Govt adds 12.5% vat on hundreds of food items

(Trinidad Express) Consumers will be paying more for many commonly used foods items such as cereals, pasta, milk, butter, cooking oils, fruit juices and sweet drink, cocoa/chocolate powder and drinks, biscuits, mauby, ketchup, and yogurt, which previously were vat-free.

Also on the list are flour (except for all purpose and wheat), rice (except parboiled and boiled rice), cheese and curd (except cheese and rennet free cheese), cane sugar (except brown), coffee, teas, tunas, herring, all sausages, prepared meats, prepared vegetables, mayonnaise, coconut milk and pepper.

Consumers on the lower end of the income scale will feel the pinch at supermarkets given the scores of items that will be returned to the Value Added Tax (VAT) list from February 1.

This “deep” concern was expressed yesterday by president of the Supermarkets Association, Dr Yunus Ibrahim.

In Parliament yesterday, Finance Minister Colm Imbert outlined some of the hundreds of items on which 12.5 per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) will be added.

VAT from these items were removed by the former People’s Partnership government.

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