BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, JULY 7TH 2014 (CUOPM) – St. Kitts and Nevis’ Minister of Health, Social and Community Development, the Hon. Marcella Liburd is accusing two former Cabinet colleagues of deception in relation to their flip-flop position on the introduction of the Value Added Tax (VAT).
She pointed out that the VAT, introduced in 2010 and which replaced several other taxes, had the full and unequivocal support of then Cabinet ministers, the Hon. Sam Condor and the Hon. Dr. Timothy Harris and exempted several medicines for chronic diseases from VAT.
“One of the other parts of deception has to do with the VAT because I want people to understand that when the VAT Bill was passed, Dr. Timothy Harris and Sam Condor both supported the VAT. They both supported the VAT. They had no issues with it then when they supported the VAT, but they are now coming out to make people believe as though somehow they have some big problem with the VAT and not only that, misleading people,” Minister Liburd said on Freedom FM 106.5 “Good Morning St. Kitts and Nevis.”
She pointed to segments of the VAT Act that exempts from the VAT a supply of medicines for chronic diseases.
“These including HIV, Diabetes, Hypertension, Cardio Vascular Diseases, Asthma, Renal Disease, Cancer and Mental Illness approved by the Chief Medical Officer, these are all VAT Exempt,” she told listeners.
“So people need to understand that, when you hear them talking they must come clean and be upfront with the people and these have been VAT exempt since the passage of the Bill (in 2010,” said Minister Liburd, who said there was some issues first with the implementation as expected whenever anything starts.
“But these are all VAT exempt and they need to let people know. Don’t try to fool people. Put the facts out there and let people make their decision for themselves but again this is all part of the deception trying to fool people. This is all part of it,” said Ms. Liburd, the Parliamentary Representative for St. Christopher 2 (Central Basseterre).