Tough strides are fast approaching for smokers and drinkers as budget speech on Wednesday announced a price hike for these popular commodities.
Pravin Gordhan, Minister of Finance, gave his budget speech and said that while there would be no increase in income tax rate for this financial year, sin tax would be affected. Students can expect the price of beer, whisky and cigarettes to increase. With these increases taking place immediately.
Other increases include the price of petrol which will go up by 12 cents in April, attributed to the rising cost of fuel.
Gordhan also spoke about Treasury’s plan for higher education. He said NSFAS will be increased to R19.4 billion over the next three years. He reflected on the increase, saying over the past five years R18.6 billion had gone to the fund.
The introduction of the youth employment tax initiative has 56, 000 beneficiaries in its first month. Gordhan acknowledged that the unemployment rate is still high at 24% despite the rise since recession.
Red tape will be relaxed for small business entrepreneurs. Gordhan said micro enterprises won’t pay as much tax as bigger business.