The Treasury says government is considering many funding options for the procurement of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Treasury’s statement comes after its meeting with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
According to the Treasury, government will continue to be transparent in its dealings with various vaccine manufacturers.
Nedbank economist Isaac Matshego says, “Overall we should pay attention as a country to the issues raised by the International Monetary Fund. In particular, this year’s budget should continue to show a commitment to stabilise government finances. Advances made in addressing the high wage bill are encouraging and I’m confident that we will get a satisfactory budget in February.
Below is a media statement from the National Treasury:
Possible tax hikes to fund the vaccine
Recently, Treasury indicated that taxpayers might possibly bear the burden of increased taxes so that government can secure a vaccine.
Other considerations that are expected to be discussed during the annual budget speech next month include widening the budget deficit and re-prioritising government spending.
The decision has been met with mixed reaction, with Economist Mike Schussler saying increasing taxes at a time when South Africans are already struggling financially, would not be prudent.
He says government has many other options to obtain money for the vaccine.
The video below discusses a possible tax hike to pay for the COVID-19 vaccine:
Meanwhile, President Cyril Ramaphosa has urged wealthy countries not to hoard surplus COVID-19 vaccine supplies, adding his voice to calls for global production to be shared more equally.
President Ramaphosa lashes out at rich countries for engaging in COVID- 19 vaccine nationalism: