Mon 12th Oct 2015
SVG Green Party strongly supports the teachers’ & public servants’ decision to withdraw services to the public on Tuesday 13th October 2015, in demand for a one month tax-free salary, in lieu of no salary increase for the past four years.
The teachers’ and public servants’ demand for a one month tax-free salary, in lieu of no salary increase for the past four years, is fully justified for many reasons, including the following:
(a) the cost of living has increased quite sharply in the past four years, with a big increase in the CWSA water bill in 2012. There is a fixed charged of $25 dollars on the CWSA water bill.
(b) Prime Minister Gonsalves’ salary in 2010 was $133,767; in 2014, it was $144,669. This is a very big increase of $10,902. Gonsalves’ financial policy is full of hypocrisy.
(c) over the past four years, Taiwan has used SVG’s fish licence and creamed-off billions of dollars and not paid any fish tax to the SVG Treasury. For PM Gonsalves to say he does not have $25 million to give teachers and public servants a one month tax-free salary is a joke. Sources of revenue are available – just tax Taiwan.
(d) PM Gonsalves grants blanket tax and customs duty exemptions, in Act no 48 of 2002, to the super-rich of Mustique and Canouan, letting them get away with not paying hundreds of millions in tax. To say he has no money for teachers and public servants is ludicrous. Sources of revenue are available – just tax the super-rich.
PM Gonsalves should pay the one month tax-free salary to the teachers and public servants or resign for approving a salary increase of $10,902 for himself in 2014.
Ivan O’Neal BSc hons, MSc, MBA
Leader and co-founder of SVG Green Party
CC: His Excellency the Governor General of SVG
President of SVG Teachers Union
President of SVG Public Servants Union