No to salary increases and bonuses in government - OUTA

Government now needs to cut the fat and lighten the load on taxpayers.

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11/05/2020 14:10:22

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      No to salary increases and bonuses in government - OUTA 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) is calling on national, provincial and local government to curb and cut unnecessary costs, starting with salary increases and bonuses.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      In a letter sent to the minister of CoGTA, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, and copied to the President as well as all provincial CoGTA executive council members, OUTA has called for direction and influence from the top, calling on all public office bearers and management to respect their citizens by reducing the cost of government on the taxpayer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      “Businesses are closing and millions are losing their jobs or are forced to survive on reduced income as a direct result of the Covid-19 lockdown and its economic fallout,” says Wayne Duvenage, OUTA’s CEO. “Yet we read of municipalities calling for urgent council meetings to discuss salary increases, which is nothing short of a disgrace at a time like this.” 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      “Why should citizens have to finance any salary increases for public servants and councillors whilst businesses are having to curb costs, cut expenses, retrench staff or force them to take unpaid leave?” 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It is a slap in the face of society when businesses have to take drastic action to keep their heads above water, whilst government leadership remains silent in their actions to force all levels of government - including local government - to introduce drastic measures to reduce their costs to society. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      “We believe there should be no salary increases or bonuses paid at any level of government. Now is the time for society to witness a proactive approach by government to reduce the burden on taxpayers by conducting a deep review of all contracts and unnecessary expenses, starting with their salary bills as well as negotiations with unions for people employed in our towns and cities,” adds Duvenage.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The economy was in a recession before the coronavirus pandemic and the country has since been downgraded by all credit ratings agencies, yet government has not demonstrated clear direction or sense of urgency to cut their costs to society. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Any suggestion of salary increases for councillors is particularly problematic in the light of the national government need to find an extra R20bn to help municipalities make ends meet because of the Covid-19 economic collapse.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      We need to see our government lead by example from the top, to influence its oversight and accountability through actions that will have a swift and long term impact on reducing its cost to society, especially the dire situation we find ourselves in as a nation. A leaner and more understanding government that is sincere and focussed on enabling growth and igniting an efficient economy will build trust in people. 

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      OUTA is a proudly South African civil action organisation, that is purely crowd funded. Our work is supported by ordinary citizens who are passionate about holding government accountable and ensuring our taxes are used to the benefit of all South Africans.