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User Pay Principle - Etolls

28 November 2012, 11:31

Do South African politicians think that the taxpayers are stupid?  They are now arguing that the user should pay “special taxes” in the form of e-tolls.  Really?

South Africa is a country of contrasts with huge divisions between the rich and the poor.  Many south African taxpayers pay income tax and the taxes collected are supposed to be used for health, education, social development, safety and security and more importantly upliftment of the poor.  I pay around R600 000 annually but I do not use any of the government services such as health (I have my medical aid), education (I have no kids) and safety and security.  On safety and security, it is every government’s number one priority to provide safety and security to its citizens, yet this government has failed dismally on that score and most of us have our own security at our homes, for fear of being attacked at our homes.

There is an estimated 13 million taxpayers supporting 51 million people with unemployment at around 25% to 30%.  If the user pay principle is applied everywhere, the question becomes why are we paying our taxes?  Yes I know it is to grease the palms of the political hyenas who are intent on getting rich on government tenders and salaries.

The questions then becomes why are we paying income taxes?  It appears to me that the government thinks it is a privilege to live in South Africa.  That is the only logical reason for government to tax us.  In essence, the crisp question becomes, what value do we get for our taxes.  I would argue that the value we get is not commensurate with the taxes collected from us. 

If the user pay principle is applied consistently, assuming the budget of South Africa is spent 20% on education, 20% of healthcare,10% on policing  25% on social welfare, and the rest on the other portfolios, I would argue that the user pay principle demands that my taxes be reduced by 75% since I do not use the services (education, healthcare and policing).

Oh, on my favourite topic, I would also argue that Mr Zuma’s Nkandla’s compound also needs an e-toll, because that is what the user-pay principle demand.  Every time he sleeps there, he needs to pay a toll like all of us in Gauteng who are being forced to pay e-tolls.  We already pay for the roads via the fuel levy.  This cow will not be milked further. 

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