House Chair, we note the matter that the hon member from the EFF raised in regard to Sars, which was raised by the newspapers over the weekend. We would like to assure the House that the matter is receiving our attention. As we deal with the matter, we just want to caution members that these matters should not be allowed to be turned into a political football.
Our focus and preoccupation are protecting the integrity of the institution, and we will do everything in our power to ensure that the integrity of the institution is protected.
We are disappointed in the manner in which it was reported in the media, but we trust that hon members will be mature enough to use the relevant structures in Parliament to raise the matter, rather than their playing to the media.
In regard to the reduction of poverty in South Africa, we welcome the World Bank report, which is the second one, because it confirms what we have always said: We have been able to reduce poverty since the advent of democracy through our redistributive fiscal policy, which is underpinned by a progressive tax policy. We have lifted more than 3,5 million people above the poverty line through the social wage and expanding the tax base, whilst reducing the tax burden. Inequality has also been reduced, even though it remains stubbornly high. We commit ourselves to continuing to follow the route of making sure of this.
It is for that reason that when we tabled our Taxation Laws Amendment Bill today, some people who do not share our resolve to reduce inequality and poverty in this country decided to walk out of this House.