Struggling to stay above water for some businesses operating in the country is getting severe that some are on the verge of shutting down.
A member of the business community revealed that 47 businesses are at a stage where they could backup and leave due to various factors affecting their operations.
“It is common knowledge that all business were affected by the devastation of the Category 5 Tropical Cyclone Pam just one year ago,” said the source who wished to remain anonymous.
“It will take up to 6 years normally for businesses to get back up to their feet from such devastation.
“Businesses are still in recovery mode.”
He pointed out that the issue of the runway is also a contributing factor that has left many businesses in limbo, especially those in the the tourism sector.
“Climate change, El Nino is also a contributing fact that drives our businesses to the shaky ground they’re in right now because it strikes during the recovery period, straight after Pam.”
Last but not the least factor stated by the source is the planned income and corporate tax that is still under consultation.
“Some businesses have made their own calculation and sure the proposed income and corporate tax will affect their revenue.
“Vanuatu is being promoted overseas as a tax haven, that is an advantage we have over other neighboring countries such as Fiji and Solomon Islands.
“If we start taxing businesses we will become similar to Fiji and the other countries in the region.
“Least we forget, Vanuatu has been ranked as the 3rd most expensive country to do business in the region.”
He pointed out that if businesses start paying corporate tax, they could easily backup and leave.
It is still under consultation but to many of these businesses, if it comes into effect it would be the final straw.
He added that businesses are still struggling in these recovery period and although they understand that the Government needs that money, the time is just no right.
Daily Post understood that the concerns of the business community regarding income and corporate tax have been raised during the first meeting with the Revenue Review Team through the Chamber of Commerce.
A second meeting is expected in which the business are set to present a proposal to the team.