Kwasi Thompson Demands That Government Announce the Dates for VAT Holiday

Free National Movement Shadow Minister for Finance Kwasi Thompson

The Opposition is concerned that the government has yet to announce the dates of the VAT Holidays for Back to School or for Supplies for Hurricane Preparedness. The VAT Holidays were started by the previous FNM administration to provide for several weeks of VAT free local shopping for specific goods. Since introduced by the Free National Movement Government, Bahamian taxpayers have had two VAT Free Back to School initiatives and one VAT Free Hurricane Supplies initiatives.

We remind the government that these VAT free holidays have generated millions of dollars in aggregate savings to thousands of Bahamian households since inception.

We call on the government to provide the public immediately with the timelines for these critical initiatives, which are even more important now given the impact of recent significant price inflation. We cannot imagine that the same government which has sought to sneak in a tax break for owners of million dollar yachts has decided not to provide several weeks of VAT free shopping for school uniforms, bags, shoes and the full range of school supplies for Bahamian parents struggling under the weight of massive inflation.

We cannot fathom that the same government which reduced the VAT rate on high-end luxury homes over $2million does not see fit to give a break to Bahamians preparing for a Hurricane season that is already upon us. We demand that the government advise Bahamians when they can expect to see the VAT Free Holidays.