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Gov’t press secretary responds to barrel VAT refund issue

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Jadia Jn Pierre. Photo credit: stlucia.gov.lc.

Press Secretary to the Prime Minister Jadia Jn Pierre-Emmanuel has responded to the United Workers Party’s call for confirmation as to whether a proposed refund of Value Added Tax (VAT) to individuals who imported barrels under the concessionary period has been made.

The concessionary period which ran from December 1, 2013 to February 15, 2014, allowed persons to import barrels without having to pay VAT.

But in what was described as an “error”, some individuals who imported the barrels during the concessionary period were charged VAT. Consequently, the prime minister had promised a refund.

The UWP, in a press release, said it has not seen any information on the press secretary’s Facebook page, nor any of the social media outlets, which are managed by the press secretary to prove her claim that the country was informed that a refund was to be made.

But Jn Pierre-Emmanuel, speaking to HLN News, accused UWP’s Member of Parliament Guy Joseph of using the issue as a political ploy.

“Guy Joseph always awaits an opportunity to grand stand and to use the plight of the people as a political tool, and this is wrong because when he received the information from the individual that suggested that they were charged what he should have done was to call the minister for finance … and indicate that a constituent had said that we have an issue and that we are being charged a tax that we should not be charged. From then, the prime minister of course, would have taken the same action that he took during the house of assembly meeting. He would have called the comptroller of customs and asked why is that people are being charged when they should not have been charged And what would have happened is that the corrective action would have happened back then,” Jn. Pierre-Emmanuel stated.

She said that the prime minister took swift action as soon as he had found out about the error.

“When the prime minister called the customs department and realized that they were doing using the old SI which is what officially went to the House of Assembly, he indicated this is incorrect. The House agreed that it should be February 15. He also said to the comptroller of customs who he spoke to at the time…[that] the individuals who were charged for the taxes should be refunded because there is the authorisation … that is they should not pay the taxes,” she said.

The press secretary said that these matters were dealt with on February 12.

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13 comments

  1. SLP singing their bobolis songs again. They all sound the same whether is be jadia, leo clarke... they will sound the same so don't mistake that for intelligence. It's their creative way of wiggling their way out when they are cornered by the UWP snake hunters!!

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  2. I fail to see the intelligence you speak of.She earns her living through politics and she is so naive so as not to realise that politians exist to engage the political system to identify flaws,un-truths,lies,and double standards in the opposing party's operations and then expose them.
    She spoke about the use of the issue as a political tool.When Kenny promised to pump 100 million dollars into the economy immediately upon getting into office,wasn't he using this promise as a political tool to get back into office?OH yes he was.The worst part of this promise was the fact that he knew he did not have that money to pump into the economy and yet still he said it over and over.
    Accept the fact that kenny got caught lying again to the people.Making promises he had no intention of keeping.
    Get over it,trying to defend un-acceptable behavior make you look simple minded and quite frankly un-intelligent.

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  3. She is singing for her dinner, just like guy joseph. Lets put the people business at heart and stop fighting each other. We the people loose respect for you'll political hacks appointed of elected. Stop that fighting .... We the people hungry, we need jobs to feed our family. You'll making 7Gs plus and you'll still fighting when you'll should be help planning on making life better for us.

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  4. Tell The Whole Truth

    I think the government and Jadia is upset with Guy Joseph because he burst their bubble. Though it was agreed in Parliament, they never informed Customs about the change because, as she said, the government has no money.

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  5. Tell The Whole Truth

    Lies Lies and more lies. Making a big issue over nothing. 4 refund forms at .40c each and it might take a year to get that little money. Government never wanted to give the extension in the first place. The Barrel trade started 2 weeks later and ended 2 weeks earlier. Apparently customs never got the amended information until the public made noise.Why didn't they take out the import duty also?

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  6. Funny that she would accuse Guy of "Grand standing" when her along with Phillip Jn Pierre have been doing the same thing on Facebook and via news conference with "De Brothers" issue. St. Lucian politicians are so transparent and fake. Two of a kind!! UWP and SLP

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  7. sorry feb 15th.

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  8. im a st lucia living in the virgin islands wanted to sent my barrels home on consession , I make it my business and call the controller of customs my self and he informed me that consession expired on jan 31st.i reach as far as inform him dat I saw on st lucia news online dat it expired on Feb 15th and he said no and guess what my barrel is still at the corner of my house in the virgin islands due to custom and government of st lucia lack of comuication with each other shame on st lucia.

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    • Tell The Whole Truth

      Customs knew nothing. It is not the full concession anyway. It was just the 15% VAT. The import duty and service charge is still payable.The only info Customs had was to end the 31st January.

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    • Ya'll like too much freeness

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  9. Intelligent young woman.
    Have you considered cloning?

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    • Indeed, very intelligent and articulate young woman. These are the well- oiled machineries the UWP has to contend with. Others, particularly Leo Clark, 'ain't' even join the fray - yet!

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