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Small Group Of Vat Protestors Not Giving Up Fight

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Will the VAT increase significantly change your spending habits?

  • Yes 68%
  • No 32%

211 total votes.

By MORGAN ADDERLEY

Tribune Staff Reporter

madderley@tribunemedia.net

ALTHOUGH the increase of value added tax from 7.5 percent to 12 percent took effect on Sunday, an advocacy group is calling for the government to abolish this form of taxation and instead explore alternative avenues to collect revenue.

Yesterday, a small delegation of Citizens Against Bank Exploitation (CABE) demonstrated in Rawson Square. CABE lead organiser Dr Denotrah Archer-Cartwright said the group is calling for the government to reverse the tax increase.

She added that if it is planned "strategically over time" and the government diversifies its tax system, VAT in its entirety can be eliminated from the country.

"We think that they should reverse it. And if they don't know how, then they sit with groups like us, they sit with the community and they figure out other alternatives," Dr Archer-Cartwright said.

"We cannot just go and take the lazy way out. Our prime minister said it himself: taxing the people is the lazy way out."

Dr Archer-Cartwright suggested alternatives included the government "(leading) by example" and decreasing its own budget allowances for gas and travel expenses.

"We don't see the austerity measures from the government. And we don't mean…just cutting government workers."

She said the budget can be decreased by another $30m or $40m if unnecessary consultants and projects are eliminated.

She also called for salt exports to be taxed and the revenue earned used to provide aid for Ragged Island.

"We also have to have the guts to tax the foreigners in this country," Dr Archer-Cartwright said.

"We have a lot of foreign direct investment, but that money isn't trickling down to Bahamians.

"It's very disproportionate and we can see that the Bahamian people are carrying the burden of this country without the benefits. And we want to see something different from our government."

Dr Archer-Cartwright also emphasised the organisation is not against the government, but simply calling for it to create avenues for Bahamians to thrive.

Comments

OMG 4 months, 2 weeks ago

How about enforcing taxation on all the winter resident houses that rent out all year. How about aanchor fee for all the foreign boats in Exuma, increase the sin tax .

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DDK 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Well done and well said Dr. Archer-Cartwright!

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sheeprunner12 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Mooring fees can earn the country millions of dollars each year in the Out Islands ........ Reducing the Cabinet to the Constitutionally mandated minimum of NINE will cut the bureaucracy and civil service by at least 30% ........... Get rid of consultants and advisors to every Ministry .............. and I agree with the idea of MAXIMIZING our returns on our natural resources by encouraging more value-added industries ........ Solar Salt, conch shells, sand mining, cascarilla and agriculture spin-offs alone can be a BILLION dollar a year income to the Treasury - just in the Southern Bahamas.

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