DA briefs Standing Committee on Finance on two Private Member’s Bills dealing with fiscal responsibility and pension funds

Issued by Geordin Hill-Lewis MP & Dr Dion George MP –
16 Mar 2021 in News

Today, Democratic Alliance (DA) Members of Parliament Geordin Hill-Lewis MP and Dr Dion George MP, who serve as the Shadow Minister and Shadow Deputy Minister of Finance respectively, briefed Parliament’s Standing Committee on Finance on two separate Private Member’s Bills (PMBs).

Hill-Lewis briefed the committee on his Fiscal Responsibility Bill that was introduced to the National Assembly on 9 March 2020.

The Bill introduces, for the first time in South Africa, a statutory fiscal rule to control national debt and debt service costs. The Bill:

  • Requires that government debt, expressed as a percentage of GDP does not increase year on year;
  • Requires that government guarantees do not grow year on year;
  • Provides for reporting requirements;
  • Provides for the review of the country’s fiscal rules;
  • Provides for certain exemptions from fiscal rules; and
  • Increases transparency and fiscal responsibility.

In light of South Africa’s severe fiscal crisis threatening the economic security of all South Africans, this PMB forms an integral part of the DA’s reform agenda. This Bill will help restore confidence in South Africa’s economy, will help restore our sovereign credit rating, and will secure sustainable economic growth.

George briefed the committee on his Pension Funds Amendment Bill that was introduced to the National Assembly on 2 November 2020.

The Bill serves to amend the Pension Funds Act of 1956 to enable pension fund members to access a portion of their pension fund before retirement as guarantee for a loan.

It is a crucial bill in the fight for people power over state power in South Africa. Individuals should be free to choose, in unison with the Trustees of their pension funds, how their own financial assets are utilised when it comes to providing collateral for responsible loans. It is important to note, however, that this Bill entails no prescribed asset function. Instead, it entails giving individuals the freedom to choose for themselves by alleviating state interference on their lives.

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