Budget 2024: Raising Taxes Will Punish Already Strained Consumers Amid Rising Inflation

ActionSA is adamant that Finance Minister, Enoch Godongwana, should not seek to raise any taxes when he makes his budget speech this afternoon as consumers are already battling with a cost-of-living crisis in South Africa.

Statistics South Africa, on Wednesday morning, revealed that despite the interest rate being the highest since 2009, inflation crept up to 5.3% in January.

South African consumers can simply not afford any tax increases at a time when a myriad crisis – such as increased rolling blackouts, municipal failure and logistical breakdowns – are placing strain on the already struggling economy and consumers. With the number of defaulting and unemployed South Africans increasing, the ruling party can simply not be as cruel as to place a further strain on battling consumers.

It is the ruling party, which has used state coffers for its own benefit, that is solely responsible for the fiscal crisis facing South Africa. The debt and unemployment crisis in South Africa is a product of the ruling party’s poor governance and corruption. It is not only unfair to punish citizens by raising taxes in an attempt to fill the fiscal hole but will only further serve to destroy our economy. The only surefire way to fix this problem is to remove the ruling party from power.

As a party that values economic prosperity, ActionSA has a plan to turn around the decay of South Africa’s economy and the continued job losses which have taken place under the ruling party. An ActionSA government would take a zero-based budgeting approach, consolidate departments and immediately end the unsustainable bailouts of state-owned enterprises to save money.

It is estimated that corruption has cost the South African government R1.5 trillion over five years. By eliminating corruption, the government can easily cover all running costs and expand infrastructure investment which would eliminate the need for tax increases and help to create millions of new jobs in South Africa. Liberalising the labour and electricity market will also unlock billions in private sector investment which would further spur economic growth and job creation.

To create millions of new jobs, fix South Africa’s finances and create a better more prosperous country for all, South Africans need to take action in the upcoming election and remove the ruling party from power. We simply cannot afford another five years of rising inflation, rising unemployment and a debt spiral.