Sat Oct 22 18:16:15 SAST 2016


By unknown | Feb 12, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Zweli Mokgata

Zweli Mokgata

Diana Delmont doesn't like high taxes, but she'd be happy to pay up if she saw what government was spending it on.

Delmont, a real estate agent and a married mother who lives in a Johannesburg suburb, pays 25percent of her income to the South African Revenue Service.

Her husband, a self-employed decorator, has to pay provisional tax three times a year, depending on the health of his business.

Last year she could barely maintain her household when the economic downturn played havoc on the housing market, her main source of income.

Luckily, she was able to save her home by managing her spending more efficiently and forgoing the family's annual holiday trip.

Yesterday, Finance Minister Trevor Manuel announced the government would provide R13,6billion in tax relief for individuals. Last year's tax revenue was R14,2billion less than what was initially planned.

This year tax rates have been kept the same but the brackets were increased with the government collecting more in each bracket. Many South Africans will now see their salaries increasing to keep up with inflation.

Delmont said she was glad the government did not increase tax rates.

She said: "We are really suffering as a country. The latest interest rate cut was a good relief for us, but things are still very tight.

"If things get any worse, I would have to cut spending on certain foods and domestic help, which would mean a whole family would lose a source of income," she said.

Instead, government will use efficiencies to ensure that R19billion in cost cutting is achieved.

"It's one of the intentions that as we spend more, we spend better," said Manuel.

Delmont said: "I don't really care who is in power or what they say. I would just like to see things improving, but at the moment I watch as pavements, storm water drains and power plants deteriorate.

"I don't mind paying taxes that will go to social grants. In fact, it would be stupid for us not to pay for the poor," she said.


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