Sep 19, 2023


Hon. J. Kwasi Thompson

MP, East Grand Bahama

NEW PROVIDENCE, BAHAMAS – The opposition continues to wait on the announcement by this seemingly “late again” PLP government regarding the VAT Back to School tax holiday that is so critically needed for many struggling Bahamian families. As begun by the FNM several years ago, this VAT holiday would eliminate the VAT for purchases of back-to-school supplies, uniforms, and footwear for a period of time.

We recall vividly that last year, we in the Opposition had to call upon the government to do the right thing for the Bahamian people. The Davis Administration ended up implementing a VAT holiday at the last minute with a very constrained time frame and much confusion among merchants and consumers.

Bahamian families have been ravaged by the effects of global inflation over the last two years. To add insult to injury, the PLP’s disastrous handling of the BPL fuel hedge program has caused electricity costs for BPL customers to spike through the roof.

As we know all too well, the PLP has failed to implement any coherent and sustained policies to combat inflation. And now it seems that they either have no intention of implementing the much-needed back-to-school VAT holiday, or they are hopelessly late again.

On behalf of the Bahamian people, we demand that the government make use of the available statutory provisions and provide for a back-to-school VAT holiday during the month of August. The government’s commitment to Bahamian families must be more than just gimmicky and empty rhetoric. It must be about meaningful action. Implementing the VAT holiday will save Bahamian families at a time when it is critically needed.

July 30, 2023

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