GPL is capable of reducing electricity costs as opposed to adding 14% VAT- Nandlall
Former Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall believes that if the Government’s current taxation regime continues, persons will become poorer and poorer every year.
Speaking with the News Room on Thursday about the recently presented National Budget, Nandlall contends that “Every year, your disposable income is reducing”.
“Every year, you are forced to save less. If they bring a budget like this next year; if this year you were saving $1,000 a week, next year you can’t save $1,000 a week. You’ll have to save $500 a week and by the time you reach 2020, you’ll be running at a loss, if the same trend continues” he explained.
Speaking about the 14% Value Added Tax (VAT) which is proposed to be added to electricity consumed in excess of $10,000, the former Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs expressed the view that government could afford as much as a 25% reduction in electricity costs to consumers rather than add VAT at 14%.
Noting that the would’ve still been able to make a profit, he explained that “when we (the People’s Progressive Party) were in government, the price of oil on the world market was at one time, $160 per barrel and the rates of GPL were the same as it is now. Oil on the world market is about $15 to $20 per barrel and GPL has not adjusted its rates. It means that…GPL has to have hundreds of millions, if not, billions of Guyana dollars in an account.”
Further, he said the threat to impose the VAT on electricity and water come 2017 will not only threaten at the residential level but will kill the manufacturing sector.
At present GPL does offer at the residential level, a 7 percent rebate on bills, however, Nandlall still dubs this a preposterous.
“7% and now you adding 14%? These guys are out of sync with reality. The philosophy of this government is flawed. This government is bent on a philosophy of taxing. They want to run this country and finance the economy through taxes.”
Finance Minister, Winston Jordan on November 28 presented budget 2017, which included among other measures, the reduction of the Value added Tax from 16% to 14% and the imposition of this tax on electricity consumed in excess of $10,000 and water consumed in excess of $1,500.