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Some Bahamians Are More Equal Than Others

Some Bahamians are more equal than others

Some Bahamians are more equal than othersThe  Ishmael Lightbourne situation illustrates precisely why VAT is so ludicrous.

If one of the poster boy’s for VAT hasn’t paid his real property tax in at least 10 years, how then can those who comply with the law be expected to take on additional taxes when: more than $500 million is outstanding in real property tax; the four percent foreign yacht charter fee remains “largely uncollected”; and we know of no serious effort to plug the leaks in customs, our main revenue generator.

Before the government levels a single cent of additional taxation on us, it must collect the existing taxes and make members of Parliament provide proof they have paid their real property taxes for the last decade; fine each MP who hasn’t complied with the Public Disclosure Act the $10,000 for every year he or she has broken the law; fine web shop operators who have operated on the wrong side of the law and then regularize the industry and sock them with hefty taxes or pass a law to allow for the confiscation of their assets, and end the crazy practice of allowing government departments and agencies accepting cash payments for fees and permits.

With so much in uncollected taxes, you have to wonder if VAT is designed to make the innocent pay for the guilty. If this isn’t the case, why hasn’t the government implemented the checks and balances needed to hold the various agencies accountable for tax collection, rather than place a further throttlehold on employers who are on the brink of financial collapse?

Perry Christie may have believed in Bahamians, but in a relatively short period of time, and to paraphrase George Orwell, the maxim seems to have changed to: “All Bahamians are equal, but some Bahamians are more equal than others.”

Posted in Opinions

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