HEALTH Minister Dr Duane Sands. Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune staff
NEW healthy items will soon be added to the country’s breadbasket item list, Minister of Health Dr Duane Sands said yesterday.
Spinach, broccoli, almonds and certain fruits will be on the new list, making them price controlled and VAT free.
“Mr Speaker, we will keep ‘da’ corn beef, for now at least,” Mr Sands said during his contribution to the 2019/2020 budget debate.
“However, as this new budget is heralded into effect, the Bahamian people will touch in their cupboards and feel in their wallets the work done over the last fiscal year to make healthier food options more affordable through a reimagined and less obesogenic breadbasket,” Dr Sands said.
“Specifically, Bahamians can look forward to spinach, broccoli, romaine lettuce, apples, oranges, strawberries, beans, peas, almonds and so much more being not only vat-free, but price protected.
“Related to this issue Mr Speaker, my ministry is not satisfied to stop here. We have heard the noise in the market and identify with the cries across the length and breadth of the Bahamas that reduced duty, or duty-free concessions on varied produce and food items are not transferring to the customer at the cash register. We will work with civil society, consumer protection, the grocers’ community and others to ensure this is remedied.”
Dr Sands did not say when the new breadbasket list will come into effect.
As of August 1, 2018, VAT was removed from all breadbasket items, except sugar.