VAT increased by 1% to 15% on Sunday 1st April and ,today 4th April petrol, diesel and paraffin prices increased . These increases will, across the board, have an impact on the cost of living for all. The increase affects a wide range of goods and services –food - entertainment to municipal and cellphone accounts. There are still nineteen food items which are VAT zero rated: brown bread;dried mealies;dried beans;lentils;pilchard in tins;rice;mealie rice;fresh fruit and vegetables;vegetable oil;milk;milk powder;cultured milk;dairy powder blend;eggs;edible legumes and pulses;maize;samp and brown wheaten meal. Remember too, that as from the 1st April sugary drinks are taxed if they contain more than 4g of sugar per 100 ml – for every gram over the 4 g limit, an extra 2.1c is levied. A can which did cost R10 will be sold 10.12c.Another nasty shock to the budget as Wednesday 4th April the price of petrol will rise by 72 cents to R14.48 a litre and diesel will increase by 65 cents to R12.74. The price of illuminating paraffin has however decreased by 2 cents. This increase includes the Budget rises announced by the Minister of Finance and the rand to dollar rate exchange.According to the AA the increase will largely impact the transport costs for the daily commuter and also the shipment of goods around the country. It said producers, suppliers and freight companies will be forced to recover costs on the back of both the fuel increase and the VAT increase.Many Municipal services are VAT positive – electricity, water etc. Check the Umvoti Municipality website for complete list.