ISAAH MHLANGA: Fiscal windfall is no excuse to open the spending taps
With inflation a distinct possibility, the Treasury must preserve its cash balances for unexpected market behaviour
With finance minister Tito Mboweni’s budget coming up next week, questions about SA’s fiscal risks and insolvency have become more frequent. At the same time, by now politicians might know that SA’s cash balances have reached their highest levels on record. The Treasury will probably over-collect tax revenues by R100bn or more than what was projected in the October 2020 medium-term budget policy statement.
However, these fortunate conditions relieving SA’s fiscal bind over the short term do not stem from deliberate actions by the government. As a result, they must not be used as an excuse to open the spending taps, which would leave the country exposed to the market shocks that are gradually developing. ..