ST. VINCENT: – The main opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) has proposed several economic policies to take effect if the party is elected to office on Monday, Dec. 13.
Party leader and Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace said on Wednesday, Dec. 8, that they policies “are carefully designed to stimulate our economy locally and to attract inward investment”.
“They are all part of the carefully-crafted stimulus package that we, the NDP, have been working on in preparation to take office,” he said.
Eustace, an economist, said an NDP government will reduce Value Added Tax (VAT) on hotel services.
He said the current 10 per cent service plus 10 per cent VAT is “killing hotel industry”.
He further said VAT will be removed from 150 basic food items.
The former prime minister and minister of finance further said an NDP government will reduce income tax for registered offshore agents and will introduce tax concessions for businesses that have good environmental policies.
Eustace said the NDP will float a bond issue of EC$30 million to EC$40 million (US$11.11 million to US$14.81 million) to repay the debts owing to the private sector and public servants.
He further said an NDP government “will immediately appoint a committee on public financing and debt,” adding, “further tax concessions will depend on the report of the committee”.
“All these stimulus measures, coupled with the hundreds of millions of outside private investment will literally transform our country,” Eustace said.
“With the NDP in power, our country has a unique opportunity to rewrite our future; to seize new opportunities; to benefit from new levels of prosperity, wealth-creation and jobs,” he added.
The NDP is hoping to retake the rein of governance after nine years in opposition, having lost the 2001 and 2005 elections after 17 years in office.