SACP welcomes ‘broad-approach budget’

2010-02-18 09:03

THE SA Communist Party largely welcomed the “broad approach” taken

by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan in his first Budget speech yesterday.


“A commitment to put our economy on a different growth path and not

just any kind of a growth path, but one that prioritises the creation of jobs

should be welcomed,” the SACP said in a statement.


It said previous Budgets were characterised by a “rigid, narrow

neo-liberal framework”.


“Whilst the minister has reaffirmed the three to six percent

inflation band, we welcome the fact that he has specifically mentioned that it

will be applied with some sense of flexibility and that other factors will be

taken into consideration as well.”


The ANC’s alliance partner said there was a “range of unfinished

business” on the relationship between macro and micro economic policies and the

role of the SA Reserve Bank.


“Whilst it appears that the minister is signalling the need for

flexibility on inflation targeting, the SACP is of the view that it is now time

to bring finality on discussions within the alliance on all these matters,

including the mandate of the Reserve

Bank, which we believe must move away from

the narrow inflation targeting approach.”


The SACP believed a new growth path required a new macro and micro

economic policy dispensation.


It was also worried about the government’s “unclear stance” on the

health sector and its “reluctance” to “assert the role of the public

sector”.


It charged that the private sector was not interested in the

well-being of South Africans, but in maximising profits at their expense.


“We will deepen mobilisation against the greedy capitalists who

have now seen a money making opportunity in the implementation of the National

Health Insurance.”


The SACP said it would “engage robustly” on Gordhan’s “bold

assertion” on using public-private partnerships in improving the health

system.


It was happy about Gordhan’s commitment to meet bank chief

executives to find ways to address the recommendations of the banking inquiry

panel of the Competition Commission.


It was also pleased about his commitment to revitalise the

financial sector charter.


“For long, the banks have played hide and seek on major

transformation issues of the sector. For too long, the banks have sought to

elbow out the community and labour constituency from the charter council

processes.


“We will continue to campaign to break the manner in which the big

banks have an undue hold in the sector and have throttled any meaningful

attempts at transformation.”


The SACP backed Gordhan’s commitment to scrutinise bank

charges.


“. . . South African consumers are literally being fleeced by the

banks in this regard.”


The SACP also welcomed the measures Gordhan announced on fighting

corruption and tender fraud.

 

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