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Worrell to recommended Govt scrap VAT

SHERRYLYN CLARKE, [email protected]

Worrell to recommended Govt scrap VAT

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UNAPOLOGETIC VALUE ADDED TAX (VAT) critic, Central Bank Governor Dr DeLisle Worrell, is likely to officially recommend that Barbados abandons the levy.
Calling it “a mess” and a “controversial” measure that was “inappropriate” for Barbados, the respected economist said “a simple sales tax” would suffice.
Worrell recently shared a similar view with the Bahamian media and today, while fielding questions from the media following yesterday’s release of the first quarter economic review, restated his strong opposition to VAT.
He said the tax, which was introduced in January 1997 and has earned Government hundreds of millions of dollars, was an unnecessary complication.
“I have always said that the value added tax is an inappropriate tax . . . for any tourism island and it is an inappropriate tax for an economy where you do not use your own raw materials, your raw materials are imported. It has absolutely no advantages for us and it is a complicated tax to operate. It creates all kinds of controversy [determining] what you exempt and what you don’t exempt,” he said.
“The Minister [of Finance Chris Sinckler] is going to be announcing [International Monetary] Fund assistance for a review of the tax system and when that happens I will be sure to share my views.”
Worrell said the better option was “a simple sales tax”, and he argued that “in the way the VAT is applied to many of our services it is actually a sales tax, what we have is not a value added tax in many respects”. (SC)