Dr. the Hon. Godwin Friday Leader of the Opposition Media Conference March 24
Tax Increase during COVID-19 Pandemic
Once more, the government has increased taxes on the Vincentian people. This time it is in the form of an increase in the Customs Service Charge (CSC).
The CSC has been increased from 5% to 6% — i.e. a 20% hike in the CSC!
The Customs service charge is a tax paid on all goods imported into the country.
SVG is a small open economy. We import most of what we consume. Therefore, the CSC is included in the price of most of the things that we buy and use in SVG. So, its effect is very broad.
Furthermore, the CSC increase will affect VAT as well. That is to say, the amount of money the government will collects on each VAT item will increase. This is because VAT is charged on the goods after the value of those goods has been raised by the higher customs service charge.
What does this mean for us?
By raising the CSC from 5% to 6%, the price of most goods we buy in the store or bring into the country for ourselves will go up. In fact, some prices have already gone up! People have noticed it.
We will pay more for almost everything we use, including foodstuff: e.g. cooking oil, corned beef, chicken and other meats, salt, rice, sugar, macaroni, juices, ketchup, seasonings, detergents, soap, shampoo, school supplies, clothing and shoes, and everything else that we get at the grocery stores and clothing stores.
Hardware goods: lumber, cement, galvanize, bathroom fittings, nails, screws, paint, etc.
Other household goods: pots and pans, cloth, linoleum for your floor, light bulbs, plates, spoons, and heavy appliances such as stoves, fridges and microwave ovens will cost more!
Motor vehiclesof all kinds will cost more to import! The bigger the purchase, the more money the government will collect and the more you the consumer/taxpayer will notice the increase.