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No VAT on electricity, water, health, education, cell phones

Last Updated on Monday, 7 September 2020, 14:11 by Denis Chabrol

President Irfaan Ali on Monday announced that government would be reversing Value Added Tax on Electricity and water and medicines.

Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo said the total relief to people and businesses would be more than GYD$40 billion annually.

He also said VAT on private education and private health care would be removed as well as corporate tax on private education and health care institutions would be scrapped.

From 1st January, he said the cash grant would be reintroduced and increased to GYD$15,000  and the uniform allowance would be doubled to GYD$4,000 per child.

Old age pensions would be increased to GYD$25,000 per month and there would be free water for pensioners.

He confirmed that government would be providing GYD$25,000 to each household.

VAT on cellular phones, he said, would also be removed.

There would be two-week tax free bonus for the joint services. Frontline COVID-19 workers would benefit from a GYD$150 million package.

The President said vehicles would be cheaper and more accessible with the reversal of the policy on used vehicles older than eight years. Used tires, he added, would once again be allowed into Guyana.

The poultry industry would be reversed to zero rated VAT status, he added.

The President also announced VAT would be removed on agriculture, mining and forestry machinery and equipment.

He said there would be a reversal of land lease fees to 2014 levels to help agriculture, and farmers.

Additionally, he said VAT would be removed on fertfertilizers, agro chemicals and pesticides as well as key inputs on poultry industry of vat on all exports to help manufacturers reduce cost of production make them more competitive.

The President said VAT on hinterland travel would be removed  in response to calls by tourism and mining sector and hinterland residents.

“We wanted to return Guyana to a coherent economic policy,” said Vice President Jagdeo. He knocked the APNU+AFC government on spending more on employment costs but not linked to production.

Mr. Jagdeo said the shortened 2020 budget would “substantially return incentives to the productive sectors” to create more wealth and generate more jobs.