The National Treasury has asked for your comment or suggestion on the report by the Independent Panel on the review of the current list of items that are zero-rated for VAT.
The recently released report also recommends strengthening the National School Nutrition Programme and increasing the Child Support Grant and Old Age Pension.
Should you be unsure, please read the live comments, summary, media or resource documents below the form. Closing date is 31 August 2018.
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After VAT increased to 15%, concern about the impact on poor households led the Minister of Finance to appoint a panel of experts to evaluate the current list of zero-VAT items and consider including extra items to lessen the impact of the VAT increase on the poor.
The recently released report also recommended strengthening the National School Nutrition Programme and increasing the Child Support Grant and Old Age Pension.
The report recommended adding these items for zero-VAT rating:
- Sanitary products
- White bread, bread flour and cake flour
- School uniforms
- Nappies (including cloth and adult nappies)
The report suggests possible alternatives to VAT zero rating including:
- Lower positive VAT rates on some items
- Increases in all the monthly social grants, including the old age social pension
- Food vouchers – where cash grants might not be feasible or practical
- Upscaling the various feeding schemes (e.g. the National Schools Feeding Scheme, including pre-school (ECD))
- The provision of free sanitary pads to girls and poor women.
Consider the following;
- Will the recommendations significantly benefit poor households, or could such benefit be achieved through other means, for example, through government expenditure programmes?
- Have all significant aspects of the revised terms of reference dated 29 May 2018 been explored in the report?
- Are the panel’s recommendations consistent with other relevant government policy objectives (e.g. that the food items recommended for zero-rating are consistent with the Department of Health’s policy on nutrition)?
- Are the recommendations consistent with the fiscal framework adopted by Parliament?
Important to note; this is not a petition but is a step in an essential Participative Democracy process protected under the SA Constitution. Your comment is immediately sent as a unique email to the designated government representative and must, by law, be individually acknowledged and considered. Had this been a petition, all comments would be seen as a single submission. This process forms a solid foundation for a legal case should the necessity arise.
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