JIS News

The Local Government Reform Unit will undertake a review of the trade licence regime in September, State Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Local Government Reform, Robert Montague has announced.
Addressing the monthly meeting of the Westmoreland Parish Council on July 10, the State Minister advised that the review process should take between six to eight weeks, and is aimed at addressing shortcomings in the regime, noting that, “there is something wrong with that trade licence setup.”
He said that trade licence fees should constitute a percentage of the General Consumption Tax (GCT) paid by applicants. Further, that it should be indexed to the individual’s income.
Mr. Montague said that while the fee per establishment in rural areas is $500 and $5,000 in urban areas, some operators are unable to make the payments because their businesses are not making a profit. In the same vein, he said there are others who contend that the amount is “so small” that they do not “have the time” to make the payments.
The State Minister advised that this will be reviewed with a view of ensuring that the parish councils have revenue forthcoming via this route, thereby enabling them to provide the requisite services to their constituents.
He further informed that on completion, the review will be submitted to Cabinet for approval, stressing that the income from trade licences would be key to funding the local authorities.

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