The government intends to temporarily raise the value-added tax (VAT) exemption ceiling on electricity bills from $200 to $300 in December, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis announced today in the House of Assembly.
“This recent temporary spike in fuel surcharge has unfortunately put a number of qualifying customers over the $200 threshold,” Minnis said.
“Today, I advise the honorable House that the government will be moving an amendment to the law to allow for a temporary increase in the VAT exempt ceiling from $200 per month to $300 per month through the end of the fiscal year, that being June 2019.
“This will be made effective for December 2018 and will show up in the January billing cycle.”
While the measure will bring relief to some consumers, it does not address the wider concern related to the spike in BPL bills.
BPL has said that the significantly higher fuel charges on consumers’ bills is a result of the increase in global oil prices and the increased usage of its Blue Hills power plant, following fires that impacted two of the Clifton Pier power station’s largest engines in September.
Chairman of BPL Dr. Donovan Moxey said BPL is working on securing additional assets to compensate for the loss of those engines, but said that might not happen until next summer.
Minnis said the government will decide whether the temporary measure needs to be extended into the new fiscal year ahead of the next budget exercise.