The Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) says it anticipates a substantial increase in the income tax threshold when the 2009 national budget is unveiled today, and a reduction in the Valued Added Tax (VAT).
Executive Member, Norris Witter, reading from a prepared statement last week called on the government to raise the threshold by over fifty percent. He said a substantial increase in the government old age pension should also be budgeted this year, and pointed to a figure of $14,000 up from the current $6,300.
The GTUC was not invited to submit proposals for the budget and was also not part of the consultations, but Witter said the union still expects the government to make certain critical budgetary allocations. He emphasized that the union’s proposal for a reduction in VAT from sixteen to six percent is “not an abandonment of the GTUC’s demand for a repeal of the VAT Act in preference for comprehensive tax reform”. Further, Witter said that the union is also expecting a zero rating on all wheat products such as bread, tennis roll, pastries etc among other basic items. He added that there should also be a provision in the budget for salary and wage increases for teachers, doctors, nurses, men and women in uniform, public servants.