Oct 17, 2022

The Opposition is extremely concerned that for two consecutive months (June and July 2022) the government is reporting a decrease in VAT collections when compared to the same periods in 2021.

According to the government’s 12 month Fiscal Snapshot 2021/22 report, VAT revenue for the month of June 2022 was $13,.7 million (or 14 percent) less than what was collected in June 2021. In the government’s monthly budget report released today, for July 2022, VAT collections were some $37 million (or 26 percent) less than it was in July 2021.

This is in spite of the fact that the economy in 2022 has rebounded substantially compared to last year with tourism and employment numbers almost reaching pre- pandemic and pre-Dorian levels. Is this why this July report was so delayed? Is this why we still haven’t seen the August 2022 budget report which should have been published since last week? This fall off in VAT revenue is even more concerning given this government’s increased spending when we in the FNM have consistently called on them to exercise prudence and restraint.

The government must explain why for two consecutive months, the VAT receipts are significantly down even though the economy is significantly stronger and the government has in place an announced revenue enhancement team? It is important that the government provides a fulsome explanation for the benefit of Bahamian tax payers

and the credit rating agencies who are closely monitoring our credit profile.

We need immediate answers.

J. Kwasi Thompson

Member of Parliament East Grand Bahama Shadow Minister for Finance
October 13th, 2022

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