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Fri 3rd Oct 2014

IMF agrees with Green Party – abolish tax exemptions to Mustique super-rich

In its 74-page country report of SVG in August 2014, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has repeatedly called on the incompetent ULP regime to eliminate discretionary tax exemptions, i.e. abolish the tax and customs duty exemptions given to Taiwan and the super-rich of Mustique and Canouan.

Gonsalves is not a university graduate in finance and has been utterly hopeless as the SVG Minister of Finance. The massive tax and customs duty exemptions given to Taiwan and the super-rich of Mustique and Canouan is plain foolish; it has pushed up unemployment and caused much pain and suffering to the poor and disadvantaged in SVG.

SVG is going through its worst period of economic hardship in living memory. According to the IMF, the discretionary concessions have contributed to the recent decline in tax revenues (by as much as 2% of GDP). In addition, ad hoc exemptions at customs have almost doubled between 2008 and 2011.

The gap between the rich and the poor in SVG is getting bigger and our society is substantially out of balance. It is a gross injustice to Vincentians to grant blanket tax and customs duty exemptions to Taiwan and the super-rich of Mustique and Canouan and force the poor and the disadvantaged to pay tax and customs duties.

The IMF has called for fiscal consolidation, the reduction of public sector debt and the improved efficiency of revenue collection. This means the blanket tax and customs duty exemptions given to Taiwan and the super-rich of Mustique and Canouan should be abolished.

Discretionary exemptions have caused major problems in creating revenue for SVG’s dilapidated economy. The exemptions have significantly contributed to weakening the SVG economy and causing massive fiscal deficits for ten consecutive years, 2005 to 2014 (source: SVG Budget Estimates 2005 - 2014).

It is a gross insult to our people that a tiny portion of the money that the super-rich should have paid in tax and customs duties, is given back to Vincentians by way of a charity bowl. This 1940s mentality by foreigners in our country is totally unacceptable. These foreigners must stop this wicked social engineering of perpetuating a dependency culture in SVG and pay tax instead.

The IMF agrees with SVG Green Party that the parasites - Taiwan and the super-rich of Mustique and Canouan – are holding back our economy and stifling our people’s ability to become prosperous. To boost the SVG economy, the IMF calls to eliminate discretionary tax exemptions given to the parasites should be implemented.

It is important that we put Vincentians first, not parasites. Eliminating their tax exemptions would help create thousands of new jobs, as money could be spent on projects to improve our country, such as a university, new hospitals and factories.

It is imperative that all of our young people are given real opportunities to fulfil their potential. This means that we must educate them to university level and give them the skills needed to compete successfully in the global job market.

For instance, there are thousands of university graduate jobs with a starting salary of over EC$ 90,000 a year, being advertised in the UK on the Guardian newspaper website – see http://jobs.theguardian.com/jobs/graduate/?sort=Salary. Vincentian young people should be equipped to apply for these jobs, however the tax exemptions given to the parasites are holding our people back.

Taiwan and the super-rich of Mustique and Canouan should pay tax or pack their bags and go back to where they come from. Our young people need a university, our people need jobs and our economy needs to be strong.

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