Former gov’t blamed for reintroduction of import duties on medicine

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Former gov’t blamed for reintroduction of import duties on medicine
Senator Dr. Ubaldus Raymond
Dr. Ubaldus Raymond
Dr. Ubaldus Raymond

The Allen Chastanet government is laying blame on former Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony and his government for the recent reintroduction of import duties on medicine.

The Kenny Anthony government had secured the agreement of CARICOM to suspend the common external tariff on pharmaceuticals for a period of four years, which began from May 01, 2012 and ended on April 30, 2016.

However, the new administration is now seeking to have this renewed by November, 2016 at the next Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) meeting.

Minister within the Ministry of Finance Dr. Ubaldus Raymond said he was informed that the suspension expired last week.

Now that the import duties have been restored, this will most likely be reflected in higher costs for medicines.

But the new government is not taking blame for this. Instead, Dr. Raymond claims that Dr. Anthony was reminded about the expiration date, in a letter dated March 5, 2016.

According to the minister, Dr. Anthony never responded to the letter.

“This government was not responsible for the reintroduction of import duties on medicine. This was ignored by the previous administration and therefore there was reintroduction of the import duties,” the minister claims.

Dr. Raymond said he spoke with officials at the Ministry of Commerce and has since advised them to begin the application process so that the suspension can be reintroduced.

“We will do our best to keep the cost of health care as low as possible. We understand that there are people who need certain types of medicines: diabetes, hypertension, and that is the reason why we have started the process of reapplying to COTED.”

Prior to the implementation of VAT, medicines attracted an import duty of 10 percent followed by 5 percent consumption tax.

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16 COMMENTS

  1. Nigel has to meet you at Banans to tell you about it.. You have been asleep at the wheel for 200 days.. This government didn't even go through a transition phase, they just wanted to govern.. Ubaldus put that I. Your pipe and smoke it.. Don't cry fuel now!! Reduce the VAT..

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  2. oh so where the slp people now??? something which expired BEFORE elections ... means it is SLP at fault. so why did yall savior Kenny allow this to happen??? hmm but yall always ready to blast UWP and cannot see what is right infront of your eyes.

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  3. The suspension was negotiated once by SLP why so wouldn't they want to negotiate it again? UWP have had more than 100 days to look at the matter. How comes is when the suspension period runs out is when they are only talking about it? Man just get on with what you intend to do.

    (1)(1)

  4. That's all our hope? "We'll try our best, hang in tight, we go see what happen in November?

    Furthermore if you were only informed about it last week and it expired in April then your priorities are wrong.

    Where is the accountability by the previous government and the foresight of the current? While prioritizing is necessary, maybe something like the health of our people should take a front seat?

    Not a yellow or red comment, an observation.

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  5. What an embarrassment! Thanks to the journalist who asked Sen Raymond the question concerning the agreement on medicine he would not have know and his response was that he would investigate. Come on guys be on top of the game the current government should KNOW EVERYTHING by now. Very sloppy not saying well for a minister in the ministry of Finance. And now you want to blame the SLP.

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  6. Useless Raymond. Minister in the ministry of madness. Let get on with it and STOP blaming the load is getting to heavy for you guys. Lets see what will happen.

    (0)(0)

  7. That should come as no surprise to us that morons taxed medicine. After all, post election bollocks shows that introduction to economic textbook thinking is what pointed to this approach. Somebody said in similar language, if you want revenue you tax. Ignorance of economic policy had never been raised to a higher level ever in this country, as if led by mechanical dummies. En rouge.

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  8. I am glad he came out before pip came to say they already impose duty on medication. Kenny never cared about St Lucians. He just wanted authority and money!!

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  9. Gardem politics as usual. Renew the dann thing and lets move on. Health is veey important but so are other issues beyond health, like jobs which we need so badly.
    So unless out government can begin accomplish beyond what Kenny did, we will remain in the same rotten hole.

    (14)(26)

    • DON'T YOU GUYS CARE ABOUT THE POOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE TO EXTRA FOR MEDICINE FOR AT LEAST 2 MONTHS, OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER SINCE COTED WILL BE MEETING IN NOVEMBER? ALL THIS COULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED BY A PM WHO CLAIMED THAT HE LOVED THE POOR? HYPOCRITE!

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    • I guess the 25+ idiots who disliked my comments dont need jobs. Thank god i dont follow blindly. Just because we support a particulat party does not mean that we have to behave as idiots when it is very glaring that the statement by Ubaldus was just politics as usual.

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  10. not a surprise. wait for pip and slp to blame the uwp. Kenny ignored a lot things that would have helped the people

    (39)(29)

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