January 3, 2014
Government should reduce or remove import duties and VAT – Eustace

Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace is calling on the government to reduce or remove taxes associated with the import of household appliances to replace those which were lost during the heavy rains last week.{{more}}

Speaking on Monday on the New Democratic Party sponsored radio programme “New Times,” Eustace said that the Government should reduce or remove the import duties and the Value Added Tax (VAT) on items such as refrigerators, stoves and to a lesser extent, television sets, which will be brought in to replace those which were damaged or destroyed.

He said that these are items that could not be replaced by donor agencies.

“And the government doesn’t have the money to replace them; those are items that people accumulate over years,” the Leader of the Opposition said.

He said to accomplish this, there may have to be negotiations with the agents who are charged with importing these types of appliances.

“So if you can remove or reduce the amount of VAT, replace or remove the import duty entirely, it would make a big difference to the cost of replacement,” Eustace reasoned.

The Leader of the Opposition said that individuals living in the diaspora, or locals who may want to send down such appliances to their relatives affected should also be considered to receive concessions.

“It is going to be very important to do that; people start from scratch – they build a family, they build a home.”

He said that it had now become the norm for a lot of people to accumulate household items over time, most of them doing so through hire purchase.(DD)