Cosatu provincial secretary, Tony Ehrenreich, says they welcome the first budget announcement by the new Finance Minister. However he says, the budget was uninspiring in relation to the inspirational message the President gave.

This comes after Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba tabled his Budget Speech on Wednesday, and announced that for the first time in democratic South Africa, Value-Added Tax (VAT) will be raised – by one percentage point to 15%. The increase will come into effect of 1 April 2018.

“We are concerned about the revenue side; raising VAT does not help poor people. If we are going to raise VAT then we should have staggered it, so that the wealthy pay more VAT based on the items that they consume, poor people should be shielded from that.”

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Meanwhile, Finance and Fiscal Commission Chairperson, Dr Daniel Plaatjies says although the budget had challenges, what they are happy about is that social services spending has been protected so the investment through the social ways to the poor has been protected through this budget.

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