Consumers: Too late to cry over VAT

Just two days after the 4.5 per cent hike in value-added tax (VAT), some consumers and store owners are now saying that it’s too late to cry over the increase.

While some are still not pleased with the change, most told Eyewitness News, that they are resigned to go along with the tax scale, noting that the hike was necessary for the country to grow economically.

“This should’ve happened five years ago,” according to Delereese Johnson, a Super Value shopper.

“I don’t mind the 12 per cent. It’s either that or we end up like Haiti. It’s summertime now. You go check out the airports. People will still be vacationing – no one is canceling their trips to Disney World.”

As for store owners, they told Eyewitness News that they’re still undergoing changes.

President of Automotive Industrial Distributors (A.I.D.) Philip Watson said, the company is still looking into system preparations for price changes.

“Our store in Freeport was closed for over an hour and a half this morning because our system wasn’t ready,” Watson said.

“We have over seven different locations (but) we haven’t had any problems in New Providence.”

While some stores have updated their prices, others have been accused of price gouging.

Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis gave a stern warning to all store owners recently, as he assured that they will be penalized for price gouging and that there are current officers on duty, specifically looking to see if prices are accurate.