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Speed up payment of tax refunds‚ trade union urges Nene

Tuesday, 20 October 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Author: Times Live
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Author: Times Live

Reduce the budget deficit‚ cut government department spending and speed up the payment of tax refunds.

Those are the three measures the United Association of South Africa (Uasa) would like to see Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene tackle in the medium-term budget policy statement he will present in Parliament on Wednesday.

The trade union’s spokesperson‚ Andre Venter‚ said on Tuesday that Nene "must go out of his way to reduce the budget deficit – as a larger budget deficit contributes to a higher current account deficit‚ which in turn was identified by credit rating agencies as the main reason for reducing South Africa’s credit rating”. "A weaker credit rating will further increase the interest we will have to pay on government debt - as we will have to borrow at higher interest rates - and a higher interest rate bill will reduce the amount available to finance service delivery‚” explained Venter.

He urged Nene to rein in rampart government expenditure by applying a simple criterion: "If government departments can’t spent money productively‚ it should not be allocated to them.”

"It is time that civil servants realise that they are serving the public‚ that they are privileged to do so and that they are paid by tax payers’ money.” Venter said Uasa appreciated that "government’s finances are under pressure”‚ but added "so are those of the country’s citizens”.

The union would like to see the South African Revenue Services "work faster on their refunds to tax payers” as it believed that "it is not fair to keep ordinary workers’ money from them because government’s revenue collection is slower than originally anticipated”.

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