BARP; pharmacists concerned about planned crackdown on medicines
Two local associations have spoken out against plans by Government to enforce the law that requires Value Added Tax to be charged on zero-rated medicines.
President of the Pharmaceutical Society Paul Gibson suggested today the best solution would be to amend the law to create a win-win for patients and the state-owned Barbados Revenue Authority (BRA) after a meeting last week with BRA failed to resolve the issue.
“The conversation continues. Their position is that VAT is to be paid based on the law. Our position was that additional VAT is not to be charged on zero-rated items on prescription. The reality is that we have not been charging VAT to patients on zero-rated items,” Gibson said.
“The law however said we should . . . , so we are really looking at the two pieces of legislation . . . having conversations about it to see how we can come to a win-win where Barbadians don’t feel additional pain because of law,” he added.
While expressing deep concern about the possibility of BRA enforcing the law, President of the Barbados Association of Retired Persons (BARP) Ed Bushell agreed that the best way out was to change the law.
“We started to investigate and what we found that this law was always there . . . but . . . they never applied it. But now the BRA obviously looking for every penny and said that this should be applied,” Bushell said, while expressing fears that poor people will suffer.
The BARP head said he would be meeting with his members to discuss the issue.