Are The Political Elite Above The Law?

Monday 03rd, March 2014 / 08:48 Published by

I found former PLP senator and Prime Minister Perry Christie’s appointed VAT consultant Ishmael Lightbourne’s self-admission of real property tax evasion extraordinary to say the least.

While I appreciate Lightbourne’s candor, his confession simply underscores and highlights the extent of the government’s inability or unwillingness to pursue and collect those revenues currently owed or to prosecute those who blatantly continue to add to the current real property tax deficit of half a billion dollars.

On the flip side of the coin, the government is hellbent on foisting an ill-conceived and poorly timed value-added tax on a portion of the business community and the populace at large to compensate for its lack of resolve in dealing with the above. To add insult to injury, upon legislation of the VAT, the government would grant draconian investigatory powers and enforcement to its appointed tax commissioner and his minions, including powers of entry and seizure; seizure of personal and company financial and computer records; the seizure of goods and vehicles and the temporary closure of business premises to name a few.

I beg your pardon Prime Minister Christie, but you can’t have your cake and eat it. If the government will have the power to enforce all of the above and more on the business community upon legislation of VAT, then these same standards should apply not only to the rest of the citizenry with respect to real property tax evasion and customs fraud, but also to members of Parliament and the government itself. Didn’t the government just exempt itself from paying duties on motor vehicles?

Many of our leading citizens with political connections, Lightbourne is a typical case in point, and with undeniably deep pockets are known to be among the biggest offenders; yet they have for many years enjoyed a tax and prosecution immunity not extended to the rest of us. Why is it that the parasites are always immune to the medicine the rest of us have to swallow?

While we’re on the subject of immunity, when did the Public Disclosure Committee last meet and when last was the Public Disclosure Act enforced on our members of Parliament and senators, pray tell?

It may be that if this law is enforced tomorrow there could be either considerable amounts of revenue collected from within the halls of Parliament in fines; or failing that, Her Majesty’s Prisons could play host to some new and distinguished guests and an early general election would become the first order of the day.

By: Ian Mabon

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2 Comments on “Are The Political Elite Above The Law?

  • Think that all Bahamian politicians should be in fox hill prison. They are corrupt, they lie, cheat and steal from the country. No police officer has the guts to give them a ticket if they break the law. The action of the gov’t of the Bahamas is responsible for the crime situation in this country. I watch the 7 cars go through the traffic red light and in the center of them was also a police vehicle also running the light, what did he do?, nothing.

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