Finance Minister Colm Imbert has promised that there will be no increases in water and electricity rates.
He gave the assurance yesterday speaking during debate of finance measures in the Senate.
However the Minister revealed that the tax hike on luxury vehicles would be widened next year.
Imbert last week announced an increase of 50 per cent in Customs duty and motor vehicle tax on luxury vehicles, starting with private vehicles with an engine size exceeding 1999cc. The measure took effect immediately.
However, he said yesterday the State would impose a tax on cars of an “appropriate horse-power” such as turbo-charged cars that may fall below the 1999cc engine size.
Imbert also said the State would not slash its enormous spending on “transfers and subsidies”
He said transfers and subsidies made up 50 per cent of the national budget, or $30 billion, including for CEPEP, GATE, URP, TTEC, WASA.
The minister said the State would expand the bus service and would subsidize public transport to ensure that bus fares are kept at a low level.
He also defended the decision to reduce the fuel subsidy.
Imbert disclosed that it was better to reduce the fuel subsidy and take the money from that savings and use it to target things such as bus transportation: putting more buses on the road and reducing taxes on public transport vehicles like maxi-taxis and taxis which is going to be a loss of income.