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Zero Hunger Trust Fund Initiative, VAT increase contradictory – Eustace

Zero Hunger Trust Fund Initiative, VAT increase contradictory – Eustace

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Leader of the Opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) Arnhim Eustace says there is a contradiction between the Government’s Zero Hunger Trust Fund Initiative and the recent increase in Value Added Tax (VAT).

And for this reason, the NDP President has refused to have a representative on the Zero Hunger board.{{more}}

“…how is it really going to affect people? Say how it is really going to affect the poor that you say you trying to help. On one hand zero hunger, you looking for money for that, on the other hand I am going to increase VAT on basic items that weren’t taxed before,” Eustace said while speaking on the New Times programme on Nice Radio on Monday.

The Opposition Leader asked listeners and Vincentians on a whole to think carefully about the Zero Hunger Initiative.

“They are talking party politics, not the impact on the poor, which is now even heavier. And you still have to go and find funding now, for the Zero Hunger Initiative, having already taken eight million dollars in extra VAT money.

“Come on, we have to think these things through, and to present to the public something that is meaningful and real that would in fact help the poor,” the Opposition Leader continued.

He stressed that he would have to think things through before the party gives this initiative support and blessing.

“Nobody is going to make a fool of me; these are the things we have to think about, so when we discuss these issues, we must understand effectively what it is we are doing and what it really means to us, what is the benefit to the poor and therefore what is the benefit to the economy and how all of that is going to be financed,” Eustace said.

The Opposition Leader also pointed out that the issue of hunger is one of extreme importance and seriousness and he would like for there to be further discussions on the matter.

On April 6, the Zero Hunger board met for the first time without a representative from the Opposition, despite Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves’s invitation to have an NDP representative on the board. (CM)

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