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Fri 24th Mar 2017

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Will Vincentians soon be taxed for taking a sh**?

During 2016 and 2017, Vincentians are being bludgeoned by Gonsalves in a tax increases massacre. Virtually every aspect of our lives is seeing new taxes or tax increases. Is no part of our lives safe from being taxed and will Vincentians soon be taxed for taking a sh**?

Gonsalves’ new taxes and tax increases are punishing Vincentians. VAT is going up from 15% to 16% and this will push more Vincentians in to hardship.

If you want to eat, beware: the following foodstuffs that used to be exempt from VAT, are now subject to VAT - packaged rice for resale, chicken, butter, brown sugar, lentils, pigeon peas, cooking oils, salt, shortenings, baking powder and yeast.

If you want to drink, beware: there were tax increases on alcoholic and some other beverages, such beers, malts, stouts, wines, brandy, whisky and vodka.

If you want to phone or receive calls from your family and friends, beware: Gonsalves is expanding the 2% Telecommunication tax to incoming calls and data usage, in addition to outgoing calls.

If you want to drive, beware: Gonsalves announced an increase of 25% on drivers licences and motor vehicles.

If you need to fly abroad, beware: Gonsalves has increased Departure tax at airports by 100% from EC$50 to EC$100.

If you want to be a professional, beware: Gonsalves announced a 20% increase in the annual licence fees payable under the Professions Licensing Act.

If you want to turn the light on, you have to pay a surcharge. If you want to turn on a tap, you pay tax. Often on the water bill, the taxes are more than the consumption charge. In February 2017, a Vincentian paid $6.11 dollars for water consumed, yet paid $14.00 for basic water charge and $11.00 for Environmental Fee.

We have also seen increases in property tax and land tax. This makes it harder for Vincentians to build their own home and drives up the rents on domestic and commercial properties. Young Vincentians wanting to leave the family home to live in their own place will find it harder. Vincentians businesses will find it harder to rent commercial properties.

Gonsalves has waged an all-out assault on Vincentians with the new taxes and tax increases. He is taking tens of millions of dollars – more – out of the pockets of Vincentians. It seems that no part of our lives is safe from being taxed.

Gonsalves said that some of these taxes are for the Zero Hunger Trust Fund to eradicate hunger, but the tax massacre will only lead to more poverty and more households being unable to feed their families adequately. The tax increases will create more hunger and more starvation.

The tax increases will hit Vincentian businesses very hard. The tens of millions of dollars taken out of the pockets of Vincentians, means tens of millions of dollars fewer being spent in Vincentian businesses. Many Vincentian businesses will be forced to reduce their number of staff or many Vincentian businesses will simply go bust.

The new taxes and tax increases will further weaken the SVG economy and increase poverty, hunger and unemployment.

According to the Leader of SVG Green Party, Mr Ivan O’Neal BSc (Hon) MSc, MBA, who has a degree in Accounting, Finance & Economics from Oxford Brookes University, England, the new taxes and tax increases punishing Vincentians and Vincentian businesses, could all be avoided if Gonsalves simply ended the billions of dollars in tax and customs duty exemptions given to Taiwan and the super-rich, white migrants in Mustique and Canouan.

It’s not all bad news, though, with these biased tax changes. For all the people who own yachts (the super-rich, white migrants in Mustique and Canouan), the rate of VAT for rental of a berth in any marina or shipyard will be reduced from 16% to 11%!

Practically every aspect of our lives is being taxed by the Gonsalves regime. Must we soon count how many times we sh** and declare it in our tax return to the Ministry of Finance too!

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