Tuesday, October 2, 2012

7,000 items would be VAT-free; Gas hike affects only 6% of motorists: PM

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar told reporters Monday only six per cent of motorists would feel the effect of the increase in Premium gasolene which rose from $4 a litre to $5.75 a litre in the budget, effective Tuesday morning. The price of other gas remains unchanged.

Persad-Bissessar also responded to comments by the Leader of the Opposition that she was deceiving citizens with its measure to drop VAT on food. Keith Rowley claimed that has been so since 2008.

However the Prime Minister pointed out that at present only 50 items are exempt from VAT. She said the new regulations that take effect on November 15 would remove the tax from over 7,000 food items.

"I think it is totally deceptive to give the impression that these 50 items that are zero-rated are all the things that people in Trinidad and Tobago eat," she said. 

"I am advised, there are over 7,000. We may not eat all of the 7,000 but indeed there are a lot more food and beverages out there that are not zero-rated that will immediately impact upon the cost of the food basket that the consumer would take home," she added.

Persad-Bissessar described the budget as people-centred, noting that "it will help the poor man and the not-so-poor" man.

"The largest slice of the budget you would see went into human capital, training, again that is a very important area if we are to grow our human resources in the country to give us the competitive advantage we need to be world performers," she said.

She also defended the new taxes on the gaming industry. "I doubt they will close down," she said. "They make a lot of money, it is a revenue earner."

Persad-Bissessar took a swipe at Rowley with reference to his comments about deception, calling him the "great deceiver" who claimed that the petition he gave acting President Timothy Hamel-Smith had 25,000 signatures when it had none. Hamel-Smith confirmed to the media that the petition had no signatures.

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai