New Tax Coming to Tackle Crime and Health Programmes

Prime Minister Philip J Pierre During the delivery of his 2023/2024 Budget Speech
Prime Minister Philip J Pierre

With the spiraling costs of living affecting the economic welfare of ordinary citizens – government has rolled out measures geared to help stabilize the country’s economy, through the implementation of a new levy to help fund crime fighting strategies and healthcare programmes.

To this end, the authorities will also focus on stabilizing the cost of food items to help provide a cushion effect on consumers.

During the delivery of the 2023/2024 Budget Speech, Prime Minister Philip J Pierre disclosed that this year, government will impose a ‘Health and Security Levy’ of 2.5 % on goods and services. Government has projected that at least $33 million could be generated from this new levy.

PM Pierre emphasized that the Health and Security levy will be implemented with the view of having a minimum inflationary impact, specifically on the costs of food.

“This levy will not be imposed on any food item …this means that the costs of food should not change because of the levy, unless prices increase from overseas,” said the prime minister.

The new tax is also intended to avoid administrative burdens and additional costs to businesses.

“I am urging the private sector to work with the government to ensure that this measure is not used as a basis for increasing the price of food”, Pierre added.

The prime minister indicated that as freight prices decrease “food items and other imported items prices will also decrease”.

The new levy will cater for the application of taxes on selected goods, with the exception of such as, medicine, selected building materials, and medical and security equipment.

Though the levy has similarities to the Value Added Tax (VAT), currently applicable with a 12.5% on goods and services, the revenue to be generated from the new levy will be used specifically to finance the health and security needs of the country.

The new levy will provide for the suspension of VAT on selected building materials for a two-year period, in an effort to stimulate activity in the housing and construction sector.

Consequently, PM Pierre explained, the retail prices on items such as plywood, lumber, steel, cement and galvanize “should be reduced by 12.5%, unless the imported price of these goods increase.”

Pierre told legislators that this mechanism would also suffice to help fund crime fighting strategies and healthcare programmes, as government moves to stimulate economic growth in the country.

To ensure compliance with the new levy and VAT removal on building materials, government plans to implement a price monitoring exercise.

Meanwhile, the authorities announced that excise taxes on tobacco products will increase by 50% from May, 21.

1 Comment

    What a load of wasted energy Mr. Chairman, all the fancy talking will not decrease crimes being committed by privileged youths of the Island, and all the fancy rambling with fancy wording will not deliver a positive action to the killings, the muggings, the trafficking of drugs, in my opinion, this is only good for nothing. I am wondering how many bad boys read the newspaper, and if some do the constant rambling of words just shut them off, we need action you need action.
    The happenings that are done in the community by certain people continue to flourish mainly because there are no checks and balances, the law meaning the police presence should be seen, in the bars, in the churches, at community events, everywhere there is a gathering of four or above, to nip it in the bud.
    Police should be heavily armed, the bigger the guns the more menacing they look, since they are the good guys, let them patrol and take it to the dens of thieves, take it to the countryside, to the beaches, and everywhere that seems to be a heaven for the criminals.
    It took a while but I see my point is being driven home, society has now realized the way to end this fiasco is to educate the parents, the fact that some parents do not have any education and they don’t need it to function, the Island can converse in their creole language and get by just fine thank you! They don’t read newspaper articles, all those rambling on paper by the people who should protect the Island is a failure to communicate.
    If you speak softly and carry a big steak chance are, you will get much more done in a short time, instead of traveling here and there listening to the same old song, all of them have their problem before you publicized their problem look firstly to your people, and the devastation of your nation.
    What is needed is a strong police presence in each community, get one if you don’t have one, and raise taxes its better to pay a little more than die lonely on the streets, some time ago you implemented vat, little did you know that a portion of vat should have included the security of the nation, it is not too late to biff up your police force, you cannot rely on others to foot your inner circle problems, go ahead this may be for you, food for thought.
    I see my suggestion was quickly implemented, lets hope the police Force is doubled, for doubled trouble

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