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A reduction in VAT of 2.5 percent will take effect next year bringing the new rate down from 15 percent to 12.5 percent.

The long awaited announcement came on Monday night when Prime Minister Allen Chastanet delivered his address to the nation.

The Value added tax was being blamed for burdening the business sector, causing several micro and small businesses to fold
Chastanet says, the reduction, will result in pumping an estimated 52.5 million dollars a year, back in the hands of St Lucians.

According to the Prime Minister the government has sought to restructure the tax regime without compromising the country’s revenue base.

The Prime Minister also announced a three year residential tax amnesty that will take effect in January. The objective is to allow home owners a grace period to meet their mortgage obligations.

The government has also committed to fulfilling its promise to increase the school transportation subsidy during the new school year.

A further amnesty on outstanding medical costs owed to Victoria and St Jude Hospital.
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