Mboweni takes union gamble as taxpayers catch a break

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Mboweni takes union gamble as taxpayers catch a break

Finance minister makes R160bn public sector payroll cut as he tries to balance SA's teetering books

Hilary Joffe

Finance minister Tito Mboweni has taken a leap of faith in the government’s ability to do a deal with SA’s public sector unions.

But while the R160bn cut to the public sector payroll could help him to stave off a ratings downgrade for now, a no-deal scenario would severely undermine his credibility and leave him with even worse budget outcomes than the rather dire numbers he reported on Wednesday.

For the first time in many years the government proposes to cut spending in real, inflation-adjusted terms over the next three years, making this what many would call an “austerity” budget...

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