SABC News - Cosatu denies consultations over pension law:Thursday 18 February 2016

Cosatu denies consultations over pension law

Thursday 18 February 2016 11:22

ANA

Some trade unions are threatening strike action if the new tax laws are implemented.

Some trade unions are threatening strike action if the new tax laws are implemented.(SABC)

The Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) on Thursday denied that consultations took place before the new taxation act, prohibiting the withdrawal of pensions when employees resign, was signed into law by President Jacob Zuma.

"The Congress of South African Trade Unions has noted the falsified statement from the Presidency claiming that there were proper and adequate consultations with unions and social partners, during the passing of the Taxation Law Amendment Act," said spokesman Sizwe Pamla.

"We strongly dispute the fallacious claim that fifteen meetings took place with NEDLAC constituencies, from June 2012 to discuss this law. This law was unilaterally drafted by Treasury and rammed through the throats of social partners. There were also no public hearings done to allow workers and the public to have their say on the matter."

He added that Parliament failed to demand a Nedlac (National Economic Development and Labour Council) report to prove that social partners were adequately consulted.

"This law was illicitly done as evidenced by the absence of any public hearings and also by the fact that it was signed during the holiday season, a day before Christmas. It is regrettable and disappointing to see the office of the presidency being harmed and used by the Treasury to communicate such untruths."

"This misinformation campaign is very unhelpful and points to a certain level of desperation and will only strengthen our resolve and agitate workers even further."

The level of distrust had been sowed further by the matter, and would make workers not to trust government in the future, said Pamla.

Zuma signed the act into law in December. The presidency issued a statement this month, stating that an extensive consultation process had taken place over a period of over two years.

The tax law, which comes into effect on March 1, has drawn criticism, especially from organised labour, accusing government of trying to restrict the poor access to their hard-earned monies.

Cosatu said it had started mobilising its members to push for the new law to be repealed. A special Cosatu central executive committee meeting would take place early next month to discuss the matter and a campaign plan against it, added Pamla.

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