The DA's alternative budget - Tim Harris

MP says his party would introduce aggressive cost containment measures to save R50.3bn

DA Alternative Budget 2014/15: A plan for 6 million REAL jobs

Note to editors: This statement was distributed at a press conference hosted by DA Shadow Minister of Finance, Tim Harris MP; DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Finance, David Ross MP and DA Shadow Minister of Economic Development, Sej Motau MP, to announce the DA's Alternative Budget for 2014/15. The full policy document can be found here.

The DA's comprehensive alternative to the national budget sets out the first steps of our plan to increase economic growth to 8% and help to create 6 million REAL jobs in the next ten years. 

It also demonstrates how we would overhaul taxation and expenditure to implement the other key policy proposals from our manifesto, launched in Polokwane yesterday. 

Today, our country faces numerous economic challenges and most of them stem from a loss of confidence in the ability of Jacob Zuma's ANC to manage our economy. 

Indeed, our unemployment rate has increased from 30% to 34% since President Zuma assumed office. There are 1.4 million more unemployed South Africans today than there were in 2009. And our growth rate is at a lacklustre 2%, far behind our peers on the continent and the developing world.

At the heart of the problem is a failure of leadership on the economy, and the kow-towing to the tri-partite alliance partners, COSATU and the SACP. South Africa needs bold leadership on the economy to turn this around.

Accordingly, our Alternative Budget would set out to rebuild confidence in South Africa by tackling specific reforms to:

  • bring down government debt by tabling a lower budget deficit of 4% of GDP;
  • introduce aggressive cost containment measures to save R50.3 billion;
  • spend 10% of GDP to build and maintain infrastructure;
  • meet funding requirements and incentivise change without adding new taxes like carbon tax;
  • remove exchange controls; and
  • overhaul our approach to tax to reduce red tape and stimulate economic growth.

Beyond this, our additional budget proposals are contained in ten sections that mirror our new economic policy "The Plan for Growth and Jobs 2014", with three added sections for further proposals from our 2014 Election Manifesto released yesterday. Some highlights:

  • Boost the job-creating potential of companies, and particularly small businesses, through a proposed stimulus package including R8.7 billion in tax cuts and R2.4 billion in additional support programmes;
  • Fully implement the Youth Wage Subsidy and invest an additional R1.8 billion in job creation;
  • Invest an additional R9 billion in education and skills development; 
  • Appropriate more than R3.2 billion to promote empowerment and capitalise poor South Africans; and
  • Keep South Africans safer with an additional R4.5 billion to secure our communities.

Our Alternative Budget would accelerate growth by making our economy more competitive and give South Africans the tools to participate in economic activity. It would restore confidence in the economy, encourage investment, boost economic growth and reduce unemployment.

South Africa is undoubtedly better today than it was in 1994. But under Zuma's ANC this progress is being reversed day by day. 

If we are to put a stop to this, we need to implement the right policies to get our economy growing again.

The DA has the plan, contained in our manifesto, to do just this. 

Working together for change, we can create the jobs that our country needs to put us back on the path we set out on in 1994.

Statement issued by Tim Harris, DA Shadow Minister of Finance, February 24 2014

Click here to sign up to receive our free daily headline email newsletter