Nene is scraping the fiscus pot – Lekota

2014-10-22 16:11

Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene is trying to “scrape the pot” with his mid-term budget, says the Congress of the People.

“We no longer have money in the fiscus and he’s scraping the pot now,” said Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota today.

“Throughout and especially towards the end of the fourth Parliament, Mr Pravin Gordhan constantly spoke of a bloated administration, which meant we had far more people employed than we actually require, which means we were losing a lot of money in that area.”

Delivering his 2014 Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement in Parliament, Nene said the public service would have to accept inflation-related increases or face staff cuts.

“If increases in public sector wages significantly outpace inflation, government will be forced to curtail service delivery, either by reducing social spending or capital budgets, or by trimming staff numbers,” he said.

Nene added that civil service staff numbers would be frozen for the remainder of the medium-term framework, and that departments creating new positions would have to fund these from existing resources.

Lekota said this was too little, too late.

“Public resources have been consumed by excess staff that is worth nothing, that was not contributing to the returns,” he said.

“It’s not only a question of the staff, he also said a lot of items budgeted for in different departments are now being stopped.”

Nene was trying to scrape bits and pieces together to accumulate some excess he could use.

Lekota said the question was whether the administration would support Nene as he tried to implement these measures.

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