December 11, 2012

No new taxes in 2013 budget, says PM

No new taxes are included in the 2013 budget, contrary to an article in The News newspaper on Friday, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves has said.{{more}}

“… that budget will have no, I repeat, no increase in taxes,” Gonsalves said of the Budget to be presented on January 14, 2013.

“I didn’t say one single word about increase taxes,” he told the Unity Labour Party’s 19th convention on Sunday.

Instead he said that he intended to collect more in personal income tax in 2013.

“By saying that we will collect more personal income taxes does not mean that you are increasing the rate of taxes,” he continued.

Gonsalves explained that his government had reduced personal income tax to 32.5 per cent, 40 per cent.

“And we are the ones who said for the working people where you need to pay income tax on anything over $12,000 of chargeable income, I say no I raise that up in stages to $18,000,” he said.

“But this particular newspaper all they want to do — at least the editor — is to join with the vicious worthless campaign to see if they can damage Ralph and the government of St Vincent and the Grenadines,” Gonsalves continued.

Shelly Clarke is editor of The News.

Gonsalves explained how he expected to collect an increased amount of taxes, saying administering existing tax laws was one method.

He further said that because there was an anticipated pick-up in growth in the economy, with more people finding employment, those persons would contribute to the collection of taxes.

He explained that the property tax was currently being restructured and that there will be an increase in some fees, particularly in those paid by lawyers for documents in the court.

On December 4, Parliament approved the 2013 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure, which amounted to $799.1 million. (DD)