The SACP has rejected Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba’s announcement of an increase in value-added tax (VAT)‚ warning that this could be the beginning of a "regressive creep". "While some basic foodstuffs are zero [VAT] rated‚ the working class and the poor do not live on bread and pap alone. It is simply untrue to argue‚ as the minister of finance did‚ that the poorest 20% will be unaffected by the VAT hike‚" SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande said. He was addressing journalists on Monday following a plenary session of the SACP’s central committee meeting, in Kempton Park. In his budget presentation last week, Gigaba said the increase was to plug the R48.2bn budget shortfall and to increase revenue. Other tax increases include a 52c/l rise in the fuel levy — made up of 22c/l for the general fuel levy and 30c/l for the Road Accident Fund levy — and rises of between 6% and 10% in the alcohol and tobacco excise duties. "What is more‚ other indirect taxes‚ like the increase in the fu...

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