We welcome the grant of this injunction by the Supreme Court of Justice (see attached). We promised you a strong and forceful legal challenge to the illegal and unconstitutional action of the Minister of Finance and now Acting Prime Minister Colm Imbert.
The mad rush to impose the property tax at a time when citizens are losing their jobs, the cost of living is ever increasing and people are being forced to spend money that they do not have to protect themselves from criminals is cruel and heartless.
The Property Tax Act was not passed with a special majority and interferes with several fundamental rights that are enshrined in our Constitution. It violates the right not to be deprived of the right to use and enjoy one’s property without due process of law, and the protection of the law.
The present valuation process is illegal because the government has failed to bring the Valuation of Lands Act to Parliament for proper consideration and amendments, they are scared to do this because they know that we in the UNC will not give our support to the introduction of the Property Tax. That is why, when I was Prime Minister, I took no steps to implement the Property Tax but instead, granted a waiver to all citizens for five (5) years.
The wide-ranging request for citizen’s personal information under threat of criminal sanction is unconstitutional and illegal. No one can be prosecuted if they refuse to comply with this irrational request that violates their constitutional right to privacy. Mr. Imbert should not bully, threaten and intimidate citizens into complying with a request that could turn out to be an invitation to unknown persons of unknown character to enter your home to check how many bedrooms you have, and enter you own bedroom to see how many bathrooms you have.
The injunction effectively blocks the government from continuing this reckless path to tax our people into poverty. No one should therefore comply with the request to submit their personal information and the valuation form until the Court makes a final pronouncement. Had the Government listened to us, it would have avoided this humiliating and embarrassing breach of the rule of law.
This injunction is a victory for the people and testimony to the political strength of the UNC.
As we move forward, I urge the Government to respect the judgment of the Supreme Court and reconsider its position on the implementation of the Property Tax. This tax will cripple many and bring our people to their knees as the financial hardship caused by its policies is oppressive, cruel and unjust.
I would like to thank former Attorney General Anand Ramlogan, S.C., and our committed battery of attorneys for their diligent conduct in this matter so far.