PRESS RELEASE – The Government of Saint Lucia will continue to review the tax regime of the country with a particular concentration on the Value Added Tax (VAT).
A review will be ongoing in order to ensure the formulation of a most effective tax structure for the island’s economic and fiscal viability.
This commitment was given to the citizenry by Minister in the Ministry of Finance Senator Dr. Ubaldus Raymond during Tuesday’s session of the Senate.
The Finance Minister indicated that the reduction in the standard rate of the Value Added Tax (VAT) from 15 to 12.5 percent effective February 1, 2017 is part of Governmental engagements on improving the island’s tax regime.
When he addressed the Senate on Wednesday, November 15, Dr.Raymond said: “While VAT can be useful, if not properly structured it can pose disaster and is posing disaster in this country.”
Senator Raymond indicated that government inherited a badly ailing economy which was almost three billion dollars in debt. He said quick but wise action was imperative.
“We needed some emergency measures and that is why we have implemented ‘Five to Stay Alive’ to resuscitate and to stop the haemorrhaging of the economy”.
The Finance Minister made reference to the fact that many low income households and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have been severely impacted by the 15 percent Value Added Tax because their spending power was greatly diminished as a result of harsh taxation.