SACCI COMMENTS ON THE 2014 BUDGET
The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) is pleased with the National Budget speech of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan as the statement recognized and offered some solutions to several pressing concerns on the Business Community. The message that it's time for action and implementation is especially welcome and SACCI hopes that this tone is carried forward into the next administration.
SACCI welcomes the following comments:
SME tax administration
SACCI welcomes the attention given to SMEs. The tax compliance rebate proposal will reduce administrative burden and the recognition that the turnover tax is not working in its current form recognises the advice from the Business Community. The R6.5 billion for SME support over two years and tax exemption for grants to SMEs will open significant funds to this sector. Finally, the support to small scale farmers will also help and often overlooked industry. SACCI is truly impressed by this unprecedented and detailed support to SMEs.
Improving fiscal discipline and investor confidence in South Africa
The reduction in the deficit-to-GDP is a strong signal to investors that South Africa is committed to building investor confidence. The consistent outlook for debt-to-GDP to stabilize at less than 45% in 2016 is a welcome confirmation that the National treasury is still on track to managing the trend of national debt, but this outlook depends largely on government follow-through on spending caps.
The delay in implementation of the proposed tax shows that the National Treasury recognizes of the concerns voiced by the Business Community on the job losses in heavy industry that a carbon tax will impose, as well as uncertainty over technical matters like the accurate measuring of emissions and its broad implementation en enforcement.
Support to President Zuma in the fight against corruption
The update on the work done by the Chief Procurement Officer (CPO) and other efforts to prosecute corruption is welcome and bodes well for establishing a culture of responsible use of public funds.
SACCI appreciates the commitment to a balanced approach between social spending and investment into the productive economy as well as the acknowledgement of the centrality of the private sector to achieve growth and development targets with government playing a supportive role.
Statement issued by the CEO of SACCI, Mr Neren Rau, February 26 2014
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