Pro-poor budgeting of a different type: some early evidence

Medium-term budget prioritises debt reduction but welfare spending remains important

14 November 2021 - 00:00 By Haroon Bhorat

This year’s medium-term budget policy statement (MTBPS), presented on Thursday by newfinance minster Enoch Godongwana, reveals much about the direction of fiscal policy he would like to take. And it is good news. It is good news because the minister was laser-focused on the fact that any growth and welfare-enhancing policy agenda would need to be anchored in a sustainable debt trajectory while managing growth and welfare-enhancing expenditure within a feasible fiscal consolidation path.

In numbers, the idea of annually spending 13c of every rand on debt servicing costs and another 31c on public service wages was clearly viewed as a poor way to utilise the fiscus for growth and employment generation. ..

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