MARK BARNES: Raiding the larder means spending our future
The move to use up valuable reserves could have disastrous consequences
I write this before the finance minister delivers his medium-term budget policy statement (MTBPS). Whatever the speech contains there is a disturbing trend, a bad habit, a mindset (or is it just dire necessity) in financial circles, particularly within the government. We seem to be looking to spend our future now, and that’s just plain stupid. We don’t eat green bananas.
Perhaps the biggest cookie jar we’re apparently thinking of raiding is the R460bn special reserve fund, to be used to fund current revenue shortfalls. Raiding capital to fund consumption is a disease that’s spreading rapidly. Soon enough, if done enough, this will become common cause, if not accepted practice, and eventually conventional wisdom. But it’s wrong. ..
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