THE FINANCIAL EFFECT OF #FEESMUSTFALL ON INDIVIDUAL TAXPAYERS
Anneke Maré MOOLMAN,Lerike JACOBS
The #FeesMustFall campaign evolved from a demand for lower fees for highereducation to fee-free higher education in merely two years, necessitating extensivereconsideration of the state budget. Over the same period, marginal tax rate andvalue added tax (VAT) increases have been felt by South African individualtaxpayers. Therefore an exploratory, document analysis has been performed todetermine the extent to which the #FeesMustFall campaign has been shifted to theindividual taxpayer between the 2015 and 2019 years of assessment. The findingsindicate that the demand for increased financial support of students led to therecent VAT and marginal tax rate increases, but that tax revenue is actuallydeclining: the VAT increase has partially covered the increase in social grants toprotect the poor from the VAT increase, and the marginal tax rate increase isresulting in reduced growth in tax revenue collection as individual taxpayers areoverburdened and therefore, tax avoidance is increasing while productivity isdecreasing. The present study provides taxpayers with clarity on the recent taxincreases and emphasises to National Treasury that any further tax increase wouldbe to the country’s detriment.
FeesMustFall, tax rate increases, VAT increase, tax budget, free higher education
Allison, S. 2015. #FeesHaveFallen: A big day in Pretoria, with a Zero outcome.http://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2015-10-23-feeshavefallen-a-big-day-inpretoria-with-a-zero-outcome/#.V5M7kqIj4WA. Accessed 2016/07/23.