Insurance premiums are likely to rise, hitting the transportation sector particularly hard, due to a “backdoor” tax which Government plans to impose on insurance companies, an Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) spokesman on economic matters has charged.
BLP candidate for Christ Church East Central Ryan Straughn told party supporters at the Graydon Sealy Secondary School last night that not only was the Freundel Stuart administration trying to sneak the tax in, it planned to make it retroactive to last year.
“The Government has recently introduced the tax through the backdoor . . . . What is particularly sinister about this is that the Government wants to introduce tax on insurance companies, but essentially they want to take the tax back to apply it from April 2016,” Straughn charged.
The charge could not immediately be verified, however, the economist claimed that if the insurance companies were forced to pay the levy, Barbadians would be faced with increased premiums when they renew their policies.
He said while ordinary Barbadians would feel the squeeze, public service vehicle operators and motorists on a whole would suffer most.
“You will have to pay insurance on those vans and those people will also face some burden. You as a motorist would also have an increase in your premiums,’ he said.
Straughn also slammed the administration for failing to do “the decent thing, come to the public and announce to the country that you are going to levy taxes on the people”.
Worryingly, he said, there was no notice through the Barbados Government Information Service, and “there was absolutely no mention of any tax in any insurance company in any budget or in any ministerial statement”.