Roger Jardine's R500 billion fund from taxes: Short-term trade-off for long-term sustainability

Change Starts Now is a political party that was launched in December 2023 by Roger Jardine, a former director general and banker. It aims to be an alternative political option for South Africans who want change in the country. The party's manifesto, called the Change Charter, was unveiled in Soweto this week. It includes a ‘Marshall’ plan of R500 billion to redevelop South Africa. In an interview with Biznews, Jardine explained that wartime vocabulary was chosen because South Africa’s current state resembles a war zone.To fund the plan, Jardine is proposing a temporary three-year reconstruction tax. This would include a wealth tax of 1.5%, a corporate tax increase from 28% to 32%, an individual tax increase of 4.5% for those earning more than R1.8 million a year, and a 1% annual charge on retirement funds. Addressing concerns about increased taxes, Jardine emphasised the urgent need for drastic intervention. He warned that if the country continues to decline, the chances of increasing and sustainable tax increases are on the horizon as ‘the gap between our ability to fund constitutionally guaranteed social protections and our balance sheet continues to widen.’ Jardine described the temporary tax increases as a short-term trade-off for long-term sustainability. In response to concerns about politicians misusing the proposed fund, he assured that it would be structured as a ring-fenced fund with oversight by an independent panel. Jardine stated that Change Starts Now supports a strong role for the private sector in state-owned enterprises and believes that black empowerment policies have failed. He criticised the misapplication of procurement policies. Jardine denied representing an agreed position of the business sector in the country or that his party has received a billion rand in funding. He said that finding solutions in South Africa is not rocket science; it can be achieved with political will and effective management.
20 Feb 8AM English South Africa Investing · Business News

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