VAT exemptions gesture by Govt. timely, needed

Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis

Every little bit helps. The Government of The Bahamas has struggled with its recovery initiatives, post Hurricane Dorian. Residents of Grand Bahama and Abaco, the islands devastated by Hurricane Dorian, have been critical, but a recent gesture by the government has been received with praise, and, understandably so.

 Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis announced on Wednesday the government’s decision to exempt individuals and businesses of Grand Bahama and Abaco, from payment of Value Added Tax (VAT), until June of next year.

 Building material, clothing, household items, hardware, furniture, electrical appliances, solar equipment, plumbing and electrical fixtures, unprepared food, etc. fall under the exempt edict by Dr. Minnis’ Government.

 This is good.

 It is important though for Customs officials to be ever mindful of ensuring that those entitled, do indeed benefit. Grand Bahamians and Abaconians should, accordingly, check into the process for exemption and attend to the necessary documents.

 In Grand Bahama, many are struggling to get their lives in order. There are those households that had to extend accommodation time frames to relatives. There is pressure mounting. The unemployment list has lengthened considerably. This is certainly not a good time for the residents of Grand Bahama and Abaco.

 Everybody is affected in some manner.

 So, when the government moves forward to help by exempting taxes, that’s good and ought to be appreciated. From a town hall meeting in Green Turtle Cay, Abaco on Wednesday, Prime Minister Dr. Minnis fervently pledged to assist with restoring lifestyles through the tax-free zone.

 He promised also that his government will put in place a trust from which “storm victims” will be able to receive $10,000 each. As well, farmers, and sea/boating merchants stand to receive grants as large as $50,000 to re-establish their businesses.

 Indeed, this is good.

 We congratulate the government, and we urge PM Dr. Minnis to follow up on the promises. The residents of Grand Bahama and Abaco who were caught up in the disaster trail left by Dorian, need all the help they can get.

 VAT exemptions and the proposed financial grants are excellent steps taken by the government.

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