These are the items that will be zero-rated

Only three of the six recommended products make the cut.
A panel of independent experts has reviewed the current list of zero-rated food items. Picture: Moneyweb

Government has proposed that white bread flour, cake flour and sanitary pads should be included in the basket of zero-rated Vat items from April 1, 2019.

This follows after an independent panel in August recommended to then finance minister Nhlanhla Nene that white bread, bread flour, cake flour, sanitary products, school uniforms and nappies be considered for inclusion.

Read: Mini-budget in a nutshell 

The panel, chaired by Professor Ingrid Woolard, was tasked to review the current basket of 19 items and to consider the most effective way to mitigate the impact of the Vat increase of 1 percentage point on poor and low-income households.

In its medium-term budget policy statement (MTBPS), National Treasury warned that there was little room for large adjustments to tax policy. Although revenue collection has been relatively buoyant during the first half of the year, economic pressure has started to weigh on collections.

Read: What your tax bill will look like next year

Tax experts have previously warned that the inclusion of all six of the recommended items would be an expensive exercise that would only provide some relief to the poor and that other alternatives should also be considered. The panel’s research suggested that the inclusion of all six items would come at a cost of R4 billion, of which only about 70% would benefit the poorest of households.

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni on Wednesday said the revenue loss associated with zero-rating these three items is estimated at R1.2 billion. 

Read: Not a cross-road but a wholesale U-turn

“However, zero-rating these products targets low-income households and restores the dignity of our people.”

There has been pressure on government from lobby groups to add chicken products to the basket of zero-rated items as well.

Read the complete MTBPS

Also read: Move to improve infrastructure project outcomes  , Bailouts for SAA, Sanral’s e-tolls and more 

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Oh, I’ll bet their dignity is all restored now… what a farce. This will help nobody. Why dont they zero-rate some real staples, like chicken, brown bread, cooking oil and margarine for example.

Anyone know where I would find the basket of goods used for CPI and weightings?

End of comments.

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