Treasury not ruling out further tax hikes

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Treasury is not ruling out further tax hikes it conceded, however, that it will be difficult to levy these in the current economic climate.

In recent months, South African taxpayers have been compelled to pay higher personal income tax, value added tax and several fuel levy hikes.

The treasury during a briefing in parliament on its annual performance plan cited these conditions for its reluctance to impose further tax increases.

Treasury officials emphasised the tough and tight fiscal position it is in after the previous financial year’s R15 billion revenue shortfall.

Adding to their fiscal woes is a need to stabilise the country’s ballooning debt and fiscal pressures imposed by state-owned enterprises such as Eskom, SAA, Denel and others.

According Treasury’s Ian Steward and Director General of Treasury, Dondo Mogajane, the officials are not ruling out increasing taxes to meet their obligations and “they emphasize the difficulties they are facing.”

The officials say the business models of most of these SOEs need to be restructured for them to return to profitability.

At the same briefing, SARS Commissioners vowed to do everything in his power to achieve the revenue estimate of R1,422 trillion for the current financial year.

Edward Kieswetter says although the current economic situation and SARS internal issues will make it difficult for them to achieve this estimate, they are nevertheless still resolute in pursuing it.

Kieswetter says, “I will never adjust these estimates. It will be so much harder to reach our estimates, given the economy in the country.”

For their part, legislators requested to be furnished with a report on the financial state of all parastatals.

Several of these are dependent on either government bailouts or guarantees for their survival.

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