COSATU will present its submission on government’s MTBPS and the Special Appropriation Bill (SAA additional funding) to the Standing and Select Committees on Appropriations at 10am Friday, 23 November, V454, Parliament.
The federation appreciates the extent of the economic, governance and budgetary crises facing government, workers, the economy and the nation. We have been raising the alarm bells for some time, even when government dismissed our concerns.
We are disappointed that there are no clear plans in the MTBPS to:
- turn the economy around, to protect and create jobs;
- reindustrialise the state;
- no fleshing out of the progressive commitments made in the stimulus plan, jobs and investment summits;
- halt the looting epidemic and recover the stolen funds and arrest those who stolen;
- Stop the continuous wasteful and bling expenditure that has come to characterise the state and its leadership;
- halt the crises at key SOEs e.g. Eskom, SABC, Denel, SAA, SA Express, PRASA and place them on a clear turnaround plan and business model; and
- ensure that the rich pay their fare shares of taxes and lesson the burden on the poor.
We are angry that instead government has sought to shift the burden to workers:
- through the VAT and other tax and tariff hikes;
- freezing badly needed service delivery posts; and
- blamed nurses, teachers, police officers, prison wardens, cleaners, etc for wanting to earn a living wage.
We reject the VAT concessions as too little, too late. Government must intervene in a meaningful way to cushion the poor from the consequences of state looting and collapse and the real economic recession by:
- increasing the free water and electricity allocations;
- providing vouchers for locally produced school uniforms to no feel schools;
- reducing water and electricity tariffs; and/ or
- exempting locally produced poultry from VAT.
Government needs to learn the value of meaningful engagement. The times of being ostriches must end and government must wake up and work with business and labour on a serious plan to turn the economy around and stabilise the state. At this rate we are heading towards an IMF intervention and it will be brutal. It will decimate what is left of the developmental state, pensions, SOEs, service delivery and plunge the economy into a full scale depression.
For more information, please call Cde Matthew Parks -COSATU Parliamentary Coordinator
Cell: 082 785 0687