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Minister of Finance Camillo Gonsalves delivering the Budget Address on Monday, Jan. 8, 2024.
Minister of Finance Camillo Gonsalves delivering the Budget Address on Monday, Jan. 8, 2024.
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Vincentians will in May begin paying about 25% more for their drivers and motor vehicle licenses and similar increased charges for related services, while conductor licences will move from EC$15 to EC$100.

At the same time, the fees for the inspection of electrical wiring in domestic and commercial buildings will be doubled or more than tripled depending on the type of building and the number of points, while fees have been introduced for wiremen.

Further, travellers to and from the country will pay about 37.5% more in Airport Service Charge, which will move from US$40 to US$55, according to the fiscal measures that Minister of Finance, Camillo Gonsalves, announced while presenting the EC$1.6 billion budget today (Monday).

The fiscal measures are expected to generate EC$6.7 million more in revenue for the government this year.

“These measures are designed to adjust user fees and licenses to keep pace with the cost of providing the various associated services and to introduce new user fees where new services have emerged,” he told lawmakers, who will begin debating the fiscal package on Tuesday.  

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Gonsalves said that driver’s license and related fees were last reviewed seven years ago, in 2016.

“The time has now come to increase these fees, given the passage of time and the inevitable increase in costs incurred in the delivery of these services,” he said.

When the new fees come into effect, drivers will pay EC$125 to hold a permit for one year, up from EC$100.

The rates for duplicate licences or permits, examination of a driver and temporary driver’s permit, will be similarly adjusted.

A person paying their drivers licence for three years will pay EC$345, up from EC$275 while for five years, the amount is EC$535, up from EC$425.

Tutors permit is also increasing by 25% to EC$250 while an international drivers licence will now cost EC$200, up for EC$150.

Registration and change of owners of vehicles will cost EC$190 — EC$40 more than the current fee.

The fee for inspection of a vehicle will move from EC$90 to EC$115

Gonsalves said the new fees are expected to yield EC$2 million in additional revenue for the government.

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The new measures are expected to generate EC$6.7 million in additional revenue this year.

He said motor vehicle licenses were also last increased in 2016.

These will also see a 25% adjustment.

The fee for a private motor car not exceeding 2,000 lbs is now EC$500. A car between 2001 and 3000 lbs will attract a fee of EC$650, and those exceeding 3,000 lbs will be taxed at EC$815, up from EC$400, EC$520 and EC$650, respectively. 

“In light of the condition of our road networks, the increased traffic on the road and the continuous impact of weather events, Budget 2024 allocates in excess of $70 million for road repair and rehabilitation and the construction of new roads,” Gonsalves said.

He said the government was not expecting that the revenue collected from motor vehicle licenses will be sufficient to meet the full costs to upkeep the public roads across the country.

“It is expected to contribute to doing so,” he said. “The new fees make provision for licenses for new categories of goods vehicles to capture the heavier trucks and larger trailers that now traverse roads daily.”

He said these heavier motor vehicles adversely impact the road surfaces that were not originally engineered for trucks in excess of 12 and 15 tonnes.

“This measure will generate additional revenue of $4.5 million,” Gonsalves said.

Under the new fees, a truck that is 5 tonnes tare but less than 8 tonnes will attract a licence fee of EC$1,725; of 8 tonnes but less than 12 tonnes, EC$2,500; of 12 tons but less that 15 tons, EC$4,500 and over 15 tonnes, EC$6,000.

The finance minister said that fees for the electrical installations will also be increased.

For domestic (private) residence of up to 25 points, the basic charge will be doubled to EC$30 as will be the case with the charge per point, which will now be EC$2.

For over 25 points, the basic charge will move from EC$15 to EC$50, while the charge per point will be doubled to EC$2.

In commercial and industrial premises of up to 25, the basic charge moves from EC$25 to EC$50 and the charge per point will be doubled to EC$3.

For over 25 points, the basic charge moves from EC$40 to EC$100 while the charge per point has been doubled and is now $3.

For three phase inspection, the basic charge is now EC$100, up from EC$40, and the change per point has moved from EC$2 to EC$4.

Gonsalves said the fees for electrical inspections were last increased in 1995.

In that year, the inspectorate office had seven staff members and an expenditure budget of $195,000.

The office collected $58,000 in revenue last year.

He said that the government has invested in strengthening the institutional capacity of the inspectorate.

“In 2020, the electrical inspector department was restructured and provided with seven additional technical staff including a chief electrical inspector and a deputy electrical inspector, moving the staff complement to 15 up from eight in 2019.”

Gonsalves said that in Budget 2024, there are 18 staff and a budget of EC$911,000, including $110,000 for staff training.

“The new fee structure will introduce a small fee for wiremen and increase the fees for electrical inspections for residential and commercial installations,” he said, adding that the new fees are anticipated to bring an additional $250,000 in revenue.

Wiremen will pay EC$100, EC$200 and EC$300, respectively, depending on their class (1, 2, or 3).

He noted that the increased Airport Service Charge is payable on all airline tickets for travel in and out of the country and goes directly to fund the operations of the Argyle International Airport.

He said that even with the increase, SVG’s airport service charges are among the lowest in the region.

“In fact, our overall effective charges on international travel remain low when compared with our regional peers,” Gonsalves said, adding that given the forecast numbers for passenger movement in 2024, the measure is expected to raise an additional EC$6.6 million in revenue and will be in effect from May 1, 2024.

He noted that for a second consecutive year, the Budget would shift the annual standard deduction.

In 2023, it was moved from EC$20,000 to EC$22,000 and this year, it will be further increased to EC$25,000, giving effect to an announcement that Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves made in his Independence Day address last October.

“Think about it: between the end of 2022 and today, the beginning of 2024, the government has increased the personal income tax threshold by 25% and removed taxes on an extra $5,000 per year of your salary,” the finance minister said. 

“This is a genuine people-centred benefit for every Vincentian taxpayer. The government will forego approximately $6.6 million in revenue as a consequence of this measure,” he told Parliament. 

5 replies on “Driver’s, vehicle licences increased by 25%”

  1. Allyo right Camillo, ah doh blame allyo… Me grandfather used to say, “the hottest kick yo could get is from ah dying jackass.”

  2. Boy ,When the Government down with the economy it out and down, to pay the increase in public servant wage increase your squeeze the citizen even more but the minimum wages for civil servants went up to 50/day ,come like the same ,lol.Driver even getting tickets for eating half a bread now,real desperate.

  3. Wa dem do da rite. Plenty people in dis place. too dam doish foolish stupid. .. It’s so easier to fool them than to convince them

  4. It must be sad living in SVG. How does one survives? Imagine all the government taxes increased by 25%, in some cases more. But an insulting 2% wage increase. $50.00 per day really? That’s an insult. Does people understand that 2% is 2 cents on every $100. But then, they are not making $100 per day. WOW.

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