ALTHOUGH the party did not win the general election in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), the New Democratic Party (NDP) that has formed the Opposition.
And it has stated that it will continue to advocate for a reduction in Value Added Tax (VAT) from the present 16% to 13 %.
Additionally, the party will push for a higher salary for Youth Empowerment Service (YES) workers, two of the promises it made in its campaign for the November 5 general elections.
iWitnessNews reported NDP president Godwin Friday told supporters, “All the people of this country, we know you are overtaxed, we know that poverty is on the rise, we know that people are catching hell throughout St Vincent and the Grenadines and there are those who know they are comfortable, but, shamelessly, would say things that would be so detrimental. You wonder how people can represent these as good ideas for the people of this country.”
He said, “But I say I know the pain you are feeling. I said to them and I say to you, we will reduce that pain immediately and we will continue to push for it. We want to reduce the VAT from 16 to 13%. That is still on our agenda and we will push for it.”
Friday pointed that even though the Unity Labour Party (ULP) headed by Dr Ralph Gonsalves returned to government, the NDP won the popular vote.
He added, “For the young people; we are going to continue to demand that this government pay the YES workers a wage that is above the poverty wage. Currently, they are being paid a wage that is below the poverty line, so our government is paying to keep our young people poor.”
“I am going to urge and continue to fight for the young people so that those that want to go and study that they don’t have to mortgage their entire family home at 8% or 9% interest so that they can go to educate themselves to come back to develop themselves, their families and their country. We will continue that battle.”
The Opposition had also promised to reduce student loan interest from 8.5% to 4.5%. Gonsalves announced that beginning next year, the interest will be reduced to 6.5% shortly after Friday made that announcement, iWitness News reported.