Cabinet to review proposed VAT on private schools

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GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Apr. 8, CMC – A proposal to have Value Added Tax (VAT) paid on private school fees will be subject to further review by the Cabinet when the body meets on Tuesday.
In a release on Friday, the government said the decision to review the proposal was made following a meeting between private school stakeholders and government officials including the Prime Minister and Minister of Education.
According to the statement, the government, through Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo has committed to reviewing VAT on private school fees at the next meeting of Cabinet.
During the meeting, Nagamootoo made a detailed presentation after listening to dozens of educators, students and parents and said the ministerial team will take the concerns and views expressed to Cabinet for consideration and an announcement will be made subsequently.
The statement highlighted that the Prime Minister specified that while he can give clear assurance that the issue will be reconsidered for the 2018 budget, he could not make a unilateral decision, outside of Cabinet, for the VAT to be rescinded at this time.
At the meeting, the Prime Minister acknowledged that the introduction of VAT on private school fees was an unpopular tax which stakeholders protested and introduced a petition against. He said that as a
“caring government,” the executive thought it was duty bound to listen to stakeholders and review the introduction of this tax.
He further explained that the measure was not introduced in any way to place a burden on parents and students, but that with the reduction of the VAT rate from 16 per cent to 14 per cent, there was a reduction of GUY $10 billion in revenue. The Prime Minister pointed out that the government has to examine ways in which to make up for this shortfall.
Nagamootoo also urged all private school operators to be registered with the Ministry of Education and for them to make efforts to become accountable and compliant with the laws, regulations and standards.

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