CLAIRE BISSEKER: Treasury vindicated for protecting the commodity windfall
The April market correction shows how exposed SA is to an end to the commodity boom
Six months ago, Colin Coleman, a former regional Goldman Sachs CEO, annoyed SA’s economic orthodoxy by punting a R100bn basic income grant (BIG) of R800 a month for SA’s unemployed, and further fiscal stimulus measures, funded partly out of windfall commodity-based revenues.
The National Treasury rejected this line of thinking when it opted in February for a temporary 12-month extension of the R350 a month social relief of distress (SRD) grant at a total cost of R44bn. It said the commodity boom was likely to wane over the medium term and it would be imprudent to fund a permanent increase in expenditure off cyclical commodity revenues...