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House moves to scrap NSRL

SHAWN CUMBERBATCH, [email protected]

House moves to scrap NSRL

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There was nothing social or responsible about the former Government’s most controversial tax policy and it had to go.

Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Ryan Straughn, yesterday gave that justification as the House of Assembly moved to repeal the National Social Responsibility Levy (NSRL).

However, based on the legislation, NRSL will not disappear totally immediately. That’s because the amendment said “the provisions of the principal act relating to the collection, payment and assessment of the levy shall continue in force until all liabilities incurred under the act are discharged”.

Also, it added that “relating to the refund of overpayments shall continue in force until those liabilities have been discharged”. The legislation also said the minister could issue exemptions for liabilities incurred.

In her Mini-Budget last week, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Mia Mottley announced NSRL would be repealed effective July 1, which would cost Government about $145 million.

Straughn said NSRL “was flawed from inception” and Barbadians “suffered tremendously” after its introduction.

The Christ Church East Central MP said: “We have listened to the people of Barbados, we have listened to the business interests in Barbados and it is absolutely clear that nobody in Barbados benefited from the introduction of this NSRL.

“At every opportunity the previous administration sought to inflict hardship and increase the . . . cost of living on Barbadians. We will be removing the shackles from the people of Barbados that they have experienced over the last two years with this dreaded [NSRL].”

Straughn also pointed out that contrary to the promise that NSRL money would be used to help fund the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, buy garbage trucks and help in other areas, this did not take place.

The minister said the imminent repeal of NSRL, coupled with the measures announced in the Mini-Budget, showed that Government intended to focus on more equitable tax policies. (SC)