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Mottley queries how many will benefit

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THOUGH SUPPORTING amendments to the Value Added Tax (VAT) and Income Tax Bills, Opposition Leader Mia Mottley yesterday called for reviews to determine the number of people who will benefit from the initiatives.She was responding to Acting Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, who earlier outlined the benefits in the House of Assembly.First-time homeowners will be able to claim up to $14 000 as a rebate on building materials. A tax exemption in respect of locally produced items of art and craft sold at the Grantley Adams International Airport or the Bridgetown Port is also provided.Mottley said she had concerns about how many people had applied for incentives as it related to the VAT.She recalled that in 2007, the Barbados Labour Party Government passed a Housing Incentives Act that recognised there was a genuine issue related to the provision of housing for low income Barbadians.Therefore, she added, everything had to be done both fiscally and legislatively to ensure that costs were kept down to create a viable investment framework for people who wanted to provide such houses.She said the Opposition’s position was that between January 2008 and August 2010, Government’s housing policies had generally excluded people earning less than $3 000 per month.Mottley said the 2007 Housing Incentives Act identified that there was a cost structure disparity and added she found it curious that Government was only now accepting this fact since it had taken up office. (WG)