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Nupsaw plans strike over new Tax laws

10 February 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Author: Dane McDonald
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Author: Dane McDonald (Fin24)

The National Union of Public Service & Allied Workers (Nupsaw) has given notice to embark on strike action against new Tax laws to be implemented on 1 March 2016.

"Workers have over many years made it clear through struggle that their choice was for a provident fund system which allowed them to choose whether to take all of their benefit or to use it for a pension,” Nupsaw general secretary Success Mataitsane said on Tuesday.

Panic and anger set in among workers after President Jacob Zuma signed the new tax laws such as the 2015 Tax Laws Amendment Act and the Tax Administration Laws Amendment Act into force.

They include a limit on how much may be withdrawn when a worker resigns or is retrenched as part of efforts to force workers to save for their retirement and not withdraw savings for other reasons.

SEE INFOGRAPHIC: 20 facts to de-mystify tax laws

Nupsaw’s objections are around the decision to implement what it believed was compulsory annuitisation upon retirement from 1 March 2016.

"In the private sector workers don’t earn enough to [build] savings ... the people will still come out with very little,” Mataitsane told Fin24.

He said workers were getting paid so little that they were forever in debt and that the only time they could settle their accounts was when they retired.

Mataitsane said that the government had an important role to play in providing for workers during their retirement.

"We believe that the state should continue to give the necessary grants because people are paying taxes ... so what is wrong with the state paying back,” he said.

The union made the following demands in its notice of strike action to Nedlac (National Economic Development and Labour Council):

  1. That employees have the right to withdraw their full provident fund benefit upon retirement;
  2. A comprehensive social security system to include:
    • A non-means tested state old age pension of fixed at a rate capable of sustaining a decent pension, per pensioner;
    • The implementation of the National Health Insurance scheme to provide access to free health care which will be accessible to all and of a good quality;
    • A basic income grants capable of purchasing essential needs, per adult;
    • A non-means tested child benefit grant.
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