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Fri 29th Jan 2021

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Abolish VAT to help Vincentian businesses and our people

Even before Covid-19, VAT was sucking the lifeblood out of poor households and killing businesses and killing our economy. The high level of VAT has caused many businesses to have their lowest level of sales in over 40 years and forced hundreds of other businesses to close down and dismiss their employees. VAT has caused thousands of job losses and 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 thousands of households had no mains water and electricity. Even before Covid-19, thousands of households could not feed their families adequately.

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

Around the world, other 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 to help businesses and their people, including cutting VAT. They showed compassion to support businesses and their people.

Therefore, 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 incur as a result of abolishing VAT can more than be made up taxing the dog, Taiwan, and the super-rich, white parasites in Mustique and Canouan. It makes no sense to continue to let the dog, Taiwan, and the super-rich, white parasites 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 white migrants 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 in our country. Small businesses are the beating heart of modern economies, so we must support small businesses now in this difficult period, so that they can survive and flourish and stimulate economic growth in the future. 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 and abolish VAT. We need to reduce the pressure on our people.

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

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