“UWP actively reviewing tax structure” – Opposition Leader; says VAT implementation was bad timing

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“UWP actively reviewing tax structure” – Opposition Leader; says VAT implementation was bad timing
Opposition Leader Dr. Gale Rigobert
Opposition Leader Dr. Gale Rigobert

The United Workers Party (UWP) is actively engaged in reviewing the current tax system on the island with the aim of finding a suitable system by which the party could implement if elected to government.

Opposition Leader Dr. Gale Rigobert told St. Lucia News Online (SNO) today, July 31 that the party was very clear on its position when it said Value Added Tax (VAT) will only be implemented on the basis of whether the economy could absorb it.

“The UWP is currently reviewing the tax structure to ascertain which tax arrangement is best for the people and the government. It will generate revenue, but we don’t want to impoverish our people and further contract the economy,” the opposition leader explained.

Dr. Rigobert asserted that the UWP has always said that even if VAT is introduced, it must be done at a rate suitable to the economy and should take into consideration citizens’ spending power.

The UWP official believes that the downside of VAT has near-crippled the economy.

“A 15 per cent VAT rate, we have seen in part, has resulted in a contraction of the economy, increasing prices of goods and services, and what’s particularly worrying are increased food prices further compounded by the government’s decision to lift the subsidies on: sugar flour and rice,” she said.

“The decision taken by the government was unreasonable and unwise. In the last two and a half years what have we seen? Labour has applied 15 per cent VAT, they removed subsidies on key staples, the price of water has gone up, and the price of electricity has gone up. They have increased the goods that are now considered VATable,” she added.

Dr. Rigobert argued that government cannot continue to tax its way out of the current deficit it is faced with. She said this move is simply dipping into the salaries of the same set of people that have been faced with increased prices of essential goods and services.

“People’s disposable income has not only shrunk, it has disappeared…and more places are closing…,” she added.

“This country has been impoverished in the last two and a half years, very contrary to what the Labour government had promised. They promised more jobs…What we have seen… is more for water, more for electricity, more for food.”

 

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32 COMMENTS

  1. UWP is keen making us belive that we are the worst economically in the Caribbean yet we rank higher than others . That increase Yll have to public servants when in power was the begining of slu demise . Allthe under the table requirements have scared investors away. That free health care Yll behind have Barbados in debt so bad they cannot afford to pay their bills so now they cannot get medication form suppliers. Just like private businesses the government is there to make money . WASCO is in debt would you rather pay the little increase or privatiSation and pay much more ? Same with lucelec . Soon we will lose our airports . The problems we are going thru are NOT because of the term slp is in power but mistakes all governments have made before them all well . Stop feeding people lies and start looking for solutions

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    • Idiot. We voted for better days. We are getting better days.

      Read this elsewhere about the moronic SLP's fantastic but delusional achievements:

      "Better days are here.
      Gangs everywhere.
      Idiots on the air.
      People living in fear. "

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  2. I am delighted to see the emergence of new faces in the politics of this country. The old guard has been less than disappointing.

    Our males will have to adjust to a female like Ms. Merkel in Germany some day taking the lead in our national affairs irrespective of hairstyle.

    I am not a UWP supporter. However much, I may ever like a particular political party, I continue to love Saint Lucia more.

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  3. Vat may have been inevitable. But the timing and the structure was bad. Kenny was desperate and he had to find money to pay his countless and useless consultants therefore the country had to pay this senseless price. Vat was talked about under the UWP regime however they were waiting for the right timing to implement it. You do not implement taxes during a recession. It will always result in a slow down of the economy. DUMB MOVE KENNY!!

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  4. vat was bad timing but will they stop it no u booos there is no good and bad time for implementing things it has to be done it has to be done

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  5. u all dnt like well tooof that's the way it is the kind of things u st lucians demanding u all think it come with out money can u all run your houses with out money

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  6. u all dnt want the 15% vat well tell all the st lucians who do not pay taxes to pay it so the country can get that money to help the people st lucia is not the st lucia I grow up in we were so few people on the island now the population has grown so much we need more money for everything to try and keep up but but the government has to to get the money from somewhere andit should bthe people of the country payngfor it

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  7. u all complaining about 15% vat it dose not matter at what percentage the government would put the vat at u all would still complain about it been too much if u going to put vat at 5% there is no point of doing it all of u all go overseas and u all dnt complain about u all got to pay for everything

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  8. I am ignoring most of the statements of Bousquet because to some people he may not be credible. It is a position shared by both sides since they only use him when his statements are convenient to them.

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  9. I guess there is common consensus that VAT would have been implemented by any government. What is not common consensus is that to say that the UWP would have introduced it at the time the SLP did is wrong. To say that they would have implemented it at 15% is also false.

    I think that is bad to spread something which nobody has any way of proving and this is what we should try to stop in our country. This is total misinformation cause I am sure that the people who say that UWP would have implemented it at the time and at that rate would never write that down on any exam paper. Another fact which confirms my sentiments is that we only have to check how long that the VAT office was in existence but VAT was never implemented.

    Now another fact is that under UWP Taiwan would have been more generous to the country - a fact that even Dr. Anthony has admitted by saying that he is getting help from Taiwan but "a far cry from what was being given to UWP." St. Lucians also knew that this was going to happen since Dr. Anthony disrespected the Taiwanese. How come Tom Choo was never fired by the Taiwanese? In fact he was promoted after his work in St. Lucia. His stay in St. Lucia was even extended at the time by his government? If a man wasn't doing a good job why would you extend his contract? Better yet with Tom Choo's promotion to being senior to the current Taiwanese ambassador what do you think would be the current situation? I think a kid could figure out this answer. Then again if you can't then you don't belong on this posts

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  10. Kenny have to go things hard in st.lucia because of Kenny . He gave duty free material only for his girl friend in vfort know he wants people to take 5percent cut.

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  11. I feel that if VAT was implemented under Stephenson, he would make other provisions for the elderly when it comes to medicine, seniors by obtain ways to create employment with the help of Tom Chu, the youth especially transportation for school, continue to subsidies sugar, flour and rice, he would exempt more items from VAT and more. This is were he having a soft heart would play the best role ever. Also with the help of Tom Chu we lucians would obtain more jobs in their constituencies inspite of which colour they serve. At the end one, two three four ten families would be feed.I truly believe the UWP would make a big difference in that area when it comes to implementing VAT. This is my opinion and mine only.

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  12. VAT had to come, yes... But at what percentage and should it have been "phased" rather than 15% all at once?

    Additionally, I think it is quite worrying that the UWP is saying "elect us, and we'll investigate if taxes can be fixed". Sounds to me like they're already planning for the inevitable. I don't understand why it can't be evaluated NOW, give us solutions so we can see whether we want to vote for you or not! If you're so scared Kenny and Company will "steal" your ideas, that would be a plus for UWP correct? Everyone would know that they're implementing your ideas anyway!

    Both UWP and SLP need to go. We need fresh un-corrupt blood, young ideas, innovative thinkers who aren't afraid of pushing the envelope and getting SLU to where we need to be. Paging Ubaldus Raymond!

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  13. Happily, there is an emerging pattern of Dr. Rigobert using the relevant economic terms correctly in her explanations of what is happening in the economy. Ah! She is not like her predecessors in the sense that there is, up to now, no "soft bigotry of lowered expectations." It is just that many may just be too lazy to find out and try to understand the issues as she sees them.
    Her beef with the after-tax income, or disposable income which has disappeared from those who can still find employment explains why the country is in such a downward spiral. We have never ever before seen this level of decline.

    Why then is the Minister of Finance still in office? Why is he getting paid for making the whle country so miserable and for being such a miserable failure?

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  14. Be prepared for the worst. tourist are spending less due to the world crisis. look at Rodney Bay with a pile of closed restaurants and bars. many expats living here for a long time are leaving. hardly any construction. pot holes everywhere. try to sell your home without a big loss. Realtors are selling hardly anything. Asfrom mid 2015 30% will be un and underemployed. crime will rise.We are also leaving after 11 years.

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  15. Rigo is an opportunist. Every time there is a negative she shows up and tries to score political points. The party has been in opposition for a while now, and they only look for solutions after an event. Where is the vision? They don't have answers. They are just beginning to research.

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  16. UWP would have implemented it, SLP implemented it. The question is, now that it has been implemented how has it impacted our economy? What social programme has been established consequent to its implementation? Has it assisted with economic growth in anyway?

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  17. John123 STOP TALKING CRAP AND BE QUIET !!

    The Kenny Anthony Administration raised taxes in the middle of a recession.

    DOES THAT SOUND WISE TO YOU? What are you talking about, UWP wasn't man enough?

    And am not even a UWP Supporter !!

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    • Does that appear to you that the Finance Minister has a profound sense what he is really doing? If he has surrounded himself with those even less competent in governance than himself, don't you think that this would be the result? The ship of state is listing from one disaster to the other.

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  18. People have to open their eyes...we are voting for men who will only make things harder for us, it's time we stand and protest we are the ones who put them there we shud have a say as to if we want them to stay. I believe wee the public shud have a say in any decision the govt makes.. right now they're only making us poorer

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  19. y u all dnt say that the price of things has gone up all over the world the politicians talk like st lucia is the onley island in the world things a hard u all think people are boo boos

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    • Stop saying that shit because it not true presently. It happened before I would agree.

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    • UWP was wise enough to know that you could not have implemented VAT in the middle of a recession.

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  20. Wait a minute. You can only review that when you not in office, wow!! Sounds like desperation to me.

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    • At Least they are researching before hand you ninicompoop unlike SLP who came to office without a compass.

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  21. Talk is always cheap.The truth is had the U.W.P.stay in office they would have implemented vat at the same percentage in April.As former minister Bousquet said vat was beyond the control of any government.Tom drunk but Tom no fool.Rewind and come again.All of you all politicians just thing we are still stupid.Lol

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    • You could see that UWP would have implemented the same 15% VAT but you could not have seen Kenny and the SLP giving you bitter days instead of better days as promised. My point is how are you sure it would have been 15% under UWP? I agree that VAT had to come.

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