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Thumbs up for new GSC

ALEX DOWNES, [email protected]

Thumbs up for new GSC

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It seems some Barbadians are ready to bear the load of another tax as far as the new Garbage and Sewage Contribution (GSC) is concerned.

In her Mini-Budget address yesterday, Prime Minister Mia Mottley announced the GSC as a means of helping the Sanitation Service Authority (SSA) collect garbage and the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) to deal with the ongoing sewage issues.

As a result, households will pay $1.50 per day on their existing water bill, with $1.25 going to the SSA for garbage collection and 25 cents going to the BWA. Pensioners living alone will pay half of that $1.50 per day fee.

Commercial premises will pay 50 per cent of their water bill, split evenly between both entities.

There was mixed reaction to this new tax, which comes into effect on August 1.

“Bajans have come along liking too much freeness. You have to bear the penalty and the cost some way,” Jefferson Green said while speaking to the DAILY NATION in Palmetto Square, The City.

“You’re crying out you want free education at the University of the West Indies. Well, you know you have to take that from somewhere,” he added.

Green said he had no real issue with the overall Budget, but wanted the issue of appointments for Government workers dealt with.

At the nearby Old City Bar, Casper Doughlin said he was also fine with the GSC.

“The tax is not bad because the Government needs help now. I can live with it. The Democratic Labour Party did nothing and they have Mia in trouble,” he said.

“The schoolchildren [should pay] bus fare. They come, get out at a bus stop and just get back on another bus for no reason,” he said.

In her address, Mottley said it was unfair for only residents in Bridgetown and the South Coast to bear all of the costs related to the sewerage system and Government expected to save an estimated $65 million from their Budget.

But it wasn’t all thumbs up for the new tax.

“I think that is too harsh. Why can’t it be five dollars a week for everybody who works?” queried one man who asked to remain anonymous while at a bar in The City.

He was quickly countered by his friend, Dave Phillips, who adamantly defended the tax, saying: “Whatever the Prime Minister does, I will welcome.” (AD)