Government withdraws Tourism Levy Act for further review

Government has been forced to withdraw three pieces of legislation passed in the House on Tuesday June 4th, 2020, all relating to Tourism.

A press statement from the Prime Minister’s office notes that the Lower House approved resolutions were removed from the Order Paper for the Senate, which was meeting Thursday June 4th 2020.

The three pieces of Legislation are:

  • Resolution of Parliament to approve draft Value Added Tax (Rate of Tax — Goods and services provided by hotels and other providers in the tourism sector) Order and Value Added Tax (Amendment of Schedule 2) Order
  • The Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (Amendment) Act
  • The Tourism Levy Act

The statement from the PM’s Office says “Upon further review, the Government has determined that some sections of the legislation may give rise to misinterpretation.  The Government is not insensitive to the legitimate concerns that have been expressed in that regard”. 

It goes on to say that “These Bills are intended to help small tourism related businesses and are too important to be misunderstood. This legislation is intended to complement the Government’s village tourism plans, the marketing of brand Saint Lucia and other destination enhancement programmes which further incorporate and provide benefits to small and medium sized tourism and hospitality businesses. As a result, the decision at this time is to have further review resulting in a more well-defined outcome”.

For more on Government’s rational for the Tourism Levy Act, here is Tourism Minister Dominic Fedee. View the Minister’s response here.