Children across the country are set to return to school on Monday 4th September, 2023. However, most families are now faced with the challenge of paying for new schoolbooks and equipment amid a cost-of-living crisis that is burdening our country.
We call on the government to immediately put in place a tax holiday on school items ahead of the new school term, implement a broad-based policy on transportation to ease the financial burden on parents in sending their children to school and provide adequate funding for the School Feeding Program.
In June, inflation rose to 5.3 per cent – the highest it has been in fourteen (14) years, putting greater burden on Vincentians. Despite this, the government has failed to take action on tackling the cost of living crisis.
President of the NDP, Honourable Dr Godwin Friday, said, “It is shameful that our government has done nothing to help Vincentians struggling with the high cost-of-living. Only last week, during a walkabout in East St George, a constituent was telling me his concerns about the cost of getting his children ready for the new school year.
People need support now. That is why; the NDP is proposing a 5-point action plan that would provide real and tangible support to persons. Families are worried about the cost of living ahead of the coming school year.”
During this difficult period, the NDP has a clear plan to ease the burden that families are facing by building our national economy so that it can support families and parents who struggle with the costs associated with education.
The NDP’s plan includes:
- Reduce VAT from 16% down to 13%
- Reduce the Customs Service Charge, “The Big Tax on Everything”
- Increase support for lower income families
- Reduce the impact of the fuel surcharge on VINLEC bills
- Immediately review the list of VAT items with a view to increasing the number of zero-rated items