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As expected, this was a conservative budget with no sweeping changes to most forms of taxation. The Finance Minister took advantage of some new revenue sources such as carbon taxes, but, for the most part, continued to stick to the script of limiting bracket creep adjustment, sin taxes and fuel levies to raise more money.
Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni, delivers his first Budget Speech on 20 February at a difficult time for the South African economy. Even though President Cyril Ramaphosa has done much to restore business confidence in his first year in office, GDP growth remains weak, government finances are in relatively poor shape, and renewed load shedding is hurting business confidence.
In this year’s Budget, I’d like to see a number of things: I would like to see attention being focused on travel allowances and taking the process of travel reimbursements to its logical conclusion. I would like to see the Employment Tax incentive Act continuing for the sake of the youth of the country… What I’m scared of in the Budget is the raising of personal income tax rates.
High political drama in the opening weeks of Parliament aside, most South African business and personal taxpayers are expecting tax hikes across the board from the Finance Minister’s Budget Speech on 21 February. Government already faces a yawning budget deficit, aggravated by the need to find billions of rand to fund a new and unbudgeted-for commitment to free tertiary education.