Categorized | National News

FNM Slams VAT As Double Taxation

The Free National Movement (FNM) said while it does support a major tax reform in the country, the Opposition stands firm in its disapproval for Value Added Tax (VAT) or any tax other which impose additional burdens on the average Bahamian.

“By their own admission, the Christie government has said that VAT will increase the level of poverty, it will increase the amount of needs among average Bahamians to the extent where they at least stated their commitment to put more money behind it,” said FNM Chairman Darron Cash during a recent interview with the Bahama Journal.

“Well, if they know that is going to be the consequence of VAT it really boggles the mind that at a time when people can’t keep their lights on today, they are going to engage in systemic process of double taxation – that is going to hurt the poor.”
In the face of looming VAT that is expected to take effect in January 2015 at 7.5 per cent, Mr. Cash expressed concern over the government’s inability to manage the existing tax system in the country.

“So if they can’t collect the taxes that are on the books, they’ve decided to take the easy way out which is just to impose additional new taxes on people who aren’t organised who can’t launch campaigns to fight for themselves, so that is going to hurt the Bahamian people, so yes they’re bringing VAT, they’re trying to make it happen within a short period of time, it’s going to create burdens on poor people at the same time they’re going to be cutting a lot of slack to well to do people who do not pay their taxes including a lot of people in the leadership of the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) that is what the FNM is fundamentally opposed to.”

Debate on the VAT Bill is expected to take place in House of Assembly soon, according to Mr. Cash he is not aware of any discussions within the FNM to vote against the bill.

At this time, Mr. Cash said the Opposition will continue to voice its concerns regarding the proposed legislation.

New Zealand-based VAT experts, who visited The Bahamas to consult the government on the proposed tax, they advised the administration to consider delaying the enforcement date and lowering its proposed tax rate of 15 per cent.
The experts also stated that VAT is the best form of taxation a government can introduce.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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