Motley Offers Some “Eases” – NationNews Barbados –

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Prime Minister Mia Amor Motley (GP)

Prime Minister Mia Amor Motley has announced new measures in an effort to protect Barbadians from the cost of living.

Speaking to the nation on Thursday afternoon, Motley said there was no doubt that many Barbados families were facing unprecedented stress, stemming from events they did not control, but whose effects they were feeling.

She noted the ongoing global health epidemic caused by COVID-19 as well as the war in Ukraine, which in turn affected the supply chain, driving up the cost of petroleum products and grains needed for human and animal consumption.

“Today I am announcing in your interest, a series of measures that will begin in the coming days or weeks, and in fact, Secretary Ryan Straugan will speak about some of them in Parliament in a ministerial statement on Tuesday morning to ensure that those things that require force of law will have that benefit because of his statement to Parliament and Temporary Tax Collection Act. “

She later said, “No knight in shining armor is coming to save us. Our survival is in our hands.”

The new procedures are:

  • Primary schools, through the School Meals Department, will continue to provide meals to children up to the age of 11 from 25 July to 2 September 2022, allowing these children to eat meals at designated locations within their communities.
  • The Ministry of Finance is working to reduce value-added tax (VAT) from 17.5 percent to 7.5 percent for electrical charges on the first 250 kWh of each individual’s household electricity bill.
  • The list of staple foods will be expanded and there will be no Value Added Tax (VAT) on these items and no further fees will be charged.
  • The government will sign an agreement with the private sector on Saturday to offer reductions in the prices of 445 essential items, from July 21 to January 31, 2023.

On the issue of electricity price hikes, Motley said: “Earlier this year, my government introduced a number of measures that would have capped the value-added tax (VAT) on fuel at $80. The oil price is over $125 per barrel and that has not been passed on to Barbadians in terms of our VAT.

“The reality is that the government has decided that every Barbadian household should have their first 250 kWh from the 17.5 percent VAT rate to the new 7.5 percent VAT rate. This would represent, on average, a saving of about $17 per Barbados beds, regardless of whether you use 250 kWh or not.”

According to data provided by Barbados Light and Power, 63 percent of all households in Barbados use 250 kilowatt-hours or less per month, meaning a reduction in their electric bill from $204.46 to $187.06, which means they’ll save 17.40 cents. This reduction will cost the government $10.5 million in total, from August 1 to January 31, 2033.

The list of staples has been expanded to include hot chocolate, cornflakes, cream of wheat, ham slices, black tea, honey, peanut butter, pears and apples. VAT has also been removed from these items.

There is no value-added tax on citrus items, and the goal is that eliminating duties on food items such as oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruits will help boost Barbados’ immune system in the ongoing battle against COVID-19. (JC)

Here is the list of items that the private sector has agreed will not attract deposits above 12 to 15 percent:

• Chicken: whole chicken, minced mix, chicken stew and back.

• Pork: hind legs / pork stew / knuckles / hock

• Beef (stew)

• Breakfast oats 400g – 450g

Pork chops (100 seconds) (VAT will be removed)

• Milo 300g (VAT will be removed)

• Drinking chocolate (VAT has to be abolished)

• egg

• Evaporated milk 250 ml

• Baby Milk 454 g

• Milk 1 liter 100%

• New Zealand cheddar cheese (cut/roll)

• Soybean/Sunflower Cooking Oil (900ml-1L)

• Rice (1750 g – 2 kg)

• Long Macaroni 400g

• Biscuit – Eclipse / Soda Single (Multiple Pack)

• Sandwich Bread – White / Whole Wheat / Regular

• Salt bread (white)

• orange

• Gala apple (fresh)

Sardines (oil/water)

• Tuna chunks (oil/water)

• Beef with corn

• Peas 400g (fresh and tinned)

• 400gm pigeon peas (fresh and tinned)

• Black Peas 400g (fresh)

• Flour (2 kg)

• Regular Sunflower Margarine 445 g (cold)

• black tea 25 s

• Cream of Wheat (VAT will be increased)

• corn chips

• Peanut Butter

• Chow Ming

• Ramen

• honey

• pig tails

• Toilet soap 100 gm – 120 gm

• toilet paper 6pk

• Sanitary pads 10pk

• Baby Diapers 12pk

• Toothbrushes (individual)

• Toothpaste 125 g (4 oz)

• Deodorant (roll-on)

• whitening

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