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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.