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Budget speech: Less money for own crime prevention

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Today’s budget speech by Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, confirmed that South Africans would not be able to spend more money on their own safety in the coming year and that they would have to be content with government’s spending of their hard-earned money, trade union Solidarity said.

According to Piet le Roux, senior economic researcher at the Solidarity Research Institute (SRI), tax payers will still not have the opportunity to put the money they pay in taxes to more effective use. ‘Gordhan should rather have curtailed public debt and should have announced actual cuts in general tax. To achieve real, sustainable growth in the economy it is important that the treasury levies as little as possible rather than as much as possible taxes.’

Le Roux says Gordhan’s announcement of a nominal relief in personal income tax does not constitute real relief. ‘It merely has the appearance of relief and despite the expanded income tax brackets a person who earned R160 000 during the past tax year and who receives a meagre 6% increase this year, will have to sacrifice a bigger percentage to income tax this year than the year before.’

Le Roux says it is of little value that Gordhan talks about more effective spending when such spending comes at the expense of more important things. ‘The Lulu Xingwana taxes, the money used by the minister of the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities to make ill-considered statements, serve as an example. South Africans cannot afford their scarce resources being used for this purpose. This is money that taxpayers will no longer have at their disposal to safeguard themselves, to fight crime and to plough back into their communities.’

Solidarity is disappointed that despite the trade union’s call for a tax rebate on security expenses Gordhan has done the opposite by taxing South Africans even heavier. Solidarity earlier this month launched its Give it Back Campaign to get a tax rebate on security expenses. Solidarity’s proposal for a tax rebate on security expenses is based on the existing practice in terms of which South African taxpayers are granted tax rebates on their medical expenses. People can send petition letters to Minister Gordhan via the website,www.giveitback.co.za, and the campaign can be followed on Twitter at #GiveItBack. Objection can also be raised simply by texting the word, “Tax” to 34388.

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