The Democratic Labour Party spokesman on Entrepreneurship and Small Business, Ryan Walters, has called on Government to exercise more oversight on price control even as he declared that past initiatives geared at reducing the cost of goods have yet to bear fruit.
In a podcast on Sunday, Walters said after the 2018 repeal of the National Social Responsibility Levy (NSRL), a tax imposed by the previous DLP administration on imported goods, the savings promised to consumers in light of its removal has yet to make a notable dent in prices.
Walters said that in light of many calls for a reduction in the current cost of living, any new plans to target prices should have a clear plan on how proposed savings should reach consumers.
Walters told the Just Politics Our Worldview podcast: “I believe that the Government of the day has to come to a position where any incentive, any initiative to drive prices down at the consumer level, needs to go right to the consumer level, and if that [can’t] be done, do not do it. I say that to say, NSRL was removed, but persons you and I know that shop, prices did not come down.
“So the 10 per cent, Government does not earn the revenue anymore, so Government loses out, the prices were not lowered, so consumers lose out, so who gains?”
Walters stressed that though he was in favour of both Government and the private sector bringing forth ideas as to how to drive the cost down for goods, it was important to make sure the savings reach those who needed them.
He said: “We have had recent mumblings in the private sector about ways in which we can continue to reduce costs, there are good suggestions. You talk about capping the freight so that you don’t get the duty and the VAT and so forth, but we can’t go to that step if we are not sure that prices will actually come down. (SB)