The government’s decision not to remove value-added tax (VAT) from breadbasket items is “short-sighted and betrayal” for thousands of struggling Bahamans, said Shannendong, deputy leader of the Free National Movement. Cartwright insisted yesterday.
“The announcement that VAT in the breadbasket will stay here means that the pain and struggle of many poor, working, middle-class Bahamian families will also stay here,” he said in a statement.
“Unfortunately, this struggle will continue every day, as in the case of millionaires, where the government refuses to bring tax cuts to the most vulnerable people. On behalf of the Bahamian people, we tell the government. Instead of dismissing people’s cry, call for rethinking.
“Remove VAT from items in the breadbasket.”
Cartwright responded to Minister of Economy Michael Harkitis’s claim that it is impossible to remove VAT from the breadbasket.
On Friday, Halkitis noted that the 2017 minis administration had removed VAT from breadbasket items.
“But at the same time … to make that possible, they increased the rate from 7.5 percent to 12 percent,” Halkitis said.
“So I hear that this call comes primarily from the political corner about doing this, because … it’s a good political point, but when you start introducing exemptions, you can do it. Please be aware that the only way is if you pay a higher amount All other ratings.
“So we studied this, we went back and forth, and our best advice is a lower rate, hence 10 percent, lower than 12, but it’s more efficient With a minimal exemption because it’s a target … and again, that’s not something we did unplanned. “
The Christie administration introduced VAT in 2015 at a tax rate of 7.5%.
In 2018, a year after the vote, the Minis administration raised the rate to 12% and introduced zero rates for breadbasket items and medicines.
On January 1, 2022, the Davis administration reduced VAT from 12% to 10%, fulfilled its campaign promises and removed zero-rated items.
In parliament last week, opposition lawmakers repeatedly criticized the government’s decision to reintroduce VAT into breadbasket items and medicines and called for it to be revoked.
This issue prompted a fierce exchange between Cartwright and Glenis Hanna Martin of the Engraston MP.
https://thenassauguardian.com/keeping-vat-on-breadbasket-items-a-betrayal-fnm-deputy-says/ FNM’s adjutant states that he will keep the breadbasket VAT “betrayal”.