VAT good, says CDB official
Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler is getting support from at least one representative of a regional financial institution on the Value Added Tax (VAT).
Economist at the Barbadian-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Carl Howell, described the VAT as a good tax. Responding to questions from reporters during a recent public/private sector partnership conference in Trinidad, Howell said he was not in favour of scrapping the VAT in Barbados.
During a Press conference in May this year, Central Bank of Barbados Governor Dr DeLisle Worrell described the tax as unnecessary and unsuitable, saying it was no help to Barbadians. He recommended “a simple sales tax” instead.
Subsequently Sinckler rejected Worrell’s suggestion, saying: “The Value Added Tax is the premier indirect tax of Barbados and it shall remain so.” Howell said he would not support scrapping the VAT.
“The VAT is a relatively efficient tax. If well managed, that sort of touches both goods and services. So it is a good tax,” he said.
The tax was introduced in Barbados in January 1997 by a Barbados Labour Party administration led by Owen Arthur. It was subsequently increased from 15 per cent to 17.5 per cent at the end of 2010 by the current Democratic Labour Party administration.