The Ministry of Finance has disclosed that tax revenues for January 2017 was $11.9 billion or 40% more than tax revenues in January 2016. Total tax revenue for the entire 2017 was budgeted at $162.7 billion, or 8.67% over 2016. Clearly, it is not expected that total tax revenues for the entire year will match the 40% increase but is there any reasonable observer who will say it is not going to be much more than 8.67%, more than enough to make up the $350 million? All it would require for the Government to replace the $350 million it has said it will lose by removing VAT on education services would be a meagre 0.22% over the 2017 budgeted revenue.
The January figures which come from no less a place than the Ministry of Finance remove the final straw of an excuse that Prime Minister Nagamootoo and Co made for the retention of VAT on education. Come on Mr. Nagamootoo, do the right thing, the bright thing and the decent thing. You showed with your dispiriting prediction at the National Cultural Centre that you can sway Cabinet. Do it again. The Government can afford it. And just in case you need to be reminded, the tax revenues come from many of the parents whose plea you so callously rejected.