Categorized | National News

“Now is Not the Time to Raise Taxes,” Says DNA Leader

Leader of the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) Branville McCartney says “now is not the time to raise taxes” because National Health Insurance (NHI) will result in over taxation which will hinder economic expansion.

After DNA Deputy Leader Chris Mortimer clearly stated that both he and members of the DNA are against NHI, the party’s leader has spoken for himself saying NHI itself is “one of the government’s broken promises”.

“In its Charter for Governance the PLP (Progressive Liberal Party), then in opposition, promised that if elected they would decrease the overall tax burden,” he said.

“In June of 2012 State Finance Minister Michael Halkitis repeated that promise assuring Bahamians that the government would impose no additional taxes. The implementation of value-added tax (VAT) on January 2015 however, proved that those promises were nothing more than hollow, empty words and even now as the citizenry of this country grapples with cost of living increases associated with VAT, this government is plotting to further increase the tax burden on already struggling Bahamian families, this time as part of efforts to fund NHI.”

Mr. McCartney said he and his party have no faith that NHI could work and referred to the Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute (BAMSI) as one of the government’s ‘failed plans’.

“The Democratic National Alliance has no confidence in this government’s ability to implement such a plan in a way that is efficient, transparent or cost effective,” he said.

“One need only look at projects like the multimillion dollar BAMSI initiative which has seen millions of dollars in taxpayer funds go up in smoke literally and figuratively. This Christie government has yet to prove itself able to properly manage government resources, and in time when resources have become even scarcer. This is unacceptable!”

The DNA leader said his party has long called for tax reform in addition to increased transparency and accountability in the spending of public funds but instead, the prime minister and his cabinet continue to ignore this very pressing issue and have put forth no actual efforts to overhaul the current tax structure.

He said they have imposed even more taxes without also providing the benefits of a Freedom of Information Act as was recommended by the government’s own tax consultants.

He gave suggestions as to what the government needs to do and says taxation is just not one of them.

“Rather than increasing the country’s tax burden for a second time during this term in office, the Christie administration must work to fulfill its promise of economic empowerment through new industry and more focused job creation efforts,” he said.

“What this country needs is a model of progressive taxation as opposed to the coercive and burdensome model we currently endure. No longer should the tax paying citizens be forced to shoulder the burden of poor fiscal management on the part of this or any government. The country’s economy can no longer support this type of governance. Now is not the time to raise taxes. We, the people simply cannot afford it.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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