PM says “the law is the law” on VAT treatment of medical insurance

PM says  “the law is the law” on VAT treatment of medical insurance

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Prime Minister Philip Davis said yesterday that “the law is the law” as he defended the decision by the Ministry of Finance to stop insurers from recovering the 10 percent VAT paid on health insurance claims payments.

Opposition spokesman on Finance, Kwasi Thompson yesterday insisted that the actions of the Davis administration are destroying the middle class.

Thompson made the assertion during his contribution to the debate on the Nurses and Midwives Bill 2022. Thompson noted that the Ministry of Finance has determined that insurance companies may no longer deduct VAT paid out as an input, claiming that the cost of health care premiums and health care costs to tens of thousands of Bahamian families will increase.

“Clearly their decision to add a new tax on insurance companies will increase insurance premiums for all of us. They have been told this by the industry. And second, their decision to add VAT on insurance claims will also increase the cost of healthcare,” said Thompson.

He went on to note, “This does rise to the level of a policy change and anything that has the potential to increase health care costs for hundreds of thousands of Bahamians is a policy matter. Did the Cabinet even decide on this matter? Why have we not heard from a policymaker on this decision? This Government just does not get it. Your actions continue to increase the burdens on the backs of Bahamians. It is destroying the middle class.”

For his part, Davis said the question centered on whether issuers should pay VAT for the medical services they are paying for.

“The Act says they do,” Davis said.

“Right now they are running afoul of the Act. We are implementing it. Yes they see it as an additional cost for them and yes we are taking into account the complaint about the additional cost but the law is the law.”

Thompson also claimed that increasing electricity costs, and placing VAT on breadbasket items and medication were among the “bad decisions” which have impacted the cost of living for Bahamians. 

“We already warned about the additional amount Customs Brokers would have to pay, importing goods would increase. And now you want premiums and private healthcare to increase. How much more can Bahamians take,” said Thompson.

Thompson said that the Opposition was opposed to any discussion on any additional tax measure being proposed to introduce a tax on sugar and salt as announced by Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Michael Darville. 

“The FNM deeply believes in improving and has worked tirelessly to address the crisis of non-communicable diseases in the Bahamas,” Thompson continued.

“Studies show that while the increase in the cost of unhealthy food does decrease its consumption, price decreases have a larger effect on diet. Where are the Government’s plans to decrease the cost of healthy foods and provide help to those less fortunate to obtain healthy foods? The FNM calls on the Government to first implement subsidies for healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables before it increases the tax burden on working Bahamians,” said Thompson.

Speaking to the Nurses and Midwives Bill, Thompson noted that a huge challenge for nurses and all healthcare professionals is the overcrowding at PMH.

Thompson said: “We owe a debt of gratitude to every nurse and every healthcare professional who serves in the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. It is because we owe so much to this profession that we must not fail them.”

“There are simply too many people attempting to access the Healthcare system. Unfortunately for Nurses due to the actions of this Government this problem will become even worse because of the anticipated increase in the cost of private healthcare,” said Thompson.


Brave Davis only looking out for himself!!!..he used poor people as a mat to clean his dirty shoes.

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