Samuel calls for gas excise hike to fund youth projects

PHILIPSBURG–Increase the excise levy on all forms of fuel by one-and-a-half guilder cents more to finance a youth development fund, National Alliance (NA) Member of Parliament (MP) Rodolphe Samuel urged Finance Minister Richard Gibson Sr. on Monday.

Samuel made his call for the increase on unleaded gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and cooking gas in a Central Committee meeting of Parliament called to discuss the half-year financial report of the country.

He said the money collected from such a levy should not go into the regular coffers of government, but into a separate fund to support everything from youth participation in sports to support for entrepreneurs.

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There are a lot of young people who want “to start their own little businesses,” he said, adding that the fund would be a vehicle for them to get “a small loan.”

The fund could also support the many non-governmental organisations (NGOs) with their efforts in the field of youth development, the MP said.

His proposal drew comments from United People’s (UP) party MP Franklin Meyers who recalled that it was Samuel who had decried the former UP-led Governments increasing fuel prices, although this was based on the international market trends.

Meyers also said it was Samuel who had praised the NA-led Government in the past for bringing the gas prices down when that government’s tenure started at a time of lower prices in the world market.

Monday, Meyers said he was “astonished” to listen to Samuel’s suggestion of increasing the excise on all forms of fuel, which is actually an across-the-board increase in taxes for residents.

Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/68526-samuel-calls-for-gas-excise-hike-to-fund-youth-projects

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