Will MPs have power to change budget?

Anna Majavu

Anna Majavu

Commentators are at odds on whether MPs will be able to flex their muscles next year and amend the budget after it is tabled.

The Money Bills Amendment Bill passed last week allows MPs to make major changes to the country's budget.

On Tuesday, Parliament's Joint Budget Committee threatened to transform, and not merely tweak, next year's budget.

This after hearing that Finance Minister Trevor Manuel had, in last week's medium-term budget adjustments, allocated far less to education than was requested.

Jacob Molapisi of the SA NGO Coalition, a member of the Peoples' Budget Campaign, said: "Parliament should long ago have developed the capacity to intervene in budgeting instead of allowing the department of finance to do everything on its own without any supervision from parliament".

"We are for the idea that parliament should be responsible for the budget and not the executive."