South Africa-Economy-Budget

S/Africa: $133 trillion budget tabled amid pandemic

APA-Cape Town (South Africa)

South Africa’s Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has delivered a US$133.33 billion budget in which he provided relief to corporates and workers by not raising their taxes but hit hard “sin” products manufacturers with new taxes amid a tough economic environment hit by recession, high unemployment and the coronavirus pandemic.

Delivering his 2021/22 budget statement in Parliament on Wednesday, Mboweni said he had decided to spare the corporates from high taxes due to his projected collection of over US$80 billion in taxes during the coming year.

This amount is US$14.2 billion less than the revenue collection in the 2019/2020 budget, he said.

The minister said the government would not introduce hikes for individuals and corporate income taxpayers in an effort to aid economic recovery and ease financial pressures on households and businesses.

The corporate income tax rate will be lowered to 27% for companies with years of assessment commencing on or after 1 April 2022, he said.

The minister, however, announced an 8% increase in excise duties on alcohol and tobacco products, the so-called “sin” products, emphasising that excessive alcohol consumption could lead to negative social and health outcomes.

“From today (Wednesday), a 340ml can of beer or a cider will cost an extra 14 cents, a 750ml bottle of wine will cost an extra 26 cents, a 750ml bottle of sparkling wine an extra 86 cents, a bottle of 750ml spirits, including whisky, gin or vodka, will increase by 36 cents, a packet of 20 cigarettes will be an extra 9 cents,” he announced.

He said the country’s economy was expected to rebound by 3.3% this year, following a 7.2% contraction in 2020.

Due to this, he said, there was reason for hope from South Africa's "much-improved economic outlook" amid a global economy expected to be buoyed by the expected rollout of Covid-19 vaccines worldwide.

 Apart from tax revenue collection, the government intends to spend billions of dollars in socio-economic projects like construction of infrastructure and funding the current Covid-19 vaccination programme, Mboweni said.

NM/jn/APA

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