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AFC wants govt to set up task force on VAT on school fees; promises to lobby for tax removal

 

Parents, teachers and students of several private schools picketing the Ministry of Education recently.

The Alliance For Change (AFC) says the 14 percent Value Added Tax (VAT) is necessary to help bridge a huge deficit in the 2017 National Budget, but promises to lobby for its removal next year.

The AFC wants government to set up a body ahead of next year’s budget to discuss the issue

“The status of private educational institutions requires review and updating where appropriate and calls on the Government of Guyana to set up a task force to engage this matter in advance of the presentation of the Budget 2018 estimates,” the party said.

The decision was taken by that party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) held on April 29 in Linden.

“The party therefore declares that it will make strident representation within the Coalition Government that it not continue with this particular tax measure in 2018,” the party said in its Linden Declaration. This announcememt does not appear to be entirely new since Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo has already virtually ruled out the scrapping of VAT on education but has signaled that it would be addressed in the 2018 National Budget.

The AFC acknowledged that the tax on education is “unpopular” but “necessary” and that Guyanese should have been properly consulted.

“unpopular tax measures are sometimes necessary to meet revenue targets…in retrospect the measure ought to have benefitted from wider consultation,” the AFC said.

Referring to difficulties by the APNU+AFC coalition-led administration in raising revenue to meet its current and capital expenditures and a GYD $10 billion loss due to the reduction in Value Added Tax from 16 percent to 14 percent, the coalition said after an extensive review and deliberations, it acknowledges that “education is a social good and, in ideal circumstances, tuition ought not to attract VAT” and that “Budget 2017 has a significant deficit.”

“The party recognizes that the measure of instituting Value Added Tax on private education tuition has been unpopular and has created some unexpected challenges for some parents of children and adult students attending private educational institutions,” said the party.

 

Several private educational institutions have resorted to picketing exercises to pressure government into abolishing the tax in education.

  • ExPPP_Man

    These toothless poodles , isn’t the PM AFC ? Goes to show what a rubber stamp he is.

    • Col123

      Ex KKK dude..he is awee Indian boy in powa… the Indo boy a give alyou belly wuk. You see how we black folks support the boy , the vat and the paaking meter…. hold on , rice flour soon come for roti…. we gat plantain flour for duff…

      • ExPPP_Man

        You got use to the rice pap and plantain flour in prison nah ? Glad you like it cause when PPP back in power all will have to wukk again. Free loading off the state (East Indian earnings) will come to a halt again.

        • Col123

          Thought you are West Indian… Arawak ? Quechua?

  • JINNAH RAHMAN

    WHO RUNS THE AFC – IS TROTMAN A LAME-DUCK LEADER? After 2 years in the COALITION government – the AFC LEADERSHIP is now saying:

    1). that the VAT placed on PRIVATE EDUCATION is regarded as “unpopular tax measures”, but “sometimes necessary to meet revenue targets…in retrospect the measure ought to have benefitted from wider consultation,” . The masses MUST be confused by this open statement by a party that essentially forms part of the government that runs the country.

    The Prime Minister, Moses Nagamootoo, took it upon himself to go to the open meeting with VAT protesters and told them that the VAT will stay – at least for this year ! The VAT on Private education was not put in the 2017 Budget – without the knowledge of Mr. Nagamootoo and his AFC Ministerial colleagues. They were part of the decision-making.

    Was the decision to VAT private education “ram down” the throats of the AFC Ministers by the President or the Minister of Finance? One can hardly believe that – since the AFC public statement that they are very happy with their APNU partners in Cabinet and in government – that they now state that they were unhappy with the proposal to VAT private education.

    The AFC has not explained to the public why so many PRIVATE educational institutions and private tuition classes have sprung up all over the country over the last 15 years. The answer lies in the systematic dismantling of the education system by the PPP regime – of which Mr. Nagamootoo was part of – until he was forced out of the PPP, after the leadership debacle.

    The leadership of the AFC will attest to the fact that they all attended Public schools and higher educational institutions during their period of education. The system was intact and there was no need to go to private school. Private schools were government funded. No one complained.

    Under the PPP, the culture of FREE PUBLIC education was destroyed, which led to the mantra : ” Public educational institutions bad, Private ones excellent” ! The rich, who created the environment for Private education, have forced a tiny section of the poor and oppressed working classes to follow suit and they “tied their belly” and send their kids to private institutions, with the hope of allowing their kids to compete with rich kids – for better jobs and a better living standard – in the long run.

    The Minister of Education, Dr. Rupert Roopnarine, reluctantly said that :”the education system is in a mess”, missing out the word “TOTAL” mess. The preliminary Education Report commissioned by the Ministry of Education has confirmed the statement by Minister Roopnarine. It is not surprising that the Coalition government saw it fit to allocate $43 Billion in the current Budget towards education. It will take nearly 5 to 10 years for the nation to experience the results of this huge investment.

    The President, David Granger, and the Minister of Education are on record emphasising the need for a highly educated workforce to meet the needs and expectations of the 21st. century, rolling back two decades of PPP mis-education and misrule.

    The PPP has produced a significant number of youths as semi-illiterates and miscreants, incapable of reading or writing proper English or unable to attend basic technical training courses. Evening classes and Adult education classes will have to be organised to allow those who, for one reason or another, has not been able to get a good education making them fit to take up suitable employment and living a comfortable life.

    2). Reviewing Cummingsburg Cord – one active AFC member said: “what is there to review, when after two years, the AFC Ministers have not delivered the basic commitments in the Coalition Manifesto”. A classic example is – Noel Holder, the current Minister Agriculture, who did not know what was written in the Manifesto on Agriculture and refused to have a Junior Minister coming from the APNU, the lead partner in the Coalition. Holder used George Jervis, Permanent Secretary, who has been shunted to another Ministry, as his adviser. Jervis is alleged to be under investigation for all sorts of misdemeanours.

    The AFC leadership has failed the rice farmers and other farmers in the country and must take full responsibility for keeping in place someone, who is wholly incapable and incompetent.

    In a recent email to the new AFC leader, I forwarded an a correspondence between the now deceased leader, Mrs Sheila Holder’s commitment to the rice farmers 10-point DEMANDS. She assured me that they will give complete support to the rice farmers, if they become part of any government. Unfortunately, Noel Holder, her husband has reneged from her promises.

    Mr. Raphael Trotman has not had the time to even acknowledge by email. I am sure – that was not done as a mark of disrespect. Mr. Trotman and Mr. Ramjattan had also signed the rice farmers manifesto, but have now turned their backs on the rice farmers, who voted the Coalition to make them Ministers and partners in this current government.

    The 4 most important MANIFESTO PROMISES are: (i). the Re-establishment of the Agriculture and Industrial Bank (GAIBANK) – (closed down by the PPP government)
    (ii). the establishment of the Stabilisation Fund – which will keep paddy prices at a constant and profitable level
    (iii).the re-structuring of the Guyana Rice Development Board, which has encouraged massive theft and corruption
    and (iv). the establishment of an Independent Body to oversee the Bi-annual elections of the Guyana Rice Producers Association, (RPA), which has been manipulated by known PPP-activists. None of these manifesto promises have been achieved. This is what the AFC LEADERSHIP needs to review – NOT THE CUMMINGSBURG ACCORD !

    • Col123

      You have a lot of time to burn dude…..go for a walk or ride…pll

      • faoud khan

        Jinnah still upset he didn’t get any recognition from both the PNC and AFC for his efforts to betray the rice farmers at the last elections.

  • shovid

    Selling their collective souls for power,and, like DOGS, all deh getting is the CRUMBS from the TABLES!!..ONLY GUYANESE can STOOP SO LOW!!

  • Col123

    Not sure whether this report is comedy or not…. but setting up a task force, to figure out whether the AFC is made up of a bunch of Jenny asses to lobby themselves, against a tax they supported, speak volumes of these chitheads!