One plus one not three!
You know, I just cannot help but marvel how broad the back of the Barbados middle class must be!
In the last six years, regardless of what tax subsidy was removed, tax allowances and deductions removed, tax increased (two- to ten-fold in some instances), new tax introduced, or national benefit decreased, we all just grumbled to ourselves, gritted our teeth and bore it. It must be nice to be the Government of Barbados (whichever party in power) and do pretty much whatever you want, whenever you want, without so much as a deafening shout from the populous, but rather a constant faint and dismissible whimper in the corner.
Enter the new Municipal Solid Waste Tax! A tax that more than likely only bares its name to provide the populus with some semblance of a justification for its existence, but in truth it’s revenue is slated for an entirely different purpose in the first place.
I won’t waste time arguing about the legitimacy of my assertion, I think that more importantly we as Bajans (DLP or BLP supporters –– it really does not matter) start doing the arithmetic for ourselves. We all need to add up what has and is being done by our Government to get Barbados out of our economic slump and ask ourselves truthfully whether positive results are being achieved?
The nice thing about arithmetic is that in the end there can only be one correct answer.
Think about this: property tax on a residential property valued $700,000 is between a minimum of $1,280 and a maximum of $1,500 annually, depending on time of payment. However if the publicized rate of the new Municipal Solid Waste Tax is indeed 0.3 per cent, it will yield a required payment of $2,100 annually for the same property. That is even more than your property tax!
Ask yourself, for what this tax is being sold to the public as, does this extremely high value make sense? Will the introduction of this new tax kick-start our economy and help produce sustainable, non-artificially inflated job growth, such as the temporary rise that occurs with capital projects?
Will it stop private businesses from closing down or corporations from relocating?
For some reason, despite the lack of positive policy outcomes for the past six years, the Government seems even more resolute in its one-dimensional view of how to save the Barbados economy.
And try as it might, all this just won’t add up. One plus one will never equal three.
–– G. WILLIAMS