New finance minister Tito Mboweni asked Twitter for ideas – here are the best ones
On Friday night new finance minister Tito Mboweni asked Twitter to talk to him – but not tell "the Establishment – ahead of his first major public appearance in his new job on Wednesday.
Let us do something unusual which will annoy the Establishment. If you were Minister of Finance, what would you announce on Wednesday next week. It is time for the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS). Over to you. Don’t tell the Establishment about this tweet!!— Tito Mboweni (@tito_mboweni) October 19, 2018
It is not clear exactly how this would annoy the establishment; the Treasury formalised a "Tips for Trevor" campaign 15 years ago, and earlier this year the Treasury launched a budget-information website that was punted as a way to give feedback on the Budget – which points to a form where tips for the minister can be submitted.
By Sunday morning Mboweni was on track to receive 3,000 responses to that request. This being Twitter, many of the responses were flippant, but others were entertaining – and a couple of unusual ones gained some traction.
See also: The fabulous food diary of Tito Mboweni
Here are some of the best – and strangest – tips Mboweni got on Twitter.
Thuli Madonsela wants to see chicken made VAT exempt...
#DearMinisterMboweni. Thanks for being consistently democratic. I’d announce VAT exemption for chicken, it’s eaten more by the poor than many VAT insulated items; reduce perks for ministers,MPs/senior public employees and invest in enterprise-development and inequality reduction— Prof Thuli Madonsela (@ThuliMadonsela3) October 20, 2018
...but there seemed to be greater support for dropping VAT on books....
Sell SAA, remove VAT on books and Chicken.— Romano Plescia (@romanoplescia) October 20, 2018
...though not necessarily all books.
UDM leader Bantu Holomisa wanted Mboweni to focus on other matters – such as the Public Investment Corporation.
Comrade Tito your question is relevant for next year’s budget given that you will just be reading Nene’s inherited speech. The country would be happy if u can suspend PIC CEO who was protected by Nene. Good luck!— Bantu Holomisa (@BantuHolomisa) October 20, 2018
One user argued for a black-tax rebate – and drew some support for the idea....
Black tax should be recognized and there must be rebates for those who can prove that they are educating a sibling, providing support for relatives.— Coceka Mfundisi (@Cmfundisi) October 20, 2018
...while another proposed that households get a tax break for employing a domestic worker.
How about giving tax breaks for household employing domestic workers. This would increase compliance with minimum wage rules and encourage formalization of this industry— Kwazi Ndlovu (@kcndlovu) October 20, 2018
The expensive privileges of ministers and other government officials came up...
Slash cabinet perks. Ministers must buy own homes and own cars.— Mathanda (@MathandaNcube) October 20, 2018
Refuse to subsidise blue light convoys and multiple bodyguards. Our politicians must be taught quickly and firmly that they are ordinary people not aristocrats, and they represent us, they do not rule over us— Bill Chédieu (@Bamburi) October 20, 2018
Massively reduce state spending on https://t.co/OpRU3OYpgX more subsidised vehicles,homes and https://t.co/wBFIf9oW4O more blue light brigades.must travel in same traffic chaos that we do and experience same service delivery.that way they may actually try to fix these problems— Previn Pillay (@Prevski22) October 20, 2018
Do away with those fancy upgrades at ministerial residences— Buzwebakhe (@Buzwebakhe) October 20, 2018
Tobacco lobbyist Yusuf Abramjee punted the industry's campaign to crack down on illegal cigarette sales.
Time has come to @TakeBackTheTax -Minister: Please act and clampdown on illegal cigarettes. SA is losing billions of rands annually because of the illicit trade. Almost 20 000 citizens have now signed a submission calling for action. @TreasuryRSA @sarstax @SAPoliceService— Yusuf Abramjee (@Abramjee) October 20, 2018
Not everyone, though, thought Mboweni was taking his anti-establishment idea far enough.
Fire the Establishment.— Palesa Morudu (@palesa_morudu) October 20, 2018
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