Castries, St.Lucia (June 7th 2016):- St.Lucia’s UWP Leader Allan Chastanet in his first address to the world as Prime Minister-Elect has listed a number of priorities that his new government intends to pursue expeditiously. Among the top priorities is an adjustment in the VAT which will see a reduction or removal of the tax. Inspired by The removal of the VAT Tax from Food and Medicine by The Team UNITY Government in St.Kitts-Nevis and the need to provide relief to St.Lucians the new UWP Adminstration will adjust downwards and or replace or remove the VAT Tax.
Chastanet said his new administration will be looking to reduce the Value Added Tax (VAT) shortly and will commence talks with the Ministry of Finance, civil society and regional and international institutions like the Caribbean Development Bank and the IMF, to find the best way forward in removing the tax all together .
“We believe while VAT is an effective tax, in the context of Saint Lucia’s economy and society it is the wrong tax,” Chastanet asserted.
The people of St. Kitts and Nevis suffered badly from the imposition of the highest introductory rate of VAT in the Caribbean, at 17% in 2010. The VAT TAX in St.Lucia was introduced in 2012 at 15%. Many Kittitians and Nevisians were hardly able to buy their food. Small and medium-sized businesses had to close as their cost of doing business was too high. Single mothers had it hard to make ends meet. Poverty was exacerbated a sa result of the TAX. This fact inspired the Team UNITY to immediately provide relief to the citizens by removing the tax from food, medicine and funeral expenses as part of their Prosperity for ALL Agenda .