Financing South Africa's national health insurance : the impact on the taxpayer
The tax system in South Africa makes provision for every South African citizen to contribute to a greater or lesser extent to funding the National Health Insurance (NHI), either through VAT or PAYE. However, as a result of the high unemployment rate, a large gap exists between tax and non-tax contributors. The question can now be asked whether it is fair that just a small percentage of taxpayers are responsible for the total funding of the NHI. Furthermore, it could be asked whether the taxpayer is aware of the additional tax burden the NHI will impose on him/her. The purpose of this research was to investigate three countries, namely, Brazil, Spain and Germany, where some form of NHI is in operation, in order to find a possible appropriate funding model for South Africa's NHI and, ultimately, to make conclusions and recommendations based on the outcomes. It was subsequently found that, although the taxpayer should be more heavily taxed in order to fund the NHI, there are a few other possibilities for distributing the tax burden more evenly. However, the impact of the proposed adjustment to increase VAT could have a negative impact on the non-taxpayer and might contribute to greater poverty in South Africa.
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