Categorized | National News


With the increase in Value Added Tax (VAT) becoming  effective on Sunday, July 1st,  many organizations in Civil Society are bracing themselves for increase expenditures and a shortfall in revenue.

That includes local charities like The Red Cross, The Salvation Army, and The Great Commission, who either expect or are already seeing a jump in the number of people needing assistance.

Red Cross Director General, Caroline Turnquest, admitted it’s going to require a further tightening of the purse strings.

“So far, we have already seen a little increase in persons coming in and we just have to scale up on our fundraising activities to ensure that we have enough funds to assist those persons,” she said.

“Because we have not been granted an increase in our subvention from The Bahamas government, that fee remains the same.

“However our expenses will go up because we purchase those things and the necessary items that we need, they have VAT added to them, so it means our expenses will go up. 

“Not only the items we need for the program; the utilities would go up because we also pay VAT on our utilities. 

“So, we know that it’s going to be a bit more challenging, because we have to see how were going to manage meeting the expenses,” she said.

Already struggling to meet its existing needs, both Divisional Commander of The Salvation Army, Major Clarence Ingraham, and Bishop Walter Hanchell, President of Great Commission Ministries, said it’s going to be quite a challenge.

“We are struggling ourselves to determine the impact the increase in VAT will have on our operations as well,” said Major Ingraham.

“We expect that there will be an increased demand of course for services, probably particularly for food. 

“And then, our costs are going to increase in every way because VAT will impact all of what we do as well. 

“So we’re expecting an increase in cost in terms of what we do just our operational costs and then we’re anticipating that there will be an increase in demand as well.

“It’s probably going to hit us from both directions so to speak, which is going to create a considerable challenge for us at this point, because we’re already struggling just to meet the needs that we have,” said Major Ingraham.

Bishop Walter Hanchell, President of Great Commission Ministries, shared similar sentiments. 

“We’ve seen an increase in clients coming to us for the last three years. Every year the numbers keep increasing,” he said. 

“We just have to deal with it and believe that we will get the support of the community to help us to cope with all of these extra people who are struggling and disenfranchised,” said Bishop Hanchell.

Major Ingraham said the increase is just a very big concern at this point.

“We haven’t really had time to put a lot of analysis into how deeply it would impact us,” Ingraham said.

Ms. Turnquest said that the first board meeting will be held next week where they will look what they will do as an organization. 

“We do realize that there is no way of getting around it, we expect our expenses will definitely go up.”


The new VAT rate takes effect Sunday, July 1, 2018.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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