We will fight anti-poor tax increases on all fronts: Maimane

Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane has launched a national petition opposing the increase in VAT and has warned that the DA will fight anti-poor tax increases on all fronts.

Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane, poses for a portrait. PHOTOGRAPH: ALON SKUY

Speaking at the launch in Soshanguve‚ Tshwane‚ on Saturday‚ Maimane described Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba’s maiden budget in Parliament on Wednesday as “undoubtedly one of the most anti-poor budgets we have ever seen”‚ saying it amounted to an assault on the poor and the jobless.

“Instead of cutting the fat and waste in government – unnecessary expenditure and bloated departments – and focusing on growth‚ the ANC chose to cut spending on services to poor people‚ including funding for housing‚ education‚ policing‚ and local and provincial government‚” he asserted.

He said the raising of VAT by 1 percentage point in effect meant that South Africans would all be paying 7.14% more tax on everyday goods and services.

“This‚ combined with a significant fuel levy increases‚ will make food and transport more expensive. It will now be more expensive to be unemployed in South Africa. Life will get harder for the most vulnerable in society over the coming months.

“As I have said‚ I will offer President Ramaphosa my support when he takes action that will benefit the country. However‚ raising VAT and transport levies will not benefit the country‚ it will do the very opposite – and it will hit the poor and the jobless the hardest.”

A VAT increase‚ he said‚ only exacerbated the inequality between the “haves” and the “have-nots”.

A VAT increase‚ he said‚ only exacerbated the inequality between the “haves” and the “have-nots”.

“Over half of our nation lives in poverty‚ and almost 10 million South Africans are without a job. Those South Africans should have benefitted from the budget‚ not been bruised and battered by it.

“The ANC cannot steal public money and then expect us‚ the people‚ to pay for it.
South Africans are law abiding. We pay our taxes faithfully‚ and we deserve better than this. We will not take this lying down.

“Therefore we are here today to call on all South Africans to join the fight against increased taxes for the poor and working class. The DA will oppose and fight the VAT increase and the transport levy increases on all fronts. We will not support a regressive and anti-poor policy by the ANC‚ and will today be launching a national petition to say ‘no’ to VAT and transport levies.”

Raising VAT and other taxes was not a necessity. Instead of raising VAT‚ the ANC could have rather cut the fat in government‚ Maimane said.

– TimesLIVE

Source: TMG Digital.

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