By KHRISNA RUSSELL
Chief Journalist of the Tribune
Rupert Roberts, proprietor of SUPER Worth, mentioned that whereas he supported the Liberal Progressive Occasion’s pre-election proposal to lift the minimal wage, he was confused by the occasion’s value-added tax plans.
Mr Roberts instructed the Tribune yesterday that he’s already paying his employees above the present minimal wage of $ 210. He believes all enterprise house owners ought to help a rise to $ 250, insisting it’s going to result in elevated spending within the financial system.
Nevertheless, he mentioned the PLP wanted to make clear its VAT plans, saying his announcement “scared voters”.
PLP leaders mentioned on Sunday that if profitable within the subsequent common election, they would cut back worth added tax to 10 p.c for one 12 months, after which the speed can be reassessed. The transfer is a part of an financial plan to help a rise within the minimal wage, considerably increase social help within the nation and scale back the price of vitality by 30%.
Though PLP deputy chief Chester Cooper has mentioned VAT might be lowered to 10 p.c “throughout the board”, it’s not clear whether or not the occasion is contemplating eradicating the granary and tax exemptions from VAT. different articles. The occasion has all the time advocated maintaining as few exemptions as doable in an effort to maintain the speed low and broad.
“What do they intend to do with the VAT?” requested Mr. Roberts. “Do they plan to go away VAT on the bread basket objects the identical, or are they going to place 10 p.c on all groceries?” It’s terrifying for voters.
Mr Roberts mentioned he supported minimal wage employees getting extra money.
“I haven’t got an issue with that as a result of that is what we at the moment are, so we do not have an issue with it. The upper the minimal wage, the extra they get, the extra they need to (and) spend on meals, ”he mentioned.
“So it will improve our gross sales and the enterprise group wherever they’ll, they need to help as a result of it’s going to improve everybody’s gross sales and naturally nobody may stay on lower than $ 250. Only a few individuals make $ 250. They can’t stay.
When requested if he thought the rise within the minimal wage must be greater than the $ 250 proposed by the PLP, Mr Roberts replied: “No, I feel that must be left to the personal sector to pay for this. that it’s value. “
On Sunday, Cooper mentioned the PLP would suggest to the Nationwide Tripartite Council that the minimal wage be raised to $ 250 per week within the personal sector.
“Our aim is to step by step carry a couple of passable wage,” he mentioned on the time, “in order that anybody who works can stay with dignity and in an appropriate method within the fashionable Bahamas.”
Requested concerning the penalties of elevating the minimal wage at a time when companies are reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic, Cooper mentioned PLP officers have analyzed the matter.
“We checked out what occurred when the earlier PLP administration elevated the minimal wage by 40 p.c,” he mentioned. “We’re satisfied that what’s going to occur consequently is that small companies can have extra money, the financial system will develop, there may be extra money in circulation, the federal government will truly obtain some taxes due extra money in circulation, (and there might be) extra money in spending individuals with $ 250. We’re dedicated to a dwelling wage as a result of we imagine that each Bahamian ought to be capable to stay with dignity.
“We do not simply imagine it is good monetary modeling, we predict it is the proper factor to do.”