Finance minister Tito Mboweni surprised everyone when he announced in his 2020 Budget Review that he was giving about R2bn back to individual taxpayers and that VAT would stay at 15% as “in this difficult time it would be foolhardy to introduce a hike”.

The medium-term budget proposals had penciled in a R10bn increase in taxes. If Mboweni had left the tax brackets as they were, salary increases would have just delivered R12bn more in taxes for him. But Mboweni and his team realise we can’t take any more strain on our budgets and that raising taxes in such difficult times would be “foolhardy”, so instead he has adjusted the brackets by more than inflation “to boost the economy”...

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