Malusi Gigaba will go down in history as the first person in the democratic era to bump up taxation on goods and services under the ANC government – but that is the least of his worries. As controversy continues to swirl around him, Gigaba announced a one-percentage-point increase in Value Added Tax in the 2018 Budget on Wednesday in order to raise revenue to fund government’s spending needs.Raising the cost of living for all households is a hard sell at the best of times. For a scandal-fatigued and already hard-pressed nation, the last thing to demand is that consumers dig deeper to finance former president Jacob Zuma’s disastrous legacy.  Apart from the drain on public resources and crippling state-owned enterprises, Zuma had bequeathed the new government the burden of funding his fee-free education plan, which was hastily announced in December without proper consultation with the Treasury. With tax collection undershot by R48.2-billion, options for raising revenue were limited.  ...

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