Finance Committee Report on 2010 Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement

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Finance Standing Committee

15 November 2010
Chairperson: Ms N Sibhidla (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee met to discuss its Report on the 2010 Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement. Members proposed amendments, including that Cosatu’s concerns and IDASA’s opinion be included, that recommendations that the Minister of Finance provide more details about the promotion of small businesses and the fiscal implication of the New Growth Path be added.  The Minister should also produce the document promised about the promotion of small businesses. The Report was adopted with amendments.

The Committee then went on to discuss the proposals raised through the Committee on Private Members’ Legislative Proposals and Special Petitions. These were the legislative proposal to amend the Land and Agricultural Development Act and the proposal aimed at prohibiting party-political office-bearers, public representatives as well as political parties from contracting with organs of state. Members agreed that more time was needed to engage with these matters in order to do them justice.

Meeting report

Committee Report on 2010 Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement
The Chairperson asked whether members had any proposed amendments or recommendations.

Ms Z Dlamini-Dubazana (ANC) said that, under Fiscal Policy (p.6), Cosatu’s concerns about the Minister not differentiating clearly between monetary and fiscal policy needed to be included.

Her proposal was noted.

Mr D Van Rooyen (ANC) said that IDASA’s opinion that the MTBPS was fairly conservative should be included under Fiscal Policy.

His proposal was noted.

Mr D George (DA) proposed that, under Key Issues, the first bullet point should be amended so as to read: ‘To support it in its application of the Act, Parliament must be capacitated through the establishment of the Parliamentary Budget Office as mandated in this Act.’

His proposal was noted.

Mr George proposed that, under Committee Recommendations, the second bullet be amended to read as follows: ‘That the Minister of Finance considers providing details of how the State plans to design and fund a much-needed universal healthcare system.’ Another recommendation, stating ‘that the Minister of Finance provide details on proposals to address corruption in the public financial system, including any amendments to legislation’, be added. A recommendation about the wage subsidy should be included as follows: ‘That the Minister of Finance produces the document on the proposed wage subsidy that was promised in March 2010 by (a certain date). ‘That the Minister of Finance provides further details on promoting small businesses.’

His proposals were noted.

Ms Dlamini-Dubazana proposed that the Minister of Finance provides more details on the fiscal implication of the New Growth Path. 

Mr N Koornhof (COPE) suggested that it read: ‘That the Minister of Finance provides more details on how National Treasury will supplement the New Growth Path.’

This proposed amendment was noted.

Ms Adams moved that the Report be adopted with amendments. Mr Koornhof seconded this.

The Report was adopted.

Requests from the Private Members’ Legislative Proposal Committee
The Chairperson asked whether the Committee members had any proposals about the matters brought before it by the Committee on Private Members’ Legislative Proposals and Special Petitions. The matters were: the legislative proposal of Mr P Pretorius (DA) to amend the Land and Agricultural Development Act and the proposal of Mr I Davidson (DA) aimed at prohibiting party-political office-bearers, public representatives as well as political parties from contracting with organs of state.

Mr George proposed that the Committee support both the Land Bank proposal and the prohibition of political parties from contracting with organs of state proposal.

Ms Dlamini-Dubazana said that she did not support the proposal about the Land Bank.

Mr Luyenge said that the Committee should engage more with the Department before making a decision on this.

Mr Koornhof said that, although he had not had sufficient time to study the second proposal, he supported both of these proposals.

Mr Van Rooyen said that the Committee needed more time to go through these proposals and that, in order to do justice to it, more time should be allowed for this.

The Committee supported this.

The meeting was adjourned.

 



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