Alexander prefers “sin tax” over an increase in NIC contributions

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Alexander prefers “sin tax” over an increase in NIC contributions
Saint Lucia Employers Federation (SLEF) Joseph Alexander.
Saint Lucia Employers Federation (SLEF) Joseph Alexander.

The idea of an increase in National Insurance Corporation (NIC) tax from five to 7.5 percent is not being supported by Executive Director of the Saint Lucia Employers Federation (SLEF) Joseph Alexander, as he believes it will put too much pressure on employers, especially at a time when they are already facing a difficult economic situation.

Former Chief Medical Officer Dr. Stephen King, on a recent talk show, had endorsed some new measures being considered to boost the health care sector and make primary health care less prohibitive for the underprivileged.

The increase in NIC contributions and the institution of a “sin tax” – an excise tax normally levied on activities or goods considered physically or morally harmful, such as cigarettes and liquor- were two of the suggestions supported by Dr. King.

While he is all for the introduction of a sin tax, the SLEF executive director said increasing the NIC contributions may not be a good idea.

“For the simple reason, [that] whenever there is a contribution [that] needs to be made, it always seems to come from the employers because as you’re aware, the employer will now have to put an extra two or two-and-a-half percent [toward NIC contributions],” Alexander said.

“…So I am not against employers contributing, I just feel that too much is being asked of employers at this difficult stage with the current economic condition.”

With regard to the sin tax, he said: “I believe, and Dr. King said it, that there should be a tax on goods especially the sin tax…cigarettes etcetera. And since everybody is going to benefit I think an overall tax on produce would be a better way to go so everybody will contribute in their own little way, because it is quite a lot of money that will be required to run those two hospitals.”

Proceeds from the sin tax and increase in NIC contributions would go towards the health sector into which government is already contributing $108 million.

 

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7 COMMENTS

  1. While I agree with sin tax, let's hope the price of healthy foods come down as they cost an arm and a leg. We need to be able to afford healthy food.

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  2. Please do not increase NIC. Already NIC and PAYE tax are mandatory along with VAT.. Money is tight and if one were to work a Lil overtime, it's all taken back in PAYE tax. (Speaking from brutal experience). So I agree to go ahead and tax everything that kills and is unhealthy. Place "Sin tax" on cigarettes, soft drinks, alcohol, junk, mechanically processed foods, like is said the unhealthy stuff. This would force one purchase more natural and healthy produce thus money stays in St Lucia but please do not increase NIC

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  3. Terrific ....yes agree,Dirty cigarettes and spirit Rum,tax them on it maybe they will think twice before consuming garbage,and then our Hospitals and Health care department have to foot their bill after they the ones trying to,or killing themselves in the process.Donr forget to tax cigars to,and pork,and sodas,and beer.They will learn

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    • Sharon is it only people consuming alcohol, pork and beers that get sick? If that's the case well shame on our so called christians, look like they smoke and drink in secret. One need to understand that imposing SIN tax will not only affect the users of alcohol and cigarettes but the businessman already fighting for survival. Will that be prudent economics? Please research the USVI and Mr Alexander and you will discover how devastating SIN tax can be to a comatose economy.

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      • your people must learn that they must take care of themselves.Health , education and security is most important St Lucians plan your lives, stop wasting money on carnival, rum , nice clothes, parties look the number of shows and parties in july and august and we say we cannot pay for health care Govt take a tax for health care from every st lucian like martinique and the french countries and improve our health care This is not free lunch ,it costs and we must sacrifice for it.We have the most luxurious car and van and cannot have a proper hospital Start to set our priorities straight Stop depending on other countries Pay our taxes and get our health care system in place to care for your children, parents and our selves ,The french people, british and canada are doing it why cant we, Wastage is a problem in the health system Those people who go to Victoia hospital, health centers, get medications for free and throw the medication because it is free let them know somebody has paid for it place a health tax and all st lucians get insurance TOO MUCH FREENESS IS NOT GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH CARE

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