Medium-term budget tobacco tax and the rebirth of SARS

COMMENT

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni delivered a medium term budget policy statement (MTBPS) on Wednesday that served as a bitter reality check for the country, outlining the difficult choices the state needs to make to shore up its finances.

“We are at a crossroads,” Mboweni said in his speech to Parliament.

“This policy statement highlights the difficult economic and fiscal choices confronting us over the medium term.”

Among these, Mboweni highlighted the need to re-configure state-owned entities and confront the impacts of the rising public sector wage bill on the state’s finances.

After the high of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s rise to the presidency earlier this year, and the optimism baked into the estimates on economic growth and revenue collection in the 2018 Budget, the updated forecasts provided in the MTBPS were a sharp contrast.

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