What people should expect is some repairing type of interventions taken to restore the books of National Treasury", the spokesman, Mayihlome Tshwete, said when asked what was expected of Wednesday's budget.

"Gugaba has this tainted history and the problem with him delivering the budget is that people know that he has been involved so intimately (with alleged corruption) and can not signal to global markets a credible turnaround", said Georg.

"The markets believe Ramaphosa is good for our economy", said Ken Swettenham, a financial analyst at Liberty Life.

But opposition parties remained unconvinced.

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