WPA opposed to Govt’s imposition of VAT on private education

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…says it is an additional burden on the poor 

Approximately one week after Working People’s Alliance (WPA) Executive Member, Dr Rupert Roopnaraine was removed from his post as the Education Minister; his party [WPA] has made public its position that it is against the imposition of 14% VAT on private education.

Executive Members of the WPA at yesterday’s press conference 

This position was announced yesterday (Monday) at the party’s press conference by another WPA Executive Member; Dr David Hinds, at Rodney House. “We’re opposed to taxation on Education,” Hinds said.

According to the WPA Executive Member, many people- including “poor people”- have opted to make sacrifices to have their children sent to a private school due to the perception that public education is “not delivering.”

As such, Hinds said that the taxation measure has become an additional burden to the already underprivileged.

He emphasised that the party’s stance against taxing private education was in support of the “poor people” and not a defence of the “rich and powerful.”

“We are not defending the rich and powerful. Our defence is to the poor in so far that poor people are accessing private education, we feel that a tax on them is an added burden.”

He called on Private School owners who may have outstanding taxes to “pay up”, holding them responsible for the 14% tax on education which was imposed by Government from February 1 2017.

Over the past months, tax on private education has received a significant amount of condemnation by members of both the private and public sectors as well as the political opposition.

School of the Nations; a private educational institution, has been at the forefront of the calls for the ‘burdensome’ 14 per cent VAT to be removed. Its Director; Dr Brian O’Toole, had penned a letter, which was published by INews, outlining the constraints that this additional 14 per cent tax would have on the private schools and parents and children.

He had noted that while the tax might not affect the affluent in society, the poorer parents who struggle to send their kids to the same school will be severely affected.

However, Minister Jordan’s contention surmises that if the parents ‘choose’ to send their children to private schools then they should afford the price as there is no VAT on public education. (Ramona Luthi)

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