No new taxes for Budget 2018, education tax being reviewed

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As budget consultations continue, Minister of Finance Winston Jordan promised that there will be no new taxes for 2018 and that the 14% Value Added Tax (VAT) on private education will be reviewed.

“There will be no new taxes in upcoming budget…the last three budgets, I never introduced a new tax,” he told reporters during a news conference at his Main Street Office on Monday.

Though the Minister was generally tight-lipped on budget expectations, he revealed that monies will be allocated for long overdue road projects on the East Bank of Berbice (EBB).

“We said those people were promised that road endlessly, we have to build the road. The road is going to cost between $1.3B and $1.5B but it’s not going to be the whole road, it’s going to be a significant part of the road. So we have provided half the sum in the budget to start the road,” he explained.

In fact, Jordan argued that the administration has only attempted to broaden the tax net since assumption to office and will continue to do so to ensure that the pool of persons paying taxes is widened.

“From day one when we came in, we reduced taxes, we removed VAT from a range of products, we removed things like tax on NIS, we romped up salaries, we gave one-off bonus to the entire public service and we’ve done quite a bit,” he explained.

Budget 2017 introduced a new tax regime that was heavily criticised by the private sector and the parliamentary opposition.  Budget 2018 will be presented to the National Assembly by the Finance Minister on November 27.

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