Barbadians can’t handle any more taxes!
Saying that Minister of Education Ronald Jones “could not be serious” about his suggestion of a social amenties levy, economic adviser to the opposition Barbados Labour Party, Dr Clyde Mascoll, has suggested that it would unconscionable to put another tax on the backs of Bajans.
“I don’t know what Jones was talking about because Jones cannot be serious. In this environment, to even consider putting additional taxation on people, is unbelievable,” he told Barbados TODAY.
It was yesterday, during the Alleyne School Speech Day, that the minister suggested that the solution to the high costs of health care and education may be a social amenities levy from which Government could raise about $80 million annually to go towards funding those areas.
Jones said at the time that he didn’t know whether Barbadians were too heavily taxed. But today Mascoll answered in the affirmative.
“A major part of the problem affecting Barbados is the excessive taxation being inflicted on the backs of households and businesses,” he said.
“We’ve seen evidence of Government trying to raise taxes by increasing rates and receiving less revenue. It’s like putting a parachute behind a plane that is looking to take off – it becomes what we call a fiscal drag on the economy.”
Mascoll argued that even without a social amenties levy, Barbadians already pay large amounts of taxes, with a municipal solid waste tax on the horizon and a 20 cent cess taking effect on April 1, adding to the already heavy burden.
“Do you really think that Barbadians can take an additional tax in a declining economy?” he questioned.
Jones has suggested, however, that his social amenities levy should not be seen as punitive but as contributing to “an environment where something is left for the future; for others to also benefit”.