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NSRL repeal bill approved in Senate

SHERRYLYN TOPPIN, [email protected]

NSRL repeal bill approved in Senate

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The controversial National Social Responsibility Levy (NSRL) will be no more and residents will no longer require tax clearance certificates.

On Wednesday, the Senate approved the National Social Responsibility Levy (Repeal) Bill, 2018 and the Barbados Revenue Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2018, which abolishes the tax clearance certificate.

On the NSRL, Leader of Government Business Senator Jerome Walcott said Government would monitor the situation to ensure there was no price gouging and consumers could expect to reap the benefits in two or three months.

Opposition Senator Crystal Drakes supported the repeal, but hoped the savings would be passed on to the consumer. She advised Government to publish the prices of the items in the basket of goods for consumers’ benefit.

Government Senator Dr Crystal Haynes said if the NSRL had achieved its objectives, Barbadians would have “happily dealt with it”.

Haynes said she not only opposed the tax on the grounds that it made it difficult to live in Barbados and raised the cost of living, but it also did not lead to the garbage being collected on time, people still feared going to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and surgeries were still being postponed.

She said the NSRL being raised from two to ten per cent was the breaking point for Barbadians, who took to the streets in protest.

Senator Lisa Cummins, former head of the Barbados Coalition of Service Industries, said the NSRL was an “unnecessary burden” on the people and instead of raising revenue, it dampened consumer demand. She said it took business in Barbados back by almost a decade and she welcomed its removal. (SAT)