The Government of Dominica has come up with a recovery plan to help Dominica’s economy to recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
During an address to the nation, Prime Minister Skerrit stated a huge decline in tax revenue was recorded since the onset of the covid-19 pandemic.
One of Dominica’s biggest streams of income, the Citizenship by Investment Programme, has also declined due to the global impact of covid-19.
“As we move forward, there are measures we must take to help cushion the effects of the pandemic on our citizens; as well as the plan to transition to the further re-opening of the economy. We have spent almost 22 million dollars in direct costs in our response to the pandemic so far. And there will be increasing demands to spend more, even at a time when, for obvious reasons, our revenues are plummeting. For the month of April 2020, collections from Personal Income Tax declined by 12 percent, Corporate Income Tax declined by 91 percent, Value Added Tax declined by 34 percent, Excise Tax 30 percent and Import duties by 19 percent. Similarly, as expected, we have seen a decline in CBI revenue. Taxes collected by the Customs Division are estimated to decline by an average of 30 percent for the months of April to June 2020. Taxes collected by the Inland Revenue Division are projected to fall by an average of 20% for that same period. This must be views in the context of a country that is still recovering from the utter devastation caused by Hurricane Maria less than three years ago,” the Prime Minister stated.
Government has worked with local, financial institutions to accommodate customers during the pandemic. In many cases, a deferment on loan payments were offered to the customers.
“Notwithstanding the negative impact of the pandemic on Government’s fiscal situation, the need to address the economic challenges currently being encountered by many of our residents and business, has not been ignored. Very early on, with the assistance of the Central Bank, we engaged with financial institutions to provide relief to customers from payments of loans, mortgages and credit card debts. In most instances customers have the option to defer payments for a period of up to six months and I am advised that many people are taking advantage of that option. We also extended the deadline for the filing of personal and corporate income tax returns, and the payment of income tax was extended by three months for companies with financial year ending in January 2020 to June 2020. We will also give consideration to waiving penalties for businesses that enter into payment plans within 6 months of the new payment deadline, for amounts due in respect of the same tax periods,” Prime Minister Skerrit explained.