Fri 4th Jul 2008
Who are the real tax Evaders in SVG? Taiwan has 115 fishing vessels registered as locally owned by SVG fishermen. If Taiwan pays up its outstanding tax the SVG treasury would collect at least EC $ nine billion dollars from Taiwan. Think of what we can do in SVG with nine billion dollars. Taiwan's claim for tax exemption for offshore status is false, so Taiwan must pay overdue tax from 1987 to 2007.
We calculate that Mr. WAFIC SAID owes SVG Treasury six million dollar EC for the privilege of being SVG's UNESCO Ambassador while pursuing his work as a multi-million dollar arms broker. When will this amount be paid?
PM Gonsalves said on tv recently that there are lawyers and doctors not paying appropriate taxes. But his lips are sealed on the big defaulters above.
How much has the SVG Treasury lost since the ULP regime came into office in 2001 with the parliamentarians importing expensive items tax-free? It is hypocritical and immoral for the PM to preach about the ethics of tax in SVG when the ethics and morals of the ULP regime are questionable. Overnight one can become a ULP or NDP senator and claim up to EC$ 100,000 duty-free importing a motor vehicle. How much tax have the ULP parliamentarians neglected to pay since 2001?
PM Gonsalves introduced the deadly VAT that is devastating the economy and punishing the businesses and masses of SVG. Vincentians struggle to pay VAT on electricity and most food items and pay for the photo for their children for school. The people of the Grenadines have to pay a ridiculous Grenadine wharf dollar tax and food prices are painfully high. Unfairly, most Vincentains have to pay a $20 dollar monthly charge for water when they only consume $10 to $15 dollars of water.
The minimum wage is still too low and the poor are the victims of the PM's wicked economic policies. The poor people of SVG are carrying the burden of the immoral tax system when millionaires and Taiwan go free. SVG Green Party says this is totally unacceptable and issues a strong call for an enquiry into unpaid tax by all International defaulters.
SVG Green Party calls for a society in which economic policies guarantee equity. The present tax system punishes SVG's citizens but allows the International millionaires to go free. There needs to be a serious review of this system so that the poor do not carry the tax burden. The majority of poor and low-income families should not be leeched by this economically incompetent government. When it comes to tax, the unfair tax burden on the poor must stop. It is shameful that the ULP regime tries to accuse others of tax irregularities when the ULP regime is the one that has added and perpetuated to the tax problems in SVG.
An SVG Green Party government will abolish VAT in the long-term and abolish the Grenadines wharf tax, and ensure that Taiwan and Mr. Said are made to pay outstanding taxes. The unfair and unintelligent tax system is partly responsible for the high violent crime rate in SVG as it pushes people into desperate acts.