Today's Labour News

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healthcareBusinessLive reports that Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba has trimmed the tax credits taxpayers receive for their medical scheme contributions to raise an extra R4.2bn for National Health Insurance (NHI).  

The development is said to highlight once again how much more cautious a line Treasury is taking than the Department of Health on the implementation of NHI.  Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has consistently said scrapping the tax credits altogether could provide billions of rands for NHI, while Treasury has warned that they play a vital role in ensuring medical scheme cover is affordable to low-and middle-income wage earners.  The cap will rise by a nominal 2%, significantly below Treasury‚Äôs forecasts for consumer price inflation, which are 5.3% for this year, 5.4% for 2019 and 5.5% for 2020.  The medical tax credit will increase from R303 to R310 per month for the first two beneficiaries and from R204 to R209 for the remaining dependents.  This adjustment is so modest it is said to be unlikely to force anyone to drop their medical scheme cover.

  • Read this report by Tamar Kahn in full at BusinessLive
  • See too, Medical aid tax to fund NHI: Gigaba, at EWN

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