30 Apr 2012

Concern for Vanuatu businesses over Port Vila fee hikes

9:10 am on 30 April 2012

The Vanuatu government's plans for a two hundred percent increase in business licence fees is worrying Chinese shops owners in Port Vila.

The secretary general of the Chinese Club in Port Vila, Greg Wu, says a better approach, if the government wants to raise more revenue, would be to increase the consumption tax, VAT.

He says higher licence fees will lead to business closures and the loss of jobs.

"From one hundred thousand to three hundred thousand [vatu] a year which is an increase of three fold. So hopefully we don't have to pass it on to the customer because either way we lose. We don't pass it on to the customer we [have] lost, we pass it onto the customer we end up losing also, so it will be a very tough situation for most of the shop owners, year."

The government is holding consultations as part of a review of the business licence fee.

It says the fees have not changed in the past ten years.