Today's Labour News

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chickensBusinessLive reports that strong support was expressed by lobby groups and nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) in Parliament on Wednesday for chicken to be included in the list of zero-rated items.  

Parliament’s finance committee heard submissions on the recommendations of a panel of experts, which had considered what additional items could be zero-rated in order to mitigate the effects of the recent one percentage point increase in the VAT rate to 15%, on the poor.  The panel recommended that white bread, bread flour, cake flour, sanitary products, school uniforms and nappies be zero-rated from VAT, in addition to the 19 items already zero-rated.  It considered zero-rating chicken, but was divided on the issue and so chicken was not included in its list of recommended items.  Union federation Cosatu’s Matthew Parks told MPs that they were disappointed that locally produced poultry was not recommended for zero rating.  He said poultry was a key nutrient for working-class families and making locally produced poultry VAT free would be an important boost for a fragile sector battered by imports.  The arguments by panel members opposed to zero-rating individually quick-frozen chicken were that the definition was not sufficiently rigorous to avoid the inclusion of other poultry products and this would therefore inflate the cost of zero-rating for the fiscus.

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