PRETORIA, March 6 – Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane has told his members that the increase of Value Added Tax is the African National Congress’s way of making the poor pay for their mistakes and for looting State funds.
Maimane was addressing more than a hundred members of the DA who marched to Treasury in Pretoria on Tuesday in an attempt to oppose the suggested VAT increase by former Minister of Finance Malusi Gigaba.
The VAT increase from 14% to 15% will come into effect next month.
“We reject this government’s plans to make up for their waste and their greed by taxing the poor even more. We reject the argument that the only way to dig us out of our financial hole is by making poor South Africans pay through a higher VAT rate and higher fuel taxes,” Maimane said.
The opposition leader said the VAT increase will target people who spend by far the biggest part of their income on food and transport.
He said government hasn’t explored all avenues to save money.
“The answer lies in trimming the fat – in cutting spending where we can afford it.”
Maimane said the government is in a position to generate additional revenue by selling off some of the State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) and cutting down the cabinet.
“We have one of the largest cabinets in the world, and we have just about the most foreign missions in the world. Why? Because that’s how the ANC rewards cadres. Ministers, deputy ministers, ambassadors and all the other positions created by this enormous government, these are all part of an elaborate loyalty reward scheme.
“The fact is, we don’t need half of them. We can start by firing the leftover Gupta Ministers that the President failed to fire, like Malusi Gigaba and Bathabile Dlamini. We can trim our cabinet down to 15 ministries and we can cut our foreign missions by 69. That alone will save us close on R18bn,” he said.