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PRIME MINISTER: VAT on utilities can help, but economy is too fragile

Office of Prime Minister

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PM Anthony.

PRESS RELEASE – Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Dr. Kenny D. Anthony said the option to cure the deficit by raising more revenue by imposing VAT on electricity and water would place undue burden on the poor and vulnerable at this time.

In an Interview with HTS News Force on Thursday, May 8, 2014, the prime minister said the government can raise additional revenue by implementing VAT on utilities. However, Dr. Anthony insists the economic conditions do not encourage such a move.

“There are a lot people who argue that the problem could be resolved by introducing VAT on the consumption of water and electricity. Let’s face it there are countries in the region where citizens pay VAT on water and electricity but there are some realities we have to contend with. If the government had to introduce VAT on utilities, we would raise about $31.5 million annually, easily, on electricity alone. If you were to add VAT on water then it would be much higher. Clearly, if you can collect $36 million in one year, then you would go a long way to resolving your problem,” Anthony said.

Notwithstanding, Prime Minister Anthony stressed that in its manifesto, the SLP indicated that it will consider VAT on utilities only when proper regulatory mechanisms are in place. There is no proper regulatory mechanism in place at this time.

Further, Dr. Anthony said the impact of such a move on the poor and vulnerable will be very significant. While the commercial sector is a heavy consumer of electricity, if VAT is imposed on electricity, they will be entitled to claim the input VAT thereby lessening the impact. This is not the same for the domestic consumers.

“It is an option that some persons have put on the table. They have said, “Instead of reducing salaries of public officers to deal with the problem of excessive expenditure, why don’t you introduce VAT on electricity and water to increase revenue?” My response is simple. I think this economy is too fragile and as I have said before, I really do believe we need to make a strong effort to protect the poor and vulnerable as much as possible. I would like to think that it will only be in the very, very, last resort that we would turn to such an option.

Such a move would dampen demand for goods and services and reduce even further, disposable income. I do not think right now this is the way to go. We have to make other sacrifices to deal with this problem,” he explained.

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51 comments

  1. I am sure all of them were seating in VIP this past Sunday enjoy Jazz at the expense of a “struggling country”.

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  2. Kennyhood: Take, Take, Take from the Poor to give to the Rich.

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  3. I would love for the UWP to win the Next General Elections, so that we would see truck loads of cash, our national debt mysteriously vanish in thin air-in one day, VAT removed, best health care in the region, everyone well fed, the public service gets a 45% pay raise, crime is reduced to a bare minimum and everything is wayyyyyyyyy better.

    Let's see if this can work. 🙂

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  4. Saint Lucia I belong

    Cant believe we still talking politics like we never learn awa e.

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  5. ... and the hypocritical expression on his face is so stale and transparent. FAKE

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  6. Why dont the prime minister cut his salery by half and the salaries of those ill ministers he have in the hous. Mr pm chairty begins at hom. You doc are running Helen to hell and back. you think you have all the right answers to all the problems that you have created with all your lies. Put our island where we once was without crimes and joblessness you dam moran

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  7. All that talk about Kenny & vat. Remember if UWP had regain power the vat have been implented from April. St lucians behave youll selves. When youll come to Americia youll paying vat nothing for that. St lucians r to happyR

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  8. That VAT on utilities is a setup. Trying to turn the ordinary citizens against public servants who more than likely will object to the 5% cut.Politicians are sooo transparent. So the 14.5% that King gave to public servants was tipping point for all this economic hardship but you were the one saying King should bite the bullet and give the workers their 14.5%. I swear Im sick of politicians in St. Lucia

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    • When civil servants rejects the cut he will apply the VAT on utilities, which he always wanted to do and will blame it on the civil servants.Still have VAT on medicine and no VAT on medicines for dogs and other animals. I am guessing that the bouzwars that are the one buying medicines for their dogs and the malaways dying of diabetes because they cannot buy medicines.

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  9. Our ELECTRICITY bills are already too high as they are now to put a 15% Tax on them. Where does it end? The 15% comes from our salary.

    Sorry Mr. Prime Minister but if you and your Cabinet put VAT on LUCELEC bills this will be the end of you all Administration.

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  10. Why don't you start with restructuring your top heavy ministries etc.. a consultant for this and that...mayors? SLU has mayors?...what the heck? So many assistant this and that...overpaidddddddddddddddddddddddddd for no reason. Why is it that the masses have to pay for the poor divisions made? Invest in your human capital for crying out loud! Think long term...

    PS what's the point of mentioning something... then saying it's a bad idea given our economy...then say only if certain measures are in place it may be implemented/considered...

    S E R I O U S L Y???

    Yall know it's gonna happen..... the quick fix to poor decision-making... while the rich folks feel nothing and the regular suffer...

    SIGH!

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  11. You'll lucians are idiots. Take what you'll get and shut up. You morons voted him in. Any person who says he will encourage investors to turn their back on HIS country just to give him political mileage should be tried for treason.

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  12. Its a bloody shame that the PM is talking about VAT on utilities when majority are struggling to pay such. Did anyone notice how precise and exact he was with the figures? "$31.5 million on electricity alone...". Yep, he considered it and will likely do it before his term ends...unless Lucians no matter UWP, SLP, LPM, PLP, tout P take to the streets to oust him. A failure yesterday remains a failure tomorrow until he sees, accepts and corrects his problem. Kenny problem is that he thinks he is the only smart person in SLU, the Caribbean and the world. Chou Lucians pwee e sam!

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  13. and please in all haste were are to move away from enlgand , please , think before we tell them we will no longer need the privy council, i say wait until they force to the ccj ,

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  14. wha Kenny, i dont know what tell you, but i guess you regretting whilst in opposition you saying that you will deter investors from investing in St. Lucia, smfh.... Honestly UWP & SLP different parties but both full of DOODOO............

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  15. Kenny, take you new mandate (of failure)to the people in a General Election and see what happens. You could not do what you promised, the Blueprint for Growth has been abandoned, including the vision articulated therein. As such, you own it to the people of St Lucia to admit you failure and let them decide, through an early poll, whether or not you're the man for the job. For once in your life, do something honourable.

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  16. In Town Too long

    Which one do you all love more? St. Lucia, or Ro-ro! As Dame Pearlette has said, we need to decide whether to join hands together to prevent the ship of state from going down, or to continue with this internecine strife, whilst we all go to the bottom of the ocean !!

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    • In Town Too long

      Should have read: Which one do you all love more? ST. Lucia, or Ro-ro?

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    • Jack..., the PM is the one who gave the robot Queen substitute, you call the GG to read what she said. It did not come from her own brains as Pip wants us to believe. Everbody is a lying machine these days. The GG is a creature of the PM. If she refuses to read what the PM writes, he simply gets another robot to read the other parts of his crinkled ideas by the next budget, if he lasts this long.

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    • We can join hand 100 fold and the ship will go down with Kenny at the wheels. His record is not goods.

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  17. Are those the people we Elected to channel a course and have a vision for us and this country?

    Once again we see how our asses are being handed to us, because we were duped in thinking that our problems would be dealt and or resolved.

    See, those are just ordinary people with nothing to bring to the table than their empty asses, no track record of business achievements than just a piece of paper called a Manifesto.
    Hence when its election time, you cannot find anyone of them able to discuss real issues than throwing insults at each other. This is our embarrassing political climate. After 35 years they have not matured. But babies birthed in this era have matured far beyond them.

    They are trying to destroy our sovereignty by engaging in Economic citizenship and it appears that they are going ahead unchallenged without having a town hall meeting on this important matter.

    This country will be a Failed State soon.
    And Kenny, i hope you're prosecuted after the dust has settled.

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    • @AB!!!Look who's talking now? Are you not ashamed of yourself Enrouge mouthpiece. Couple month ago you disrespected any and everyone who take a stand against Kenny and now your butter has dwindle you shooting go hide your face give us all a friggin break from your political BS sackway sa hout.

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      • What are you talking about?
        I have told you repeatedly, that have NO affiliation with/to any party, but policies.
        I vote based on policies.

        Only a jack...would remain in a state of comatose due to genetic modifications perhaps got trickled down in the homes.
        And we are very aware, many of the homes are supporters of the same party.

        I defend the cause if it's right.
        I do not defend filth.

        "D C," you are part of the problem, because you can't seem to pass on from being a party hack. But an intelligent individual with the ability to make their own decisions without anyone's influence.

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  18. That's Me Alright

    Is he Kenny for real. Ohooohhh...You are in troubleeeeee.

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  19. VAT un chou moun. While the boys smile and move on like nothing happened. Go block your hole with $5.

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  20. VAT un cor tout moun, just now is VAT on the oxygen you breathe and VAT on your carbon dioxide emissions from breathing out.

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  21. It is not like Dr Anthony only just found out about the economic situation that St Lucia is in, he knew about it a loooooong time ago, yet he proceeded to place undue stress on the economy just to get political mileage. Was this STEP, NICE, HOPE, POPE, BEAUTIFUL, SMILES or whatever other programmes that he put in place necessary? They placed severe strain on the government coffers, just for you to gain political points. I have no issues with the 5% decrease, but those POLITICIANS need to show the public that they are serious about this, by cutting their own allowances. Why the heck do they need all these allowances, and now they want to squeeze the people at the bottom of the ladder. Tanto tanto Kenny!

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    • There is no gad damn fairness at all in what this idiot government is proposing. What an insult! And the jack... unions are there bowing at useless meetings saying 'I'm no worthy'. If mate say he cutting, and you can do nothing about that but to take it, why even bother to go those blasted meetings. Do you need a kick in the pants too, to get your brains straightened out?

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  22. Ahhh Kenny... Keep digging your hole, people are starting to wisen up to your trickery! You talk about collecting $36 million by collecting VAT on utilities... What about the over $50 Million owed to the Saint Lucian people from hoteliers who are given tax incentives, and owing back taxes for over 15 YEARS???? What about the money the Saint Lucian people are paying to lawyers for this Greenberg affair?

    Until you step up to the people and admit your mistakes, and faults - and VALID solutions that WORK - you'll be outta there in no time. Pity it's the people who will end up paying when you leave...

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  23. What a bland psychology! The Prime Minister must do better than that and stop trying to scare people. Most people here and abroad have by now realized that the government we elected on so much promises is nothing than a big braggart. They are a bunch of very lazy men and women who are so inefficient and inept in managing our country.

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    • Sadly I think the majority will fall for it whether because of sheer stupidity, fear, or partisan tribalism.

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  24. Sometimes I wonder if some of us understand what we read.

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  25. BEFORE YOU CAME IN YOUR SALES MANAGER AND YOURSELF DID NOT SEE IT FRAGILE.YOU SAW IT AND PROMISE BETTER DAYS AND NOW YOU CRYING FOUL.DELIVER CAUSE YOU MAKE IT WORSERRA.....

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  26. Stupid Saint Lucians voted and put stupid politicians in power, and now, stupidity is spreading like wild fire. There is no excuse for being stupid, and I will not forgive those who put this stupid government in power.

    Kenny wants to stop borrowing, all at once. How do you do this without a cushion to soften the blow? And is out debt not part of his doing in the past? Is this how he seeks redemption? Does screw-up pay for screw-up?These politicians constantly screw-up and then make the populace pay for their stupidity.

    Say no to stupidity, it often kills the little man.

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    • ...but remember that borrowing will have repercussions down the road. Most Caribbean countries are in similar situations. We just have to tie our waists and make sacrifices so we can reap the benefits down the road. There was a report which said that most Caribbean people live beyond their means.

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      • When we have such a litany of financial rot with this man? When will it end? He doh one friggin ting about what he is dong. Dat is so plain to see. Where is the silver lining? If only he retires from politics. The Lord knows that he has done too uch foolishness already. I am sick. You are sick. The whole country is sick of him. Kenny do like Compton. Give us a break. Leave. We are tired of you. Go away! You are a millstone around our necks.

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  27. KENNY YOU TOO DAMN LIE THAT WAS YOUR ORIGINAL PLAN.CITIZENS WE NEED TO TAKE TO THE STREETS AND PROTEST."BETTER DAYS".KENNY COULD HAVE THOUGHT OF A BETTER SOLUTIONS LIKE FIRING THE USELESS CONSULTANTS.SHITT MAN.

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  28. Kenny is using the ply of the poor to protect the rich. VAT on utilities can be implemented, it can be done in such a way the vat is paid only on consumption over a set limit. The poor doesn't have air conditioned houses and large electrical appliances that consume alot of power or big swimming pools. The rich would be paying the vat on the utilities.

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  29. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3B2KIillzY

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  30. Who are these "alot of people" who are saying this Mr. PM? Is that your way of saying that you considered this option very seriously and walked away from it, however briefly, because you thought about the political ramifications to your posterity and reputation, politically and otherwise? You will go down in history, no mater how hard you try, as the PM who bankrupted this country and threw it back to under-developed status/ or worse, a failed state. Thanks for the better days and years ahead.

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  31. Saint Lucians will never learn. Youll were warned about Kenny Anthony. That man is no good for Saint Lucia. We went from the frying pan and now we go lay straight in the fire. He should really put the taxation so youll will know the kinda devil youll dealing with. People vote this man out next elections or we are doomed. Look around you ..nothing positive is running in saint lucia. Just talk talk talk and more useless talk and threats on the little money we saint lucians hustle to earn every month.

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    • So the UWP will wave their Magic wand and we will all have smiling faces.
      The stupidity that goes in your minds needs further examination.

      Tell us how the UWP would be any different.
      Tell us what do they have planned for anything.
      Because for sure, if the UWP loved you so much, don't you think by now, they would have given a solution to this financial crisis?

      Well, Guy Joseph has big-up (financially,) all his "collie" cousins and brethren.
      So they are smiling-teeth white and yours all yellow.

      So, what's up?

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  32. You spend money on all kind of opportunity for ur political friends and is me that have to pay now. I only get a salary for entertainment, traveling etc. remove all the allowances on the ministers, PS dps etc all those u giving allowances with a high salary. Most civil servants (those with the lowest salary )gets no allowances.

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  33. Smh. This is exactly what I expected. His way of flexing his muscle. While I understand the need to cut the deficit I think all of these solutions are temporary and they all have such great ramifications that could plummet SLU even further into recession. Tell me to band my belly, no problem. But if you can't show me why I need to and how u plan on getting me food in the next couple of years then trust me Starsky, we have major issues.

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  34. The problem is you, you cannot manage, u waste money on step, hope etc with no returns, u had a budget in 2012, u had one in 1013 1.3 billion,now in 2014 u cannot balance what u have, so who has the problem? when politicians like you lie to scare people this is what happens karma is a bitch son, u boasted better days jobs jobs where are they?.

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  35. He is coming with that same stunt again threatening to put vat on water and electricity. Kenny are you forgetting that you have put a 60% increase on water a 300% increase than that of the vat rate? Your stunts will not work anymore and if that is your idea of better days then wait till the next polls. #epicfailure

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    • Lucians have a short memory....

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    • Why is he responding only to the VAT of utilities suggestion and not doing the same about the high paying consultants, ambassadors.
      PS,s etc. Why not say he will resign after lying to ppl about better days? fooling us about 100000000 $, about ALBA funds was like a saviour will propel us to growth. WE NEED to respond like Martinique if KENNY ASS antony implement any of his slavery policies. WAR

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    • Why wait till the next elections? Is it so we can voice our opinions quietly and passive aggressively so that no one sees us and can attach our actions to us? Lucians need to discover their voice and I don't mean just in the ballot box. We can't keep doing this where we keep obvious failure in office for 5 years while we wait for the polls to open for us to make the change.

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