'VAT IN­CREASE MIGHT 'KILL' ECON­OMY'

... Stake­hold­ers have lamented this move by govern­ment ar­gu­ing that it will only make the poor worse off. This is one amongst many other hikes that con­sumers have been faced with in re­cent times

Swazi Observer - - FRONT PAGE - Sto­ries by Lun­gelo Nkam­bule and Mh­lengi Magongo

IT is dis­ap­point­ment all round fol­low­ing a de­ci­sion by the min­istry of fi­nance to im­ple­ment the one per cent in­crease on the Value Added Tax (VAT).

This means VAT now stands at 15 per­cent, which is sim­i­lar to that of neigh bo ur in gS out hA fri ca.

A gazette pub­lished on Wednes­day shows that this new amend­ment will come into ef­fect on Au­gust 1.

Stake­hold­ers have lamented this move by govern­ment, ar­gu­ing that it will only make the poor worse off. This is one amongst many other hikes that con­sumers have been faced with in re­cent times. In the last three months, there have been two petrol hikes, elec­tric­ity hike and now the VAT hike.

Below is what the dif­fer­ent stake­hold­ers had to say:

Bongani ‘Bhanyaza’ Md­luliCon­sumers As­so­ci­a­tion

We are shocked just at how in­con­sid­er­ate govern­ment is. This will af­fect the con­sumer the most and govern­ment doesn’t seem to be both­ered by this. The cost of liv­ing will in­crease be­cause to cush­ion them­selves, sup­pli­ers of goods and ser­vices will push the one per cent to the con­sumer. I hon­estly be­lieve it is time that all stake­hold­ers sit down and forge a way for­ward be­cause ef­fects of this will be dire.

Muzi Mh­langa- Trade Union Con­gress of Swazi­land (TUCOSWA) The govern­ment of the day has con­tin­ued to show us that they are not in­ter­ested in en­gag­ing the na­tion. She has no courtesy be­cause if it did they would have en­gaged all stake­hold­ers but they didn’t. Fur­ther and above that, we pe­ti­tioned them twice over this is­sue but they haven’t re­sponded or let alone ac­knowl­edged re­ceipt of the pe­ti­tion and lie to us and say they are look­ing into it. They do as they please and this is re­ally scary.

In this coun­try, peo­ple who make an hon­est liv­ing are strug­gling to sur­vive, one must work be­hind the scenes be­cause a job is no longer enough.

Tum du Pont- FESBC We have said this be­fore; govern­ment shouldn’t im­ple­ment things in the coun­try be­cause our econ­omy is dif­fer­ent from oth­ers. The im­ple­men­ta­tion of this will kill the few re­main­ing busi­nesses in the coun­try but what can we say be­cause it has been gazetted.

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