Vat Is 'Unfair, Untimely And Unreasonable' - Dna

Branville McCartney

Branville McCartney

DNA leader Branville McCartney continued his push for the government to rethink the introduction of Value Added Tax (VAT), calling it an “unfair, untimely, and unreasonable” burden to place on the backs of Bahamians.

Noting that in September 2012, five months prior to the failed gambling poll, Minister of State for Finance Michael Halkitis, in response to the sovereign credit downgrade by Standard & Poor, indicated that the Government was planning to release its Tax Reform White Paper for public consultation “next month” (October 2012), Mr McCartney said it is clear from all indications that the idea of introducing VAT was well in play prior to January 2013.

“The Prime Minister confirmed this during the mid-term budget debate in February 2013 saying; ‘The Government is implementing a broad tax reform package that includes the introduction of a Value Added Tax (VAT) in July 2014. While that is an ambitious timeframe, I would note that we have had the benefit of detailed studies of the feasibility of VAT in The Bahamas’.”

Mr McCarntey added: “Mr Christie in the House of Assembly continued: ‘The White Paper (which was completed in September 2012) contains a fully articulated policy framework for VAT. Following the public consultation process, the Government will present a refined proposal, and advanced legislation to bring VAT into effect’. We are gravely concerned about Mr Christie who recently suggested to Parliament and the nation that the Prime Minister had high level talks with the Minister of Finance on the VAT issue.

“At this meeting the Prime Minister confirmed that the Minister of Finance, who apparently does not listen to the Prime Minister, was moving ahead on VAT and for this reason he (the Prime Minister) left him (the Minister of Finance) at home and would only let the Prime Minister speak.”

With these comments in mind, Mr McCartney said the public needs to worry that Mr Christie’s views are “schizophrenic” on this issue as he appears to be blaming “his alter ego for VAT”.

“Mr Michael Halkitis, the Minister of State for Finance, stated earlier this year that, apart from the imposition of Value Added Tax (VAT), the Bahamas has no other viable option to spark the required streams of revenue it needs to arrest government debt.

“However, Prime Minister Christie, speaking either as Prime Minister or one of his alter egos, stated that if anyone in the public sector has a better idea he is ready to listen. Numerous local and foreign consultancy groups later, we in the Democratic National Alliance ask, is this the same Christie who in 2013 rejected the Nassau Institute commissioned independent research study of ‘The Potential Impact of VAT for our country’ by Mr David Godsell accusing him of ‘distorting the truth’, and dismissed the DNA’s ideas as ‘nonsense’?

“Our country has not rebounded from the most devastating recession we have ever had and in light of the pending introduction of Value Added Tax we in the DNA are left to wonder if this current government truly cares about Bahamians. It cannot be fair for struggling hard working citizens of the Bahamas trying to make ends meet to now be faced with the fear of not being able to afford the basic survival items because of VAT. Moreover, the people of the Bahamas must be reminded that this government campaigned on putting people back to work and instead they now propose to put extra taxes on their backs,” he said.

At this time, the DNA leader noted, VAT is unfair, untimely, unreasonable and undesirable.

He said: “Mr Prime Minister there are alternatives… you just need to listen. Bahamians are living in a state of fear. Fear of crime, fear of increasing financial insecurity, and now, fear of VAT. There is no clear vision in sight from this group of merry men in the PLP. Their leader has been late, inconsistent and out of touch with the issues that face Bahamians daily.

“Our country is at a critical crossroad and demands that we make the tough decisions to lead our country to prosperity. We need strong dynamic leadership with a clear vision for our country. We need leadership that is not afraid to lead.”


TalRussell 6 years, 7 months ago

PM Christie has been charged with the huge responsibility by voters of having to walk around with the burdens for all of Bahamaland in he head. What could possibly be Comrade "seat-less" Bran's excuse for saying the most stupid things, and his ain't off the cuff like the PM's, Bran does write it all out in advance, before he says it. Granted the PM may have recently been sounding as if he has an alter ego located on the one side of he brain but after listening to Bran's interview with Comrade "talkie show host" Jeffery, I came away reasonably concluding that Comrade "advocate for public flogg'in for tourist photo opportunities" Bran has one them alto ego on the left side he brain and another one with an all together entirely different alter ego one other side and from sounds it, that one has its own prime ministerial personality. Bran was asked an easy question by Jeff, of which Bran answered by saying something like; "OK, let me tell you what PM Bran would do."


Thinker 6 years, 7 months ago

He advocates many things I strongly disagree with. He is just pretty because people are tired of the same people incompetently leading an incompetent government.


Honestman 6 years, 7 months ago

"We need strong dynamic leadership with a clear vision for our country." Well, no-one is going to argue with that provided the vision is one that supports ALL Bahamians and not just those wearing a particular colour of shirt. The "jobs for the boys" theology practiced by the PLP is ruining this country both in spirit and in practice. The Ishmael Lightbourne fiasco over his outstanding Property Tax and Bradley Roberts pathetic attempt to excuse his lapse says everything you need to know about how this party governs. Makes you want to throw up.


ATLParkboy 6 years, 7 months ago

Forget VAT: 1. Income Tax (based on % of income, incremental % increases Higher income = higher taxes) 2. Sales Tax 3. Property Tax (enforced) 4. Business License fees/Tax (enforced based on % profits) Also there should be certain tax exemptions to those that have incomes putting them below the poverty level. However, these will never come to pass because the ones most affected by these ideas are the elite policy/law makers & elite notable families who are all aligned inside and out of "politricks". As the kids say "Believe that, Real Talk"


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