Mboweni’s uncompromising budget deserves more credit
The 2021 budget marks a shift from the tax-and-spend stance of the past decade to a cut-and-save era
Many underestimated finance minister Tito Mboweni’s resolve going into the 2021 budget. While most expected him to stick broadly to his fiscal consolidation plan, no-one thought he would cut company taxes while reining in the welfare bill — and this in an election year.
Though Mboweni has deeply offended the left with his unapologetic stance on the welfare cuts, he emerged stronger late last week thanks to a rare public endorsement from President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Just think what could have been in the budget: a wealth tax, bailouts for state-owned enterprises (SOEs), backtrack on the three-year public sector wage freeze, and a further extension of the Covid-19 special grant as a precursor to a permanent basic income grant...