NEVA MAKGETLA: Treasury oversells its proposals by ignoring the costs and risks
Discussion document is a shopping list that starts with the desired outcomes and then looks for solutions in unsuitable theories
The Treasury’s recent policy discussion document reminds one of the well-known definition of insanity. It falls within SA’s long tradition of economic policy shopping lists, seen most recently in the Treasury’s own 2017 inclusive growth action plan.
From experience, most commentators will discuss only the broad goals listed in the introduction, without assessing whether the proposed measures are viable. Meanwhile, government departments will cherry-pick the bits they agree with and ignore the rest. This approach avoids the hard task of negotiating and pursuing genuine high-level priorities through practical, coherent strategies.