Vanuatu Revenue Review report cites Vt 5 billion Govt revenue shortfallPosted: July 17, 2017
The official handover of the Vanuatu Revenue Review final report looking into reform and modernisation, yesterday, has resulted in excellent coverage in last weekend’s media. Those most closely involved are pleased with the work undertaken. From the Report will be drawn conclusions concerning income tax, and the report makes it abundantly clear, as does the Report, that Government Revenue does not meet the billions required of it. Minister Pikioune sees a revenue shortfall presently of Vt 5 billion. Other Government sources put the figure closer to Vt 2 billion. But a shortfall means something surely has to be done.
Finance Minister Pikioune was presented with the report by Revenue Reform Committee Chairman Tony Sewen. The Minister quite rightly acknowledges that everyone must pay their debts and he wants to see means employed to ensure that debts are paid. Government is also going to look closely at gaming and casinos with a view to introducing new legislation to help a taxation authority look at this possible revenue source. Minister Pikioune also noted areas where false declarations have been made by certain businesses. These will be stopped.
Value added tax (VAT) has been considered and the findings from public consultations have been noted.
Kava is going through the final stages of Codex Alimentarius listing in Europe. Timothy Tumukon, Coordinator for the Pacific Island Countries including north America, Australia and New Zealand has been leading a delegation to the capitals of the WHO and FAO, Geneva and Rome, and making presentations in Brussels where the principal decisions will be made.
The results of the proposed strike of staff at the Vila Central Hospital (VCH), who were to be addressed by Ministry and Public Service Commission personnel this week, have not been made entirely clear. The context of the reform initiatives at VCH is especially interesting in view of the Finance Minister’s statement to the Revenue Reform Committee. He says that the greater part of revenue of Government goes to its agencies for salaries rather than service delivery.