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The 2021 Budget

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The 2021 Budget

25th February 2021

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At one point in his speech yesterday, the finance minister plaintively insisted that this was “not an austerity budget”. That is probably not how social grant recipients feel, given that he awarded them increases well below the official inflation rate, and even further below the rate at which the prices of food and other basic commodities have risen over the last year.

It is also not how civil servants will feel. They have been told that they cannot expect anything more than a 1.2% annual increment over the next three years. Even in a low inflation scenario, this amounts to a declining income in real terms for 1.3-million people – and all those who depend on them.

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