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None of excise tax paid to CDC – PM Gonsalves

None of excise tax paid to CDC – PM Gonsalves

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The Carnival Development Corporation (CDC) has not been paid any of the revenue realised since excise taxes were increased in 2012.

At a press conference yesterday, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dr Ralph Gonsalves said none of the excise tax was paid to the CDC, because despite the increase in the tax, there was no increase {{more}}in what was collected.

In 2012, Government increased the excise tax on alcohol and non-alcoholic beverages, tobacco and motor vehicles. At the time the increase was announced, Gonsalves indicated that the revenue derived from this would be used to support Carnival.

In response to a question at a press conference yesterday, the Prime Minister noted that while he was overseas, he had been listening to discussions that seemed to suggest that he “announced something and starving the CDC and not giving them what is their due.”

He explained that while some persons believe that the CDC should be getting all excise duties, the agreement was to give to them only the increase of what was collected.

“In 2013, up to the end of April, we collected $6.2 million in excise duties on international trade. This year, up to the end of April, we collected $5.6 million. It fell,” he said. “Now, it is clear that the excise duties have been slightly less this year.”

Gonsalves noted that it is for this reason that the corporation has not received any funds from the excise tax.

However, he has indicated that steps would be taken to keep the organization afloat, as the Government provides over $400,000 worth of subsidy in the Budget for CDC and the National Lotteries also provides them with funds.

“These are the two significant sources from the state. They get in cash and kind over $1 million from the National Lotteries.

The CDC came to me a few weeks ago, shortly before I went away and I advised them, like I advised everybody else who lining up for more money, that we all have to do more with less. They were seeking approval which I indicated I would get in Cabinet for them to have an additional facility to guide them over. But, helping them with an additional facility is just postponing the problem down the road for another for or five years,” the Prime Minister said.

Last week, at a press conference, of the CDC Dennis Ambrose made a plea to the Government to help them clear a $250,000 debt.(BK)

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