Strong support was expressed by lobby groups and nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) in Parliament Wednesday for chicken to be included in the list of zero-rated items. Parliament’s finance committee heard submissions from stakeholders 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 one percentage point increase in the VAT rate to 15%, on the poor. The panel of experts, appointed by finance minister Nhlanhla Nene, was led by Stellenbosch University professor Ingrid Woolard. It 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. The panel estimated that its recommended items would represent a loss to the fiscus of about R4bn in VAT revenue foregone. The panel did consider zero-rating chicken but was divided on the issue and so chicken was not included in its list ...

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