'That’s Everything The Poor People Does Eat!'

In outlining some of the numerous grocery items which a 12.5 per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) will be added, Finance Minister, Colm Imbert noted that the list has been reduced to only include the most basic foods and other necessary items, such as butter, milk, rice, flour, cheese etc.

But who do you think are already struggling to purchase these ‘basic foods’? The poor people of this country that’s who! And now with the imposed VAT, when ‘water come more than flour’, what will ‘we’ do? Look to rob a grocery store maybe, or rob somebody? It could happen.

I keep hearing the words ‘poor people can’t live in this country’, from people on the ground everyday and I can’t help but wonder if these sentiments of the people of this country would rise like incense to the ears of our leaders who sit on top the hills with their heads held high.

President of the Supermarkets Association, Dr. Yunus Ibrahim has already expressed his ‘deep’ concern that consumers on the low end of the income scale will feel the pinch at the supermarkets given the scores of items returning to the VAT list come February 1st.

The list of items which will no longer be zero-rated includes:

  • Rice (except parboiled rice)
  • flour (except all-purpose and wheat flour)
  • bread (except white and whole wheat bread)
  • cheese (except cheddar and rennet free cheese)
  • peanut butter
  • salted butter
  • pasta
  • cocoa powder
  • coffee
  • mauby
  • orange juice
  • herring
  • tuna
  • mackerel
  • icing sugar
  • biscuits
  • grapefruit juice
  • vanilla essence
  • tomato ketchup
  • sunflower seeds
  • yoghurt
  • dairy spreads
  • tea
  • cereal grains
  • prepared or preserved meats
  • prepared or preserved salmon
  • shrimp and prawns
  • cake mix
  • waffles and wafers
  • preserved vegetables and fruits
  • preserved tomatoes
  • preserves mushrooms
  • preserved vegetables such as preserved potato, preserved peas
  • jams, fruit jellies, marmalade
  • sauces and preparations
  • soups and broths
  • flavouring powder for beverages
  • coconut milk
  • artificial sweeteners
  • malt beverages
  • essence extracts and foods
  • spices,
  • edible seeds
  • all other fish edible parts of fish salted or in brine

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

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