Gaosline, diesel taxes to be increased

Gaosline, diesel taxes to be increased

Government has announced its intention to increase taxes on gasoline and diesel in light of what it says are efforts to meet demands for road maintenance and rehabilitation, health care and environmental protection.
The intended increases were announced by Minister of Finance Camillo Gonsalves as he delivered his 2019 Budget Speech in the House of Assembly yesterday.
The Minister of Finance said significant increase in the importation of used motor vehicles has given rise to health and environmental issues linked to increasing levels of vehicular emissions and increased dumping of derelict vehicles and used parts. He said that last year, the age of imported used vehicles was reduced, and that that trend will continue in the future.
“We continue to spend more in health care to treat respiratory illnesses such as asthma, which is increasing in prevalence in recent years. Additionally, the motor vehicle population in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines has grown exponentially over the last decade placing tremendous pressure on the road network, hastening the deterioration of the surfaces of the highways and secondary roads,” Gonsalves stated.
The Minister of Finance says there are now over 32,000 vehicles on the roads of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. He said that notwithstanding increased spending by government on repairs and rehabilitation of roads, “as evidenced in this year’s Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure, the calls from the public for even more spending on the roads are quite evident.”
For Motor Spirits (gasoline), the current rate is $2.50, and the proposed rate is $3.00. For Gas oils (other than diesel oil), the current rate is $1.50, and the proposed rate is $2.10.
“It is important to note that this revised excise, and, indeed the price of fuel in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines generally, remains low, relative to our neighbours in the OECS,” Gonsalves stated.
The Minister of Finance said the measures are expected to realize an increase in revenue of $4.2 million.