OPINION: Tax increase on the population is a sign of incompetence and hate

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room

Tax increase on the population is a sign of incompetence and hate

I find it highly outrageous, unconscionable and incompetent for any government to increase taxes that directly and substantial impacts locals, especially when other creative, innovative and considerate means to gain revenue for the government exist but have not been used.

One of the most important departments of any government is the department of finance; the department that is in charge of managing finances, creating fair and humane manner of creating revenue for the governement and a department that should be filled with experts in finance, economics, accounting, and other social science fields (it is vitally important to under social impact on revenue creation and collection).

I will frankly say increasing taxes right after a deadly viral pandemic that is still causing horrific economic crisis, especially impacting regular citizens, is a sign that your government is not creative, innovative and heartless (But it seems you love it that way). UPP did in 2009 and ABLP is doing so in 2023. I can not force you to want better.

I do believe enough though most locals seems to not have the intelligence (it does not even require an advance degree of education) to figure out that before burdening locals with new taxes and or increase in taxes government should first begin effectively usin local resources, facilitate new and existing businesses (so that the country can acquire more revenue in these indirect ways that have less direct impact on locals’ personal income and assets).

The government should also begin proper management of money from tourism and the port. The government simply needs to demand (make it law) for hotels, touristy restaurants and event places to buy a percentage of their food, drinks and chattels that are locally farmed and produced (about 35% must be locally produced) which will increase sales bringing in a substantial amount of re-occuring revenues that the government will benefit from in collection of already established local sales taxes (instead of increasing sales taxes). Just increase the frequency of revenue for the government, which also increases total yearly revenue. Motivate locals to produce locally, even more. They can do it.

Why not try this instead of burdening locals with new taxes, just encourage them to spend locally, more and often. That is all the government needs to do to raise substantial income before considering killing folks with new and additional taxes the local regular average and poor people will suffer from.

With proper management of money from tourism, farming and the port, there should be no new taxes at this time but more reduction in taxes for locals. How uncaring and inhumane you want a government to be? I guess it is clear when a government say they cannot help you, they mean they cannot help you. No government official should ever utter such words and ever feel they can not help any person.

Instead of pushing new taxes, try pushing for new businesses of national importance that reasonable access to billions and other ideas that could provide jobs and income to locals which would encourage more spending locally and more revenue for the government without deterring spending locally by implementing taxes. The taxes will only decrease local spending, when the government actually needs the dollars to circulate often and longer locally.

Try for 2  or more years, after the deadly viral pandemic that is causing substantial economic hardship pushing, for various kinds of international businesses (small to large), encourage more exports of local fruits and vegetables, encourage locals to spend more locally by reducing taxes (encourage more local spending, since we know an increase in taxes will push locals to fly abroad and frequently and also deter local spending and more keeping in their money sitting in banks, causing stagnation in the economy).

It would mean so much for ABLP to try first to get the additional income they need now because of waste from ways that are less intrusive and burdensome to their people. Things are already hard.

My idea also includes not taxing locals but instead selling them Antigua and Barbuda treasury bonds with decent interest rate (substantially above average local interest rate); making bonds Uncashable for one year or two, with high interest on investment to fund local projects and making sure the public’s confidence in the bonds are high. So that people know they will not have any issues at all getting back their investment and earning on it.  Which means always having the cash available for those wanting to cash after the minimum one or two or 3 years. But making the interest so attractive they want to keep the bonds for 30 years so that the government has access to this income and instead of borrowing money overseas and for rediculous cost, that kind of cost is paid to locals. There are a high percentage of government funding that can be had locally instead of internationally.

Decrease Jamaicans and Guyanese moving locally to Antigua in an amount that is above 10% of local indigenous Antiguan and Barbudan population. Preserve the culture. And preserve internal spending. You may even tax western union (sending out, for non-educational reasons).

Encourage and market mental health tourism (relaxation, counseling, emotional support, etcetera) are prescription paid for by numerous US funds billlion dollar funds and insurance policies. Emotional and mental health care is easier to provide than physical medical care that we all know physical medical care in Antigua is not healthy for anyone (numerous family members died from physical medical care negligence from Antigua physical medical care services).

I am also calling for a reduction in salaries for politicians, especially those who are making millions or so while in office.

I am not against increasing taxes on alcohol, cigarettes, Marijuana, and old cars entering the country.

You can not implement taxes on people without first finding other ways to raise revenue that is less intrusive on the locals living standard. The government should have experts in this area of economics and business but it is clear they do not.  Before increasing taxes, you must try increase efficiency. They have not tried everything that would not burden locals before going to burden locals. It is like this is what they prefer, burdening the locals who has no sense they deserve better.

The sad part is that locals do not know that competent people exist with good ideas and can execute these ideas successfully. It is genuinely sad that what they think is the best is not even close to the best they can truly have. However, folks have rights to choose and they chose.

Any government who has refused to help you open a business of national importance, where service given will be coming from funds that are in the billions of dollars but that government say they cannot faciliate a smooth and fair process that is needed to open a business that will bring jobs and possibly millions or billions are not a good government for the people. You must try everything before burdening the locals with additional taxes.

But the dunces with no self-esteem have no clue the power they have. Politicians should plead to you, should support you and not you cursing ignorant for them to now tax you without taking prudent and reasonable steps to not have to do so.

If this does not show you the difference between care and not caring, competence and incompetence, innovative and not innovating then as I already decided, there are no saving the Antigua and Barbuda people.

Honestly, scientifically, based on my research of most Antiguans (not Barbudans), the nation is already lost and at stage where there are no return from this detrimental way of thinking. Antigua in 10 years or so, will cease to be Antigua (culturally and financially).

What your incompetent politicians think is impossible, trust me, I know people who have done it and successfully do so. Antiguans and Barbudans should be some of the wealthiest people in the world, with government having billions in government accounts to cover any hardships that arises if the country was being managed properly for decades.

Answer this question, when was the last time you saw the government perform something creative and innotive to ease any financial burden on the people of Antigua and Barbuda? I am not referring to borrowing money or selling or leasing lands to others? I am also not referring to begging.

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