2017 Budget Speech Highlights

Thank-you to the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry for making the 2017 budget speech highlight below available, which can be read in association with the National Treasury’s summary document – available here.

BUDGET FRAMEWORK

  • A budget deficit of 3.4 per cent of GDP is expected for 2016/17, narrowing to 2.6 per cent in 2019/20.
  • Debt stock as a percentage of GDP is expected to stabilise at 48.2 per cent in 2020/21.
  • The main budget non-interest expenditure ceiling has been lowered by R26 billion over the next two years.
  • R28 billion in additional tax revenue will be raised in 2017/18. Measures to increase revenue by a proposed R15 billion in 2018/19 will be outlined in the 2018 Budget.
  • R30 billion has been reprioritised through the budget process to ensure that core social expenditure is protected.
  • Real growth in non-interest spending will average 1.9 per cent over the next three years. Apart from debt-service costs, post-school education is the fastest-growing category, followed by health and social protection.

SPENDING PROGRAMMES – Over the next three years, government will spend:

  • R490.4 billion on social grants.
  • R105.9 billion on transfers to universities, while the National Student
  • Financial Aid Scheme will spend R54.3 billion.
  • R751.9 billion on basic education, including R48.3 billion for direct subsidies to schools, R42.9 billion for infrastructure, and R12.7 billion for learner and teacher support materials.
  • R114.8 billion on subsidised public housing.
  • R94.4 billion on water resources and bulk infrastructure.
  • R189 billion on transfers of the local government equitable share to provide basic services to poor households.
  • R142.6 billion to support affordable public transport.
  • R606 billion on health, with R59.5 billion on the HIV/AIDS conditional grant.

TAX PROPOSALS – In 2017/18:

  • A new top marginal income tax bracket for individuals combined with partial relief for bracket creep will raise an additional R16.5 billion.
  • R6.8 billion will be collected through a higher dividend withholding tax rate. Increases in fuel taxes and alcohol and tobacco excise duties will together increase revenue by R5.1 billion.
  • As soon as the necessary legislation is approved, government will implement a tax on sugary beverages.
  • A revised Carbon Tax Bill will be published for public consultation and tabling in Parliament by mid-2017.
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