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Tax Debate Rages After VAT Change

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A senior government official defending the decision to reduce the rate of VAT to ten percent and add the tax to medication and breadbasket items, saying the overall tax liability of Bahamians was reduced on January 1st. However, some critics suggest the move increased the cost of basic goods for vulnerable groups of Bahamians.

 



Financial Secretary Simon Wilson defending the VAT reduction that came along with a reimposition of VAT on breadbasket items. Wilson says the change was meant to make the tax system more fair.

But, critics say the higher cost of basic goods will be tougher on poorer Bahamians. Some of those critics also pointed out that government did away with plans to implement a tax on gambling winnings.

One Twitter use wrote “Removing VAT off gambling and adding VAT to breadbasket items, medication, and female hygiene products…Wow”

Another user responded, “Absolutely crazy, it’s like they don’t care about us or the poor. How is gambling benefiting us?”

A different user disagreed with the previous two, saying, “Gaming houses pay taxes. Now, winnings will no longer be taxed. When a Bahamian wins, they’ll receive all their funds.”

Meanwhile, the financial secretary says VAT being lowered won’t negatively impact the country’s bottom line.

Wilson says other changes came into effect on january 1st.

He added small businesses also benefit from adding VAT back to breadbasket items.

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