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Chastanet: “New taxes to be less burdensome”

By GIS

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GIS – Saint Lucia’s Prime Minister Hon. Allen M. Chastanet, said recently that a new macro-economic policy is in order, as the fiscal health of Saint Lucia needs urgent attention.

Mr. Chastanet said after he grasped the totality of the country’s financial situation, he began working with ministries and statutory agencies to deal with their immediate crises and to plan long term restructuring.

The Prime Minister spoke to the findings of the recently submitted Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) report.

“There were some very interesting things that were revealed in the CDB report. One, Saint Lucia has the highest percentage of taxes to GDP, meaning that we have done a really good job of raising money from taxes. So as a percentage of GDP, were at 26 percent and most countries are around 22 – 23 percent. The other thing that was interesting is that we have had the lowest rate of return on government capital investment, so the things in which government has spent its money on have not produced the same level of returns as some of the other countries.”

The Prime Minister said this is unsustainable in its current form.

“And so we have been spending time in building that macro policy and I’ve put together a group of people who are advising me, with regards to the financial direction of this country, which will obviously include the new VAT [rates] and a lot of new forms of taxation.  As I said, the new taxes are to be less burdensome on the public of Saint Lucia [and will] find alternative ways of taxing different sectors that doesn’t put as much pressure on the average person in Saint Lucia and particularly the vulnerable people in our society.”

Saint Lucia’s Ministry of Finance and the Caribbean Development Bank held a press conference last Thursday, that articulated some of the findings of the report.

(15)(6)
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9 comments

  1. Well, here we go. He wants to lower VAT. The article states we have the highest taxation level, but it is not enough. So lower VAT, bring in some new creative taxes to replace the VAT shortfall and we good. Lucians that's what you all voted for!!

    (2)(0)
  2. The new taxes will be less burdensome on the public and we will find new ways of taxing DIFFERENT sectors that reduced the burden on the average St. Lucian. That was the statement made, was it not? It is possible that the framework of the tax system can be reworked so that those who can pay more, do. We see countless examples in our little island of business owners and members of corporate world who lead lavish lives at the expense of the majority who are paid peanuts for their services and labor. It is that majority who has to bare the burnt of tax burdens. And I am sure some smart person might argue that it's the middle class who pays the majority taxes in this country. In response, I ask simply, what middle class? There is a clear demarcation between the haves and the have nots, period.

    Rather than being unnecessarily critical of an idea that can actually yield positive results for the nation as a whole, let us instead challenge the PM, his advisory team and his government to lay out the policies they intend to adopt to see this through.

    (3)(1)
  3. Not surprise!! a few of us predicted this some time ago. A tax is a tax ,"vat or not" .....no matter who or what group gets affected it always trickles back down to the consumer, the ones that can least afford it. Interesting how quiet it's been on this board. I wonder why!!

    (7)(4)
  4. what new taxes. Allen do not upset me now. Things are already hard with high employment. how you expect ppl to pay taxes under these trying times...

    (8)(1)
  5. The pm is trying hard I must say and someday soon he will encounter something big for the country, the good Lord will direct him, let us give him some time, it took Compton thirty years and don't think he will be out within five years, he is here to stay. Let's stop the mummerings and pray for him instead for direction.

    Lord direct his thoughts and paths.

    (29)(31)
    • I pray for St Lucia and not any PM or party. PM and parties will come and they will go. St Lucia will be there forever! However if you want to hear my views don't hold your breath that anything good will some day come from this current PM. He will turn out to be just like any another PM. The only option open to him is to try his best not to be the worst PM in the past history of the country. Two traits work against him: his temperament and his arrogance. His latest display at the press conference where he called Isidore a liar is proof of that. Another is his attempt to remove the live broadcast of the house proceedings. His problem is that he believes he is too important. Very interesting times awaits.

      (23)(2)
    • Amen.

      (0)(0)
  6. Does the new tax policy include the collection of taxes from the hotel sector. we have to be mindful that we ensure that these taxes are collected - take the Antigua vs Sandals case.

    (13)(0)

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