Thursday, Apr 18, 2019

Budget at a glance

Budget at a glance
11 Jun

Prime Minister Mia Mottley has announced the Barbados economic recovery and transformation plan as she outlined a mini-budget for the island.

Ms Mottley says the content of the budget comprises the suggestions from close to 40 hours of talks with the social partnership as well as three days of discussions with the International Monetary Fund.

Prime Minister Mottley explains that the plan will be rolled out in three phases and will put the economy on the path to recovery, while protecting the integrity of the dollar.

Phase one, according to Ms Mottley, will be executed over the next three months and see the introduction of user fees for both domestic and international players.

Prime Minister Mottley says the overall aim over the life of the plan is to reduce the debt to more sustainable levels.

Ms Mottley adds that a major plank of the first phase will see three statutory corporations being removed completely from the Consolidated Fund and one partially off as well.

These entities now account for about $215 million dollars of expenditure in a fiscal year.

She has asked Barbadians to help shoulder some of the weight in the overall effort to turn around the Barbados economy.

The Prime Minister says the new fiscal measures are intended to reduce the deficit by $183 million over the next 12 months, while also increasing the island's revenue.

Here are some of the budget measures at a glance.

The National Social Responsibility Levy will be repealed from July 1st.

The Barbados Revenue Authority is set to write off taxes considered unrecoverable from 1968 to 2000.

There will be a five per cent wage increase across the board effective April 1st this year to March 31st 2019.

The government will be abolishing undergraduate fees at the University of the West Indies from next semester, with a provision that graduates give back a set number of hours upon completion.

The road tax is set to be abolished from July 1st and replaced by a fuel tax of forty cents per litre on petrol and diesel, five cents on kerosene.

Fifteen million dollars will be allocated for the purchase of garbage trucks.

There will be new income tax bands, the upper income tax band of 40 per cent will be applied to people who make seventy-five thousand dollars or more per year.

Corporation tax will be going up from 25 per cent to 30 per cent.

From October 1st all online transactions will be subject to Value Added Tax.

Old age pensions are being raised from one hundred and fifty-five dollars to two hundred and twenty-five dollars.

Opening hours of the Sir Winston Scott and Randall Phillips Polyclinics are being extended to 24 hours.

$14.5 million is being allocated to pay off money to sugar farmers over a three year period.

The Accident & Emergency Department will be upgraded.

Three temporary additional judges are set to be appointed to help clear a backlog of ten thousand criminal cases.

An airline travel and tourism development fee -of US$70 on air travel outside of Caricom and US$35 within Caricom will be introduced.

From August 1st, an additional $1.50 a day will be placed on water bills with $1.25 going to the Sanitation Service Authority for garbage collection and the remaining 25 cents to be retained by Barbados Water Authority.

For commercial entities, the cost will be 50 per cent of their water bills, with half going to the SSA and the other half to the BWA.

The proceeds are also to aid in the maintenance of sewage systems.

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