Budget icebergs Nene has to navigate
25 February 2015 - 02:26
Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene will table his first national Budget today.
Here are some of the worries that have been keeping the economists awake at night.
- Will there be a sharply higher fuel levy? Higher income taxes? A wealth tax?
- Will he be able to stabilise government debt or will South Africa have to keep borrowing to pay its running expenses?
- How will he fund struggling state-owned enterprises such as Eskom, SAA and the SABC? Nene says he will do it in a "deficit-neutral" way - without running up more state debt.
- He c ould achieve this by passing on the funding costs to the users of the enterprises' services, which would mean higher electricity tariffs.
- Will the proposed national health insurance plan get the go-ahead and have funding set aside for it?
- What about other taxes, such as the long-mooted carbon tax?
- Is the government doing enough to keep its expenditure under control? Is it employing fewer people in the public service and cutting back on waste in procurement?
- What big announcements are looming about the way in which municipalities, many of which are struggling, finance themselves?