PM dubs UWP’s VAT proposal “opportunistic and bizarre”

By SNO Staff

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Dr. Kenny Anthony

Dr. Kenny Anthony

The United Workers Party’s (UWP) recent campaign promise to reduce and ultimately remove the Valued Added Tax (VAT) has been met with mixed views, and is now being dubbed by Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony as an “opportunistic and bizarre” proposal, which could prove detrimental to the local economy.

The Prime Minister said while Political leader of the United Workers Party (UWP) Allen Chastanet made the announcement that VAT is “dreaded,” he told an audience at a town hall meeting on Wednesday evening that “VAT is the best and most effective tax in the world. No argument”.

Dr. Anthony is therefore questioning Chastanet’s position on the issue, stating that that speaks to the inconsistencies in his statements.

He said in 2015/2016, Saint Lucia earned $346.37 million dollars from VAT. This revenue pays: nurses, doctors, teachers, police officers, civil servants, and repays debt. For every 1 percent reduction in VAT Revenue, the country loses $7.0 million dollars.

“The question then is this: what are the new “creative” measures, what are the new taxes that Allen Chastanet plans to impose on the people of Saint Lucia to make up for this staggering loss of $ 346.37 million dollars in revenue?’ he questioned.

Dr. Anthony recalled that in 2007, former Prime Minister Sir John Compton announced in his only Budget address before his death that his Government will introduce VAT.  And his successor, Stephenson King, in his 2011 Budget address, reiterated Sir John’s comments promising to introduce VAT in April 2012.

The Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) leader recalled that King had prepared draft legislation and engaged civil society on the merits of VAT.

“Apparently, the wisdom of Sir John Compton in announcing the introduction of VAT in 2007, was conveyed to his successor, Hon Stephenson King, but somehow not to King’s successor as leader of the UWP, Allen Chastanet, even though he was part of the Cabinet that made those decisions,” he remarked.

Dr. Anthony said his government believes that VAT has settled reasonably well, and while it is not perfect, there will be need for adjustments from time to time. However, he opined that the number one priority should remain the creation of new jobs.

“And this will be the continuing focus of a new Labour Government. We believe that more money must be put in the pockets of Saint Lucians by reducing on the number of persons who pay personal income taxes, reducing corporate income tax to encourage even more investment, and ensuring a fair and just property tax regime,” he added.

The Prime Minister believes that Saint Lucia’s revenue base must be protected to pay for hospital care for citizens, pay teachers to educate children, provide more access to university education for our young people, and to protect the elderly, the poor and the vulnerable.

(47)(92)
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36 comments

  1. Before VAT, St Lucia 's debt to GDP was lower than it is today, there was greater spending power and so St Lucia's economic performance was more favorable than today. The lost revenue will come from the monies saved from Labour's wastage.

    (0)(0)
  2. Who feels it knows it

    TI Mike, you right sales tax is the way to go.

    (0)(0)
  3. Sorry PM i am voting to stay alive NUFF SAID

    (6)(0)
  4. Would you go to a proven quack to advise you on a medical problem with your heart condition? So, why are Saint Lucians even giving a hearing to economic quack that only knows just side of the law. Just look at the number and the cost of the blunders in contract law that this one chap and albatross has wrapped around the neck of Fair Helen.

    Frenwell, Black Bay, Grynberg and the latest international embarrassment, CIP.

    You want to see a VAT as system of taxation and not a Kleptocratic, quixotic, punitive additional system? Go to England. That is why the SLP, our very useless and Stupid Labour Party saddled the entire country with a hodge-podge of confusion that not even the local chamber of commerce understand, but this lame-brained Stupid Labour Party calls a VAT

    It is like calling the roadside grass cutters and gardeners in STEP to perform heart surgery. These Stupid Labour Party STEP geniuses can neither fix nor talk sensibly about what they do not all understand even up to this very minute.

    The car, our economy stalls because it needs a new transmission, and engine overhaul; SLP with glaringly bizarre stupidity is gleefully filling the gas tank with the equivalent of 15 Red Kool Aid political promises. How more stupid can they get? When will they reach the bottom?

    (9)(1)
  5. Its like every time this crazy old man opens his mouth it's as if he shoots his self in the foot. Kenny do your self a favor and just shut the help up all the way to election day. You have nothing to offer the people, your 15 step program is a joke

    (8)(1)
  6. So much money being collected from VAT but there was no accountability for what the money is used for up until the market steps meeting. My thing is that Kenny should address the nation every quarter or so, giving a detailed account of how much revenue was collected from VAT and what it was used for or what it will be used for.

    (8)(1)
  7. Kenny Anthony opportunistic and bizarre. He nailed it.

    (8)(1)
  8. Your unethical and morally bankrupt election tactics and the outright disregard for the people of St. Lucia by your government and other SLP hacks are disrespectful and bizarre. We will certainly give you what you all deserve at the ballot box. We voting to remove you and the rest of the volaire red mongoose gang! As for any of your supporters they should also be very concerned. If you can give them this BIG RED MARK to further the diabolical plot to attain more power, then what else are your people not capable of? If I were an SLP supporter all now so I would realise that such people as yourselves are not fit to run a country. It can only "spell" more misery and disaster for us. So any SLP supporters please do the right thing for your sake and our nation, do not engage in the quest for power at whatever cost by the SLP. We will pay dearly for this. Withhold your votes or vote them out.

    (10)(0)
  9. I have not heard from the political parties as to how they intend to address the structural deficiencies of our economy. How are we going to deal with the issue of low productivity?

    (4)(0)
  10. The labour party saying how will the teachers an other works get payed with out vat but time the uwp was in power they gave the works 14% increase u implement vat an u can't even give the works not even 5% increase .

    (7)(0)
  11. Mohammed Sacirby

    According to Chastenet "VAT is an excellent; no debate about that. But the only problem is that Kenny has put to many exempted and zero-rated items on the list".

    From these statements you can see that Chastenet's policies will have nothing for the poor and less fortunate people. The items that have been exempted and zero-rated are basic items which the poor and less fortunate people buy on a daily basis for their day to day survival. HE HAS NOT SAID IT BUT WHAT HE WANTS TO DO IS TO INTRODUCE A 4% FLAT TAX ON ALL COMMODITIES, INCLUDING WATER, ELECTRICITY, RICE AND OTHER BASIC FOOD ITEMS. THIS HAS BEEN HIS FATHER'S DESIRE.

    The other thing is his proposal to remove property tax. There is already in place an exemption of $200,000 on the value of property on which tax is to be paid. This in itself exempt all low income earners from paying property tax. The question is; Why Ti Pwen Tout wants to remove property tax? The only beneficiaries to a policy like that will be Alfiona Investments, a property management and rental company owned by the Chastenet Family and other companies and individuals who own very expensive properties.

    SLP HAS NOT BEEN PERFECT BUT WHEN YOU GO AROUND CARIBBEAN AND OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD YOU WOULD COME TO THE CONCLUSION THAT IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, ST.LUCIA HAS NOT DONE BAD AT ALL DURING THESE LAST 5 YEARS.

    (1)(11)
  12. Forget Kenny He is far from perfect. But seriously from these comments I must ask if you guys read or follow anything that goes on regionally or internationally? Saint Lucia is not isolated or in a bubble.

    (0)(3)
  13. TO ALL THOSE WHO SEE THE TRUE FAULTS IN SLP OR UWP, DON'T SIT BACK AND SAY I AM NOT VOTING CAUSE ALL ARE THE SAME...ONE MUST BE BETTER THAN THE OTHER. IT CAN BE BY 1% , IT WILL STILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE. EVERYONE WHO CAN VOTE, GO OUT AND VOTE...WE ALL HAVE A SAY. YOU AND I HAVE THE POWER TO CHOOSE WHO RUN OUR COUNTRY. COME ON...JUNE 6TH LET US ALL GO OUT TO VOTE !

    (5)(1)
  14. Kenny before the implementation of vat all what you spoke about was being paid. You remember when the King Government said they were unable to pay the Civil Servants 14% increase, you made the most noise, Give de people their money, eventually it was paid, and that was before vat. How is it now you claim that huge amount of money from vat is to pay Doctors, nurses Teachers Civil Servants etc. what happen now? are you saying that these people are earning fabulous salaries? as far as I know they are the least paid people. Are you also saying that the balance is going towards our debt? well pretty soon we will be free from debt. In any event Chastanet never gave the impression he will remove vat if his Government was elected, do not twist things around. What I understood was he would lower vat,( we all know 15% in one go was too high) until it can be removed entirely, so put that in your pipe and smoke it

    (15)(0)
  15. Today you say one thing then the next day you say something totally opposite. What manner of man are you? BIZARRE

    (2)(0)
  16. Kenny you maybe opportunistic and bizarre but one thing I can say, you can never fit into Sir. John's socks much less his shoes. You are certainly suffering from a multiple personality disorder.

    (3)(0)
  17. Well hear what is bizarre. The tourism minister of st. Lucia Lorne Theophulis calling the leAder of the opposition UWP party a faggot on a video clip.
    Is this what the labour party has to offer. A minister of tourism. Is that the character of st. Lucia's tourism minister? Was Lorne speaking also for and behalf of the labour party?

    Certainly Lorne should be careful as he is alreAdy a liability to the LABOUR party.

    (5)(0)
  18. Up to now the SLP dictator does not understand equation from equator. So VAT is way beyond that fella. No more years. No more bitter days from any S-L-P candidate. Vowels missing.

    Sweep the rubbish out 17 to NOTHING!

    (4)(0)
  19. No crushing and killing Vat. Simple sales tax instead. Easier and less cost to administer. Clear and less onerous. Good yield and picks up a wide base. No more VAT on duties and Service charges. Less complicated at the Port.

    (2)(0)
  20. E paire!!! Allen Chastanet's plan is workable. You had 15 - 15 years and messed up. Give ALLEN 5. Kenny MUST GO. ENOUGH WITH YOU.

    (5)(0)
  21. Oh boy this guy again, isn't he the same that said VAT is "Anti Poor" "Anti Worker" and made it sound so negative.
    SMH Lucian's do what you have to do and make the right choice. The writing is on the wall....

    (365)(219)
  22. The only thing ".....opportunistic and bizarre" I can see is your hypocritical
    behavior toward this nation. You will not allow an open debate in the House
    or on T.V. you will not come on public media to answer any, and the many
    burning questions the Nation need answers for, including the Juhaffi affair
    in fact you wouldn't answer any questions the public needs to know and you
    call the opposition...opportunistic and bizarre? Kenny, enough is enough, bye.

    (239)(104)
  23. So according to Kenny hotel jobs he go b dishing out and more step program how dem lapo jobs go pay bills

    (167)(34)
  24. It's also safe to assume that a billion dollars has been accumulated over kenny's tenure, why then hasn't it been filtered down into the pockets of the average citizen. Plus why is this guy always borrowing millions instead of paying back imf gradually, which was one of the main reasons for vat. We've actually gone backwards smfh.

    (237)(87)
  25. So.....
    How did we pay our civil servants before vat?
    ..

    (211)(115)
  26. KENNY SIT DOWN !! You were the one who caused detriment to the local economy.

    WHY SHOULD ANYONE LISTEN TO YOU? YOU ARE NOT A GOOD LEADER !! In fact you are the worst minister of Finance ever !! I Wonder if you have an economic advisor. You make dumb decisions for the country, you borrow and spend money with NO RETURNS, MY GOD THE LIST GOES ON...

    YOUR FAILURES OVER SHADOW YOUR QUALIFICATIONS. (I don't rate you as a doctor.) YOU CAN'T CURE OR FIX ANYTHING !!

    As a young man I can never look up to you. You policies are STUPID ! AND UN PROGRESSIVE !!

    All these suicides under your leadership, stores and business places closing down, health care is a mess. But to be fair crime was already in a deplorable state when you came in. But you did nothing to curb it.

    SO WHY SHOULD WE VOTE FOR YOU, WHEN UNDER YOUR LEADERSHIP LUCIANS ARE CRYING OUT FOR HELP?

    It's a no brainier you need to go THESE ARE YOUR LAST DAYS !!

    (430)(154)
    • James the Real, do you just log off and log on all day, on news news online and vote for your own comment, by liking your own comment all day Lol! ( when we see a comment with so many unrealistic "likes" 400 (plus likes) it looks rather strange!

      (2)(52)
  27. Your disrespect, silence, unaccountability and passing in our eyes Dr. Anthony is what is opportunistic and bizarre.

    (217)(78)

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