The opposition has questioned the government’s decision to remove the value added tax (VAT) payments on electricity consumption for a number of state-run agencies.
The amendments to the Value Added Tax Bill 2022 were tabled during a sitting of parliament on Tuesday. The amendments included the provision for the consumption of electricity by the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), the Postal Corporation and the Argyle International Airport, to be zero rated.
Opposition member of parliament for East Kingstown, Dwight Fitz Bramble, says he believed a reduction on VAT across the board should be considered for all Vincentians and not just three government run entities outlined in the amendments.
Quoting from the 2016-2018 report of performance audit of value added tax, Bramble raised an issue with government’s vat collections system, accusing the government of having a high vat arrears bill.
Minister of Finance, Camillo Gonsalves dismissed the notion that government had not collected over fifty (50) percent of theVAT assessed in 2016.
Minister Gonsalves also says Vincentians will be getting relief on their electricity bills as a result of the debt relief agreement negotiated with Venezuela recently which includes a thirty-five (35) percent reduction in fuel purchased by VINLEC.