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New finance minister Tito Mboweni asked Twitter for ideas – here are the best ones

On Friday night new finance minister Tito Mboweni asked Twitter to talk to him – but not tell “the Establishment – ahead of his first major public appearance in his new job on Wednesday.

Tito Mboweni
@tito_mboweni
Let us do something unusual which will annoy the Establishment. If you were Minister of Finance, what would you announce on Wednesday next week. It is time for the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS). Over to you. Don’t tell the Establishment about this tweet!!

It is not clear exactly how this would annoy the establishment; the Treasury formalised a “Tips for Trevor” campaign 15 years ago, and earlier this year the Treasury launched a budget-information website that was punted as a way to give feedback on the Budget – which points to a form where tips for the minister can be submitted.

By Sunday morning Mboweni was on track to receive 3,000 responses to that request. This being Twitter, many of the responses were flippant, but others were entertaining – and a couple of unusual ones gained some traction.

Here are some of the best – and strangest – tips Mboweni got on Twitter.

Thuli Madonsela wants to see chicken made VAT exempt…

Prof Thuli Madonsela
@ThuliMadonsela3

#DearMinisterMboweni. Thanks for being consistently democratic. I’d announce VAT exemption for chicken, it’s eaten more by the poor than many VAT insulated items; reduce perks for ministers,MPs/senior public employees and invest in enterprise-development and inequality reduction

…but there seemed to be greater support for dropping VAT on books….

Romano Plescia
@romanoplescia
Sell SAA, remove VAT on books and Chicken.

…though not necessarily all books.

Steyn
@steyn_riaan
No half measures.
Where do you draw the line ? Tax on children’s books is ok ? How about newspapers ?
A dummies guide to learning “whatever” ?
Books are good. Knowledge helps everyone.

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa wanted Mboweni to focus on other matters – such as the Public Investment Corporation.

Bantu Holomisa
@BantuHolomisa
Comrade Tito your question is relevant for next year’s budget given that you will just be reading Nene’s inherited speech. The country would be happy if u can suspend PIC CEO who was protected by Nene. Good luck!

One user argued for a black-tax rebate – and drew some support for the idea….

Coceka Mfundisi
@Cmfundisi
Black tax should be recognized and there must be rebates for those who can prove that they are educating a sibling, providing support for relatives.

…while another proposed that households get a tax break for employing a domestic worker.

Kwazi Ndlovu
@kcndlovu
How about giving tax breaks for household employing domestic workers. This would increase compliance with minimum wage rules and encourage formalization of this industry

The expensive privileges of ministers and other government officials came up…

Mathanda
@MathandaNcube
Slash cabinet perks. Ministers must buy own homes and own cars.

…again…

Bill Chédieu
@Bamburi
Refuse to subsidise blue light convoys and multiple bodyguards. Our politicians must be taught quickly and firmly that they are ordinary people not aristocrats, and they represent us, they do not rule over us

…and again…

Previn Pillay
@Prevski22
Massively reduce state spending on politicians. no more subsidised vehicles,homes and travel. no more blue light brigades. must travel in same traffic chaos that we do and experience same service delivery.that way they may actually try to fix these problems

…and again.

Buzwebakhe
@Buzwebakhe
Do away with those fancy upgrades at ministerial residences

Yusuf Abramjee
@Abramjee
Time has come to @TakeBackTheTax -Minister: Please act and clampdown on illegal cigarettes. SA is losing billions of rands annually because of the illicit trade. Almost 20 000 citizens have now signed a submission calling for action. @TreasuryRSA @sarstax @SAPoliceService

Not everyone, though, thought Mboweni was taking his anti-establishment idea far enough.

Palesa Morudu
@palesa_morudu
Fire the Establishment.

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