Days after the passage of the National 2020 Budget, the National Assembly met again on Tuesday to debate and pass several Bills which are intended to give effect to measures in the 2020 emergency budget.
But the governing People’s Progressive Party Members of Parliament (MPs) were left alone to debate and pass the Bills which are seen as a reversal to the former Coalition Government’s policy on taxation, licensing and mortgage relief among others.
The APNU+AFC on Tuesday made public its intention to boycott the sitting.
Public Works Minister Juan Edghill who moved the second reading for the Bills in the House said the PPP was looking to fix a series of draconian actions taken by the APNU+AFC while it held the seat of Government.
Those actions he said remained in place all the while hurting the ordinary man.
“I can understand why they are not here today because every Bill and Motion that will be addressed in this House will basically highlight their insensitive actions,” Edghill said while opening the debate on the Auctioneers Amendment Bill.
Now passed and once made law, the amendment will reverse the increase from $7,000 to $40,000 in 2016 on auctioneers’ licenses.
From October 1, 2020 auctioneers will be required to pay $23,500 for a license to carry out auctions, usually to sell vehicles.
By noon on Tuesday, the PPP MPs had also debated and passed the Corporation Tax Amendment Bill which seeks to remove the 25% corporation tax on private health care and private education.
Edghill, again being the mover of this Bill, said with the removal taking effect from January 1, 2021, the measure seeks to make private education and private healthcare a more profitable venture and also more affordable for citizens seeking those services.
It will also result in a reduction in tuition fees and a reduction in medical bills at private healthcare facilities.
The House also passed the Income Tax Amendment Bill which seeks to amend section 20 (1) (a) oof the Income Tax Act to provide mortgage interest relief.
With the amendment in place, homeowners will now have a deduction on interest paid on mortgage loans where it doesn’t exceed $30 million. The limit was previously set at $15 million by the APNU+AFC.
The other Bills to be debated and passed in keeping with the PPP’s stated commitment to bring relief to citizens, particularly during the COVID – 19 pandemic are the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Amendment Bill, Value Added Tax Amendment Bill, Tax Amendment Bill, Miscellaneous Licenses and the Restorative Justice Bills.
These Bills once passed will see the reduction and removal on Value Added Tax in some instances, reduction and exemption of several categories of licensing fees and charges to the justice system.