Bahamas, I told you this. Financial Secretary John Rolle is now in today’s paper confirming it – the 7.5% VAT rate coming on in January will go up not long afterward. So not only was that 7.5% rate just something to pacify Bahamians while they change the VAT Bill to make you pay VAT on items and areas they first told you wouldn’t attract VAT, the rate is going TO BE INCREASED anyway. The government used the “delay and decrease” carrot to make Bahamians believe they were backing off from something on VAT. Instead, they are doing exactly what they promised the IMF (International Monetary Fund) and what the IMF said they wanted from the start – VAT CHARGED ON ALMOST EVERYTHING, and at the high rate they want. WINNER – THE IMF. LOSER – THE BAHAMIAN PEOPLE & THEIR LIVELIHOODS.
Well, the Prime Minister announced what those of you who read me would already know I have said regarding VAT. Instead of getting VAT in at 15% from the start with many key areas being exempted, there will be a slight delay in VAT, and now it will be charged on most of the items & areas Bahamians were initially told would not attract VAT. And then after VAT is introduced next year at 7.5%, the rate will be increased later on (as it always is by every single country that ever implements VAT). Our debt to GDP ratio along with a likely or potential credit downgrade will be among the reasons given for that initial 7.5% VAT rate needing to be later increased. That’s how this will play out. Now wait and see the areas the government will tell you must now attract VAT as of January – it will be almost all of the areas they first told you would be exempt from VAT, in the hopes that those previously announced exemptions would have helped them to be able to sell VAT to you easier in the beginning. THE “DECREASED VAT” RATE IS NOT THE “GOOD” IT APPEARS TO BE. THE GOV’T DIDN’T GIVE YOU ANYTHING, IT WILL SIMPLY ACHIEVE IT AND THE IMF’S ORIGINAL OBJECTIVES BY THE STAGGERED PROCESS I JUST OUTLINED. Continue reading
My people never cease to amaze me. There is not one single salient thing said on VAT by the two visiting consultants from New Zealand that has not firstly already been said to our government by the IMF, or that has not already repeatedly been said to the government by Bahamians, yet the government and the Bahamian media are behaving as though salient points stated by these gentlemen, with all due respect to them, are brand new or independently consequential. As just one example: there is no VAT Bill and no VAT infrastructure in place. Did Bahamians really need their tax dollars to be used to pay foreign consultants to tell us what we already know and have said, which is that trying to implement this radically new tax in weeks with nothing in place would be “challenging”? And the off-beat goes on. Continue reading
So now the Prime Minister is hurling threats against Bahamians over our right to free speech on our own money & tax dollars. “Why fight the Public Treasury” in our protests and concerns about VAT, he dares to ask. Say what Mr. Christie? The Public Treasury belongs to the public, not the Prime Minister. Continue reading
So after three previously missed deadlines for release, the government returned to Parliament from its summer break today without its Value Added Tax Bill & Regulations in hand, and without indicating when its tabling would happen. Continue reading
Bahamas, recognize what is being done to you by your government through its current process of introducing and implementing Value Added Tax (VAT). The end of September has now become the third self-imposed deadline the government has failed to meet to release its VAT Bill and Regulations to the Bahamian people. Continue reading