PPP reiterates call for removal of VAT on education

… reassures of reversal of burdensome tax policies

… stakeholders to protest GRA today

The People’s Progressive Party has reiterated its call that Government immediately remove the arbitrary imposed 14 per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) onvat private education in Guyana.

This call was made by Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo, who on Monday again made public the Party’s support of educators, who have been passionately advocating for the removal of the tax on education.

Jagdeo last week in a statement to the media contended that the imposition of VAT on private educational institutions would certainly amount to discrimination, since students and parents attending public schools do not bear this burden.

“This discriminatory treatment may amount to a violation of Article 149 of the Constitution of Guyana, which affords protection from discrimination, as a fundamental right and freedom of all of our people; and 149l of the Constitution, which provides that: “no person shall be hindered in the enjoyment of the right to establish a private school which shall be under regulation by the State”.

Today, parents, students and other concerned stakeholders will take to the streets to protest Government’s imposition. This protest is scheduled to culminate in front of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA).

Meanwhile, also on Tuesday last, the Opposition Leader, at the Party’s weekly press conference, pointed out that the PPP/Civic, once back in office, would immediately reverse all the burdensome tax policies imposed by the current Administration.

Confident of a sweeping victory at the upcoming General and Regional Elections in 2020, Jagdeo has vowed to repeal all the tax policies and other initiatives undertaken by this Government which have resulted in hardships nationwide.

Jagdeo explained that the matter was extensively discussed at the leadership level of the PPP, and its members have decided that the Party would impress the future leaders of the country to reverse these measures which are hurting the layman and crippling the business community.

Jagdeo also promised to provide support to the mining community, which he observed was currently suffering.

“All the policies enacted by this Government in the mining sector, particularly the fiscal policies, that these will be reversed. They would all be reversed,” he promised.

He guaranteed that the two per cent final tax would be reinstated, heavy-duty equipment would once again become VAT free and the 100 per cent increase in the attributor’s tax reversed. He explained that that was one of the major measures that could be taken to ensure there was no increase in the smuggling of gold.

Government imposed the 14 per cent VAT on electricity bills exceeding $10,000 monthly and water bills exceeding $1500 monthly.

In addition, Government made sweeping changes to the zero rated and VAT exempt list of items, causing the tax to now be charged on a whole range of consumer products, including educational material and even the dead through the taxing of funeral services.

The PPP General Secretary also observed that, in light of the policies and practices of the Government, there was hardly any ray of light that the living standards would get any better.

He contended that the Administration, in all of its incompetence, failed time and again in addressing the fundamental issues which affect the economy.

Jagdeo reiterated his concerns about the underperformance in all economic sectors of the country, and lambasted the Government over its unwillingness to provide support and inability to turn the economy around for the better.