2012 Budget Speech hits social media

Money is always a bit of a touchy subject, especially when we’re talking around the R1 trillion mark. Every year, when the Finance Minister delivers the annual budget speech, we listen to find out how it will affect our pockets in the short term… which really boils down to how much more we’re going to have to pay for petrol and alcohol.

I’m not an authority of the matter, but there are loads of people who are, so looking at what they have to say might shed some light for the less-budgetly-with-it-folk like me. Karin Muller, Head of Sanlam Growth Market Solutions, shares some insights which might clear things up.

Pay attention. Nothing’s for free!

When we looking at the budget speech, there seems to be two key areas which we need to pay attention to. The ‘income’ section, which talks about where government gets its money from, and the ‘expenses’ section, which relates to what government will spend this money on. Seems pretty simple?

The crux of the speech is to focus on the county’s income and expenses over the next year. “It also talks to medium-term spending, as well as some very long-term implications for the financial situation of consumers. Some of the longer-term implications relate to certain benefits, like medical and retirement benefits” Muller explains.

But what we really want to know is how is this going to affect our pockets?

Let’s let the experts explain shall we

Some of the big players in the industry – KPMG, Old Mutual, Investment Solutions , PastalPayroll and BDO have given their views on what the 2012 Budget Speech means for the country.

This is great as it gives a lot of different views from a lot of different experts on something that is very prevalent to all of us. But what it really all comes down to how much less money I’m going to have to spend on shoes right?

All a twitter

2012 budget speech twitter feed

Needless to say social networks went mad and #budget2012 and #BudgetSpeech were massive hits, trending heavily on twitter last week.

Why do people care though? Why does it matter? Check out this inforgraphic which might help put things into perspective

importance of 2012 budget speech infographic

So how much tax am I going to pay?

To help the average guy in the street Sanlam created a BudgetSpeech tax calculator where users are able to calculate their tax for this year compared to last year to see how much they’ll save. Genius!

They went even further and also created a simple clip which explains in very basic terms, what the fuss is all about. Check it out here. This was all spread virally and was a huge hit on twitter news sites and blogs all over the country.

KPMG is also making headway in the social media space. Their recently launched blog provides a number of articles and explanations of various aspects of the overall budget speech and how it will affect South Africans, in a short concise manner, making it easy to understand and getting right to the point.

So what’s the bottom line?

It’s great to see big corporates coming down off their pedestals and making quite complicated government issues accessible to the general public.

Often the big financial corporates forget that not everyone spent 5 years studying a BCOM and then 4 years doing articles. They expect you to know what’s going on but are reluctant to come down to a level that the general guy on the street or girl in front of her laptop can understand.

So high five to Sanlam and KPMG for using social media as an effective tool to communicate a very serious matter, in a simple social way.

That wins brand loyalty in my books. Like.

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