Things could be better, but they could also be a whole lot worse.
The biggest question is the forecast growth rate for the 2011/12 fiscal year.
Back in February the National Budget was based on a growth rate of 3.4%. By the 2nd quarter of 2011, growth rates had dropped to 1.4%. In the MTBF the growth rate has been revised downwards to 3,1%.
Not too shabby compared to the USA and Europe who are struggling to keep above Zero and officially falling back into recession.
Budgeted tax collections for the 2011/12 fiscal year are currently R13 billion behind target. But in the context of a budget of R742 billion to come in at R729 billion, is not a train smash.
VAT collections are of some concern. When times get rough consumers stay at home and VAT falls. But that is the sole problem in the tax collection numbers. However, the festive season is yet to come, so who knows?
Company tax collections and Individual tax collections are on right on track. Other variations are insignificant.
Government expenditure is also on target, leaving the revised National Budget deficit at R165 billion or 5,5% of GDP. Not too bad when considered against the USA deficit of 11% of GDP.
The forecast of the Debt/GDP ratios will decline to below 4% by 2014/15 if all remains on track.
And what about unemployment, which has now reached 26%? That’s at least 13 million South Africans, mainly the youth, facing a very grim future. Perhaps this is where the MTBF comes up short, there are no major new solutions or proposals.
Everyone has been waiting for some indication as to who is going to foot the bill for National Health Insurance. The key questions are who is going to land up paying the additional R100 billion and how will it be funded?
Answer: We still don’t know! Apparently 2012 will be a year of consultation about the Green paper released in August.
Predictions for the National Budget 2012/13?
Provided the situation in Europe reaches an orderly solution, there should be no surprises. No major tax increases are on the horizon at present.
So, ‘hey Comrade, where’s my Country?’ Answer ‘We’re still here and we’re still batting. Actually RSA is doing a lot better than many other first world countries. And there is much to be grateful for in that.’