No VAT increase

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Prime Minister Dr. Kenny D. Anthony

Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dr. Kenny D. Anthony has demolished rumours that the Valued Added Tax (VAT) will be increased.

Speaking during the budget debate last Thursday, Dr. Anthony said: “I want to make it clear, contrary to rumours be circulated, that the government of Saint Lucia has no intention to increase VAT beyond the 15 percent.”

Rumours have been rife for weeks that government will announce an increase in VAT during the presentation of the budget.

VAT is expected to generate $256 million in revenue for this fiscal year, the prime minister said.

In December, government revealed that it collected $25.14 million from VAT for the first month of operation: Inland Revenue Department collected EC$10.06 million and Customs Department collected EC$15.08 million.

Introduced on Oct. 1, 2012, VAT replaced several taxes such as consumption tax, hotel accommodation tax, environmental protection levy, cellular tax and motor vehicle rental fee.

St. Lucia was the last country in the eastern Caribbean community to introduce VAT.

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