St. Lucia’s business people are demanding that the VAT be reduced from 15 per cent to 10 per cent.
A St. Lucia business spokesman said “VAT is one amongst other reasons why some businesses were going through tough times, while the slowing down of the economy is another, the Kenny Anthony government should have set the VAT ceiling at 10 per cent and increase it as the economic situation improves. The 15 per cent VAT is far too high in these harsh economic times.”
The problem in SVG is that there is no one who dares to question the PM, Mr. Gonsalves, about reducing the current 15 per cent to 10 per cent. Businessmen and journalists get shouted down and belittled whenever they try and raise anything about anything, let alone the crippling effect on the economy by high VAT charges. The other problem is if you manage to get a question to Gonsalves, he sometimes will talk for hours about all sorts of crap except the actual question.
In Europe, VAT is added only to items classed as luxury items. In SVG, the supermarket adds 15 per cent to callaloo and adds VAT to medicines and many necessities.
Ultimately it’s not the business that pays the VAT. It’s the little man with a handful of dollars in his pocket; it’s the little man’s family that suffers. Because when the VAT is high, the little man buys less, children go to school hungry, old people are undernourished.
SVG applies VAT to all sorts of items which should be exempt, so its not just the businessman who feels the pinch, but the public is paying VAT on things that are totally unreasonable to pay on, and it’s little more than downright governmental greed. I would say highway robbery, but our roads are in such a bad condition, highway robbers are unable to operate.
Self appointed keeper of the whistle
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