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The leader of The Global United Fellowship and Senior Pastor of Mount Tabor Church, Bishop Neil C. Ellis says “the middle class in the Bahamas is being eliminated.”  Appearing on the JCN Radio and Television show  Jones and Company yesterday, he said “the timing of the increase of Value Added Tax (VAT) was not good. I don’t think enough of us spoke up at the time of the increase,” he said.

“The misery index is very high. You have to sit in a seat like mines to see it. Middle class people come to Mount Tabor because they believe Bishop Ellis will find a way,” he said.

The Pastor stated: “In the latest budget presented, I don’t see the immediate injection in the economy to the extent that it filters down. The  Inter American Development Bank (IDB) says the economy turned the corner. But our people around  the corner can’t see it of feel it,” he said.

Considering the country’s soaring misery index, Bishop  Ellis  acknowleged that the government plays a role in the rising cost of living and the inevitable stress that comes with the territory.

The Bishop  added  that if he had  it his way,  he would decrease taxes. 

He said that a lot of Bahamians are not trying to evade taxes, but that they simply cannot afford them. 

He said, “the truth of the matter is, from the figures I see, in some cases if businesses pay all of their taxes,  they go out of business.

“My mother used to say all the time that sometimes its better to get plenty of a little,” he added. 

This was a phrase , he said, that took him years to understand. 

While he noted that the government removed taxes on a number of goods coming into the country, he suggested looking critically at the belief that all of the country’s knowledge sits a Cabinet table. 

He said, “you have to incorporate people from the different spheres of life and different areas of our country to find out where the Bahamian people are feeling the most pain.

 “It seems to me that the government was taking in more when VAT was 7.5 per cent. The truth of the matter is that when they increased it to 12 per cent, the Minister of Finance just reported that they didn’t meet the expected intake. That’s a heck of a lot of money! You’ve got a shortage of almost $300 million!”

He also said that  he’s not trying to suggest that the government is wrong for imposing hefty taxes.

 However, he said,  that if one isn’t receiving the anticipated results, they must re-evaluate.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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