Today is VAT’s birthday: UWP wants report from government

SNO

Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony

Today marks one year since the imposition of the Value Added Tax (VAT) and the main opposition United Workers Party (UWP) has called on the government to provide the nation with what it calls a “report card” on its implementation.

In a press statement, the UWP said now is a “timely and critical juncture” for Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dr. Kenny Anthony to report to the nation on the effects of the VAT.

The UWP, according to the press release, wants the government to tell us “Revenue generated from VAT over the past year? How has that revenue being utilized to benefit the citizenry? Effects of the 1.5 percent increase on the hospitality sector, ref. 2013-2014 Budget? Has VAT had a positive impact on investments and the manufacturing sector? How is the revenue from VAT being used to reduce the spiraling unemployment problem which in manifested by an increase of 3 percent in 2012 over 2011?”

The Party is also calling on the government to remove VAT on medication and reduce the VAT rate from 15 percent “to enable greater disposable income and to stimulate economic activities”.

“Government is called upon to address repeated calls by the Saint Lucia Manufacturing Association for adjustment in the collection of VAT charges to a post production regime,” the Party said.

“It is our hope that the government of Saint Lucia will use this juncture one year after the imposition of the Value Added Tax to reflect on the negative impacts and to initiate a process to effect the necessary positive adjustments,” it added.

 

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18 comments

  1. Higher Power needed

    As a small country with less than 500,000 people , St. Lucia seems to be struggling a lot. The government make it seem as if there is never any hope. In addition, the 15% tax is just ridiculous. Not even Canadians, nor Americans have 15% tax, and these countries are a million times the size of St. Lucia. So what does that say ? It says that the person who came up with this policy is a jackass and wants people to suffer and die! And when the people of St. Lucia hear policies like this going into effect, they should all take the day off and strike for their rights, and stop electing the same people who have no aim but to make the country worst.

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  3. VAT was a necessity, it was inevitable, but the rate was too high in the middle of a worldwide recession.

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  5. Let me take this opportunity to wish VAT a happy birthday and say a hearty thank you for screwing up the economy of Saint Lucia. Let me also take this opportunity to say a hearty thank you to the Saint Lucia Labour Party, for giving birth to such a destructive policy. Blue print for grow me say.

    PS: Can't Wait for the next election cycle to undo the wrong that i did. Once again Happy Birthday VATO.

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  7. You are right L that we cannot continue to borrow like mad fowls but i think you should juggle your memory a little and remember where our Debt Service Ratio started spiralling. It was during Dr. Anthony's second term. He never once mentioned himself as one of the leaders to be blamed for the poor financial situation that the country found itself, Remember? If we also take a look at the amount that his Adminstration has borrowed in just 2 years in office vis a vis the UWP's 5 in office, isn't that marvellous? The Labour party has not had to deal with the death of a leader, neither a great drought, nor a Tomas. Not even this great financial crunch was felt under the UWP. Today, when most nations are posting recovering figures we are now saying that there IS a great fiancial crisis. Dr Anthony never mentioned once that there was a great financial crisis at any time during his tenure in opposition. Isnt all that very hypocritical as a leader? Will go down as the worst of all time?

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    • The United Workers Party under Stephenson King, have had to deal with the worst of situations in recent times. I must applaud Hon King for his stewardship.

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  9. Everybody knew that VAT would have destroyed our economy. VAT was implemented while income tax remained on the populace. We knew that it would not work but the Labour Party thought that they could squeeze enough blood to finance their buddies in STEP, NICE and the various consultancies form the collection of it. This VAT and funds from Taiwan have all remained in the consolidated fund for use in those failed programs. I had avocated to sending those STEP workers on the farms to help in real production and real growth. How does the country benefit by cutting grass? But then again will Dr Anthony take any advice from anyone? I guess we know the answer because all this were election promises he made to the Labour faithful. Would he listen to reason while the whole country gets shot several times over in the foot spilling our blood in freshly cut grass? The Airport Tax was an illegal tax according to the great Dr. where are those funds? To what use was it put?

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    • VAT is not about SLP or UWP. If you recall there was a VAT implementation office prior to elections of November, 2011. Had UWP won, whether it would have been 10 percent, the point remains that it would be inevitable to implement it. What would happen to the VAT office all that time if they would not implement VAT?

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  11. Good piont Lucieno but whose job it it to bring that direct foreign investments? Wait, let me guess you will blame the investors for not coming. Why is it the UWP to sdvise or engage the government on ways to reduce the deficit? The SLP should go back to it failed manifesto because it is alright to bluff yor way into a position only to realzie that the solutions lye beyond you. Remember that slogan "Dont Blame Me I Voted Labour? It just shows how arrogant this part is with no real ideas at fixing this. They are an opposition party and they should remain there

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    • Yeah beyond any doubt there resonates some arrogance in the camp of the Labour party, with a lot of failed policie such as the 100 million in the economy for jobs. I mean am gratefulfor STEP and NICE but this in my opinion are not jobs and having project here and there still aren't jobs. We need long term sustainable employment for our people. More assistance to farmers, more factories through innovation and better care for hotel workers with good wages.

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  13. One question i have to ask Dr Anthony how much money have they collected from V.A.T after a year

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  15. I do not expect to get a report from the Government on what has been done with the revenue collected from VAT. Business as usual, Better Days for Our Boys and Gyals and forget those who elected us.

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    • the same way we will never know how much the customs bring into the country, millions of dollars a month and nobody has ever asked the question where does it go? vat has nothing on the revenue generated by the customs department

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  17. We have had a deficit for the longest while and the UWP should know that very well. Isn't it strange that no one seems to care that the government is spending more than it is earning? With that being said the government cannot really do much in creating more employment unless there is foreign direct investment into the country. This is the only way there can be more jobs. The advent of such fiscal challenges one must be extra careful not to be borrowing to pay recurrent expenditure. Not for once has the UWP engaged the government on ways to reduce the deficit. Nor does the media speak about it and the effects it has on the coffers of the government. This issue has nothing to do with insults and name calling and therefore it is on the back burner. If we keep on borrowing like mad fouls the future generations will have to pay for the debt that we so carelessly acquired.

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    • Good point. But if borrowing is such a concern why dont we have a non political debate on the sustainability of borrowing to finance the STEP program. These are millions of dollars being added to the debt of Saint Lucia with what real benefits.

      Have we conducted a study to see the effects of the salaries paid out to STEP workers versus investing this money in another area of the economy such as Healthcare or Education. Now that is a debate worth having.

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