My spending habits have changed since the January 1 introduction of VAT

Readers discuss VAT, coins, the US president and more

Some readers say their spending habits have changed since January 1.  Reem Mohammed / The National
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Since January 1, I have noticed I am using my debit and credit cards to pay for transactions a lot more than before and I am really watching what I'm spending. I did a big shop at the supermarket on the last day of December and went to my local store to buy a few items yesterday. The difference in price was clearly noticeable. I don't think I will be eating out as much either in 2018.

Gill Dow, Abu Dhabi

A lot of shops are charging VAT on things, but I don't know if they are meant to have the tax added to them or not. I would like to see a comprehensive list published of what items attract VAT or not.

Imran Khan, Dubai

Since the introduction of the tax I notice I have been spending less. The arrival of VAT has given me a chance to revisit my finances and eliminate some recurring expenses. My plan is to reduce my expenditure by 10 to 15 per cent.

Saleem Karrar, Abu Dhabi

Please put more coins back into circulation

In reference to you story Bulk buys beat rounding up on VAT for small items (January 7). The Department of Economic Department has said shops can round up the cost of items by up to 20 fils, due to the scarcity of small denomination coins. May I please ask that more small coins are put into circulation.

It is wonderful surprise when one travels in the US and UK, that shopkeepers are able to return the exact change down to the last penny or cent. Similarly, when I worked in Africa, I noticed that all denominations of coinage were available freely. On studying the matter closely, I realised that some of the coins cost more to make and procure than was the value imprinted on them. However, the government absorbed this expenditure to facilitate the transactions of lower-income people who spend money on daily necessities such as bread and milk.

Rajendra Aneja, Dubai

Trump doesn't need to play by the book over new revelations

In reference to your story Trump's fire and fury reaction in trying to block an explosive new book is unprecedented (January 7). Donald Trump can do what he wants. He was voted in because the same old status quo wasn't working and an unprecedented political candidate carried the ballot.

Frank Johansen, Dubai

Water dispute could trigger a broader political crisis in Africa

In reference to Robin Mills's column Will the Nile bring Egypt to the brink of another political crisis, this time with Sudan? (January 8). Who is Egypt to have a first claim on our natural and domestic natural resources?

Haile Gebretsadik, Ethiopia