'Deafeningly silent' The national budget has failed to live up to the bold plans of boosting job creation and fighting corruption as outlined by President Cyril Ramaphosa in his state of the nation address (sona), union federation Cosatu said on Wednesday. In its reaction to Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba’s address, Cosatu said the budget was “deafeningly silent on government’s plans to create jobs and fight corruption”. Cosatu parliamentary co-ordinator Matthew Parks also expressed disappointment at the announced VAT increase, saying it would hurt workers and their families. Gigaba announced that VAT would increase from 14% to 15%, the first such adjustment since 1993. “We, therefore, decided that increasing VAT was unavoidable if we were to maintain the integrity of our public finances,” he told the National Assembly. Parks said Cosatu was cognisant of the pressures the government was seeking to juggle but was concerned that this was coming on the “backs of struggling and middle c...

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