Any hopes of having the Value Added Tax (VAT) reduced or removed totally, have been dashed.
Dominica”s finance minister and Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, has announced that this will never be considered.
There have been public calls by sections of the business community for the Skerrit-led administration to either remove or reduce the VAT because of the global financial crisis.
However, he told a water commissioning ceremony moments ago, that government has no intention towards moving in that direction.
“I want to say to the certain groups and individuals who have been calling for the removal of VAT or exemption of VAT, they should not pursue that call if they are really interested in the well being of the country. If they want their government to be reckless and irresponsible, the consequences of these things can be detrimental to the well being of the country,” he said.
The prime minister has also urged his government colleagues not to entertain any such requests or even consider the removal of VAT since it would hurt the country financially.
“From where I sit, if we were to do any of those things, we would have to go back to a very stringent IMF program, make a series of cuts and we would be hurting far more than we are under a VAT regime,” Skerrit argued.
Skerrit also indicated that not even the government is exempt from the VAT.
“Government is the biggest contributor of VAT revenue because government itself is not exempt from any aspect of the VAT legislation. I am resolute on that and I am making this statement in the best interest of the whole of Dominica,” he added.
He said while it may be politically appealing to remove the VAT, “I am not in the business of destroying the country’s economical standing for political gain”.
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