Vat hike on meat 'tragic, draconian'

HARARE - Increasing value-added tax (Vat) on all meat products, including edible meat offals and cereals, is a draconian measure that will sharply hike the price of the basic commodities for hard-pressed consumers and slash consumption, rather than generate the extra income Zimbabwe is seeking, top economists warned yesterday.

Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa on Wednesday hiked Vat to 15 percent on all meat products, including offals and fish, rice, maheu and margarine, under Statutory Instrument (SI) 20 of 2017 as one of a package of measures Harare hopes will help unlock funds needed to boost government finances.

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