DA: No tax increase until economy recovers

2014-02-24 15:29

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A DA government will not raise taxes, but will tackle corruption instead and do more belt-tightening to increase the budget, MPs responsible for the finance portfolio said today.

The DA’s spokesperson on finance, Tim Harris, his deputy David Ross and economic development spokesperson Sej Motau addressed a press conference on the DA’s alternative budget in Parliament ahead of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s Budget address on Wednesday.

Harris said: “We don’t support any tax increases until the economy recovers.”

He said a lot of money could be recovered by fighting corruption and by belt-tightening that went beyond just the ministerial perks.

The party reckoned that about R21.4 billion could be saved by “the streamlining of government departments and programmes”, Harris said.

Among others, the party said the departments of economic development and of women, children and people with disabilities could be disbanded, and the Presidency budget could be cut back by R231 million.

In the Western Cape, the DA government saved 52% on advertising compared with the ANC, 38% on consultants, 29% on venues and facilities and 28% on catering, Harris said.

He said if this example was followed nationally, R5.8 billion could be saved.

The party estimates that between R25 billion and R30 billion could be saved if corruption is curtailed as per a brief given to Parliament in 2011 by former Special Investigating Unit head Willie Hofmeyr.

When asked how the DA would feel if this was Gordhan’s last Budget, Harris said the DA hoped it was not, but that did not mean the party felt government was doing a good job on finances. He said Gordhan lacked support from his fellow ministers and President Jacob Zuma, which made his job difficult.

The DA’s alternative budget targets the creation of 6 million “real” jobs in the next 10 years and an 8% growth rate.

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