Barbados to get Uncomfortable Budget Next Year

According to Snickler, Bajans will have to buckle down, as he outlined some of the measures, which include: an increase in the value added tax from 15 to 17.5 percent, with an expected revenue yield of $124 million over the fiscal period.

Sinckler also announced the elimination of the tax free allowances for travelling and entertainment for employees, with a saving of $125 million, and the elimination of the tax free allowance for savings with credit unions and investment in mutual funds, at a saving of $9 million.

Motorists will also have to pay a whopping 50 percent increase in excise tax on gasoline, which will yield another $22.7 million a year.

There will also be increases in charges for services performed by the Immigration Department, and travellers have to pay more for bus fares.

The Budget proposals, however, also have beneficial provisions for Bajans, which include the removal of the environmental levy on imports, the establishment of a Tourism Loan Guarantee Facility to provide guarantees to hotels up to a total of $100 million, the provision of additional funding of $1.5 million to Fund Access for on-lending to small and micro businesses.

The supplying of water to register red farmers at the flat commercial rate at a cost of $5.7 million and an increase in welfare grants and food vouchers are also beneficial aspects of the Budget outlined by Sinckler.

Contents of this story were provided by the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC).

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