FINANCE Minister Nhlanhla Nene has gone for the upper middle-class jugular. After half a decade of Pravin Gordhan taxing South Africans by stealth, Nene yesterday announced a raft of measures that will hurt high-income earners and luxury home-buyers directly and almost immediately.
But this was balanced out with pro-small business and manufacturing announcements as well as a call for more frugal government spending.
He also proposed a temporary increase in the electricity levy, from 3.5c/kW to 5.5c/kW, which would only be suspended once the electricity shortages being experienced now are over.
A welcome relief was that VAT, seen by many to be regressive and hurting the poor more than the well-to-do, remained unchanged at 14%.
But he is awaiting a report from the Davis Tax Committee on this.
Nene will raise the marginal income tax rate by one percentage point for all taxpayers earning more than R181 900 a year.
-TJ Strydom and Cindy Preller
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