By Demion McTair. Updated 6:23 p.m., Friday May 15, 2020, Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4).
Kingstown, St. Vincent (ONE NEWS SVG) – Government revenue from local Value Added Tax (VAT), fell by 2.3 million dollars in the month of April.
Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said on Xtreme Radio today (May 15), that the drop was significant, indicating a fall off of economic activity.
But, he said the fall off hasn’t been as deep.
He said the economy has kept the pace for the first quarter but some reportage issues may have influenced the numbers.
For the month of April 2019, the government collected EC$56.25 million dollars in revenue. For April 2020, the government collected EC$55 million in revenue, the prime minister said.
“But, I think that $55 (million), has to do with some one-off items. for instance, if you look at stamp duty on ailing land holding licenses, before April, we had about EC$2 million dollars more than before. That had to do with some transaction in Mustique or Bequia” – he said.
“Up to now at the end of April, its basically holding its own”, the prime minister said, referring to the economy. “But, I think these numbers hide a more precipitous decline in April, which means that the January-march period would have been higher than 9-percent but there is a reportage [issue] where some from March came into April” – Dr. Gonsalves further stated.
Dr. Gonsalves said “sometimes, there is a lag. So, we will probably see the real effect of April, when we come to May”.
Finance minister Camillio Gonsalves said that the revised figures from the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank – ECCB projects declines ranging from 11 to as high as 16-percent for member countries due to the Covid-19 pandemic.