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You have be cold-hearted to not support idea of basic income grant – Whitfield

8 June 2022 1:59 PM
Tags:
Poverty
Inequality
Unemployment
The Money Show
Bruce Whitfield
Black Sash
Centre for Development and Enterprise
basic income grant
Anne Bernstein

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews Anne Bernstein of the Centre for Development and Enterprise.

You’ve got to be a cold-hearted person to not support the idea of a basic income grant. You do, however, also need your head examined if you think it’s affordable. A great South African contradiction…

Bruce Whitfield, presenter - The Money Show

Unemployment, poverty, and inequality in South Africa are extreme and, seemingly, a permanent feature of the economy.

“People are hungry and their kids at risk,” says the Black Sash, one organisation lobbying the government to introduce a permanent basic income grant.

“Find the money,” it says.

Basic income grant (BIG). © dizanna/123rf.com

RELATED: 'People are hungry, their kids at risk. Find money'

More than 60% of people in South Africa live on less than R1,000 a month, according to Anne Bernstein of the Centre for Development and Enterprise.

Nevertheless, she argues, South Africa cannot afford such a grant.

Bernstein says the introduction of a basic income grant will cause South Africa’s considerable debt burden to increase by between R200 billion and R300 billion per year, leading to slower growth and fewer jobs.

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviewed Bernstein.

Most proponents of BIG don’t consider the impact on the rest of the economy and the financial markets if South Africa were to suddenly raise its debt by hundreds of millions… Yes, poor people will have more money, but the net impact could lead us deeper into a fiscal crisis, and even a financial crisis.

Anne Bernstein, Centre for Development and Enterprise

It’s not a net gain if you give that money to poorer people. Since 2008, government debt has risen from 20% of GDP to about 70%, a rise among the steepest in the world. Our debt servicing cost exceeds spending on education and health…

Anne Bernstein, Centre for Development and Enterprise

Click here for more from Bruce Whitfield - and business news from around the web.

South Africa spends too much time compensating the poor for their exclusion, rather than making the hard choices for fast growth and more labour intensity. There is no silver bullet… To go down that route will be a reckless gamble with South Africa’s future.

Anne Bernstein, Centre for Development and Enterprise



8 June 2022 1:59 PM
Tags:
Poverty
Inequality
Unemployment
The Money Show
Bruce Whitfield
Black Sash
Centre for Development and Enterprise
basic income grant
Anne Bernstein

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