An Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) candidate last night accused the incumbent Democratic Labour Party (DLP) administration of taxing Barbadians to the hilt, in light of the austerity package delivered by Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler last May.
“You have a Democratic Labour Party that is prepared to tax you to no end.
“They’re taxing you on the personal income side and then they are increasing taxes every single year on the other side,” the BLP’s candidate for St Michael West Central Ian Gooding-Edghill cautioned supporters during a spot meeting in St Michael North East last night during which he made reference to the Value Added Tax (VAT) which was increased by 2.5 per cent to 17.5 per cent back in 2010 first as a temporary measure, which was made permanent two years later.
He also pointed to the recent hike in National Social Responsibility Levy (NSRL) from two per cent to ten per cent on the customs value of both locally produced and imported goods, as well as the imposition of a two per cent fee on all foreign exchange transactions, which were among the measures announced by Sinckler in his $537 million package that was aimed at closing the country’s deficit, while asking: “Can you imagine that before you do anything out of one dollar you have a combination of 29.5 per cent [taken out]?”
Gooding-Edghill further cautioned that other deductions were being made to the gross income of Barbadians since the tax yield must be calculated on costs, insurance and freight on imported goods, which were subjected not only to the NSRL but to Value Added Tax (VAT) and the forex fee for overseas purchases.
This addition, he said, puts the total taxes conservatively at 35 per cent.
The hotel management specialist said that the other levy to be factored in to the picture is income tax, which is at least 25 per cent once a person’s salary and does not fall within the non-taxable allowance figure.
“So when you add 25 per cent on top of all the taxation that you have . . . you are finding yourselves in a situation where close to 60 per cent of your income [goes to tax], and you have only 40 per cent left,” he said.