2017 taxation measures are legal larceny – PPP/C

first_imgThe 2017 Budget, particularly the proposed taxation measures, is akin to legal larceny, as elucidated by Peoples Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Member of Parliament (MP) Dr Vindiya Persaud, in her presentation to the 2017 Budget debates on Wednesday.Dr Persaud commenced her presentation by drawing reference to the words of renowned Calvin Coolidge who said: “the collection of taxes which are not absolutely required, which do not, beyond a reasonable doubt contribute to public welfare, is only a species of legalized larceny.”PPP/C MP Collin CroalPersaud, in a resounding clarion call to the populace, called for its citizenry to in fact stand up and let their voices of protestation against the 2017 Budget proposals be heard.“I want to tell people we do not need to take things silently,” said Dr Persaud, as she urged Guyanese, whether a farmer or house maker, to not be afraid and to instead stand up and say “you don’t not want this Budget, do not live in fear… this country does not like this Budget.”The Opposition MP was adamant that the measures outlined and proposed in the 2017 Budget will in fact make the poor, poorer and constrict and contract the middle class.Joining with her fellow PPP/C speakers who over the course of the past week would have been calling for the withdrawal of the Budget, Dr Persaud said, “When I think of this Budget I think it’s a travesty… If this Government is serious, withdraw this Budget, if this Government is serious invite the Pope in the decisions that you make… do not give them this as a Christmas present gone wrong.”The Government, she said, appears completely divorced from reality and queried what transgression was perpetrated by the citizenry “to have all of this inflicted on them in one swoop.”Calling Budget 2017 ‘anti-people’, Dr Persaud reminded that the population had already been reeling from the almost 200 tax measures introduced by the coalition A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Government in its first two budgets.She said this is now compounded by the 57 new taxation measures announced by the Minster in his third budget within 18 months, adding too that the taxation budget is only meant to increase the collection for the coffers, “but for whom”.Hope and optimism has been completely destroyed with the provisions of the 2017 Budget, according to Dr Persaud who accused the Administration of being seemingly oblivious to the fact that small businesses have been closing as a result of the previous measures account and that the 2017 measures “will stifle the remaining entrepreneurial spirit.”PPP/MP Vindiya PersaudShe also used the opportunity to take a swipe at what she called disheartening and condescending retorts by Government speakers such as Minister Valerie Sharpe-Patterson who suggested that persons seeking private medical treatment could in fact afford it, and as such should pay VAT. This came after similar sentiments which were expressed by Minster Raphael Trotman who suggested to miners that they should stop complaining about the proposed taxes and instead get busy.Meanwhile Dr Persaud’s colleague, MP Collin Croal in an earlier presentation, questioned whether there were nefarious motives behind the foisting of such an early Budget on the populace, since there was still three more months within which the National Estimates can be presented.He also questioned whether the Estimates were being rushed so that when it comes time to scrutinising the actual expenditure and revenue for 2016, the figures will not be available for inspection.Responding to Minister of State Joseph Harmon among other Government speakers that had accused the PPP of employing scare tactics in its critique of the 2017 Budget, Croal used the opportunity to point to, and quote the reviews of civil society, among others.He pointed to the resounding rejections of the 2017 Budget by bodies such as the Private Sector Commission (PSC), Labour Unions, the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA), among others, such as eminent Chartered accounting firm Ram & McRae that have consistently rejected the measures of the 2017 Budget.According to Croal, were the views of the PPP/C to be removed from the criticism, the resounding calls are still for the Government to reconsider its inconsiderate proposals. (Gary Eleazar)last_img

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