The Minister of Finance, Malusi Gigaba, delivers his “maiden” medium-term budget policy statement on Wednesday 25 October 2017 in Parliament. The DA has called on him to boost economic growth by announcing a package of structural reforms, to sell SAA and to stop the nuke programme
The medium-term budget policy statement is normally an opportunity for the minister to make adjustments to the main budget requiring the approval of Parliament.
However, we believe the minister should use the medium-term budget policy statement to deal decisively with the “big five” challenges to reversing the economic decline as follows:
• boosting economic growth by announcing a package of structural reforms to build business confidence and stimulate private sector investment;
• stabilizing public finances by announcing a “haircut” on all mandatory cost containment items and implementing a Comprehensive Spending Review;
• supporting the independence of financial institutions by making a strong statement in support of the institutional independence of the South African Reserve Bank, Public Investment Corporation and National Treasury;
• reforming “zombie state-owned enterprises by putting the national airline into business rescue with a view to stabilizing and then privatizing South African Airways; and
• mitigating significant long-term fiscal risks by terminating the nuclear build programme.
What will define the success, or the failure, of the minister’s “maiden” medium-term budget policy statement will, in the end, be whether he can give hope to the 9.3 million people who do not have jobs, or have given up looking for jobs, in South Africa.
David Maynier MP, DA Shadow Minister of Finance, and Alf Lees MP, DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Finance, preview of the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement 2017 can be found here.