The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) has called for tax freeze until government has addressed its massive corruption and maladministration problem.
Outa chairperson Wayne Duvenage said that over the past decade, the government has displayed a growing appetite for more taxes, while the result has been less return for ‘our’ in put. “And in its place, a bloated and inefficient government”.
Duvenage called on finance minister, Pravin Gordhan, to ‘plug the leaking holes in your tax bucket’ by addressing wasteful expenditure.
“South Africa is struggling to maintain its rightful position as a leading developing nation,” Duvenage said.
“We are punching well below our weight and it comes down to poor governance, maladministration, corruption and weak political leadership.”
In a video message to Gordhan titled “You cannot raise taxes while the bucket is leaking”, Duvenage suggested the following seven actions:
- Don’t increase taxes this year. First fix the lethargic government, and clean up public administration.
- Reduce the bloated size and the extravagant cost of the government by 30% over the next five years.
- Seriously fight corruption, with a well-executed plan and no political meddling.
- Privatize non-strategic state-owned assets. Government must get out of the business of business.
- Create laws and policies which will stimulate investment and create jobs.
- Improve education and healthcare. This includes better trained and paid teachers.
- Promote transparency among all government departments and state owned entities.
Duvenage said that South Africa has no excuse to show a worse economic performance than our peers, especially with a hard working population, great natural resources, and excellent tourism potential.
“South Africa’s GDP growth should be anywhere between 3% and 5% per annum, for years to come,” said Duvenage.
He encouraged the government to “walk with us” with meaningful action, and to start now.