The new Saint Lucia government is expected to be in a position to announce the new rate of Value Added Tax (VAT), before the end of October 2016.

The disclosure was made by Governor General, Dame Pearlette Louisy to parliament today.

Dame Pearlette made the comments while noting that before assuming office, the government made a number of commitments to Saint Lucians.

One of the commitments was to eventually eliminate VAT.

“My Government has commenced steps towards our objective of first reducing the rate of the Value Added Tax – the VAT – in the short term, with a view to eventually eliminating it altogether,” the Governor General said in her throne speech.

The occasion was the formal Opening of the First Session of the Eleventh Parliament of Saint Lucia.

Dame Pearlette said that discussions have been initiated with regional and international institutions to help Saint Lucia conduct a true assessment of the state of its finances,

She stated that it will be recalled that Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the current fiscal year were tabled and passed in Parliament by the out-going administration, without presentation of the policy considerations that informed those Estimates.

“My Government finds it necessary therefore to undertake a comprehensive review of those Estimates in order to determine their realism and how they affect the priority issues in Health, Education, Justice, National Security, Social Safety Nets and other areas, which we believe must be tackled in the short and medium term in order to bring economic and social stability first of all, and ultimately return our country to a path of sustainable economic growth,” the Governor General asserted.