Categorized | National News

Minnis Wants Tax Update on All MPs

Free National Movement (FNM) Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis said he wants Prime Minister Perry Christie to give a list of all parliamentarians and where they stand in their tax payments.

Dr. Minnis was firing back at Labor Minister Shane Gibson’s recent threats to expose all FNM parliamentarians, past and present, who are behind on their taxes.

“I, for one, believe it would be appropriate for the people of The Bahamas to be informed on the tax status of its leaders, beginning with the prime minister, minister of finance and the leader of the Opposition” he said.

“We are honourable men and women in this place and so I call on the prime minister to provide for the information of the members of this honourable place to give the Bahamian people a list of Real Property Tax status of all members of the House of Assembly (HOA) and Senate. We can at least begin in here [HOA].”

The issue of tax payments came about after the government’s point man on Value Added Tax (VAT) Ishmael Lightbourne admitted that he was at least 10 years behind on his Real Property Tax payments.

The labour minister on Tuesday defended Mr. Lightbourne saying that he may have been going through tough economic times, like many other Bahamians.

However, Dr. Minnis said he believes it is a sad excuse and that he is setting a bad example.

He said it is only teaching Bahamians to use tough times as an excuse to dodge paying their bills.

“He’s suggesting, and basically supporting that Mr. Lightbourne did not pay because of hardship,” he said.

“My God, the country is going through hardship. You have a lot of people who cannot pay their light bill. I went in the supermarket the other day and pulled out a few grocery items. Mr. Speaker, I did not have sufficient money on me and had to return some things. But that’s one example. There are some people who genuinely cannot afford it.”

The FNM Leader said if Minister Gibson could notice that economic times are rough, then perhaps the government should reconsider putting another tax like VAT into law.

While on his feet, the FNM leader also made it clear that based on what the party seen so far on the government’s VAT proposal they will not support its implementation.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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