'The problem is that national treasury is running the country' - Cosatu

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba ahead of his Budget speech.
Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba ahead of his Budget speech.

Trade unions have criticised Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba’s budget speech‚ calling it a “slap” in the face.

“The increase in VAT will affect the poor more than the rich. When Gigaba said the budget will cushion the poor‚ he is telling a lie‚” said Zwelinzima Vavi‚ secretary general of the SA Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu).

He said the increase in social grants was an insult.

“What an insult to the poor who are desperately waiting to be liberated. Under the so-called friend of the workers [Gigaba]‚ we are getting a slap in the face‚” Vavi said on Radio 702.

Sizwe Pamla‚ spokesperson for the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu)‚ echoed Vavi’s sentiments on the budget.

“We are of the view that it is a slap in the face for workers. The problem with the ANC is that it is unable to transform its national treasury. There has never been a finance minister who is friendly to the poor‚” Pamla said.

“The biggest challenge is that we have a national treasury that is running the country.”

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