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We need to address this, please

05 May 2013, 14:48

I work with elderly clients - patients some of them. In the "new South Africa", married people who make money either through self-employment or through jobs, pay TAX equally - husband and wife. The taxman does not seem to reward the couples for BEING married - I have not yet received a tax rebate for being married.

Once the one partner becomes disabled or pensioned because of age, the taxman - OR is it SASSA and the Social Development Pensions section - now holds it against the couple that they are married! "Your husband earns more than enough - YOU do not Qualify to receive a Disablity or old age grant."

To qualify, the couple may have to divorce - and waste money on lawyers. (To marry, you need a priest or magistrate; to Divorce you must part with thousands to lawyers, not to priests!) Most couples just accept the poverty that arises as a result of this unfairness to them.

This anomaly and discrimination against women can be sorted out - and quickly. It needs a POLITICAL decision by the Mass Democratic Movement causing Parliament to instruct the Taxman, SASSA, the Social Services and Social Development Departments to stop disadvantaging married couples. The Taxman may have to say to the married couple, "I only need the tax of the one partner that's making money - not of both of you." Definitely the Taxman, SASSA and the department of Social Services and Development have NO RIGHT to say to the married couple, "Because your partner makes enough money, you do not qualify for a grant." For goodness' sake, the woman paid TAX in her individual capacity while she worked; how does she now not deserve the pension? Is it the aim of this "New South Africa" to punish industriousness and reward laziness? It seems politically correct to be unmarried, indolent and poor!

I hope that someone who understands why the diasbled partner in a marriage must be penalised and denied a disability or old age grant will give us an explanation. 

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