There will be no increase in the Value Added Tax (VAT)!

This assurance was given by Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Christopher Sinckler, as he addressed a press conference to give details about a Tourism and Hospitality Sector Ten Point Plan, yesterday at Government Headquarters.

The Finance Minister refuted a rumour that ???VAT was going to be increased to 21 per cent. ???No such thing is the case,??? he said, adding ???We are hard at work, as you see with these initiatives??????We???ve put out the Draft Medium-Term Growth and Development Strategy. It???s out there for public discourse,??? he said, adding that this dialogue was necessary before Government outlines its full strategy for the future.

With point 10 of the plan indicating that Government will be engaging multilateral and private partners for the construction of new hotel plants and rebuilding and re-opening of derelict properties, including Almond Beach Village in St. Peter, Mr. Sinckler stressed that ???it is our intention to refurbish the entire Almond space???[but] Government isn???t going to be managing it???we???re working with the People???s Republic of China [and] that could be anywhere [around] US$200 million in investment.

???We???re finalising the details with them for the purchase and complete rebuilding of Almond,??? he said, adding that it was hoped that the property could soon return to the accommodation offerings for Barbados.

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