Sars unable to pay wage increases due to budget shortfall, Kieswetter tells MPs

South African Revenue Service (Sars) commissioner Edward Kieswetter was briefing Parliament’s standing committee on finance on Wednesday.

 Picture: sars.gov.za

CAPE TOWN - South African Revenue Service (Sars) commissioner Edward Kieswetter said the revenue service was unable to pay salary increases due to a budget shortfall.

Kieswetter was briefing Parliament’s Standing Committee on Finance on Wednesday.

The budget provides for Sars to get an additional R3 billion over the next three years, but Kieswetter said that this was not enough.

Kieswetter said that Sars welcomed the additional R3 billion funding from Treasury but he said that it was still under-funded.

“So for this year, for example, Sars is unable to implement the third year of its wage agreement. We are in discussions with our trade unions to find ways of addressing this. We are obviously mindful of the bigger conversation and process in the whole of government but there is no provision in our current allocation for expenditure such as this.”

Kieswetter said the money would also have to be found to pay bonuses: “Our total income this year is R11.2 billion by allocation from Treasury. Sars earns, through interest and levies, just short of R500 million which brings our total income that we can spend this year to R11.7 billion. Our needs – if we were to be fully funded – are closer to R14 billion.”

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