Cancellation of policies required for breadbasket VAT

To the editor,

Value-added tax (VAT) on breadbasket items affects the poorest people who cannot withstand the economic shock disproportionately.

Is it time to reconsider VAT in the breadbasket?

In March 2021, the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) proposed a bold tax system following the collapse of the Minis-led Free National Movement (FNM) government.

PLP’s plan was to reduce VAT to 10 percent in a year if the party wins the next general election.

“Our proposal to reduce VAT to 10% has brought some relief to thousands of families in the Bahamas and is in desperate need of an economy,” said Philip “Brave” Davis, leader of the PLP liberal party. Represents a modest reduction that helps inject cash into the economy. “

By September 2021, when the PLP was ready to rule the country, the international rating agency Moody’s downgraded the Bahamas’ economic outlook again and considered the proposed VAT reduction.

Matt Aubrey, executive director of the responsible governance organization quoted in the Tribune article, said the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) was overlooked as a result, even for a year, combined with the dire financial situation in the Bahamas and Moody’s warnings. Revenues meant that they needed to be “offset” by profits in other areas that were not yet identified.

Few people turned their attention to Matt Aubrey’s sinister words in the happiness of winning our PLP elections.

At that time, no one was aware that “offset” or “other areas not yet identified” meant that additional tax would be levied on items that were not previously subject to VAT.

Value-added tax, which we all agree with, is a retrograde tax system. Such a system applies the same percentage of tax on the purchased product or merchandise, regardless of the buyer’s income. In essence, such a system affects low-income earners disproportionately.

In addition to this retrograde tax system, additional taxes on basic necessities that previously did not have VAT will be disproportionately negative for low-income earners and those who are most intolerant of such economic shocks. Is not fair.

We cannot deny the fact that for months, all of the numerous discussions and debates about VAT did not mention any items in the bread basket.

Adding VAT to breadbasket items symbolizes an ancient saying. Take the other hand. “

With one hand the PLP provided financial relief, and with the other, they robbed it for the most vulnerable, the poorest and the poorest.

Is it time to fall into the sword of your proven policy and admit that a jagged crack exists in your plan?

What would we really get if the economic conditions of the most disadvantaged people worsened?

What did we really get if they were even more dissatisfied with their attempts to achieve their goals?

What do we really do if we have more lines of feeding programs, worse mental health, more children needing charitable care, more social welfare budgets, more crime? Did you get it?

A policy reversal of VAT breadbasket items will not only be popular and urgently needed, but will also result in this government administration doing the right thing.

— — Diogenes Cancellation of policies required for breadbasket VAT

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