A political blog about Bahamian politics in The Bahamas, Bahamian Politicans - and the entire Bahamas political lot. Bahamian Blogger Dennis Dames keeps you updated on the political news and views throughout the islands of The Bahamas without fear or favor.
Bahamian Politicians and the Bahamian Political Arena: Updates one Post at a time on Bahamas Politics and Bahamas Politicans.
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Value Added Tax (VAT) and Tax Reform in The Bahamas
By Dennis Dames:
the Bahamian people must realize that we cannot continue to borrow more than we
are collecting in taxes.We should appreciate as one people that
something has to give now, as it relates to getting our fiscal house in
order.Either we increase taxes, or cut
spending significantly.We do not have
years left to answer that question, and to take sound and prudent fiscal action,
my brothers and sisters.
So, that is why we are debating the impending institution
of value added tax in The Bahamas; to help us to live by a balanced budget
until further notice.This Bahamian has
already accepted the reality that we need some kind of tax reform in The
Bahamas, so that the government could collect more money on our behalf, in
order to contain the outrageous deficit spending – year after year.
Our National debt is projected to officially double in the
seven years; from $2.4 billion in July 2007, to $4.9billion to June of 2014 –
coming-up.The fiscal deficit for the
past two years is reported to be more than $500.00 million.
It is a pity that the education process on the principles
of value added tax (VAT) did not begin when the Bahamian government had signed
on to the various international agreements years ago, like: the Economic
Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with the European Union, and the World Trade
Organization (WTO). We know it was
coming nonetheless, because the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) and the Free
National Movement (FNM) made it known that value added tax (VAT) is in the
pipeline.We went through the 2012
general election - recently, and the electorate voted overwhelming for the PLP
So, what’s the problem?Who’s shocked, who’s surprised, who’s outraged and who didn’t know that
value added tax (VAT) was on the horizon?The FNM has reminded us recently, that if they were elected in 2012,
they had plans to employ value added tax (VAT) by 2015 or in thirty-six (36)
months; the PLP plans to install value added tax (VAT) by July 2014 or in
twenty-two months of their 2012 general election victory.
I think like the pundit, Dr. Gilbert Morris in the Turks
and Caicos Islands, when he sounded in that nation’s context, that it was not
that the TCI people are against value added tax (VAT), but it was felt
nationally, that more time was needed to prepare the people for the realization
of value added tax (VAT).The United
Kingdom was seen to be rushing the brush and had to eventually relent, in the
wake of public pressure from every political house - and cancel the Turks and
Caicos Islands’ value added tax kick-off date of April 01, 2013.
Our Prime Minister
has said publicly, that he is open to delaying The Bahamas’ value added tax
(VAT) execution date, which is scheduled for July of 2014.It’s a great gesture, Mr. Prime
Minister.Now it’s time for all Bahamian
people to face the music of looming tax reform in our country, and let’s start
dancing and debating.Our children and
the generations yet unborn, deserve to enjoy the fruits of our wisdom.