Abu Dhabi, UAE
VAT on all food: The UAE will apply an upcoming value added tax to all food items and utility bills, according to officials. Upon first announcing the 5% tax in 2015, the country had said that 100 food items would be zero-rated. This measure has now been scrapped the Federal Tax Authority’s director general, Khalif Al Bustani, confirmed. Public transport, commercial airlines, investment-grade precious metals, the supply of crude and natural gas, education and healthcare will be zerorated. The cost of living in the country is expected to increase 2.5% next year after the tax is introduced, according to some forecasts. The UAE’s minister of economy, Sultan Al Mansouri, has said the tax could generate Dhs12bn ($3.26bN) for the country in its first year and Dhs20bn ($5.4bn) in its second year.