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Manufacturers Seeking Urgent Meeting With Pierre On Health & Citizen Security Levy

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Saint Lucia Manufacturers have expressed concern to Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre over implementing the 2.5 percent health and citizen security levy and are seeking an urgent meeting with him.

“With the publication of the subject Act on July 18, 2023 and your pronouncements in Parliament that the manufacturing sector would not be affected by this new 2.5% levy, as an association, we were surprised to note that the manufacturing sector was not exempted from the Levy,” a July 28 Saint Lucia Manufacturers Association (SMA) letter to Pierre stated.

The letter noted that although the measure exempted food, as per a meeting between the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) and manufacturers on Wednesday, July 26, 2023, at the port, all packaging and raw materials imports will attract the Levy.

According to the SMA letter, this change in position makes it extremely challenging for its members to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This would also mean an increase to our price on products to consumers as it would be compounded on the already established VAT, making the increase more than a 2.5% impact,” the document observed.

It also said the timing between the publication and implementation of the Act was challenging for SMA members.

The letter stated that the members would need to adjust their systems, and the IRD would need to train with SMA members.

It recalled receiving information regarding the issue of a new levy reporting form.

But the SMA letter explained that the organisation had yet to, at the time, receive it.

“Our Executive Director, Ms. Paula James, has been reaching out to the Ministry of Commerce from the time of the announcement of the new levy till now, and they also have not been able to provide any insights on how we are to proceed forward,” the letter, signed by SMA President Marguerite Desir disclosed.

“We are therefore seeking an urgent audience to meet with you and your team to discuss the implications this can have on our production,” the letter stated.

The Government of Saint Lucia plans to introduce a Health and Citizen Security Levy for two years commencing August 2, 2023.

The Levy will be payable to existing VAT registrants responsible for remitting to the Comptroller of Inland Revenue.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. At this stage in the game details have not been ironed out in regards to this tax. Come on GOSL, we delayed 1 month for dialogue and it is still not clear the impact of the tax and the mechanics around it.

  2. This is like telling a man to bring me a basket of water. RN this government ain care shait if you eat or starve. Their pockets continue to be filling with the quantum kickbacks and Perks. They accused the UWP with howich shit yet still we not seeing anyone going to jail. Keep your money out of the bank and operate cash … No one can trace it.

  3. Yeah, best prime Minister, most experienced, economist who preacher transparency. Preached about corruption yet no one going jail. All you’ll politrixters deserve Fire and Brimstone. All you’ll fooling de people, and de foolish people keep voting de same set of derelict politrixters over and over, every 5 years repeat the same mistake and expect a difference? UWP and SLP has to go….

  4. New taxes, especially in a period of inflation, wreak of desperation. There never seems to be any efforts to curb the graft, wastage and inefficiency in the pickup sector, just more taxes to squeeze the blood from stone from already overtaxed local businesses. This new tax would have been much better served if it was just made a VAT, but for no other reason than politics, it was instead named a levy. The end result is local businesses now being taxed on a tax, with the inevitable result being even higher commodity prices. I await the go to playbook move of accusing local businesses of gouging, while they are merely the scapegoats for inept fiscal policy.

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