The Opposition Leader issued the following statement:
People are suffering enough, with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the accompanying economic fallout. Now is not the time to add to the burden of the citizenry.
As the Opposition has pointed out before, increased taxes will only serve to inhibit growth. As former UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill said, “Trying to tax a nation into prosperity is like standing inside a bucket and trying to lift it over your head.” It will never work.
We urge the Government to have a heart and hold on the implementation of the dreaded property tax in the upcoming 2021 budget.
We have seen close to 100,000 citizens losing their jobs over the past five years and even more have become unemployed with the difficult economic environment in the past few months. Further, persons who are renting have complained of the slow pace of approvals for rent relief, while others are constrained with mortgage payments.
Citizens have been hanging on by a rapidly thinning thread and if any additional taxes are imposed, it will only result in increased hardship. By allowing citizens to keep more of their own money by not implementing the property tax, people will have more resources to reinvest into the economy.
This Rowley regime under Colm Imbert has taken an approach to governance as one of “squeezing the most out of the people via taxation.”
Just in the 2018 Financial Year, Imbert imposed a tyre tax on all vehicle tyres. Another one of their major revenue-generating ideas has been to form the Revenue Authority to collect as much tax revenue as possible.
The UNC’s National Economic Transformation Masterplan, which we revealed one year ago, set out many different initiatives for revenue generation, apart from additional taxes.
The implementation of the twelve prosperity engines would have had large positive multiplier effects in kick-starting economic recovery, fostering growth, and supporting transformation.
I am urging the Government to have a heart and spare the people additional hardship of property taxes. Families are now worried about their future if they are forced to scrape together funds to pay property taxes.
I am calling on the Government to listen to the people – those who are left wondering where their next meal is coming from; listen to the single mothers, the hard-working fathers, the young homeowners, and hear that they cannot afford yet another tax.
There are many other ways to generate revenue and my team and I are willing to share our ideas and proposals with the Government on these new revenue-generating projects.