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Bahamas: Pm Eases The Pain (For Some) On Bills

AS public discomfort continues over the spike in electricity costs, the government will temporarily increase the value added tax exemption ceiling on Bahamas Power and Light bills, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis announced yesterday.

Parliament has to approve the measure first, then the VAT exempt ceiling will increase to $300 per month until the end of next June.

This change will be made effective next month and be seen in BPL’s January billing cycle.

The ceiling for VAT exemption on electricity bills was set at $200 during the 2018-2019 budget debate earlier this year.

Noting the undue burden electricity costs have put on citizens, Dr Minnis further assured Bahamians that he remained resolute regarding the need for this country to substantially reduce its energy costs.

Pledging his government would continue to explore the cost of energy, the prime minister said a substantial transition to solar and other renewable energy supplies will be made.

“Given the circumstances that have given rise to the temporary spike in the fuel surcharge component of consumers’ electricity bills, the government is mindful of the impact that this increase has on all Bahamians but especially on the poorest and most vulnerable,” Dr Minnis said yesterday in the House of Assembly.

“This situation is a legitimate issue for every Bahamian. However, there are a small few who are seeking to make political mischief out of a serious situation who know full well the set of circumstances that have built up over several decades that have led us to this point – and who also know that this administration is the one that is putting in place the plan to address it.”

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