Kittician government slashes VAT for a day
Prime Minister Dr Denzil Douglas says the reduction in the Value Added Tax was agreed to after discussions between government officials and representatives of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce.
BASSETERRE, St Kitts, Friday December 16, 2011 - Consumers will next Thursday pay 10 per cent less for goods in a move aimed at stimulating economic activity.
The one day reduction will apply only to the 17 per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) that was introduced here just over a year ago.
The stimulus was announced yesterday by Prime Minister Dr Denzil Douglas as he concluded debate on the 2012 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure.
He told the National Assembly that the arrangement was agreed to after discussions between members of his government and representatives of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce.
“All goods including food that are being sold on that day will be sold, not at 17 percent VAT, but at 7 percent,” Prime Minister Douglas told legislators, adding that the range of goods includes building materials and appliances.
He pointed out that the recent decision to allow up to 400 pounds of food imported in the month of December and a EC$1500 (US$555) allowance on goods was as a result of listening to the suggestions of the people.
He said it is now for shoppers “to take a careful eye and do their assessment.”
“I would ask our shoppers to be very careful. We want to help the business community and they have to be partners in our development. We cannot do it alone,” he said.
He urged businesses to pass the savings on to consumers and issued a warning to those that are withholding money collected for the VAT from the Inland Revenue Department.
“I want to warn them that if you are guilty of doing that, shoppers will not shop with you. You will not benefit from this reduction in the VAT by 10 percent,” he stressed.
The VAT was introduced on the removal of the Consumption Tax that was applied at 22.5 per cent.