Hon. Emma Hippolyte, Minister for Commerce, Business Development, Investment and Consumer Affairs, announced plans today to increase the personal Income Tax allowance from $18,000.00 to $30,000 for all St Lucians. By increasing the personal allowance by $12,000.00, an additional 3,500 persons will no longer pay Income Tax or be required to file a return.

The SLP’s record on delivering tax relief to those who need it most is proven. Earlier in the life of this administration the Government raised the Income Tax Allowance from $15,000 to $18,000, and today’s pledge will mean that the SLP has doubled the Income Tax allowance from the level that it inherited from the UWP in 2011. Policies like this make a real difference to people’s lives and their families lives.

At this morning’s Press Conference, Minister Hippolyte spoke of the many ways that the Government has found ways to ease the tax burden on the poor, the dispossessed, and the vulnerable. She said:

"We exempted or provided reductions for a three-year period to first-time home owners from the payment of Property Tax;

"We introduced a Registered Home Ownership Savings Plan, which made it easier for people to purchase and own their first home by providing an Income Tax deduction of $6,000.00;

"We abolished all taxes on gratuities and tips that were paid to hotel workers;

"We abolished the Entertainment Tax that people had to pay to Inland Revenue Tax Collectors every time they held a dance, a show or some other form of public entertainment;

"We increased the tax deductions on savings in Credit Unions from $3,600.00 to $5,000.00; and

"We abolished the need for an Exit Certificate from the Inland Revenue Department every time someone travelled out of Saint Lucia."

The SLP does not need to make wild claims and undeliverable promises, our record of delivery tells its own story.

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