Fri, Jan 29, 2021

Even before Covid-19, VAT was sucking the lifeblood out of poor households, killing businesses and our economy. The high rate of VAT has caused many businesses to record their lowest levels of sales in over 40 years, forcing them to close and put their employees on the breadline.  In addition, VAT has decimated the rural economy.

About 90% of the revenue collected by the incompetent ULP government is from taxes and fines imposed upon businesses and our people. In this extra hard time of Covid-19, government must reduce the tax burden on businesses and our people, to help reduce the suffering.

Even before Covid-19, SVG had high rates of poverty and unemployment and too many households had no mains water and electricity. Even before Covid-19, many, many households could not feed their families adequately.

The ULP regime must show compassion and abolish VAT now. It would be cruel and heartless not to. Now, more than ever, every dollar households have must be able to go a bit further to keep their family safe from Covid-19.

Around the world, governments have given businesses and their people tax breaks and reduced taxes, because they know that their people are suffering under Covid-19 and they care about their people. In 2020, the UK government introduced a whole raft of tax cuts, including cutting VAT, to help businesses and their people.

They showed compassion to support businesses and their people.

SVG Green Party is telling Gonsalves to show compassion to businesses and our people and abolish VAT now.

Businesses and people are suffering even more than usual in this weak economy that has been decimated by ULP regime financial and economic incompetence.

Any shortfall the SVG Treasury may experience as a result of abolishing VAT can more than be made up taxing Taiwan as it relates to that country’s use of our fishing licence, and the super-rich in Mustique and Canouan. It makes no sense to continue to let Taiwan, and the super-rich in Mustique and Canouan get away with not paying hundreds of millions of dollars in tax. Vincentians are dying!

According to the Leader of SVG Green Party, Warrant Officer Ivan Bertie O’Neal BSc (Hons), MSc, MBA, it is clear that too much revenue is being given away in tax and customs duty exemptions to Taiwan and the super-rich in Mustique and Canouan. This creates a huge imbalance that is not sustainable. The tax system is not fair.

The tax environment in SVG needs to be modernised to encourage and support small businesses.  Small businesses are the beating heart of modern economies, so we must support them, especially in this difficult period, so that they can survive and flourish and stimulate economic growth.  This is vital for future economic success and controlling the country’s huge amount of debt.

According to the Leader of SVG Green Party, Warrant Officer Ivan Bertie O’Neal BSc (Hons), MSc, MBA, a Green Government would show compassion and empathy to businesses and our people by abolishing the VAT. We need to reduce the pressure on our people.

We must give hope to the next generation of Vincentians by creating a strong economy and thousands of new jobs. Cutting VAT will help achieve this

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