CAPE TOWN The treasury has proposed changes to the way medical benefits are taxed that could see the wealthy lose their generous perks, and poor people get more help to pay for private health care. The proposals, published for public comment last Thursday, could see government grant additional tax breaks worth as much as R2,8bn for medical expenses.
Tobacco excise tax increases in the budget seem to be as inevitable as night following day.
A priority over the decade ahead will be to ensure that a caring and competently managed health service is available in every community, Finance minister Trevor Manuel told Parliament during his presentation of the 2005 budget.
The government could put an extra R300 million into its coffers if tax levels on the retail price of a packet of cigarettes were raised to 50 percent.