26 Oct 2009

Cooks finance minister opposes VAT hike

7:56 am on 26 October 2009

The Cook Islands Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Sir Terepai Maoate says he's recommended that Cabinet abandon the Financial Secretary's proposal for a 15% VAT increase following consultations with the Economic Taskforce, Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Council.

Sir Terepai says he's taken onboard their advice and concerns on the implications of increasing VAT.

The Finance minister says he also appreciated the worries expressed by the public that this initiative would cause the already high cost of goods to increase and "that is a real concern."

He says the general feeling is that this proposal may not benefit all and he says he wants a scheme that will have widespread benefits for the people of our country.

He says he wants an initiative that will put money in the pockets of the people, so he has asked the Ministry of Finance to go back to the drawing board and come back with another proposal that will help make this happen.