Nene is running out of options – expert

Cape Town – South Africans should remember that Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene can only do so much in his budget 2015 as he is not the president, said deputy CEO of the SA Institute of Tax Practitioners (Sait) Keith Engel.

READ: Nene’s budget stymied by political realities

“The question is whether Nene has the backing,” he said at a post budget event hosted by Deloitte in Cape Town.

“Government is very divided, just like the private sector and Nene is running out of options. He does not control everything and that is what people forget.”

Engel pointed out that government has created a lot of promises which have led to large expectations. This, in turn, has made many taxpayers fearful about whether the country can bear these expectations and promises.

READ: SA growth the calm before the storm

“In the budget we see high level, quick hits as government needs the money now. This budget is, therefore, not about closing loopholes right now as that is too complicated,” said Engel.

“SA is in a tense environment and we are fighting for our cheese a lot harder. The battle between the rich and the poor is also becoming more and more visible.”

That brings the question about a tipping point for the country regarding social upheaval and real concerns about corruption and inefficiencies.

“There is a tipping point going on politically and the question is whether government can control the macro economic numbers. And even if it does manage to control these, what if another crisis comes?” Engel concluded.

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