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Press Release:– In 2017, the United Workers Party Government introduced a Property Tax Amnesty for the people of Saint Lucia.
This meant that for over four years no one was charged Property Tax. This was an initiative that predated COVID-19 and was part of the United Workers Party’s plans to continuously ease the burden of taxes on the people of Saint Lucia.
Among the tax relief efforts of the UWP was also the decrease of Value Added Tax which was instituted by the SLP administration in 2012.
In its 2021 Manifesto, Philip J Pierre’s SLP boldly promised to completely “remove the current Property Tax on residential buildings.” We now know that this was another part of the big lie.
At Tuesday’s sitting of Parliament, the Prime Minister only amended the Land and House Tax Act, which basically extends the UWP initiated Property Tax Freeze initiative.
Mr. Pierre failed miserably as he attempted to hide the fact that his Government was not removing the Residential Tax as was promised.
One of the hallmarks of the UWP administration was tax relief measures. We wanted to ensure that we reduced burdensome taxing of the people of Saint Lucia.
The SLP has adopted an approach of simply extending or piggy-backing on our initiatives because as we all can see they have no plan. As one of their members recently said, “there is no dynamic thinking going on in the SLP”.
The hold on property tax for the last 4 years was a UWP initiative. We are pleased to see it continue, however the Prime Minister went to great lengths in the House to not give our administration the credit for commencing this initiative and also tried to pass it off as the same as eliminating the tax altogether which is what he promised.
He is trying to hoodwink the voters once again because this was already in place under a UWP administration.
The Prime Minister hid behind the UWP initiative and now says he will conduct a review of the tax system in Saint Lucia. The Ministry of Finance is filled with reviews of Saint Lucia’s tax regime. There is no need for another review. We know what the issues are and the prime minister needs to admit once and for all he has no plan.
Speaking in the House of Parliament on Tuesday Choiseul/Saltibus MP Honourable Bradly Felix also pointed out the hypocrisy: “It is a bill we will support because it is something that was initiated under our watch but the promise that the current government made to the people was that they would cancel the residential tax. When you say you would cancel it everyone would think it is in perpetuity.”
Another on a long list of promises that the SLP has failed to deliver.