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More taxes for Grenadians

SHERRYLYN CLARKE, [email protected]

More taxes for Grenadians

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ST GEORGE’S, Grenada (CMC) – The Grenada government yesterday presented a national budget of EC$933.9 million outlining a series of taxes and stressing the need for a curtailment of government expenditure over the next 12 months.
Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr Keith Mitchell presented the fiscal package to Parliament indicating that it would have recurrent revenue estimated at EC$471.1 million and recurrent expenditure of EC$487 million.
He said the budget with an overall deficit after grants totalling EC$139.4 million or 6.2 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) would be financed from domestic and external sources.
Mitchell told legislators that a loan authorization bill to raise EC$140 million in financing to support implementation of the 2014 budget accompanies the fiscal presentation and that most of the external financing will be direct support for Grenada’s “Homegrown Programme”.
The Prime Minister said that it is an established fact that Grenada now has the lowest total tax revenue in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) and throughout the consultations on the Homegrown Programme, “we have heard calls to address revenue leakages”.
“Government has heard these calls and accepts that this situation must be addressed quickly and decisively,” Mitchell said, adding “for government, this issue is more than an economic one. It is a moral issue.
“We are commanded in the Holy Scriptures to “render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s. In our system of democracy, citizens pay their taxes and the government delivers vital services to citizens. It is a contract. No country can run without taxes.”