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            [post_content] => Bahamians will see a significant increase in their Value Added Tax (VAT) as an increase from 7.5 per cent to 12 per cent is scheduled form the beginning of next month. This is a 60 percent increase. According to the acting Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest, the move is projected to bring in another US$1.1 billion in revenue in the next fiscal year, which will assist in their attempt to close the fiscal gap and avoid a crisis and some of them go to ketamine clinics for depression when they lose.

“Our government fully appreciates the sacrifice that the substantial increases in the VAT rate and other taxes will represent for our citizens,” he said in making the announcement in the House of Assembly. “But, as I have repeatedly said on record, this government was elected to do what is right for the welfare of the country and not to do what is politically expedient or politically popular…We could have kicked the can down the road and borrowed some more, delaying the inevitable day of reckoning. By playing this game we would have only made a bad situation worse.”

Turnquest also announced VAT-free breadbasket items.

“Effective August 1, we are eliminating VAT on all breadbasket items, with the exception of sugar, as sugar will – for health reasons – be removed from the list of breadbasket items,” he said. “These items include butter, cooking oil, mayonnaise, grits, cheese, corned beef, evaporated milk, margarine, rice, flour, tomato paste, baby cereal, soups, broths, powdered detergents and mustard, among other things.”

But Turnquest has indicated that the government “remains open to all viable” alternatives to a 12 per cent VAT. The increase comes three and a half years after the VAT system was introduced to the island.
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Value Added Tax (VAT) For Bahamas Scheduled To Increase By 60 Percent

June 8, 2018
1

Bahamians will see a significant increase in their Value Added Tax (VAT) as an increase from 7.5 per cent to 12 per cent is scheduled form the beginning of next month. This is a 60...Continue reading

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            [post_date] => 2018-05-27 10:00:22
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            [post_content] => Hours after her Barbados Labour Party (BLP) created history by becoming the first political party to secure a clean sweep of the seats up for grabs in elections, party leader Mia Mottley marked her name in the history books as well, as she was sworn in as the island’s first female PM. The 52-year-old took the oath of office before Governor General Dame Sandra Mason at Government House just after noon today. Queen’s Counsel Dale Marshall was also sworn in as Attorney General.

The swearing-in came about nine hours after Mottley’s predecessor, Freundel Stuart, conceded that his Democratic Labour Party (DLP) had been defeated at yesterday’s polls. Mottley, Barbados’ eighth prime minister is expected to name the rest of her Cabinet over the weekend.

Speaking to the reports after the ceremony, Mottley said her immediate order of business would include dealing with critical issues such as the South Coast Sewerage Project; the lack of public transportation; the absence of regular garbage collection; the payment of the foreign debt which is due this month; and stabilizing the foreign reserves. She disclosed that she had already spoken to the leadership of the Social Partnership and indicated that she wished to meet with them on Monday, so they could set a framework by which to go forward.

“I will want to meet twice monthly, particularly during this period of getting these mission critical issues right, with the leadership of the Social Partnership because above all else, Barbados needs consensus to move forward. Barbados needs to be talked through the difficult decisions so that everyone can play their part. My mantra has been many hands make light work and it shall continue to be that way,” she stressed.

The Prime Minister said that over the course of the next week, she hoped to put in place a financial discovery team so they could get a clearer picture as to the true state of Government’s finances and the necessary decisions could be made. In addition, she promised that Government would regularly communicate with citizens, at least twice monthly in the first instance and thereafter, as required.

“There will be a Press Secretary to the Prime Minister’s Office and a Press Secretary to Cabinet. We recognize that in the absence, particularly, of an official Opposition, we have an even greater duty to keep the public of Barbados informed at all times and I intend to ensure that that is done,” Mottley assured.
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Barbados Government Welcomes First Female PM & New Attorney General

May 27, 2018
1

Hours after her Barbados Labour Party (BLP) created history by becoming the first political party to secure a clean sweep of the seats up for grabs in elections, party leader Mia M...Continue reading

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            [post_date] => 2018-05-03 10:00:28
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            [post_content] => Prime Minister Andrew Holness says Jamaica’s unemployment rate declined to a record low 9.6 per cent as at the end of January.

That is down from the 10.4 per cent out-turn for the last quarter of 2017, and dips below the 9.8 per cent recorded in the corresponding quarter back in 2007.

Holness said of note is the decline in youth unemployment. That fell to 23.8 per cent as at the end of January 2018, down from 31.7 per cent for the corresponding period last year. The unemployment rate among male youth fell by 4.7 percentage points to 20.4 per cent, while there was a 4.9 per cent decline in the female rate from 17 per cent in January 2017 to 12.1 per cent as at January 2018.

Among those counted in the 9.6 per cent who are unemployed, the Prime Minister said, are youth who are not trained, are below the educational attainment for their age, and are not currently attached to any institution.

“They would probably make up the largest portion of the unemployed,” he said.

Holness also reported significant investments and development interest in business process outsourcing, tourism and hospitality, services generally, mining, and construction and civil development.

He noted, however, that the immediate constraint on the expansion of these enterprises is the availability of a labour force “that is at least at the minimum educational attainment level for their life cycle; that possesses work-ready attitudes; and are amenable to training”.

Holness emphasised the Government’s goal of ensuring that “no one is left behind” and that there is “equal opportunity for every Jamaican to self-actualize”.

He emphasized that the best way to achieve this is by providing individuals with gainful employment. A regular job will open access to plenty of opportunities, including how to apply for a business loan with bad credit.

Against this background, the Prime Minister said the Government has been proactive in implementing human resource development policies that ensure alignment between the output of the education and training institutions and the skill demand of industries.
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Jamaica Unemployment Declines To All Time Low At 9.6%

May 3, 2018
1

Prime Minister Andrew Holness says Jamaicas unemployment rate declined to a record low 9.6 per cent as at the end of January. That is down from the 10.4 per cent out-turn for th...Continue reading