Nene’s budget speech in 9 points

2015-02-25 17:11

» 0.5%

Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene reduced the country’s 2015 economic growth forecast due to load-shedding by state utility Eskom.

Nene said the security and reliability of energy supply was holding the country back and it was for this reason that he dropped the projected economic growth from 2.5% in October 2014 to 2% by the end of the year.

» R1.03

Nene was more lenient on sin tax than Pravin Gordhan last year. Gordhan increased the sin tax on whisky by R4.80 a bottle, while Nene only increased it by R3.77. So for whisky lovers, this could have been a lot worse.

» 14 cents

Nene had less mercy for smokers than Gordhan. The former finance minister last year was a lot kinder to smokers and increased sin tax by only 68 cents while Nene was a bit harsh, increasing it by 82 cents.

» R2.3 trillion

South Africa is expected to accumulate debt of R2.3 trillion by the 2017/18 financial year. According to Nene, this is an increase of R550 million over the next three years. What does this mean? Taxes are just not enough; the country still has to borrow money.

» R21

Speaking of tax, a taxpayer will pay R21 in addition to what they are paying now if they earn about R200 000 per annum. Those in higher income brackets (chartered accountants, engineers, we’re looking at you) will pay a bit more.

If for instance you earn R500 000 or more a year, you will pay R271 a month more than you do now. And if you are really coining it in the region of R1.5 million a year, the tax increase is R1 105 a month.

» R110

Social grants have increased by a cluster amount of R110. The old age, war veterans, disability and care dependency grants will increase by R60 to R1 410. Child support grants will increase to R330 from R310, and foster care grants increase by R30 to R860.

» R2.7 billion

Funding to the National Student Financing Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is expected to increase by R2.7bn come 2017/18. NSFAS is projected to spend R11.9 billion in 2017/18, up from R9.2bn in the current year. So between now and 2017/18, the funds to the scheme will only go up by R2.7bn, and if the current funding is not enough for students chances are it won’t be enough in two years’ time either.

» R1.1 billion

The amount allocated for the upgrade of the notorious Moloto Road, which links Mpumalanga and Pretoria, is R1.1bn. According to media reports, by September 2014, accidents on Moloto Road had already taken the lives of 70 people.

» 4 minutes

Nene took 4 minutes longer than Gordhan to deliver his first speech. Gordhan’s maiden speech was in February 2010.

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