Opposition leader writes prime minister requesting removal of Value Added Tax on medication

11
Opposition leader writes prime minister requesting removal of Value Added Tax on medication
Stephenson King
Opposition Leader Stephenson King

Leader of the Opposition Stephenson King, out of concern for the deteriorating health of the nation, has written to Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony, concerning the long-standing issue of Value Added Tax (VAT) on medication.

In a letter dated April 12, 2013, King brought to the attention of the prime minister the number of citizens who complain on an almost weekly basis, about their inability to purchase their medication in a timely manner due to the additional burden brought on by the tax.

King further stated that Saint Lucians are experiencing a period of “double-suffering” by first experiencing the pain of their various ailments and then second, experiencing the difficulty and stress that comes with being unable to meet the exorbitant costs of their medicines.

The leader of the opposition, in his letter, called on Dr. Kenny Anthony, in his capacity as prime minister and minister for finance, to consider the plight of the people of Saint Lucia and remove the Value Added Tax on medication in the new financial year. King assured Dr. Anthony that any proposal to repeal the VAT on medication in the upcoming budget presentation will receive the full support of the opposition.

King believes that the general public now realizes that medication has gotten more expensive, not because of a situation of new stock versus old stock, but is due rather to the fact that the Value Added Tax was a replacement to the ‘Consumption Tax’, which ranged from 0 to 10 percent prior to the 15 percent VAT implementation.

In addition ‘import duties’ on medication also increased by five percent, and in some cases as much as 10 percent due to the implementation of the Harmonized System (2007) preceding the VAT implementation of October 1, 2012.

To put it simply: citizens are unfortunately experiencing an increase in the cost of their medication because of a combination of these two factors:

(i) The taxes that VAT was set to replace were actually lower than the VAT itself, in some instances as much as five percent lower. And
(ii) The increase in the import duties on medication just prior to the implementation of VAT, naturally resulted in an increase.

“The prime minister, if fully aware of these facts, must give consideration to the cries of the people. Dr. Anthony must show the nation that his administration is a government that cares, a government that wants a healthy workforce in order to remain attractive in the eyes of investors, a government that is looking out for the ‘Malay-way’,” King said.

 

(0)(0)

No posts to display

11 COMMENTS

  1. Typical labour supporters, just as short sighted, arrogant and ignorant as the party they support. This has nothing to do with playin politics or being flambeau. It's about looking after the people of OUR country. Whether you flambeau or labour it shoudn't matter! At the end of the day we are a family. It's about time we stop connecting everything to politics and as a people take a stand against these criminals that hold the power instead of fighting with each other over people who hardly give a sh*t about us! And then wonder why the rest of the world will say we are small minded people. I feel sorry for my country, honest to God.

    (0)(0)

  2. If the government removes VAT on medication then Vat will have to be put on something else the public will not want either.The problem is St.Lucia introduced VAT too late which looks harsh at the time when there is an economic problem world wide .When other countries were introducing VAT long before St.Lucians at that time were enjoying a VAT free economy.One question i would ask the opposition leader is if there wasn't a world economic crisis would he have introduced VAT and if YES on what commodity if NO what other ways would he try to generate revenue for the country and to pay off their huge DEBT.

    (0)(0)

  3. It was totally wrong to include VAT on medication, but then again, the government must have hoped that more people would die quickly (since they wouldn't be able to afford medication) which is good for the economy...less people to worry about and the unemployment rate would go down. They sure are 'better days' when you're six feet under or cremated...no more pain.

    (0)(0)

  4. I think it time we St Lucia make it non to this son off a slave master that we are no longer slave and that we should be treated better. I don't have a problem with vat but vat on medication and I even hear talk about vat on pensioners come on now, I don't know how true that is but if so we really have to think of what kind of man we have as our PM

    (0)(0)

  5. The real question King is whether the Prime Minister cares...!?! Its ironic its Phillip Pierre who always says "Those who feel it know it!" Thats exactly why society has been complaining, because we feel it when buying our medicine for our grandparents - so we know it!

    (0)(0)

  6. I think there should with urgency a protest march against the GOVERMENT for the removal of VAT on medication. To many people are dying out of lack of medication due to VAT making them non compliant.

    (0)(0)

    • How hypocritical. We are suddenly going to march because King playing politics by writing to Kenny? Shame on you all flambeaus.You'll dead party have nothing to offer the country.

      (0)(0)

    • If KING is playing politics because he wrote the PM a letter on behalf of his residents who probably complaining to him (if you didnt see it: " the number of citizens who complain on an almost weekly basis, about their inability to purchase their medication in a timely manner ")
      Then I guess Dr Stephen King, independant senator, appointed by PM Kenny & has no Party was also playing politics because he too said he would like to see VAT removed on Medicines. And he said so in the House of Assembly. I saw it myself. You all Lucians are just too much! Every issue that affects people, once they choose to speak up, they playing politics. Or they against the Govt.
      You clearly have not had to purchase medication for an ailing relative who could barely afford it before the VAT so farless for now. People are dying for Helen sake!!! SMH in disgust!

      (0)(0)

      • Cut it out!! No one is saying that VAT on medication is not hurting the poor. What some of us don't understand is the pretence from King that he cares more about the poor than any one else. When this man was in power there was a lot of things that he did not give a darn about. It's just strange that out of power the same man who would not speak to the media have so much to say.

        (0)(0)

Comments are closed.