The government has bluntly refused to heed calls by the People’s Progressive Party to stop burdening Guyanese with more taxation.
In a motion in the National Assembly last week, the PPP asked the House not to add the Value Added Tax on everyday consumer items which previously were zero rated. The APNU/AFC coalition used its one-seat majority in the House to reject the motion.
The government has been on a taxation spree since taking office and has increased some 200 tax measures which the PPP said would severely affect the livelihood of Guyanese.
The latest tax measure would see VAT on the following items:
• Printed books, including children’s picture books, drawing books, story books, colouring books, dictionaries, atlases and exercise books;
• School supplies that include file paper, crayons, compasses, erasers, chalk, scientific calculators, rulers, pencils, lunch packs, lunch bags and geometry sets;
• Funeral services and human remains;
• Fertilizers, fish hooks, ice for fishing purposes, machinery used for preparing animal feeding stuff;
• Medical, dental, hospital, optical or paramedical services;
• Computer accessories, notebooks, laptops and printers for personal use, among others;
• Bicycles; and
• Services of transporting passengers or good by air from one place to another in Guyana, among others.
“Why would you do this to our people?” Teixeira asked, stressing that the changes will impact on consumers, producers and other stakeholders.