With­out aus­ter­ity, fis­cus won’t re­vive

The Star Early Edition - - LETTERS - Alan Fuchs DA MPL in the Gaut­eng provin­cial leg­is­la­ture

THE COST to the gov­ern­ment of keep­ing vot­ers com­pli­ant has be­come too large to main­tain.

The fact that only two items – that is, salaries of an ev­er­in­creas­ing num­ber of civil ser­vants and so­cial grants – wipe out 56 per­cent of this coun­try’s rev­enue bud­get, has forced Gaut­eng to take aus­ter­ity mea­sures.

At the tabling of Gaut­eng’s medium-term bud­get pol­icy last week, MEC for Fi­nance Bar­bara Creecy, while try­ing to put a pos­i­tive spin on her gov- ern­ment’s per­for­mance, de­liv­ered the harsh re­al­ity that aus­ter­ity is the only way to sur­vive in the face of a fis­cal cliff.

She in­di­cated that we are at a cross­roads.

The cur­rent ac­count deficit and ris­ing pub­lic debt high­light the need to spend less yet main­tain fis­cal stim­u­lus to en­sure ser­vice de­liv­ery.

She then de­liv­ered the bad news that over the next three years, bud­gets would be cut across all three lev­els of gov­ern­ment.

The im­pli­ca­tion of this is a drop in stan­dards of al­ready medi­ocre ser­vice de­liv­ery.

The MEC high­lighted that be­sides re­duc­ing bud­gets, the Gaut­eng provin­cial gov­ern­ment would, in ad­di­tion, in­crease spend­ing on in­fra­struc­ture, at­tempt to re­duce cor­rup­tion and try to gen­er­ate ad­di­tional rev­enue.

One won­ders to what ex­tent th­ese un­der­tak­ings are mere plat­i­tudes.

It is common cause that cadre de­ploy­ment and poor man­age­ment skills make it highly un­likely that the gov­ern­ment can make any real dif­fer­ence when it comes to im­ple­men­ta­tion.

The ANC has taken us down a rocky path over the past 20 years and it seems as if we are about to reach a dead end.

Very few peo­ple have con­fi­dence in the so-called rad­i­cal in­ter­ven­tions es­poused by the rul­ing party.

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