PLP senators vote against VAT hike as budget passes

PLP senators vote against VAT hike as budget passes
From left: Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Chairman, Senator Fred Mitchell and Attorney General, Carl Bethel.

Senators from the opposition followed their counterparts in the House of Assembly (HOA) lead from a week ago when, on Monday evening, all four voted unanimously against Clause 24 of the proposed Bill seeking to increase value-added tax (VAT) from 7.5 per cent to 12 per cent.

The Free National Movement’s (FNM) 11 members voted, however, in favour of the clause allowing the 2018/2019 Minnis Administration budget to be approved.

In a final count, the bill was passed 11 to four will all of the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) senators opposing the bill.

In a statement issued to the press late Monday evening, Opposition Chairman Senator Fred Mitchell blasted the FNM Senators for passing the bill.

“I wish to congratulate our team in the Senate for standing up for the Bahamian people,” Mitchell wrote.

“I condemn the FNM for imposing this burdensome tax on the Bahamian people. God have mercy on us.”

The budget will now move on to be signed by the Governor General in order for it to take effect July 1, 2018.