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Keep Zero Rating Of VAT On Food: Kepa

Keep Zero Rating Of  VAT On Food: Kepa
Ro Teimumu Kepa.
November 18
08:39 2015

Opposition Leader Ro Teimumu Kepa says she welcomes the reduction of Value Added Tax (VAT) from 15 to nine per cent. But she questioned whether it was necessary to remove zero rating of VAT on basic food items “to partly compensate for the projected $316 million loss of revenue due to the VAT reduction.”
She told Parliament yesterday, “I believe that zero rating of the food items should remain for the sake of the low income workers who have not had a salary increase for some time and the poor, as this will bring some much needed relief to them and indeed to the rest of the community.”
Ro Teimumu said with over budgeting and operating savings projected for 2016, there was room for reduction in some expenditure items without removing zero rating of basic food items.
She said at the end of the third quarter of 2015, the Fiji Roads Authority had only spent 36 per cent of its budget, well short of its budget of $653 million for this year.
From this performance, she said, the FRA should be allocated a budget no more than $400 million, a savings of $200 million.
The Opposition Leader said it was a matter of concern that the following Government entities had not used at least 50 per cent of their allocations by the end of the third quarter. Figures she quoted were:
 The Office of the President – 45 per cent
 The Attorney General’s Office and Department of Civil Aviation – 41 per cent
 Ministry of Communication – 41 per cent
 Department of Housing – 43 per cent
 Ministry of Sugar – 29 per cent; and
 Pensions – 44 per cent.

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