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Govt, opposition take election battle to vehicle taxes

As Guyana’s election campaign heads down to the wire for Monday’s polls, the country’s two major political opponents are in a battle to offer the lowest taxes on imported vehicles.

First, it was leader of the opposition A Partnership for National Unity+ Alliance For Change (APNU+ AFC) coalition, David Granger promising to lower the taxes and duties on new vehicles to reduce the number of old vehicles that eventually lead to pollution.

Now, incumbent President Donald Ramotar is pledging to slash the tax on all vehicle imports to minimize pollution. “My government will reduce the tax on new and used vehicles being imported. The new administration of the PPP/C will reduce the taxes to ensure that more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly vehicles are used by citizens,” he said.

He said the new amendments to the importation costs of vehicles will ensure that more of our citizens including young people can own their own new and eco-friendly motor vehicles.

The President said that commitment was in keeping with government’s plans as set out for a Green Economy. “This new incentive will provide for an economy that is characterized by sustained and inclusive prosperity, as well as one in concord with low-carbon and climate-resilient development,” he said.

APNU+AFC says in its manifesto that it will rationalise the VAT and excise duties on motor vehicles and on diesel with the aim of encouraging the use and importation of energy efficient vehicles and equipment, promoting fuel efficiency,  ensuring appropriate equipment choice and rational importation policy as regards vehicle age, maintenance costs and the costs of related spares.