Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene says the panel that has been established to review a list off zero-rated food products will submit its report next month.
The Minister said this when he tabled the Treasury’s Budget Vote at the National Assembly on 22 May 2018.
As part of measures to address a budget shortfall, the National Treasury announced an increase in value-added tax (VAT) from 14% to 15% in February, which took effect in May.
We have established an independent panel of experts to review the list of 19 zero-rated food products and consider how best for government to mitigate the impact of the VAT increase on poor and indigent households.
I have also requested the Panel to consider whether key poverty-alleviating expenditure programmes like the School Nutrition Programme might be better at supporting the vulnerable.
The Panel is expected to submit an initial set of proposals to me by the end of June this year.
Nene said the National Treasury will continue to engage all relevant stakeholders to ensure that the VAT increase will not have an adverse impact on poor and indigent households.
The Minister said, meanwhile, that with tax revenue collections outlook remaining the same, any tax revenue collection agency must, like Caesar’s wife, be above suspicion.
The next major step therefore towards strengthening public finances is to restore public confidence in the SA Revenue Service.
In this regard, President [Cyril] Ramaphosa is finalising the appointment of the Commission of Inquiry into SARS.
During the bus drivers’ strike let’s remember that good transport, or its lack, helps to shape our health. It is one of the social determinants of health.
The UK The Health Foundation’s new easy-to-read quick guide: “What makes us healthy?explains how your opportunity for health is influenced by factors other than health services and financial support. It helps to explain how, in our unequal society, South Africans don’t have the same opportunity. This is an introduction to the social determinants of health written by Natalie Lovell and Jo Bibby.
“So what causes heart disease? To some, the clear answer would be blocked arteries. But what causes those arteries to become blocked? Perhaps it’s the unhealthy food and drinks people consume, their lack of exercise, or their stress levels. And what, in turn, makes them feel stressed, shapes their opportunities to be active and determines their choices about what they eat and drink?”
“The answers lie in the circumstances in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age: the social determinants of health. These can enable individuals and societies to flourish, or not. These are the causes of the causes.”.
The Zero Draft Shanghai Declaration on Health Promotion is open for web-based consultation with NGOs and other interested groups. Send comments to [email protected] by 15 October 2016. Participants at the WHO’s 9th Global Conference on Health Promotion (Shanghai 21-24 November 2016) will endorse the final declaration. The purpose of the conference is to highlight the critical links between health promotion and achieving the SDGs.
Infographic VJ Pinkney-Atkinson
- ENTRY POINT block shows 3 key areas in which health promotion is to be used for strengthening/supporting.
- ACTIONS block into entry points for health promotion
- TRANSFORMATIVE STRATEGIC APPROACHES interact at all level and between all concepts. Hence the concentric rings.
SDG 3 calls for universal health coverage with health promotion as the tool that bring about transformation. Citizens and civil society are key participants. Nothing for us, without us.
The figure above summarises a rather complex document. SDGs require integration and complex relationships occurring between the same level and levels.
Let us know what you think.
Numbers don’t lie, especially if you take a look at the place of NCDs in the draft health budget. The words about NCDs imply commitment to solving a huge health problem. That is superficial though when it comes to NCDs. There a heaps of great sounding words (policies and plans) but a clear lack of money. Especially for screening and treatment. Words, even printed ones, are cheap. Little has changed:
Whilst the Minister in the preamble of the Annual Performance Plan highlights importance of tackling non-communicable diseases (NCDs) there doesn’t appear to be any dramatic shift in budget allocation over the Medium Term. Can the department provide reasons for this?
Issues for consideration Parliament Research Unit. Vote15: Health Budget 2014/15 p.6
Health is allocated less than 5% of the proposed national budget (Figure 1). Defense get more yet SA loses more people to NCDs each day than in armed conflicts. Where are our national priorities?
Looking at the details of the health budget
The smallest by far is Programme 4 for Primary Health Care (PHC) services (R 225 -million)
Most People Living With NCDs get care at primary health care (PHC) clinics and this appears to be the reasoning why NCDs are placed within Prog 4 . People living with HIV/AIDS
Our information comes from the draft Annual Performance Plan (APP) and its accompanying budget. – see pages 61-63. Click here to download the draft APP 2015/2016-2017/8
Fast facts stacking up Programme 4 vs other NDoH Programmes 2015/16
budget by far
|See Figure 2
|1st place people costs
|Programme 4 cost of PEOPLE EMPLOYED R186.2 million = ↓ money available for implementation
|2nd largest # people
|458 by only 10 people short of no 1 placed Programme 1 (p. 27)
|Only programme to increase personnel costs
|Leaving less to spend on implementing programmes/ plans
3 NCDs issues related to HIV/AIDS and Maternal Child health appear in Prog 3 budget (cancer cervix, breast cancer policy, immunizations.) Cancer of the prostate does not warrant a mention in the APP.
The key to the APP is words not allocation of funds. Again NCDs screening and treatment is left high and dry.
Fast facts about NCDs Prog 4 budget
Where is the money for implementation of the NCDs plan in this budget?
|89.37% for people working on projects – personnel, contractors and consultants
|0 for screening of target of 8 million people for high BP and blood glucose OR
NCDs Commission/ Health Commission (more next week on this)
|1.3 % NGOs or non-profits (< R 3-million) > 50% goes to 2 of 6 NGOs
National Council Against Smoking & SA National Council for the Blind.
NCDs prevention and treatment cross cuts all Programmes especially at the PHC level. So we need to look at inside other programmes. However, without exception there is no separate financial allocation for stated NCDs targets like for example breast cancer policy development and cancer of the cervix screening in Programme 3 (HIV/AIDS & TB.) Innovations like “ideal clinics” which are supposed to include NCDs take place without consulting NCDs civil society organisations.
Examples from Programme 2: NHI
- Drug procurement and stock out management (all drugs including ARVs)
- National Cancer Registry (words no money)
Programme 3: HIV/AIDS & TB
- Cervical cancer screening
- Breast cancer policy (more words no money)
- Vaccinations against hepatitis & human papilloma virus
- Obesity policy (more words no money)
Watchdogs must bark. An NCDs advocacy series. This is the first in a series on NCDs in policy documents.