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Tax not a fix

Govt advised to reflect on decision

A Barbadian-born British-based business development expert is advising Government that taxation is counter-productive and will not be the fix for an ailing economy.

Speaking against the background of the public outcry against the controversial Municipal Solid Waste Tax, chief executive officer of Summerwood Limited, Phil Walker, said the powers that be should take another look at the increased tax burdens on Barbadians.

“I’m aware of the recent tax rise and the outcry that it has caused. I think politicians might have to sit down and reflect and ask the question, ‘is this an effective way of trying to address the issue that pertains to the local economy?’” Walker told the media on the sideline of the monthly business luncheon of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) at Hilton Barbados today.

He suggested that Barbadian policymakers should examine the Lather Effect, which shows that when taxation got too high, revenue collected decreased.

“People are talking about this in the US, people are talking about it in Europe. What is the appropriate level of taxation that encourages people to pay tax, that encourages the wealthy to pay their fair share of tax as opposed to putting their money in offshore accounts and devising schemes to avoid taxes in the first place?” Walker said.

He suggested investment in infrastructure, roads and buildings.

“If you look at the 1930s recession in America. How did they get out of that recession? The irony is, they invested. They invested in infrastructure, in roads and in buildings. The debt was of course, government paying government debt. But they put people back to work and they built a lot of infrastructure. Now, I can’t comment on all of Barbados’ roads, but it does strike me there are a few roads that could do with some investment,” he said.

“People then have a job and guess what? They earn money, they pay taxes and taxation revenue goes up. So there are more ways of raising tax revenue, just than putting it on . . . a tax that caused everybody a lot of pain recently.”


8 Responses to Tax not a fix

  1. Randy Hartman
    Randy Hartman July 31, 2014 at 7:00 am

    will they listen? do they ever?

  2. Jackie Alleyne July 31, 2014 at 7:05 am

    It appears to be the right way at looking at this but Government are looking at things the wrong way. Incidentally, Road Tax doubled but as yet, little improvement in resurfacing the road !!! Government are not looking at the situation that people probably don’t have the money – this is the way they generated money in the past and this is the ONLY way they appear to look at generating money, from the Taxpayer.

  3. Rawle Maycock
    Rawle Maycock July 31, 2014 at 7:09 am

    Well said, but the damage already done!

  4. Dave Payne
    Dave Payne July 31, 2014 at 8:44 am

    He’s totally right…. But da politicians got nuff wax in their ears … Nothing would ever come of it…

  5. WFGoodridge July 31, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    Mr. Walker could have simply said, I agree with the position(s) of Owen Arthur and Clyde Mascoll on the solutions to fix the Barbados economy.

    No wonder Mr. Mascoll is peeved. Sit around and wait for the outsiders to offer solutions that have been offered by learned Barbadians from within Barbados for the past 5+ years.

  6. Patrick Blackman July 31, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    Mr. Walker, go back to the UK and give your opinions there.

  7. jr smith July 31, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    Mr ,Blackman, is in some way right, but living in the UK, one of the highest tax regimes in the world. where tax avoidance is a speciallity amongst very large companies, who gets away with it because its the UK.
    The gentleman must not forget, he is black and bajan, unless you are european or a pastor , no one listens.

  8. Patrick Blackman July 31, 2014 at 11:38 pm

    jr Smith, I myself am a Tax Debt Analyst at Revenue Canada and I can surely say that most if not all these consultants and experts have no idea about how things work in the caribbean. Their frame of reference is always where they reside. Even though this guy might have meant well, he is certainly not informed.


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