by Antony Last
There are many ways to create jobs and to structure a socio-economic environment in which to encourage the creation of jobs.
Firstly, certain things must stop, like over-regulation and interference in large companies and industries like, mining, in which the current South African government has indulged with the result of a loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs.
Then government must back off from small business, and let it grow and flourish, thus taking up many of the jobless and giving them work. The so-called small business package granted by SARS is worth virtually nothing when it comes to stimulating small business in SA. This package is so restrictive that you have to virtually work upside-down in order to get the privileges of slightly reduced tax, etc.
The average small business does not qualify for the package – another example of where current government is hopelessly out of touch with the people and their needs – trying to stimulate the lower echelons of the bulk of our Third World economy by a stringent First World incentive. It just does not make any sense. (The problem seems to be that government is trying to exclude white businesspersons from the small package benefits, and in so doing they make it just about impossible for any other person to benefit, including blacks. Instead of not being bothered if a few whites also benefit, but getting the bulk of blacks onto the small business playing-field.)
We need a government that will make sure that small business is properly stimulated by appropriate and far-reaching incentives.
Structural changes in taxation must also be effected in order to reduce tax and to minimise administrative burden. To this end the following systems must be reviewed and payment levels reduced / scrapped: PAYE, ITC, CGT, SDL, UIF, Corporate Tax and VAT. This will stimulate small business directly, leading to an increase in jobs.
Big business will also have more money as a result of these cuts, but to ensure that it is used for job creation, certain incentives must be coupled to the benefits.
More micro-loans must be made available to more people for starting their own businesses.
A tax deduction must be given to a business for the completion of each contract year of every worker. I first published this suggestion in 2006, Tony Leon regurgitated it as his own idea a few years later and government sprang on the idea a year or so ago culminating now in an abortion of a piece of legislation intended to give effect to this idea but so grudging, restrictive and over-regulated from inception that it can only be destined for disaster.
Better matching of worker skills, qualifications and experience to job specifications must be achieved across private and public sectors, in order to improve job satisfaction and productivity. Aptitudes of workers must be regularly assessed by work-providers and appropriate steps taken to provide skill improvement training.