A Government Minister has scoffed at a suggestion that businesses and individuals will only make donations to a charitable cause if they can claim them back on an income tax return.
Member of Parliament for St James South Donville Inniss was making his contribution to the debate on a resolution to grant 25,000 square feet of land on a 25-year lease to the Rotary of Barbados South for construction of a facility for children with disabilities.
Inniss, who is also the Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development, argued that the idea of “giving to get” was fundamentally wrong.
“I keep hearing that you need to get tax allowances in place, and you need to protect these tax allowances so that people can give.
“But let me say that if you genuinely believe in the cause, you should not need a tax allowance to allow you or to encourage you to give and give generously,” he said to much applause from his colleagues.
“My entire adult life I have been giving to charitable causes in Barbados and I have never once claimed it back on any personal tax form in Barbados.”
Inniss revealed that the majority of money donated to charity in Barbados was not claimed for on any personal tax or income tax return.
This he said, shot down the argument that allowances were needed to persuade Barbadians to donate to charity.
“Do you know that the majority, that the millions of dollars given to charities in Barbados every year are not claimed for on any income tax return?
“Many of the high net worth individuals who visit Barbados and who love this island because they feel a sense of purpose, yes they have money, but it’s not always that you have to give millions,” Inniss noted.
“It doesn’t matter the amount of money you give, it is the thought that counts. It doesn’t matter how long you sit on the council of the disabled, it is a matter of how genuine you are in your concerns about the less fortunate in society.”