By Admin. Updated 10:03 p.m., Thursday, August 11, 2022, Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4).
President of the New Democratic Party – NDP and Leader of the Opposition, Dr. Godwin Friday has again urged the government to reduce the Value Added Tax – VAT, and to provide more relief in the wake of rising cost of living.
In an address to the nation aired on Thursday, August 11, 2022, Dr. Friday urged the government to reduce the VAT from 16 to 13 percent, “and to ensure that the savings are passed on to ordinary consumers”.
“This will help everyone across the board,” Dr. Friday said.
The opposition leader also “urged” the government to “increase the number of zero-rated grocery items,” a move he said, “will reduce grocery bills for everyone”.
Dr. Friday also urged for the “immediately repeal the Customs Service Charge increase that was done a couple years ago to reduce the cost of imports”.
The opposition leader said such moves are part of the NDP’s “plan to immediately help to ease the effects of rising costs of living and ensure that we protect families”.
“Increase support for lower income families by expending existing support programs and ensure that the support is distributed based on need, not by political favour,” Dr. Friday urged.
He also urged for the provision of “import duty concessions for the transportation industry which is to say the minivans, buses, and taxis,” and further urged for “an end to the unlimited increase in VINLEC bills by putting a cap on the fuel surcharge and improve efficiency at VINLEC”.
Dr. Friday said: “these measures are practical and realistic and can deliver benefit to everyone immediately”.
The opposition leader said as prices of goods and services increase, so does government revenue from VAT. He said we must put people first, not government revenue.
The Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines says it has taken a number of measures to respond to the global increase in food and fuel prices and to support farmers and volcano-affected persons during this period.
Some of the measures include a 50-percent cut in excise duties on gasoline, income support for farmers and fisherfolk, and financial support for persons in the Red and Orange zones, among other measures.
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