RECALLING the criticism levelled against the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) government for implementing too many taxes, President of that Party Verla De Peiza noted the irony that Barbadians are being taxed even more under the Barbados labour Party, with at least two more taxes to officially come on stream next month.
She was at the time speaking at a St. James South branch meeting where she recalled that the DLP was told repeatedly by the BLP that “you cannot tax your way out of a recession”. “So imagine my shock and consternation to find that I am taxed some more. Calling it something different doesn’t make it any less of a tax and I am speaking particularly now to the fuel levy,” she said.
“I don’t know that anybody has been left out of that loop simply because whatever bus fare increase is granted will need to consider if not completely face the cries of the public service vehicles, private public service vehicles, as they have found their bill multiplying,” it was explained.
Similarly De Peiza noted that there was tremendous ire against the Municipal Solid Waste Tax, persons will actually be paying more annually towards the Garbage and Sewage Levy.
“The difference is that the Solid Waste tax was paid in a lump sum and this was paid over a period of time, but the feeling in the pocket is precisely the same. Whether I pay it in a lump sum... a lump sum may hurt you one time and you can recover or you could budget for it. This bill and these taxes create a whole slew of problems,” it was further pointed out.
“The taxis, the minibuses, the ZRs, freighting, your grocery bill, fishermen – because the boats don’t use the road but they definitely use fuel. The agricultural sector, some of them are heavily dependent on water especially animal-based husbandry. You can’t let your plants run to ruin. Despite all that is said, landscaping is an investment. So there is no escaping the fuel tax,” she said.
She added, “We will see when in October the next set of taxes kick in because remember we still have not had the Health Levy start; we have not had the VAT on online transactions start, so what we are feeling now is going to have a little bit more pressure applied next month.”
“The little incremental additions to our tax burden add up over time. We will see. We will also see the impact on our tourism sector as the taxes that have been applied there come fully on stream, but we do know with a certainty that what we are feeling now is more taxation than we had before – and all has not come as yet,” she cautioned. (JH)