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VAT applied to some items consumed by ‘higher income earners’

Samuel Sukhnandan, SNO Reporter

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Some grocery items which consumers bought tax-free in the past will soon see a 15 percent Value Added Tax (VAT) applied to them.

During the presentation of the Budget Estimates, Prime Minister Anthony indicated that following post policy assessments and consultations with stakeholders, government was able to make further amendments to a list of items. This includes fish, butter, margarine and beans, not including lentils and pigeon peas.

Anthony reasoned that these fall under a group of items that are consumed by people with a higher income, hence the application of 15 percent VAT to the cost. However, he said there will be an exception for fish, adding that, “With respect to fish, fresh local fish will continue to be exempted from VAT as long as it is purchased from our fishers.”

VAT will also be added to salt because according to PM Anthony, it is believed to be a major cause for health problems here. Tax will only be charged to these items at stores registered to collect VAT therefore items from small community outlets will not attract VAT.

Chicken lentils, canned mackerel, canned tuna and bread will remain VAT-exempt, while milk, eggs, rice, flour, sugar, baby formula and pasta are now zero-rated.

“Zero-rating these items rather than exempting them will allow the retailer to claim back their input on these items … it should reduce the cost to consumers,” the prime minister explained.

Anthony announced that government will remove the subsidy on brown sugar, which will increase its cost per pound. The price per pound of brown sugar is currently 90 cents. It will now be $1 without the subsidy. This is a total reduction of $1-million in government subsidy.

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45 comments

  1. Kenny is out of touch with reality.

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  2. The farmers have to make their money. You know how much I pay here for fresh juice 12 oz for $6 us depending where you go and neighborhood. In those times thinking I could be home to just get the fresh fruits and vegetables and do it myself. In brooklyn for me to get great farm fresh fruits and vvegetables and local stuff I have to put money out. The Farmers need To Get Paid for their labor and time. So let's think about that before we put down our farmers. We Go It The Chinese Food That Kills Your Body With MSG and pay any price for the food. Please Lucians educate ourselves and support our people and country and stop putting them down. We really need to stop dashing our own kind and appreciate all our folks. Love you all Lucians and God bless my country St.Lucia.

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  3. Vat Vat Vat. Some Lucians need to get their priorities together. They complain about food that nourish their body To buy but when carnival comes around their could find money to take part. They need to Vat 10 times for rum, Fete and carnival. Some living their kids without food to go party. We need to balance our life. What happen to going local and supporting of local farmers. Well you pay for overseas food that people in those countries do not even want to eat and they are dying for the local and fresh stuff. You guys in st. Lucia need to read about the FDA in the US then you guys will appreciate the local farmers. Who cares about sugar white sugar is not even good for our body and also can stuff that's why the doctors making money because to fail to eat local and stop eating all those chemical foods. Start reading and educating ourselves so when the government put their Vat on things it will not bother us.

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  4. that rambally thing kenny why is she driving that thing in new york why why why

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  5. woo now in st lucia we have rich people food and poor people food my my only in kenny world u hear these things rich man food poor man food what food u buy kenny

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  6. Every budget has covered more training and employment opportunities. I have not seen one report which has focussed on what are the real benefits to the people as against the sacrifices that they have to endure. Everything that a politician promises is like food falling from the sky. We know that in Accounts and economics that there is debit and with it goes with a corresponding credit. All what the government does is shift around the burden. That burden is usually placed around the necks of the poor(this time around Civil Servants are included) where they have to toil with their blood & tears while the rich get huge tax breaks and incentives in the false name of creation of imployment for that same poor. In fact it is more of a revenue generation for the rich than it is of any advantage to the poor. Wen the rich leave with the money and the promise of jobs then the poor remain.

    Real growth is the incoporation of investments from outside the country. This can be explained simply, for a shop which buys from itself or sells to itself cannot make a profit. This investments will grow the confidence of isntitutions such as banks who will afford the country cheaper credit to grow their investsments. Right now banks would not invest in economies which are dictated my percieved mad men who say or do anything and call it a budget. This kind of economics is unreal and not a sound method. Example, with the development of the airport one government gave its assurance that it would have commenced and handled it in one way. The other government came and changed everything. What confidence or posture should the banks now adopt taking into consideration a significant part of our economy would be involved. People would get paid, consumer loans,etc. Economics for Dummies

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  7. I am a career Public Servant living with a serious medical condition (and I have recently found out, that I may be one of at least 25 persons per Ministry, in this situation).

    My medical condition requires continuous medical management, which includes regular visits to the doctor, doing a barrage of tests, and of course, medication. The doctor alone is $200.00 per visit, blood work and other test can easily amount, on average, to about $350.00 at any one time, and because the cost of the medication can vary so much, depending on the condition, it is impractical for me to put a figure to it.

    I will run the risk, I know, of being considered political, but I will say it anyway, the Prime Minister’s decision to cut the meager salaries of me and other struggling public servants, is nothing short of unconscionable.

    Thankfully the PM has removed VAT on our medication, but it is almost deja vous, as the PM gives us something with hand and takes it back (with interest) with the other.

    What must we do Mr. PM, sit back and die?

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  8. I am sorry for the country. But in a way am glad because i am one of those who feel vindicated. All what i had predicted has come to pass. You are still being fooled by PHD's using their education against their own people. In consequence we the people blame ourselves and turn on each other. Very soon violence will be the order of the day while those with interest in government will not take notice and try to downplay what is really going on. To attest to this crimes now become a PR matter for officials. The media is being looked upon as the source of the problem. They themselves are being threatened and are too scared to say anything or mention anybody's name even though they have the facts.

    Crime in St. Lucia will become so unbearable and you can take that to the bank (literally too). What a SHAME on the people of this country where our foreparents fought on the wharves, valleys and city. Shame, shame, shame. while we continue to quarel with ourselves and don't recognise the problem and act IN THE NAME OF OUR CHILDREN.

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  9. Kenny you want to put VAT on everything it is one thing to put VAT but what are the people getting in return you tell me?. I do not mind paying your VAT but what is given back to us the people of St. Lucia, only people benefiting are you and your government workers. We need proper health care in this country we Lucians are not your overseas doctors experiment, Our schools are a mess, you promise jobs where are they I think you should charge VAT on your ass and every member of your party for a man that is educated your arrogance is well shocking. Our people of St. Lucia need to speak out stop allowing Colour and party to prevent them from speaking out we need to come together because at the end of the day is all of us suffering the pain, no one colour will not pay vat or a other colour pay vat it time we unite and come as one to prevent our people from this corruption. WE want proper health care, better schooling provide to our kids, JOBS and then lets talk Vat how can you keep taking and what is been given in return.........

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  10. Lucian in Alaska

    On Point are you crazy its welcome Guyana's jungle. Jim Jones in the making.All those drinking soft drink stick in that. Remember pa ne vat asou soft drink...lol !

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  11. St. Lucia is in serious trouble. We are obviously headed in the wrong direction, but turning back is not an option.

    What are our people to do?

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  12. justice delayed is justice denied

    With all due respect to kenny anthony I'm sure u or your collegues or all your PS an overseas ambassadors eat butter and bread or beans. You'll only eat 2 to 4 course meals. Don't try to pretend that u understand the plight of the poor. Stop pissing in our eyes and calling it rain. Putting sugar on shit don't make it a brownie. Chooops u continue to insult our intelligence

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  13. fish, butter, margarine and beans lmao are a rich man's food smh this is what the prime minister apparently consumes lol smh this is so ridiculous

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  14. Hey Kenny,what the hell you doing to our people in st.lucia why things going that way,they didn't vote u in to kill them with that vat crap wake up my brother do better for our country and stop all that BS

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  15. For such statements to be made about who consumes what food items is segregation and creates and elitist society. Aren't the lesser privileged allowed to enjoy the finer things in life too.

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  16. The country needs the VAT to help with its financial crisis but this is just ridiculous now. Last i cheched butter was poor man cheese. I have no idea how he came up with his assumption but its full of bs. More VAT,no jobs,pay cuts. WTF

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  17. So Kenny decide to put VAT on butter and margarine and call it rich people food. He doesn't see the amount of people at the bakery buying bread and butter man? Well is now the poor go die of malnutrition but is dry bread alone they will eat.

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  18. u mean to tell me

    Some lucians crying about vat on fish, what about no vat on fish bought from our local fishers they do not understand? So they prefer buying the imported fish. As far as I am concerned vat should be placed on all agriculture products that are available here but yet still are imported. Just go to the supermarket you will see just how we have double standards both the locally produced and imported items are available yet still we buy the imported item. So at that point in the supermarket when we have the choice to help a malaway we don't do it we chose the multimillion dollar merchant.

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    • In case u are unaware, buying local is much more expensive. wen the market vendors learn to decrease their prices, I shall surely buy local

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  19. He has removed VAT on medicine. Now can we count on him to do the following (all of which are contributing significant to the country’s financial woes):
    • Lead by example, start with a minimum of a 10% salary cut for Government Ministers
    • Reduce on the size of the Cabinet of Ministers
    • STOP the First Class travel by Government Ministers
    • STOP the Financing of Constituency Offices by government
    • Reduce, with urgency, the staff complement of the Overseas Missions
    • Recall the duty fee concessions on vechicles for high ranking public servants
    • Stop the overindulgence, by the cabinet of ministers
    • Remove all allowances paid to higher ranking public servants and government ministers
    • Recall all the government paid cell phones, being assigned to all and sundry (including to the Drivers of Government Ministers)
    • Recall the assignment of government paid cell phones to high ranking public servants (including government ministers) who are already getting a monthly telephone allowance
    • Stop the use of government vehicles assigned exclusively to Government Ministers
    • Let Ava Baptiste know that St Lucia should not continue to be a place where he drops in every now and then. Wonder which are the countries across the globe, that he has not visited
    • Get rid of the unwanted/unnecessary consultants. Shelton Daniel is an insult to the intelligence of the average Saint Lucian
    • Increase Tax on cigarettes, and alcohol and the tourism sector and let us see just how serious Kenny is
    • STOP the appointment of new Permanent Secretaries in the public service
    • STOP the ill advised Lop Top project to school children. Hungry bellies, empty school and lunch bags, but laptops for one and all
    • Devise a prober system to provide school books and other supplies to children in need. Get rid of the scam that is the current school book subsidy.
    • And I must repeat, as this one cannot be overemphasis. STOP the wastage that is the operation of these overseas missions. Send Tricky and Shazie back home. Tax payers should not be paying them back for their perceived contribution to the Labour Pary’s 2011 victory. What can Tricky possibly be contributing to the Canadian Mission? How long can we be expected to pay for Menissa Rambally to continue to enjoy, according to her, “the journey that she is currently on”?

    etc, etc, etc.

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    • Well said Tomy. Only after all of this is done, then and only then should any kind of adjustment to the poor people's salaries be considered. There is just too much wastage. All the processes should be revised to reduce cost and wastage. In this age of advanced technology, we have enough options available to create lean, efficient ways of conducting government business.

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  20. Now you all see how disrespectful, arrogant and rude that mad dictator is? You all ask for it zot pwe a sa Enrougeee you all were warned he's Robert Mugabe in the making,welcome to Zimbabwe.

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  21. Did I read correctly,I can barely afford sunflower butter have to resort to the cheaper one ,bitter days are here for sure
    Kenny did you carry a survey to know what higher income workers eat?

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  22. Lucian in Alaska

    Good think I can make my own butter.

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  23. Lucian in Alaska

    SMFH do you notice that you did not list one food item...that is exactly what it should be vay on items like what you lustef but not on food...only on things like chocolate, pop, cleaning item soap etc.

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  24. Lucian in Alaska

    As far as I am concerned thats an insult to the malaways he us beinging them down until they eat grass.Then he will come again at elections time with ham, chicken, beans and butter to trick Lucians to vote for them. They will say at that time that they taking of the vat on these items. By the way Kenny apparently does not have a clue what the malaways eat for him to say the high earners eat butter and magetine....a man who should care about Lucians...obviously he does not.

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  25. Lucian in Alaska

    I really thought the low income Lucians ate bread and butre and beans....there are making it harder..High earners health most times dont eat butter at all...playing health concious. You all eh see mate mad.Me Ill stay in the north pole freeze but not be under Kenny (nonsense).

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  26. Lucian in Alaska

    I really thought the low income Lucians ate bread and butre and beans....there are making it harder..High earners health most times dont eat butter at all...playing health concious

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  27. Hey If you ask me, It appears, and I may be wrong, No money to pay refunds so the least persons to refund and with a 5% salary cut imminent he is trying to see if he can avert a major industrial backlash but in one year time we may see that change again. But with butter now having vat, people may have to resort to putting salt on their meats now, Kenny has already anticipate that he blast you with VAT on these products. Man He good.

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  28. God must deal with that man. St Lucians, lets pull out our rosaries and prayer books

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  29. This guy need to be tried for treason. VAT will also be added to salt because according to PM Anthony, it is believed to be a major cause for health problems here. Agreed.

    Then you turn around and add VAT to fish. Fish is considered very healthy. Why not encourage consumption of it by keeping it cheaper. Even Super gets their fish from the small fisherman. I buy fish at fisheries so here comes a price increase. Thx Kenny.

    Why not add VAT on soft drinks? Because Duboulay might lose sales its a problem. I wish someone would do a South Park and just kill Kenny already.

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    • you cannot understand proper english ??????????????
      “With respect to fish, fresh local fish will continue to be exempted from VAT as long as it is purchased from our fishers.”

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  30. bread and butter is for the rich now??!! wow! Kenny you suck!!

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  31. I agree, all foods that contribute to bad health should be highly taxed. 'An once of precaution is worth a pound of cure.' I also think that they should increase taxes on alcohol and tobacco, they contribute nothing to our society. I am a social drinker so I don't abuse alcohol, and therefore it's not hard on my pocket, my health, my family, society, or tax-payers.

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    • so true, VAT should be extra high on tobacco. it poisons even the people who hate it and don't/will never consume it.

      alcohol not as simple a case to ban because it can be consumed and not affect anybody else but cigarettes should really be made less affordable.

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  32. How can the PM run the country with out taxes when Lucians always want freeness. They want everything for free; laptops, health care, education, jazz, carnival, condoms even sanitary napkins and toilet paper.
    Wake up and get real.

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    • Umm...last I checked we don't get anything for free here. so what's your point exactly? what the ass i paying tax for and the government not giving me anything for free!! please please let me know what is free in this country, because none of the items you've listed are free! You wake ...up!!

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  33. ...i'm curious as to how he determine what poor an rich people eat...it seems this dude want poor people to eat dry bread only ...
    ADMIN: It does NOT include lentils.

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  34. From them same high income earners they will be taking the 5%. Whilst prices going up our salaries going downwards.

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  35. KENNY MALAWAY LIKE ME EAT BREAD AND BUTTER THE RICH EAT SHRIMPS, LUNCHON MEAT, HAM ......KENNY IS THE MALAWAY LIKE ME THAT WILL SUFFER......WTF IS WRG WITH KENNY

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    • Diva, i will getting container shipment of food supplies which will sustain me for 3 years.

      If you "Down" with the cause, swing by me. I will share with you. 🙂

      Later this year i am going to build an under-ground bunker to protect me from the potential political war that is inevitable in this country in a few years.
      So when this happens, i will be viewing it on my Jumbotron, sipping on glass of cocktails and smfh.

      Desperate times====desperate measures.

      O

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  36. how does he know that it's only rich people who buy butter and the other items?the items he want to add VAT to are things that are already expensive all on their own.things already hard for people and now he wants to add VAT on the things that the "poor" people can already barely afford.why doesn't he cut on the benefits that the high ranking government workers get??do that instead of crippling even more the people you say you care about..and they wonder why people leaving the country to look for better.

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  37. so my mother wud at times send us to school with bread and 'butter' cus she cudnt afford other things to put in bread but Kenny consider butter is rich man's food so he adding vat to it. "Mi en rouge, pwe'y!!"

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