1887

n Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe - Suid-Afrika se fiskale keuses gemodelleer : afgrond of plato? s

Volume 56 Number 2-2
  • ISSN : 0041-4751
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Abstract


This paper assesses fiscal developments in South Africa since earlier research (Rossouw, Joubert & Breytenbach 2014) showed that South Africa is heading for a "fiscal cliff". The earlier research found that government expenditure on social grants and civil service remuneration has become unsustainable. A continuation of trends recorded in these two expenditure items between 2008 and 2012 implied that all government revenue will be accounted for by these two items by 2026, hence the notion that South Africa faces a "fiscal cliff". No income will be left for other expenditure items.
Rossouw, Joubert and Breytenbach (2014) showed that the fiscal cliff could still be averted, but that the South African government should take timely steps to ensure such aversion. This paper reassesses the earlier analysis by expanding the research to cover data from the 2014 Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (2014 MTBPS) and Medium Term Expenditure Framework, the 2015 and 2016 Budgets and also covers subsequent developments.
In its response to the research warning of a fiscal cliff facing South Africa based on data up to 2012, the South African government has given mixed signals. On the one hand, the budgeted increases in civil service remuneration and social grant expenditure have been contained over the budget period to 2017/18. On the other hand, Government executives make contrary statements, while actual remuneration adjustments for civil servants from 1 April 2015 exceed budgeted remuneration. However, employment growth has been contained.
The Minister of Social Development responded to a question in Parliament by saying, inter alia, that "(t)he Department plans to extend the Child Support Grant (CSG) to the age of 21 and not 23. The main reason for extension is to align the CSG and Foster Child Grant (FCG). ... Should the policy be approved the extension of CSG to 21 will be introduced in phase format, starting with 18 - 19 in the first year, 19 - 20 year old in the second year, and finally 20 - 21 year olds in the final year. The extension will cost about R1,2 billion in the first year, R2,2 billion in the second year and R3,3 billion in the third year. Overall, about 750 thousand children are set to benefit from extending the CSG" (National Assembly, 2015). We disagree with the Minister's assumptions, as our calculations show that the cost will amount to some R8 billion per annum at current values, once fully phased in.

Die artikel ontleed fiskale ontwikkelings in Suid-Afrika sedert die publikasie van die bevindings van Rossouw, Joubert en Breytenbach (2014) dat Suid-Afrika 'n fiskale afgrond in die gesig staar. Die vorige artikel het bevind dat owerheidsbesteding aan sosiale bystand toenemend tussen 2008 en 2012 as persentasie van totale owerheidsinkome gegroei het. Terselfdertyd het die owerheid se vergoedingsrekening oor daardie tydperk ook skerp toegeneem. Die gevolgtrekking was dat sosialebystandbetalings en owerheidsvergoeding op 'n peil is waar verdere reële toenames onbekostigbaar is, selfs al word belastings verhoog. Die bevinding was dat Suid-Afrika oor die lang termyn 'n fiskale afgrond in die gesig staar en dat alle inkome teen 2026 aan hierdie uitgaweposte sal gaan as die neiging wat tussen 2008 en 2012 voorgekom het, volgehou word.


Hierdie artikel gebruik data van die 2014 Mediumtermyn Begroting (2014 MTB) en die 2015- en 2016-begrotings tot die einde van die 2018/19 fiskale jaar om te bepaal wat Suid-Afrika se huidige posisie ten opsigte van die fiskale afgrond is.
Hoewel die regering verantwoordelik in begrotingsvoorstelle tot die 2018/19-fiskale jaar opgetree het deur die groei in besteding op sosialebystandbetalings en owerheidsvergoeding te beperk, is daar geen waarborg dat hierdie konserwatisme sal realiseer nie. In die praktyk het dieregering reeds verhogings vir die staatsdiens vir die tydperk tot 2018/19 bo die begroting goedgekeur. Hoewel die regering dus die bestaan van 'n fiskale afgrond erken, is daar verwarring in die reaksie op hierdie bedreiging.
In die tweede plek maak politici steeds beloftes van bestedingstoenames. Die Minister van Sosiale Ontwikkeling het die voorneme aangekondig om kindertoelaes tot op ouderdom 21 uit te brei. Voorheen het die Minister van Finansies die voorneme aangekondig dat ouderdomspensioene aan almal bo 60 betaal moet word en dat die middeletoets afgeskaf moet word. Hierdie is onbekostigbare voorstelle.
Hierdie navorsing fokus op die vraag of Suid-Afrika se fiskale volhoubaarheid sedert 2012 verbeter het. 'n Ekonometriese model is ontwikkel en twee scenario's is gemodelleer om lig op hierdie vraag te werp. Die bevinding is dat Suid-Afrika van 'n fiskale afgrond na 'n fiskale plato kan beweeg as die groei in sosialebystandbetalings, staatsdiensindiensname en die salarisse van staatsdiensamptenare beteuel kan word.

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/content/akgees/56/Issue-2_2/EJC190587
2016-06-01
2019-12-15

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