Editorial | Raising taxes is absurd

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Dondo Mogajane, Picture: Getty Images
Dondo Mogajane, Picture: Getty Images

EDITORIAL


The suggestion by National Treasury director-general Dondo Mogajane that the country’s citizens may face an additional tax to pay for the purchase of Covid-19 vaccines should be rejected with the utter contempt it deserves.

While acknowledging that the country’s finances are stretched, this is no fault of the citizenry.

Blame should sit squarely on the shoulders of government for its utter failure to effectively implement sufficient economic policy shifts that generate growth, investment and job creation.

Corruption and maladministration have brought Treasury to its knees, and the country is now reaping the rotten fruit.

The absurdity of pumping yet more billions into that vanity project of a failed airline – SAA – stands as a stark reminder of the ineptitude and fundamental inability to prioritise the country’s needs.

Vaccinating the populace is both a moral and economic imperative.

The pigs feeding at the troughs of failed state-owned enterprises have no end to their appetite and regularly come begging for state assistance (read taxpayer) to satiate their hunger.

Look elsewhere for the money. Do not come begging the citizenry to pay for your failures.

Taxpayers are already stretched to the limit –many have had a decline in their real standards of living, millions more have lost their jobs, debt defaults are rising and the pain is there for everyone to see.

Read: National Treasury approves fast-tracked Covid-19 vaccine procurement

Yet government sees fit to be the country’s biggest employer, spending R584 billion of a R1.2 trillion budget on public sector compensation.

A public sector that has had more failures than successes.

It sees no problem with having a bloated Cabinet of ministers, deputy ministers, directors-general and deputy directors-general who all earn more than R1 million a year, receive free housing, cars and many more perks – all paid for by the taxpayer.

Cut your salaries, dump your perks, do your jobs as leaders.

Vaccinating the populace is both a moral and economic imperative.

Without it the country will experience wave after wave of Covid-19 infections, thousands more will succumb and the economy will go into harder reverse.

Failure to negotiate favourable vaccine prices is government’s responsibility.

To turn to the citizens to bail out your failure is unconscionable.

Find the money elsewhere.

Cut your salaries, dump your perks, do your jobs as leaders of the country and stop leeching off citizens.


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