Remember the video below from January 2014? International agencies have already said that if the money the government is now getting from us for VAT is not going to be used to cut down the deficit, then VAT will not prevent The Bahamas’ credit from being downgraded. Prime Minister Christie announced at the beginning of 2015 that his government plans to take the VAT money and spend it on other things. This is not what the country was told about the reason we needed VAT. We were told we needed VAT to cut down our debt. Continue reading
Today, FNM Senator Heather Hunt issued the following statement: “Today I tendered my resignation as an F.N.M Senator to the President of the Senate. Mrs. Sharon Wilson. My resignation comes following the request of the Leader of the Free National Movement Dr. Hubert Minnis. Dr. Minnis is moving to implement a plan announced at the appointment of F.N.M Senators in 2012. At that time, he advised the public and his appointees that the appointments to the Senate would be for a period of two and a half years.” Continue reading
We complain all the time that the government and the police need to “do something about crime”. But when we say that, there are only certain crimes we are really focusing on. Rape, and in particular statutory rape (sex with a minor) is a SERIOUS issue and one of the most under-reported and un-prosecuted crimes in this country. Sex with a minor is not a laughing matter. Minors engaging in sexual activity is not a laughing matter. In our society, when a minor is reported as missing and then is later found in the company of an adult male, we brush it off saying “these lil gals too wild.” What we are not focusing on though, is that whether that minor child was with that adult willingly or not, MINORS CANNOT LEGALLY CONSENT TO SEX. SEX WITH A MINOR IS RAPE. Continue reading
People ask why Bahamians are so passive. There are numerous reasons – key among them is that many Bahamians today leave school not being able to read, write or calculate beyond a middle school grade level, and both reading and listening comprehension skills of many graduates are far below their grade level. Critical thinking is also not a fundamental facet of our national curriculum. If the tools of those who govern far outstretch those of the governed – what we see today and have seen for years is what one should expect to see. This must change or we cannot truly advance.
No education = no liberation.
No comprehension brings apprehension. Continue reading
#1 – Widespread confusion, because consumers are not certain of what is supposed to happen at Point of Sale (the register) based on the sticker price on the item.
#2 – THE POTENTIAL FOR BEING CHARGED VAT TWICE. Depending on how a business’ Point of Sale system is set up, if the register rings out an item using the price on the VAT Inclusive sticker AS IS without stripping the VAT out, and the system is set up to charge 7.5% on whatever comes up as the subtotal – consumers will end up being charged VAT twice, because the sticker price is supposed to already have the 7.5% included, but the system would be charging VAT on that VAT Inclusive sticker price. Continue reading
The Consumer Action Bahamas Group, “The People’s Page”, is an advocacy, educational and informational site. It is created to help one another navigate the new world of VAT pricing; to expose price gougers, rip-offs, VAT scams, VAT overpricing and VAT lawbreakers; to locate the best and safest bargains; to know and push for our rights as consumers; and to educate one another on existing VAT Legislation and Rules as well as on the best ways to cope and save money in the new world of VAT. Date launched: Saturday, January 3, 2015 at 3:00pm.
PRICE GOUGING is absolutely happening right now in our grocery stores. And I did not say stores are already increasing prices by 7.5%, which is the VAT rate. I said PRICE GOUGING, where the markup on some grocery items is as much as 40% in the last few weeks. I was at a store just now and a fresh fruit item (which is duty-free and has been for years) and is usually priced around $7.00 is now on the shelf at almost TEN DOLLARS ($9.49 to be exact). An only 7.5% increase (VAT rate) would cause the price to go from $7.00 to $7.53. To go from $7.00 to $9.49 is A 35.5% INCREASE IN PRICE ON A DUTY FREE ITEM BEFORE VAT HAS EVEN BEEN ADDED. At another store, a pack of peas which has always been priced at around $5 is now around $7.50 – again, a 35.7% INCREASE in price. This is not VAT, this is PRICE GOUGING AHEAD OF VAT. Continue reading
The government is required by law (the VAT Act) to generate and publish a list of all businesses that have registered for VAT, and this list by law must be kept current and made readily accessible to the public at all times. This list lets you know which businesses should be charging VAT. When a business is registered, it is to charge you 7.5% VAT on all goods and relevant services which it must turn over to the government in full. If a business is not registered but it is charging you VAT, that means it would be collecting that extra tax money from you with no arrangement to turn that money over to the government (and it can then just pocket the money if it chooses to). IN OTHER WORDS, IF A BUSINESS IS NOT REGISTERED FOR VAT, IT SHOULD NOT BE CHARGING YOU VAT. Here is the link on the Government’s Official Website to the list of businesses that have registered thus far. Continue reading
How do you know you are in The Bahamas? When a government Minister can tell the public that even though the new Gaming Act mandates the issuance of gaming licenses to legally conduct numbers house operations in The Bahamas, the government will permit numbers houses to conduct gaming without the gaming licenses required by law. So for everyone in this country right now who has a business license and you’re behind on your fees or you want to run a business but you don’t have a licence – the government should not come around your head or try to close down your business claiming you are in breach of the law, now that a Cabinet Minister has announced that you can operate a gaming house in this country without a gaming license. What’s good for the gaming houses should be good for all businesses. If they don’t need a license though the law says they do, then it should be open season for all businesses. Continue reading