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Strong call for chicken to be zero-rated from VAT

Parliament’s Finance Committee is hearing responses to the recommendations made by the expert panel on zero-rated VAT items.

Picture: Freeimages.com

CAPE TOWN - There’s been a strong call for chicken to be added to the list of goods that are zero-rated from value-added tax (VAT).

Parliament’s Finance Committee is hearing responses to the recommendations made by the expert panel on zero-rated VAT items.

The panel released its report last month. It has recommended that white bread, sanitary products, school uniforms and nappies be added to the list of zero-rated items.

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) and the South African Poultry Association, which represents big producers, are among those pushing for chicken to be included as long as it is locally produced.

Cosatu says it’s disappointed the expert panel on VAT did not agree to its proposal that locally raised chicken be exempted.

The trade union federation’s Matthew Parks said: “We think if you make it locally produced (chicken) you can help protect the local industry which has been battling a flood of cheap, subsidised imports from the US and Brazil. Poultry is a key item for the poor.”

The FairPlay Movement’s Lionel Adendorf claimed chicken was “being discriminated against”.

The non-profit organisation’s website shows it is supported by major chicken producers, including Astral and Country Bird Holdings, as well as the Food and Allied Workers’ Union, a Cosatu affiliate.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)

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