Tuesday 29 September, 2020

Govt removes three tourism bills to allow for further review

Following opposition pressure, the government has removed three bills that were on the order paper for today's sitting of the Senate.

"The Government of Saint Lucia has taken the decision to further review the following:

  • Resolution of Parliament to approve draft Value Added Tax (Rate of Tax — Goods and services provided by hotels and other providers in the tourism sector) Order and Value Added Tax (Amendment of Schedule 2) Order
  • The Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (Amendment) Act
  • The Tourism Levy Act

The above was approved by the Lower House of Parliament on Tuesday, however, it was removed from the order paper for the Upper House for the Senate sitting today, Thursday, June 42020.

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Upon further review, the Government has determined that some sections of the legislation may give rise to misinterpretation.  The Government is not insensitive to the legitimate concerns that have been expressed in that regard.

These Bills are intended to help small tourism-related businesses and are too important to be misunderstood. This legislation is intended to complement the Government’s village tourism plans, the marketing of brand Saint Lucia and other destination enhancement programmes which further incorporate and provide benefits to small and medium-sized tourism and hospitality businesses. As a result, the decision at this time is to have further review resulting in a more well-defined outcome.

Our country’s small and vulnerable tourism businesses are a very important sector and it is therefore equally important to the Government of Saint Lucia and partners that the legislation meets its objectives and is a true representation and reflection of the Government’s policy intentions."

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