One often hears representatives of the government complaining about prices businesses charge for goods and services and rail about how greedy business people are and they are going to do something about it.
Well most of the time these comments amount to rhetoric in the worst sense of the word, but for several goods like some groceries, automotive parts, vehicles, and gasoline, the antiquated policy of price controls remain in place.
And now after decades of borrow, spend and tax policies by successive governments the present administration, through no more than the luck of the campaigning draw, are implementing a raft of new taxes including VAT and amendments to the Business License Tax where a business selling over $5 million dollars per annum are charged taxes on their gross revenue without any consideration of net profit. Therefore, many businesses are being taxed more than they earn in net profit.
Then along comes the Minister of State for Finance, Mr. Michael Halkitis saying that “by and large” there is “acceptance” of this new business license tax regime.
I’m sure Mr. Halkitis cannot be suggesting that the “tyranny of the majority” should hold as a public policy?
By taxing a business more than they earn, what end goal could the government have in mind?
In the words of the french philosopher, Albert Camus, “By definition, a government has no conscience. Sometimes it has policy, but nothing more.”
Seems Camus is correct. The Government, while not only maintaining price controls, has gone from removing business license taxes in its White Paper on VAT, to taxing businesses out of existence. Interesting policy indeed.