South African Trade Unions Call For Wealth Tax
Monday, March 1, 2010
During a parliamentary committee meeting following the announcement of the
South African 2010/11 budget, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU)
proposed a wealth tax in order to raise revenue for alleviating poverty in the
Given the rapid rise in managerial salaries and the fall in real wages for
other workers that it has seen in South Africa, COSATU said that the new tax
should be imposed on those earning more than ZAR1m (USD130,000) per year. It
suggested that a new income tax threshold should be introduced at that level.
In order to relieve the increasing inequality it sees, and the hardship experienced
by the poorer elements in the country, it is also proposing that the range of
goods zero-rated under value added tax should be extended. It said that there
should be a further look at the rating of certain food products and other items,
such as children’s clothes and educational items, to provide more assistance
to those on lower incomes.
As an additional comment on the measures introduced in the budget, the People’s
Budget Coalition, which is led by COSATU but also includes the South African
Council of Churches, has pointed out that companies will continue to pay proportionately
less tax than individuals.