Bahamians given tax relief on some items but dished a blow of 12% VAT
It’s being described as a landmark budget that will change the fiscal landscape of the country as the government presented its 2018-2019 financial road map in Parliament Wednesday morning.
While loaded with tax eliminations and reductions, the government introduced an overall increase in value-added tax (VAT) from 7.5 per cent to 12 percent – a 67 per cent increase.
Deputy Prime Minister Peter Turnquest said Wednesday that the economy is in trouble and firm measures must be implemented as interest on government loans continue to increase and the country’s finances sink deeper in the red.
He described yesterday’s budget presentation as a day of “fiscal reckoning”, claiming his government is attempting to undo the wrongs of successive governments.
He said despite government’s ability to save $120 million to reduce expenditure including job cuts, he laid the blame at the feet of the of former administration for the position it put the people in.