Almost half of all UAE residents are concerned they will not be able to afford the prices rises brought about by the introduction of VAT, according to a new survey.
The poll of 200 UAE residents was conducted by comparison site yallacompare in December 2017. It found that 44.6 percent of participants are “worried” about not being able to afford the increased cost of living resulting from VAT being added to products. Over half (51.8 percent) said they were “slightly worried” about the increased costs, but are confident they won’t feel many effects.
This uncertainty over prices rises was offset by yallacompare’s other findings. The survey found that 62.5 percent of residents expect a salary raise in 2018.
This suggests increased confidence in the UAE economy in 2018. According to the survey, 32.1 percent of residents delayed a big purchase – such as a car or a house – in 2017. But 39 percent intend to make a big purchase this year – despite the fact that VAT may now apply.
In a further boon, over 80 percent of respondents said they are confident of keeping their job in 2018.
Jonathan Rawling, CFO of yallacompare, commented on the findings: “The introduction of VAT is clearly a positive step for the UAE to take as it continues to diversify its economy away from oil. However, it appears that large numbers of UAE residents are simply considering VAT as an additional expense to be dealt with in the short term.
“The fact that the introduction of VAT should result in a more stable economy overall has perhaps been lost on many people. But once the initial shock of consumer prices rising has worn off, we believe that the other benefits of VAT – such as improved government services and greater business confidence – should be clear to the majority of residents.”
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