Fri 22nd Feb 2019
The ULP regime is set to squeeze 36 million dollars more in taxes out of Vincentians in 2019, than they did in 2018. Life is going to get even tougher for our people.
The table shows that in 2018, the ULP regime extracted over 532 million dollars in taxes from our people. Not content with this already very high level of taxation, the ULP regime intends to wring a huge 568 million dollars in taxes from us in 2019.
This destructive high level of taxation is crushing poor households. How are people meant to feed their children, send them to school and pay water and light bills with such high taxes?
A huge amount of this tax is VAT. VAT is stifling the economy and is the biggest barrier to stimulating economic growth. Ask businesses and they will confirm this. Analysis of our economy shows that VAT is a major disaster for SVG.
VAT is sucking the lifeblood out of poor households and killing our economy. Money is not circulating around our country. VAT has decimated the rural economy and caused many businesses to close down and cut jobs. VAT has caused thousands of job losses.
Increasing tax when the SVG economy is so weak is a backward step. It illustrates the incompetence of the ULP regime in managing the economy and shows that they do not know how to resuscitate the dead economy and create mass employment.
Higher taxes means less disposable income for households, which means people will spend even less money in shops and other businesses, which means even more businesses will close down. As more and more businesses close down, there will be more job cuts and higher unemployment, which means less money for households …and so the downward spiral continues.
Higher taxes are unfair and immoral. It should not happen when the super-rich, white migrants of Mustique and Canouan get tax and customs duty exemptions under the Mustique Act NO 48 of 2002 of hundreds of millions of dollars, and Taiwan creams off billions of dollars from SVG's deep sea fish licence. These parasites do not pay tax to the SVG treasury.
In today’s world, competent financial management of public finances is critical for the economic and financial success of any country. The only way to make the SVG economy strong and create sustainable jobs for our people, is to elect a government that can create sustainable streams of revenue and competently manage the public finances.
The ULP regime has poorly managed the SVG economy with massive fiscal deficits from 2001 to 2019. They are utterly hopeless at managing the SVG public accounts and weak in finance.
Warrant Officer Ivan O’Neal has a BSc (Hons.) degree in Accounting and Finance and Economics from Oxford Brookes University, England, an MSc degree in Macro Economics, Planning, Policy and Budgeting from Bradford University, England, and an MBA from Leicester University, England.
Ivan O’Neal is better suited to manage the SVG public accounts and create a strong and sustainable economy.
Squeezing 568 million dollars in taxes out of Vincentians in 2019 will have a devastating impact on businesses, many of which are experiencing their worst sales for decades. The ULP regime’s higher taxes will cause more poverty and unemployment throughout our country.
A Green government would introduce a modern and fair tax system to reduce the burden on Vincentians and help businesses grow and agriculture flourish. A Green government would abolish VAT and reduce the taxes that Vincentians must pay.