Duma Gqubule Columnist

Three times during his February 24 budget speech finance minister Tito Mboweni said: “This is not an austerity budget.” It is unclear why he would resort to austerity denialism by repeating such an obvious lie.

Each of the 250 pages in the Treasury’s Budget Review talks about fiscal consolidation and austerity. On page 35 it says: “Over the medium-term expenditure framework [MTEF] period, consolidated noninterest spending will contract at an annual real average rate of 5.2%.” If one adds expected population growth, real per capita noninterest spending will decline 6.6% a year over the next three years...

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