Government’s NGV leaflet a farce – Solidarity


South Africans do not dare to be misled by the government’s dishonesty regarding the tax implications that the National Health Insurance (NHI) will have for South Africa and its people, Solidarity believes.

The content of an information pamphlet about the NHI, which the department of health has placed on its website, mentions a “small tax” that may initially be required to back up the budget to make the NHI a reality.

Unless the government designates an additional 14% of each employee’s income as a “small tax”, this statement in the pamphlet has been exposed to all truth.

According to Theuns du Buisson, economic researcher of the Solidarity Research Institute (SNI), research shows that around R300 billion will be needed, on top of the budget for the current health system.

“The pamphlet also mentions that people will be able to pay for medical services out of their own money or in cash. This is inconsistent with the proposed legislation. The NGV bill makes it clear that a person who does not follow the referral process will not be able to obtain such medical services under any circumstances,” says Du Buisson. The information about it in the pamphlet now creates further confusion among an already confused public.

“It’s simple. The bill must be withdrawn and revised, or the government must stop lying about it in its pamphlets.

“The treasury did not budget for the NGV in this year’s budget as if it was going to be carried out at all. Any information that is issued is premature and in this case devoid of all truth. It seems that the government does not know what is in their own bill or what its implications are going to be for every taxpayer.”

Solidarity observes that the finance minister has no appetite for the NGV and Du Buisson believes this is because he realizes it is unworkable on so many levels.

“This is because the treasury is aware of the fact that there is not enough money. It’s time for the Treasury to say it unequivocally and for the rest of the government to abandon this crazy plan.”