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Treasury warns on increasing higher education spending

National Treasury says govt resources are strained and additional spending would result in tax increases.

FILE: A student holds a placard at a protest against Wits University's proposed tuition fees increase on 14 October, 2015. Picture: @Zoe_Ngwenyurr via Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - National Treasury has told the commission of inquiry into free higher education that State resources are currently strained.

Treasury representatives have started making their presentation to the commission in Vanderbijl Park, where they say they are worried about government debt.

Today is the third day of the hearings into the feasibility of free higher education.

National Treasury says because government resources are already strained, adding more spending would result in tax increases.



National treasury's Michael Sachs says: "Anything that you do to allocate resources in the system somewhere has consequences somewhere else in the system.

"There isn't a place where we can simply pick up resources and allocate them to address a problem without there being consequences."

Sachs says even with economic growth at a minimal level, government still wants to provide essential social services including grants and electricity.



Treasury says it's not saying it's impossible to increase spending on higher education but that the country must be well aware of consequences of such a decision.

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