South African taxpayers heaved a collective sigh of relief when Finance Minister Tito Mboweni revealed during the recently delivered 2021 Budget Speech that Treasury had opted against the introduction of the R40 billion in tax measures initially proposed in the October Medium Term Budget Policy Statement. Smokers and drinkers were not as lucky and will have to cough up 8% more in excise duties.
“We welcome the Minister’s announcement of these and other changes that aim to positively impact the physical and financial wellbeing of South Africans,” says Johan Josling, Chief Executive Officer at Episodic Health, the only personalised health insurance on the market today.
He continues: “The 5% increase on personal income tax brackets means that all individual taxpayers will pay less in income tax this year than they did in the previous tax year. This is an opportunity for South Africans to use the money they save to invest in their health and wealth, especially as we await the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine to the public at large. While medical aids might be too great an expense for many consumers, there is an alternative – health insurance, which is designed to provide cover for unexpected events when you need it most.”
Josling commends Government’s decision not to fund the COVID-19 vaccine programme with additional taxpayer money but to instead allocate more than R10 billion for the purchase and delivery of vaccines over the next two years. “With the country having an unemployment rate of 32.5%, this would have been grossly unfair on those who are still clinging to their jobs following the devastation of the COVID-19 crisis. I am pleased too that Government has put in place a no‐fault compensation fund to cover claims in the unlikely event of any severe vaccine injuries and look forward to hearing more about these allocations.”
He concludes by saying: “The 2021 Budget Speech made the health and wealth of South Africans a priority and I urge my fellow countrymen and women to do the same.”