Budget 2010 – Hike In Passports, Immigration Fees & VAT
November 22, 2010 1 Comment
Government is seeking to rake in an additional $4 million in revenue from the Immigration Department this financial year.
Finance Minister Chris Sinckler says the bulk of the revenue will be earned from an increasei n fees charged for services by the department. Among the noticeable hikes is an increase in the permanent resident application fee which moves from $600 to $1 200 in some cases. The grant of application for immigrant status fee moves from $800 to $1 200 and the application for work permit fee, moves from $200 to $300.
Sinckler, in his Budget presentation, announced the cost of passports will also go up from $125 to $150 for adults, $75 to $100 for minors and $175 to $225 for business people.
From next April Barbadians who have their prescriptions filled in private pharmacies will pay a dispensing fee.
Finance Minister Chris Sinckler said the amount to be paid will depend on the cost of the drug. The fees range from $5 to $12 for drugs costing less than $40, while for those medicines costing more than $40 patients, who traditionally picked up these drugs for free under the national drug scheme, will be required to pay 30 per cent of the total drug costs.
Barbadians will be paying more taxes on goods and services as a result of an increase in the rate of Value Added Tax.
In delivering the national budget presentation this evening, Finance Minister Chris Sinckler announced that effective December 1, 2010, the rate of the VAT would move from 15% to 17.5%.
“This increase in the VAT is intended as a temporary measure for the next eighteen months. I further propose to review this at the end of one year with a view to providing relief subject to progress in reducing the fiscal deficit,” said Sinckler, adding that “this measure is expected to raise an additional $124 million.”
SUMMARY OF BUDGETARY PROPOSALS 2010
- An increase in the Value Added Tax from 15 to 17.5%, with an expected revenue yield of $124 million over a fiscal period; and
- An increase in the threshold for VAT registration from $60,000.00 to $80,000.00.
- The elimination of the tax free allowances for travelling and entertainment for employees with a saving of $25 million a year.*UDATED*- NEXT FINANCIAL YEAR – 2011!
- The elimination of the tax free allowances for savings with credit unions and investment in mutual funds at a saving of $9 million a year.
- An increase in the excise tax on gasoline by 50% to$0.5358 per litre, to yield an additional $22.7 million in a year.
- An increase in the fees charged for services performed by the immigration department, to yield $4 million per year.
- The imposition of a dispensing fee for persons using the drug service who have their prescriptions filled at private pharmacies. Projected revenue yield $11 million.
- An increase in bus fares by the Transport Board of $0.50 to yield $8.4 million in revenue over a year.
- The removal of the environmental levy on imports at a cost of $42 million.
- The provision of $6 million in additional marketing support for the Barbados Tourism Authority.
- The establishment of a Tourism Loan Guarantee Facility to provide guarantees to hotels up to a total of $100 million.
- The provision of additional funding of $1.5 million to Fund Access for on-lending to small and micro-businesses. Of this provision $0.5 million will be made available to the Barbados Youth in Business Trust via a program to provide loans to young persons getting started in business. This program will be supervised by Fund Access.
- The supplying of water to registered farmers at the flat commercial rate at a cost of $5.7 million.
- An increase in welfare grants & food vouchers at a cost of $1.1 million.
- A Text Book Grant Scheme for primary school children at a cost of $500.000.00.
- Implementation of a policy whereby only fully matriculated students will be able to enter the UWI. The Government of Barbados will no longer pay for students who have not met the matriculation requirements. Neither will the Government continue to pay for students who do not complete their undergraduate degrees in four (4) years.
- A reduction in fees payable by Public Service Vehicle Operators for Route taxis and Minibuses by 50%.
- A reduction in the retail Liquor Licence Fees by 50%.
- An increase in the Audit Threshold under the Companies Act for public companies from $1 million to $2 million for companies with year ends after December 31, 2010. The threshold will increase to $4 million for companies with year ends after December 31, 2013.
- The extension of the waiver of interest and penalties facility under certain conditions, instituted by the National Insurance Department, Inland Revenue Department and the VAT Department for another year effective December 31, 2010.
- A Productivity & Innovation Tax Credit at 25% of expenditure in any year in which a business expends money on innovative or productivity enhancements. Such enhancements will be manifested in increased sales, profitability or employment. The credit is to be applied against taxable income and can be carried forward for 3 years.
- A tax credit of 10% of the cost of wages of a business to be applied against taxable income, if the business increases profitability and employment by at least 10% in any year, beginning income year 2011. This credit can be carried forward for 3 years.
- The implementation of a mains replacement programme by the Barbados water Authority expected to commence in 2011.
- The increase in non-contributory pensions from $127 to $133 per week with effect from January 3, 2011 and the minimum contributory pension from $155 to $163 per week. The other contributory pensions will be increased by 4.84% across the board effective January 3, 2011.