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Senate okays tax changes

Wade Gibbons

Senate okays tax changes

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THE SENATE yesterday passed four bills that gave effect to the removal of tax-free allowances for travel and entertainment granted employees and the increase of Value Added Tax from 15 to 17.5 per cent.
The changes had been announced by Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler in his November 2010  Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals.
The pieces of legislation passed were: the Income Tax (Amendment) Act, 2011; the Pensions Miscellaneous Provisions (Amendment) Act, 2011; the Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries Remuneration and Allowances (Amendment) Act, 2011; and the Value Added Tax (Amendment) Act, 2011.
Leader of Government Business in the Upper House, Senator Maxine McClean, noted that Barbados, like other countries, faced challenges precipitated by the global financial and economic crisis.
She told senators that Government, presiding over an open economy heavily dependent on foreign earnings, had the task of addressing the imbalance between revenues and expenditures.
She said a deficit situation had obtained for several years and it was made better or worse depending on the climate prevailing in any fiscal year.
According to McClean, the reality was that Government expended significant sums on health care, welfare services, the maintenance of physical infrastructure and other activities to ensure that Barbadians maintained a good quality of life.