The Budget Justice Coalition (BJC) has made a submission to parliament’s Select and Standing Committees on Finance titled “Budgeting in the Age of Austerity: A Five-Year Review of Budget Policies and Outcomes”. The submission looks at how entrenched austerity in the past five years has had inimical effects on health and education in particular. The coalition also argues that a move towards more tax justice and better state expenditure oversight will ameliorate the lot of the working class and the poor.
Policy recommendations from the BJC include:
- much greater focus on employment and economic growth in monetary policy.
- greater policy coherence and more active collaboration between Treasury, Department of Trade and Industry, Economic Development, Labour, Social Development and Reserve Bank.
- As per UN Committee Recommendation 17e to re-examine the South African growth model in order to move towards a more inclusive development pathway.
- take cognisance of the recommendations of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, including to review South Africa’s fiscal policy in order to improve its capacity to mobilize domestic resources required to bridge gaps and increase its redistributive effect.
- Consider revising the Provincial and Local government Equitable Share Formulas to reduce regional disparities in the enjoyment of the Covenant rights.
- Austerity measures should not be considered unavoidable, they should be temporary, covering only the period of the crisis; necessary and proportionate, not result in discrimination and increased inequalities; and ensure that rights are not disproportionately affected.
- Increase the level of funding in social security, health and education.
You can read the entire submission here: Budget Justice Coalition 5-year Review Submission to Finance Committees