Treasury is to convene a panel of independent experts to investigate the potential for an expansion or review of the basket of goods zero-rated for VAT, Treasury deputy director-general Ismail Momoniat said on Friday.This follows the Cabinet’s announcement on Thursday that consideration would be given to expanding the goods zero rated under VAT.There was an outcry over the 2018-19 budget proposal that the rate of VAT would be increased by one percentage point, from 14% to 15%, raising R22.9bn.Opponents to the measure from trade unions and civil society said raising VAT would have a negative impact on the poor. Currently 19 items such as dried beans, samp, mielie meal and paraffin are zero rated.Briefing Parliament’s two finance committees on Treasury’s response to submissions made on the budget during public hearings, Momoniat said public hearings would be held on the research conducted by the independent experts by the middle of the year. The potential proposals would feed into any...

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