Raymond hails VAT reduction

Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Doctor Ubaldus Raymond, has told reporters that based on his own discussions with consumers and merchants, a recent reduction in the rate of Value Added Tax (VAT) has been welcomed by consumers and merchants.

The minister said he was not aware of reports of price gouging , adding that the division in the Ministry of Commerce that deals the issue of controlled prices has not raised that issue with the Ministry of Finance.

“I have done my own discussions with individuals, especially consumers and merchants and  they have said that they believe because of the lower prices, there has been some increase in economic activity,” Raymond said.

The minister said people are excited because they are no longer paying the 15 percent on VAT but 12.5 percent.

“I think it is a very exciting time for both merchants and consumers,” Raymond declared.

He told reporters that both sectors are looking forward to even further decreases in VAT in the future.

In November last year, Prime Minister, Allen Chastanet,  announced a reduction in the standard  VAT rate from the standard 15 percent to 12.5 percent.

The reduction in VAT took effect on February 1, 2017.

The Prime Minister said that as a result of the measure,  an estimated  52.5 million dollars a year will be  pumped back into the hands of the people of this country.