Speaking at his monthly press conference, Prime Minister Douglas said that “I am meeting with a team who is here assisting the government with the budget and we are looking at how we can enhance the revenue by revisiting administrative measures that are in placed to collect revenue.”
Dr. Douglas added, “We believe that when we did the analysis and we looked for the revenue we have received from the duty free shopping areas, which is down, we are looking at why and if we need to review it, we shall, but in terms of introducing any new taxes we don’t intend to do that.”
The Prime Minister went on to say “I know that there will be calls for us to do it, but we as a Cabinet will not be able to do that. The revenue from tobacco alcohol etc. was expected to yield a particular amount. We need to look and see how we can seriously implement measures to enhance revenue in these particular areas that appear to be down.”
Though he said that he knows that there will be calls to introduce new taxes, Douglas gave no indication, as to whom he feels would make such calls. As one observer pointed out, the only calls that have been made by citizens and different organizations in the country, have been for relief from the increasing cost of living.
While the Prime Minister has stated that there will be no new taxes, outlined in the budget, on a number of occasions when such assurances were given, citizens found themselves paying much more, in increased fees, for various government services, soon after in the New Year and the start of the life of the new budget.
There is already speculation by some observers that this ploy will again be used by the government to raise certain charges, that many fear could only add to the already unbearable financial burden being carried by citizens, especially as it relates to electricity and other essential services.
Douglas said the government is also trying to see how they can assist the people in their ability to shop to acquire the necessary products or goods that they will need for the Christmas Season, especially those getting barrels from overseas.
Government is also examining ways to see how “We can facilitate that by making it easier and less costly for our people and very shortly we will be able to announce measures that can assist people in that regard,” explained the Prime Minister.
He however did not provide a specific date for the Budget Presentation, opting instead to state that it will be around the mid of December.