Teal as a concept started about 1986 when Bob Shambrook heard of the proposal of Mr Nic Nell et al for a flat rate of 10% tax, augmented by a 4% transaction tax. This was the time of the Margo Commission on tax and the public debates on the subject were wide ranging and furious. The Margo commission came out in favour of increased and more complex taxes, not exactly what the public wanted.
In 1989 or thereabouts Bob visited the Ivory Park squatter camp, north of Halfway House in Midrand, halfway between Pretoria and Johannesburg. The scene, looking down on the camp, was of dense, sulphurous, yellow smoke from countless braziers, trapped under an atmospheric inversion, straight from Dante’s Inferno. The then current economic debate was about interest rates and Bob wondered how long it would take for the benefits of changed interest rates to filter down to the unfortunate occupants of that camp.
Remembering Nel’s transaction tax proposal, he began exploring the possibilities of providing immediate meaningful assistance. The most obvious way that occurred to him was to make goods cheaper, increasing disposable income, by eliminating taxes which impacted directly on costs of goods. Eliminating vat would result in reduction of costs by 12%. Removing petrol taxes would have a similar effect on transport and a knock-on effect on transported goods and the transport costs of millions of ordinary people.
So was born TEAL.
The concept was taken by Bob and his successors (namely Dr Wally Langschmidt, Graham Robertson and Alton Geils) to government and political parties, at the highest levels. It has been put to the banks (including the SARB) and the Receiver of Revenue (now SARS) and no-one has been willing to give the proposal serious consideration.
The current proponents of TEAL now think it about time that the public were approached. This resulted in the present Web strategy and the possibility of a political strategy where, if the political parties won’t look at TEAL, we will look at forming a political party which uses TEAL as it’s tax pillar.
That is not to say it would be a single issue party – the country’s problems are too broad and complex for a single policy campaign to work. BUT TEAL would collect so much tax so easily and cost effectively that any problems in the country which were only a function of adequate finance (such as nursing, policing, teaching & etc) would be immediately solved. All that funding would need to be judiciously applied at the coal faces of the country, and the political endeavour would see to it that all the administrative and political issues of the country were addressed sensibly to achieve that end.
We believe the day will come when we will need that political initiative, be it from TEAL themselves or other political parties.
There Can Be ONLY ONE TAX