The Reading / Listening - VAT - Level 6

Saudi Arabia is going to triple the rate of the value added tax (VAT) it imposes on goods and services. VAT will increase from 5 per cent to 15 per cent on the 1st of July. The tax was introduced in Saudi Arabia for the first time in 2018. Government authorities say this drastic measure is necessary to curb the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy. The cut is also part of wider austerity measures to help the economy. Finances of the oil-rich nation have been badly hit as the pandemic has seen oil prices and demand for oil plummet. Analysts are reporting that oil revenues this year have fallen by almost a quarter when compared to the same period last year.



Another measure the finance ministry has taken in a bid to shore up the economy is the suspension of a cost of living allowance. This is a payment of about $256 per month to state employees. It was introduced to help offset rising prices and more expensive petrol at the pump. Saudi's Finance Minister said: "These measures are painful but necessary to maintain financial and economic stability over the medium to long term...and to overcome the unprecedented coronavirus crisis with the least damage possible." A Gulf expert said: "The move will impact consumption and could also lower the expected revenues. These are pro-austerity and pro-revenue moves rather than pro-growth ones."

Try the same news story at these easier levels:

    VAT - Level 4  or  VAT - Level 5

Sources
  • https://finance.yahoo.com/news/saudi-arabia-raise-vat-threefold-030733064.html
  • https://www.bbc.com/news/business-52612785
  • https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/saudi-triples-vat-suspends-handouts-in-virus-led-austerity-drive/ar-BB13SVjm


Make sure you try all of the online activities for this reading and listening - There are dictations, multiple choice, drag and drop activities, crosswords, hangman, flash cards, matching activities and a whole lot more. Please enjoy :-)



Warm-ups

1. VALUE ADDED TAX: Students walk around the class and talk to other students about VAT. Change partners often and share your findings.
2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, talk about these topics or words from the article. What will the article say about them? What can you say about these words and your life?
       triple / tax / goods / services / authorities / drastic measure / pandemic / oil / demand
       finance ministry / economy / cost of living / rising prices / stability / expert / austerity
Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.
3. CORPORATIONS: Students A strongly believe only corporations should pay tax and not individuals; Students B strongly believe the opposite.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.
4. TAXABLE: Should these things be taxed? Why (not)? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners often and share what you wrote.

 

Should They Be Taxed?

Why? / Why Not?

Salary

 

 

Investments

 

 

House sale

 

 

Chocolate

 

 

Company profit

 

 

Inheritance

 

 

MY e-BOOK
ESL resource book with copiable worksheets and handouts - 1,000 Ideas and Activities for Language Teachers / English teachers
See a sample

5. OIL: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word "oil". Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.
6. TAX: Rank these with your partner. Put the worst at the top. Change partners often and share your rankings.

  • tax on income
  • tax on petrol
  • tax on books
  • tax on luxury goods
  • tax on company profits
  • tax on inheritance
  • tax on water
  • tax on investments

 

Vocabulary

    Paragraph 1

      1. rate a. Decrease rapidly in value or amount.
      2. imposes b. A fixed price paid or charged for something, especially goods or services.
      3. authorities c. A plan or course of action taken to achieve a particular purpose.
      4. drastic d. Forces something unwelcome or unfamiliar to be accepted or put in place.
      5. measure e. Likely to have a strong or far-reaching effect; radical and extreme.
      6. austerity f. The power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience.
      7. plummet g. Difficult economic conditions created by government measures to reduce a budget deficit, especially by reducing public expenditure.

    Paragraph 2

      8. bid h. An attempt or effort to achieve something.
      9. shore up i. An action that initiates or advances a process or plan.
      10. suspension j. Support or hold up something that is in danger of becoming worse.
      11. offset k. The using up of a resource.
      12. unprecedented l. The temporary prevention of something from continuing or being in force or effect.
      13. consumption m. Act against something by having an opposing force or effect.
      14. move n. Never done or known before.

 

Before reading / listening

1. TRUE / FALSE: Read the headline. Guess if 1-8 below are true (T) or false (F).

  1. VAT in Saudi Arabia is set to increase three-fold.     T / F
  2. The value added tax in Saudi Arabia will go up on June the 1st.     T / F
  3. Saudi Arabia first introduced VAT in 2018.     T / F
  4. Saudi Arabia's oil revenues have fallen by a half in the pandemic.     T / F
  5. The Finance Ministry has abolished a cost of living allowance.     T / F
  6. Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister acknowledged the neasures were painful.     T / F
  7. The Foreign Minister said the measures were for the short-term.    T / F
  8. An expert on the Gulf said the measures will raise revenues.     T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article.

  1. imposes
  2. introduced
  3. drastic
  4. measures
  5. plummet
  6. bid
  7. offset
  8. unprecedented
  9. impact
  10. revenue
  1. attempt
  2. actions
  3. income
  4. extreme
  5. affect
  6. applies
  7. unheard of
  8. nosedive
  9. established
  10. counterbalance

3. PHRASE MATCH: (Sometimes more than one choice is possible.)

  1. the value added tax (VAT) it imposes
  2. this drastic measure is necessary
  3. The cut is also part of wider
  4. Analysts are reporting that oil revenues
  5. when compared to the same
  6. Another measure the finance
  7. in a bid to shore
  8. It was introduced to help offset
  9. over the medium
  10. These are pro-austerity and
  1. austerity measures
  2. pro-revenue moves
  3. period last year
  4. ministry has taken
  5. up the economy
  6. on goods and services
  7. to long term
  8. this year have fallen
  9. rising prices
  10. to curb the effects

Gap fill

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
drastic
austerity
plummet
imposes
curb
compared
triple
hit

Saudi Arabia is going to (1) ____________ the rate of the value added tax (VAT) it (2) ____________ on goods and services. VAT will increase from 5 per cent to 15 per cent on the 1st of July. The tax was introduced in Saudi Arabia for the first time in 2018. Government authorities say this (3) ____________ measure is necessary to (4) ____________ the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy. The cut is also part of wider (5) ____________ measures to help the economy. Finances of the oil-rich nation have been badly (6) ____________ as the pandemic has seen oil prices and demand for oil (7) ____________. Analysts are reporting that oil revenues this year have fallen by almost a quarter when (8) ____________ to the same period last year.

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
unprecedented
suspension
maintain
moves
bid
expected
offset
expert

Another measure the finance ministry has taken in a (9) ____________ to shore up the economy is the (10) ____________ of a cost of living allowance. This is a payment of about $256 per month to state employees. It was introduced to help (11) ____________ rising prices and more expensive petrol at the pump. Saudi's Finance Minister said: "These measures are painful but necessary to (12) ____________ financial and economic stability over the medium to long term...and to overcome the (13) ____________ coronavirus crisis with the least damage possible." A Gulf (14) ____________ said: "The move will impact consumption and could also lower the (15) ____________ revenues. These are pro-austerity and pro-revenue (16) ____________ rather than pro-growth ones."

Listening — Guess the answers. Listen to check.

1)  Saudi Arabia is going to triple the rate of the value added tax (VAT) it ______
     a.  imposters on goods
     b.  composters on goods
     c.  in poses on goods
     d.  imposes on goods
2)  Government authorities say this ______
     a.  drastically measure
     b.  caustic measure
     c.  grass stick measure
     d.  drastic measure
3)  The cut is also part of wider ______
     a.  austerity measures
     b.  austere rated measures
     c.  awe sterility measures
     d.  or sterility measures
4)  badly hit as the pandemic has seen oil prices and demand ______
     a.  foil plummet
     b.  four oil plummet
     c.  fore oil plummet
     d.  for oil plummet
5)  fallen by almost a quarter when compared to the same ______
     a.  periodical last year
     b.  period last year
     c.  periodically last year
     d.  peer read last year

6)  Another measure the finance ministry has taken in a bid to ______ economy
     a.  shorten up the
     b.  sure up the
     c.  shore up the
     d.  shorn up the
7)  This is a payment of about $256 per month ______
     a.  to slate employees
     b.  to staid employees
     c.  to state employees
     d.  to stave employees
8)  introduced to help offset rising prices and more expensive petrol ______
     a.  at the pump
     b.  at the pimp
     c.  at the primp
     d.  at the bump
9)  A Gulf expert said: "The move will ______"
     a.  impact resumption
     b.  impact consumption
     c.  respect consumption
     d.  impact assumption
10)  These are pro-austerity and pro-revenue moves rather than ______
     a.  pro-roach ones
     b.  progress ones
     c.  pro-grown ones
     d.  pro-growth ones

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Saudi Arabia is going to (1) ___________________ of the value added tax (VAT) it imposes on goods and services. VAT will increase from 5 per cent to 15 per cent on the 1st of July. The (2) ___________________ in Saudi Arabia for the first time in 2018. Government authorities say (3) ___________________ is necessary to curb the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy. The cut is also part (4) ___________________ measures to help the economy. Finances of the oil-rich nation have been badly hit as the pandemic has seen oil prices and demand (5) ___________________. Analysts are reporting that oil revenues this year have fallen by almost a quarter when compared to the (6) ___________________ year.

Another measure the finance ministry has taken in a (7) ___________________ up the economy is the suspension of a cost (8) ___________________. This is a payment of about $256 per month to state employees. It was introduced to (9) ___________________ prices and more expensive petrol at the pump. Saudi's Finance Minister said: "These measures are painful but necessary to maintain financial and economic (10) ___________________ medium to long term...and to overcome the unprecedented coronavirus crisis with the least damage possible." A Gulf expert said: "The move (11) ___________________ and could also lower the expected revenues. These are pro-austerity and pro-revenue moves rather (12) ___________________."

Comprehension questions

  1. By how many times will Saudi Arabia's value added tax increase?
  2. When was value added tax introduced in Saudi Arabia?
  3. What did the government say the tax was necessary to curb?
  4. How have Saudi Arabia's finances been hit by the coronavirus pandemic?
  5. By how much have oil revenues fallen since last year?
  6. How much is Saudi Arabia's cost of living allowance?
  7. What was the cost of living allowance introduced to offset?
  8. Over what timeframe does Saudi want to maintain financial security?
  9. Who said consumption would be impacted by the move?
  10. What did an expert say the moves would not promote?




Multiple choice quiz

1)  By how many times will Saudi Arabia's value added tax increase?
a) two
b) three
c) four
d) five
2) When was value added tax introduced in Saudi Arabia?
a) 2016
b) 2012
c) 2017
d) 2018
3) What did the government say the tax was necessary to curb?
a) a fall in demand
b) rising oil prices
c) the effects of the coronavirus pandemic
d) inflation
4) How have Saudi Arabia's finances been hit by the coronavirus pandemic?
a) badly
b) slightly
c) not at all
d) catastrophically
5) By how much have oil revenues fallen since last year?
a) almost a half
b) almost a quarter
c) about a third
d) less than 10%

6) How much is Saudi Arabia's cost of living allowance?
a) about $256 per month
b) over $256 per month
c) exactly $256 per month
d) just under $256 per month
7) What was the cost of living allowance introduced to offset?
a) more expensive food
b) inflation and higher tax
c) rising prices and more expensive petrol
d) globalisation
8) Over what timeframe does Saudi want to maintain financial security?
a) the medium to long term
b) a few months
c) the rest of this year
d) the short term
9) Who said consumption would be impacted by the move?
a) a shopper
b) the prime minister
c) a tax expert
d) a Gulf expert

10) What did an expert say the moves would not promote?
a) discounts
b) harmony
c) growth
d) shopping

Role play

Role  A – Income Tax
You think income tax is the worst tax. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why their tax isn't so bad. Also, tell the others which is the most important of these (and why): corporation tax, sales tax or inheritance tax.

Role  B – Corporation Tax
You think corporation tax is the worst tax. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why their tax isn't so bad. Also, tell the others which is the most important of these (and why): income tax, sales tax or inheritance tax.

Role  C – Sales Tax (VAT)
You think sales tax is the worst tax. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why their tax isn't so bad. Also, tell the others which is the most important of these (and why): corporation tax, income tax or inheritance tax.

Role  D – Inheritance Tax
You think inheritance tax is the worst tax. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why their tax isn't so bad. Also, tell the others which is the most important of these (and why): corporation tax, sales tax or income tax.

After reading / listening

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionary / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words...

'tax'

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • and 'economy'.

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • • Share your findings with your partners.

    • Make questions using the words you found.

    • Ask your partner / group your questions.

    2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

    •Share your questions with other classmates / groups. •Ask your partner / group your questions.

    3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

    4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

    5. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall how they were used in the text:

    • goods
    • 2018
    • necessary
    • cut
    • badly
    • period
    • bid
    • state
    • painful
    • least
    • lower
    • moves




    Student survey

    Write five GOOD questions about this topic in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper. When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

    (Please look at page 12 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

    Discussion - VAT

    STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

    1. What did you think when you read the headline?
    2. What images are in your mind when you hear the word 'tax'?
    3. What do you think of VAT?
    4. What do governments do with the VAT they collect?
    5. What do you think of tax?
    6. What is the worst tax?
    7. How would a tripling of VAT affect your life?
    8. Have there been austerity measures in your country?
    9. Are plummeting oil prices a good or bad thing?
    10. Should only companies pay tax?

    STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

    1. Did you like reading this article? Why/not?
    2. What do you think of when you hear the word 'economy'?
    3. What do you think about what you read?
    4. How is your country's economy doing?
    5. Should state employees have preferential tax treatment?
    6. What painful things have happened to your finances?
    7. What damage has the pandemic done to your country's economy?
    8. What can governments do to encourage economic growth?
    9. Who should pay the most tax?
    10. What questions would you like to ask a tax expert?

    Discussion — Write your own questions

    STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

    (a) ________________

    (b) ________________

    (c) ________________

    (d) ________________

    (e) ________________

    STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

    (f) ________________

    (g) ________________

    (h) ________________

    (i) ________________

    (j) ________________





    Language — Cloze (Gap-fill)

    Saudi Arabia is going to triple the (1) ____ of the value added tax (VAT) it imposes on goods and services. VAT will increase from 5 per cent to 15 per cent on the 1st of July. The tax was (2) ____ in Saudi Arabia for the first time in 2018. Government authorities say this drastic measure is necessary to (3) ____ the effects of the coronavirus pandemic (4) ____ the economy. The cut is also part of wider austerity measures to help the economy. Finances of the oil-rich nation have been badly hit as the pandemic has (5) ____ oil prices and demand for oil plummet. Analysts are reporting that oil revenues this year have fallen by almost a quarter when (6) ____ to the same period last year.

    Another measure the finance ministry has taken in a (7) ____ to shore up the economy is the suspension of a cost of living allowance. This is a payment of about $256 per month to (8) ____ employees. It was introduced to help offset rising prices and more expensive petrol at the pump. Saudi's Finance Minister said: "These measures are painful but necessary (9) ____ maintain financial and economic stability over the medium to long term...and to overcome the unprecedented coronavirus crisis with the least damage possible." A Gulf (10) ____ said: "The move will impact consumption and could also lower the (11) ____ revenues. These are pro-austerity and pro-revenue moves rather than pro-growth (12) ____."

    Which of these words go in the above text?

    1. (a)     numeral     (b)     chart     (c)     slice     (d)     rate    
    2. (a)     infused     (b)     acquainted     (c)     greeted     (d)     introduced    
    3. (a)     curve     (b)     curb     (c)     kerb     (d)     cube    
    4. (a)     at     (b)     as     (c)     on     (d)     via    
    5. (a)     seen     (b)     vision     (c)     peered     (d)     squinted    
    6. (a)     compared     (b)     pared     (c)     composed     (d)     composted    
    7. (a)     rid     (b)     mid     (c)     lid     (d)     bid    
    8. (a)     state     (b)     tell     (c)     say     (d)     proclaim    
    9. (a)     for     (b)     to     (c)     of     (d)     by    
    10. (a)     expert     (b)     expat     (c)     expected     (d)     extant    
    11. (a)     expert     (b)     expat     (c)     expected     (d)     extant    
    12. (a)     once     (b)     ones     (c)     once     (d)     one's

    Spelling

    Paragraph 1

    1. tax it sispemo on goods and services
    2. Government tuhiartseio
    3. raticsd measure
    4. wider tiesratuy measures
    5. demand for oil elptmmu
    6. oil svrnueee

    Paragraph 2

    1. Another measure the finance tnyiirms has taken
    2. a cost of living lcolwnaea
    3. financial and economic sbtilayti
    4. the ecenrepddteun coronavirus crisis
    5. The move will impact tconomusnip
    6. could also lower the tepcdeex ...

    Put the text back together

    (...)  services. VAT will increase from 5 per cent to 15 per cent on the 1st of July. The tax was introduced
    (...)  Minister said: "These measures are painful but necessary to maintain financial and economic stability over the medium
    (...)  of a cost of living allowance. This is a payment of about $256 per month to state employees. It was
    (...)  revenues this year have fallen by almost a quarter when compared to the same period last year. 
    (...)  in Saudi Arabia for the first time in 2018. Government authorities say this drastic measure is necessary to
    (...)  possible." A Gulf expert said: "The move will impact consumption and could also lower
    (...)  to long term...and to overcome the unprecedented coronavirus crisis with the least damage
    (...)  curb the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy. The cut is also part of wider
    (...)  Another measure the finance ministry has taken in a bid to shore up the economy is the suspension
    (...)  the expected revenues. These are pro-austerity and pro-revenue moves rather than pro-growth ones."
    1  ) Saudi Arabia is going to triple the rate of the value added tax (VAT) it imposes on goods and
    (...)  hit as the pandemic has seen oil prices and demand for oil plummet. Analysts are reporting that oil
    (...)  introduced to help offset rising prices and more expensive petrol at the pump. Saudi's Finance
    (...)  austerity measures to help the economy. Finances of the oil-rich nation have been badly

    Put the words in the right order

    1. added   of   value   rate   tax   .   the   Triple   the
    2. measure   Government  necessary   .  authorities   is  this   drastic   say
    3. austerity   the   economy   .   Wider   measures   to   help
    4. oil-rich   nation   hit   .   badly   has   The   been
    5. year   quarter   .   fell   almost   Revenues   by   this   a
    6. to   up   shore   the   economy   .   In   bid   a
    7. month   .   This   is   $256   payment   of   a   per
    8. economic   financial   maintain   to   and   stability   .   Necessary
    9. will   consumption   .   expert   the   move   impact   said   An
    10. rather   moves   Pro-revenue   than   ones   .   pro-growth

    Circle the correct word (20 pairs)

    Saudi Arabia is going to triple the rate / ratio of the value added tax (VAT) it imposes / composes on goods and services. VAT will increase from 5 per cent to 15 per cent on the 1st of July. The tax was greeted / introduced in Saudi Arabia for the first time in 2018. Government authorities say this drastically / drastic measure is necessary to curb the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on / at the economy. The cut is also part of wider posterity / austerity measures to help the economy. Finances of the oil-rich nation have been badly smacked / hit as the pandemic has seen oil prices and demand for oil plummet / summit. Analysts are reporting that oil revenues this year have fallen by most / almost a quarter when compared to the same period last / past year. 

    Another measure the finance ministry has taken in a bit / bid to shore up the economy is the suspension of a cost of lively / living allowance. This is a pay / payment of about $256 per month to state employees. It was introduced to help offset / onset rising prices and more expensive petrol at the pimp / pump. Saudi's Finance Minister said: "These measures are painful but necessary to maintain financial and economic stable / stability over the medium to long term...and to overcome / overdo the unprecedented coronavirus crisis with the least damage possibly / possible." A Gulf expert said: "The move will impact consumption and could also low / lower the expected revenues. These are pro-austerity and pro-revenue moves rather than pro-growth once / ones."

    Talk about the connection between each pair of words in italics, and why the correct word is correct.

    Insert the vowels (a, e, i, o, u)

    S__ d_ A r_b__ _s g__ n g t_ t r_p l_ t h_ r_t_ _f t h_ v_l__ _d d_d t_x ( V A T ) _t _m p_s_s _n g__ d s _n d s_r v_c_s . V A T w_l l _n c r__ s_ f r_m 5 p_r c_n t t_ 1 5 p_r c_n t _n t h_ 1 s t _f J_l y . T h_ t_x w_s _n t r_d_c_d _n S__ d_ A r_b__ f_r t h_ f_r s t t_m_ _n 2 0 1 8 . G_v_r n m_n t __ t h_r_t__ s s_y t h_s d r_s t_c m__ s_r_ _s n_c_s s_r y t_ c_r b t h_ _f f_c t s _f t h_ c_r_n_v_r_s p_n d_m_c _n t h_ _c_n_m y . T h_ c_t _s _l s_ p_r t _f w_d_r __ s t_r_t y m__ s_r_s t_ h_l p t h_ _c_n_m y . F_n_n c_s _f t h_ __ l - r_c h n_t__ n h_v_ b__ n b_d l y h_t _s t h_ p_n d_m_c h_s s__ n __ l p r_c_s _n d d_m_n d f_r __ l p l_m m_t . A n_l y s t s _r_ r_p_r t_n g t h_t __ l r_v_n__ s t h_s y__ r h_v_ f_l l_n b y _l m_s t _ q__ r t_r w h_n c_m p_r_d t_ t h_ s_m_ p_r__ d l_s t y__ r .

    A n_t h_r m__ s_r_ t h_ f_n_n c_ m_n_s t r y h_s t_k_n _n _ b_d t_ s h_r_ _p t h_ _c_n_m y _s t h_ s_s p_n s__ n _f _ c_s t _f l_v_n g _l l_w_n c_. T h_s _s _ p_y m_n t _f _b__ t $ 2 5 6 p_r m_n t h t_ s t_t_ _m p l_y__ s . I t w_s _n t r_d_c_d t_ h_l p _f f s_t r_s_n g p r_c_s _n d m_r_ _x p_n s_v_ p_t r_l _t t h_ p_m p . S__ d_' s F_n_n c_ M_n_s t_r s__ d : " T h_s_ m__ s_r_s _r_ p__ n f_l b_t n_c_s s_r y t_ m__ n t__ n f_n_n c__ l _n d _c_n_m_c s t_b_l_t y _v_r t h_ m_d__ m t_ l_n g t_r m . . ._n d t_ _v_r c_m_ t h_ _n p r_c_d_n t_d c_r_n_v_r_s c r_s_s w_t h t h_ l__ s t d_m_g_ p_s s_b l_. " A g_l f _x p_r t s__ d : " T h_ m_v_ w_l l _m p_c t c_n s_m p t__ n _n d c__ l d _l s_ l_w_r t h_ _x p_c t_d r_v_n__ s . T h_s_ _r_ p r_-__ s t_r_t y _n d p r_- r_v_n__ m_v_s r_t h_r t h_n p r_- g r_w t h _n_s . "

    Punctuate the text and add capitals

    saudi arabia is going to triple the rate of the value added tax vat it imposes on goods and services vat will increase from 5 per cent to 15 per cent on the 1st of july the tax was introduced in saudi arabia for the first time in 2018 government authorities say this drastic measure is necessary to curb the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy the cut is also part of wider austerity measures to help the economy finances of the oilrich nation have been badly hit as the pandemic has seen oil prices and demand for oil plummet analysts are reporting that oil revenues this year have fallen by almost a quarter when compared to the same period last year 

    another measure the finance ministry has taken in a bid to shore up the economy is the suspension of a cost of living allowance this is a payment of about 256 per month to state employees it was introduced to help offset rising prices and more expensive petrol at the pump saudis finance minister said these measures are painful but necessary to maintain financial and economic stability over the medium to long termand to overcome the unprecedented coronavirus crisis with the least damage possible a Gulf expert said the move will impact consumption and could also lower the expected revenues these are proausterity and prorevenue moves rather than progrowth ones

    Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

    SaudiArabiaisgoingtotripletherateofthevalueaddedtax(VAT)itimpos
    esongoodsandservices.VATwillincreasefrom5percentto15percento
    nthe1stofJuly.ThetaxwasintroducedinSaudiArabiaforthefirsttimein
    2018.Governmentauthoritiessaythisdrasticmeasureisnecessarytoc
    urbtheeffectsofthecoronaviruspandemicontheeconomy.Thecutisals
    opartofwiderausteritymeasurestohelptheeconomy.Financesoftheoil
    -richnationhavebeenbadlyhitasthepandemichasseenoilpricesandd
    emandforoilplummet.Analystsarereportingthatoilrevenuesthisyear
    havefallenbyalmostaquarterwhencomparedtothesameperiodlastye
    ar.Anothermeasurethefinanceministryhastakeninabidtoshoreupthe
    economyisthesuspensionofacostoflivingallowance.Thisisapayment
    ofabout$256permonthtostateemployees.Itwasintroducedtohelpoff
    setrisingpricesandmoreexpensivepetrolatthepump.Saudi'sFinance
    Ministersaid:"Thesemeasuresarepainfulbutnecessarytomaintainfin
    ancialandeconomicstabilityoverthemediumtolongterm...andtoover
    cometheunprecedentedcoronaviruscrisiswiththeleastdamagepossi
    ble."AGulfexpertsaid:"Themovewillimpactconsumptionandcouldals
    olowertheexpectedrevenues.Thesearepro-austerityandpro-revenu
    emovesratherthanpro-growthones."

    Free writing

    Write about VAT for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner’s paper.

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    Academic writing

    Only companies should pay tax, ordinary people shouldn't. Discuss.

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    Homework

    1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google's search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.
    2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find out more about this news story. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.
    3. TAX: Make a poster about tax. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?
    4. CORPORATE TAX: Write a magazine article about only companies having to pay tax. Include imaginary interviews with people who are for and against this.
    Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down any new words and expressions you hear from your partner(s).
    5. WHAT HAPPENED NEXT? Write a newspaper article about the next stage in this news story. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles.
    6. LETTER: Write a letter to an expert on tax. Ask him/her three questions about it. Give him/her three of your ideas on how to improve the taxation system. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

    Answers

    (Please look at page 26 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

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