SUBMISSION BY BUDGET JUSTICE COALITION WITH RESPECT TO THE CURRENT LIST OF ZERO-RATED ITEMS, AND MITIGATING THE IMPACT OF THE INCREASE IN THE VAT RATE ON POOR AND LOW-INCOME HOUSEHOLDS
As civil society organisations (CSOs) we are concerned by the tax proposals made by the 2018 National Budget (‘the Budget’) and contained within the Rates and Monetary Amounts and Amendment of Revenue Laws Bill 2018 (‘the Bill’), in particular its regressive tax measures, most notably the increase to VAT, and the harsh spending cuts that will result from the proposed revenue levels.
As raised in our two submissions to Parliament on the Budget, we are concerned about the negative effects these measures will have on poor and low-income households. Such choices were not inevitable and, as previously demonstrated, alternative progressive taxation measures, which would reduce inequality and support growth, are available to the Executive.
We fully support the establishment of this Expert Panel to consider appropriate mechanisms to ameliorate the impact of the VAT increase on poor and low-income households.