Democratic Alliance (DA) Shadow Minister of Finance, Alf Lees said the 2018 Budget Speech presented by Finance Minister, Malusi Gigaba is a result of the African National Congress (ANC)’s disastrous management legacy of the economy of South Africa and will result in a negative impact on the poor.
According to Lees, the ANC has failed to plan ahead and make the necessary cost-cutting measures to shield ordinary citizens from poverty.
Minister Gigaba unveiled a R1.67 trillion budget on Wednesday, with an increase in Value Added Tax (VAT) from 14% to 15%.
“The VAT increase of 1 % point is a smack in the face for the millions of South Africans who face a daily battle to put food on the table. This increase, combined with the new fuel levy increase, will force poor South Africans to pay more for basic goods, services, and transport,” said the DA in a statement.
The DA maintains that Gigaba could have taken alternative and decisive actions to cut wasteful expenditure than to “protect a few and reach into the pockets of poor South Africans to cover the cost”.
Meanwhile Malusi Gigaba has defended the decision taken to increase (VAT), saying that it was long overdue with a country out of options.