Reduction of VAT, Berbice Bridge toll engages Cabinet attention

The Berbice River Bridge.

By Fareeza Haniff

Minister of State, Joseph Harmon. [iNews' Photo]
Minister of State, Joseph Harmon.
[] – The APNU+AFC government is holding to its promise of reducing the Value Added Tax (VAT) and the toll of the Berbice River Bridge within its first 100 days in office.

Minister of State, Joseph Harmon told a news conference on Thursday, June 11 that the two issues are being “actively considered in cabinet.”

As it relates to the reduction of VAT, the Minister noted that President David Granger has already instructed the National Assembly on its way forward, which will see the reduction a success.

However, in relation to the decrease in the bridge toll, Harmon explained that a number of experts are perusing various figures to make the reduction a reality.

“We haven’t reached a point in the conversations as yet where we say this is what’s going to happen. We already have a review and cabinet has already asked another set of experts to look at the figure with a view of reducing the toll,” the Minister of State said.

The reduction of the Berbice Bridge toll is a rather contentious issue, given the fact that it does not enjoy the support of the Private Sector. As a matter of fact, the APNU+AFC, while as the majority Opposition in Parliament during 2014, passed a motion calling on the then Public Works Minister, Robeson Benn to make the order, as is mandated, to reduce the exorbitant toll.

The motion was passed in the House despite strong objections by the then ruling People’s Progressive Party (PPP), which said the move was a political one and an attack on private investment.

The motion was piloted by Harmon, who had proposed that for cars and minibuses which currently pay $2,200 to pay $ 1,000; for cycles to pass free and for four wheel drive vehicles to pay $3,000 instead of $4,000.

Harmon had said the current toll structure was a burden on Guyanese people and represents a serious devolution of wealth from the people of Berbice.




  1. will this win berbice for harmom pnc…will harmon and pnc reduce to 5 dollars from 65 dollars electricity cost for guyanese that does not resides in linden

  2. Rodney the revolutionary! A great human being. I remember listening to Bros Rodney and Rupert in Buxton. You have to give the man kudos. He was a great amongst us all.
    If there is to be any proving of our humanity it must be by revolutionary means…
    We all know what happened to Rodney and it was really sad. He made us better human beings by simply asking us to NOT direct our hate at each other but the system that creates that hate.
    It was good when the PPP lost the election. It gud for them as we say in common parlance. When they won they excluded all of the brothers who fought the fight and struggle the struggle…that was the blow that had a kick back.
    If i had my way o would have jailed the commissioner for been so boorish with no regards for the ppls money. Was it a case of taking money under false pretex?
    It wasnt a Rodney Investigation it was a PNC and APNU knock down attempt. I watched a few sittings and it was becoming a joke.
    Professor Freddie wrote on that and he injected quite a lot of commonsense into the debate.
    By the way WE THE PEOPLE giving back Freddie his job as an educator he deserves it. We cant have him sitting home doing nothing with all that knowledge.
    He is one of the best.

  3. The colation is reading me and there is a satisfaction to that. Mr Harmon we need to sensitize the ppl who are the real benefactors of the Berbice bridge. Who are the shareholders and how the dividend are paid. How NIS money was misused what is the clico and NIS link. Who received money from Clico when the shares in teh bridge were sold? We need to know the sooner the better.
    Then the ppl of this country will get an appreciation of how diabolical and rabid is cronyism. It has no respect for race, creed, class or a people.
    What are the elements of the contract, let Chris dissect them.He did a good job the last series of article that he wrote. We now want the pudding in the pie.
    You know what i am really annoyed at the Colation why was Christopher Ram not given a national award? Why? Why?
    Mr Moderator, i know the Government is reading these lines and they need to say why. I hold no forte for Chris Ram neither am i an acquaintance. But he has exposed so many things that we as a nation would not have know.He paved the way for the return of democracy. I would say he needs nothing less than the award of excellence. With his wealth and intelligence he could have stayed quiet but he choose our side.For that alone he deserve our respect.
    Respect the man. Mr Ram to be awarded now it was a mistake and it has to be acknowledged and made right. A watching>

  4. PPP/C party members are encouraged to continue paying the old fares if they think it not right. I will be paying the new fares once they are changed.


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