The DA notes with concern the signing into law of four pieces of problematic legislation by President Zuma this afternoon.
The Development Bank of Southern Africa Amendment Act, the Tax Administration Laws Amendment Act, the Rates and Monetary Amounts and Amendment of Revenue Laws Act, and the Taxation Laws Amendment Act were all objected to by the DA when they appeared before Parliament last year, for a number of reasons.
The Development Bank of Southern Africa Amendment Act was not supported as it operates in direct contradiction to Finance Minister Nene’s commitment to fiscal consolidation in his Medium Term Budget Policy Statement. The act sees more of the same from government as failing State Owned Enterprises continue to receive bail out packages, as government irresponsibly throws good money after bad.
The Tax Administration Laws Amendment Act was not supported as it fails to sufficiently balance the rights of taxpayers with those of the tax authorities, giving wide and far reaching powers to the South African Revenue Service (SARS). The DA’s position is that these powers give far too much authority to SARS, and very little to the taxpayer. In light of the current leadership, management and operational crisis at SARS, this is cause for great concern.
The Rates and Monetary Amounts and Amendment of Revenue Laws Act, which aims to give legislative effect to some of the tax proposals announced by the Minister of Finance in the 2014 Budget Review, was not supported for this very reason – it puts into operation parts of a national budget which we did not support.
The Taxation Laws Amendment Act was not supported as the act imposes a new fringe benefits tax, which places a significant burden on members of defined benefit retirement funds. The DA’s position on tax increases is simple – we do not support any tax increase which seeks to fill a public purse grossly mismanaged by government.
These pieces of legislation are indicative of the much larger issue, which is that the Zuma led government is consistently pushing our country into economic decline through an array of laws and policies which stifle growth and job creation.
The DA will continue to use all the available channels and procedures to introduce legislation that creates jobs, not legislation that hampers growth.
DA Shadow Minister of Finance
Source : Democratic Alliance