With all the political shenanigans taking the headlines‚ there are aspects of last week’s Budget that many might have overlooked.
Rob Cooper‚ a tax expert at accounting group Sage‚ set out five aspects of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s budget that he said would be of great benefit to the country
Cooper set out five such highlights:
1. Employers have been given more incentives to provide bursaries. “The income eligibility threshold for the employee (in the case of a bursary for his relative) is proposed to be increased from R250 000 to R400 000‚” says Cooper. “The qualifying bursary threshold is increased from R10 000 to R15 000 for basic education and from R30 000 to R40 000 for higher education.”
2. Improvements to the Employment Tax Incentive are in the pipeline‚ which Cooper says until now has “not been effective in addressing the crisis of youth unemployment”.
3. There has been progress in establishing a national minimum wage‚ which would be critical in addressing inequality.
4. There has been progress‚ albeit slow‚ in implementing a National Health Insurance‚ which would improve the quality of public healthcare and extend the reach of the healthcare into the rural areas.
5. Personal Income Tax rates were left unchanged‚ although not enough was set aside to completely rule out fiscal drag. (Fiscal drag is the effect of inflation which pushes taxpayers into higher tax brackets even if remuneration stays the same.)