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EU blames fraud in participating countries for VAT losses.

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EU member states lost almost 150 billion euros (177 billion dollars) in Value Added Tax revenues in 2016, with a third of that estimated to be due to fraud, the European Commission announced on Friday.

VAT is a consumption tax charged on most goods and services and is an important contribution to national budgets helping to fund domestic public services as well as feeding into the EU’s spending pot.



According to EU Economy Commissioner Pierre Moscovici, a loss of 150 billion euros per year for national budgets remains unacceptable.

Especially when 50 billion euros of this is lining the pockets of criminals, fraudsters and probably even terrorists,’’ Moscovici said in a statement.

The so-called VAT gap is calculated by comparing a country’s expected VAT revenue with the amount actually collected in a given year.

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Tax collection improved by an average 1.1 per cent across the EU in 2016, bringing in an additional 10.5 billion euros,’’ the commission calculated.

The figures differ widely between member states, however, ranging from a VAT gap of 0.85 per cent in Luxembourg to 35.9 per cent in Romania.

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President Ramaphosa to Sign South African Competition Amendment Bill Into Law

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South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will sign into law today the Competition Amendment Bill, which will strengthen regulations against anti-competitive behaviour in industrial markets.



The bill, which was approved by the National Assembly in October 2018 and endorsed by the National Council of Provinces in December 2018, is a step in the right direction for SMEs, economic inclusion and it opens up the economy to fresh investment and innovation.

It also provides a clear mandate to the competition authorities to address economic concentration in a balanced manner and to promote economic transformation, the Presidency said on Monday.

Additionally, the amended legislation seeks to combat concentration and economic exclusion as core challenges that contribute to slower and less dynamic growth, lower employment and greater inequalities, as well as socio-political conflict.

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The Presidency said this will enable a more effective approach to concentration, with a focus on improving outcomes for small and black-owned business, and strengthen the institutions involved in managing competition policy and law.

The signing ceremony will take place this afternoon at the Tuynhuys Chambers in Parliament. Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel, who campaigned fiercely for the bill’s codification, will join the ceremony along with a group of stakeholders.

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Manufacturing Output Growth Slows Again in South Africa

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The preliminary data from Statistics South Africa has showed the rate at which South Africa manufacturing output slowed twice again within the month of December.




Negative contributions came from petroleum, chemicals, rubber and plastic products, iron and steel, non-ferrous metal products, metal products and machinery industries to make outputs edged up a non-adjusted 0.1% year-on-year in December following a 1.3% increase in November and a 3.0% gain in October

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As against a drastic output growth in the prior month; 0.7% following a 0.4% rise in November

Meanwhile motor vehicles, parts and other transport equipment, food and beverages, glass and non-metallic mineral products made the biggest positive contributions in December.

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