If you don’t pay waste tax . . .

Government can do nothing if property owners refuse to pay the Municipal Solid Waste Tax, and Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler misunderstood the law when he said people facing hardship must pay, then seek a refund.

These views were put forward by attorney-at-law Senator Wilfred Abrahams to Barbadians gathered at the Foundation School last night for a rally against the new tax.

“There is no provision at all in this act for the Government to come behind you for the money if you don’t pay it. There is no provision in this act for the Government to seize your land, and sell your land if you do not pay.”

The Barbados Labour Party senator hurriedly went on to make clear he was not inciting non-payment of the levy.

Senator Wilfred Abrahams.  
Senator Wilfred Abrahams.

“Now understand, I am not telling you all to not pay the tax. I would never stand up here and say do not pay the tax. I am saying if you read the act, the act says if you are experiencing hardship you can apply to the minister for a remission or refund.”

On the issue of payments, he said a recent statement by Sinckler pointed to his misinterpreting of the law’s wording.

“The Minister of Finance got up and told the public of Barbados that you have to pay the tax first, and then explain why there was a hardship so you couldn’t pay it, and then ask to get back the money that you pay, which you couldn’t pay in the first place. That is complete nonsense.”

Abrahams reasoned that where the law provided for remit or refund, the term remit pointed to relief from payment that could be granted before payment was made.

“Remit also means to alleviate from pain, to exempt from pain or to waive,” the attorney said.

He compared that new law to what obtained in the Land Tax Act.

“If you are experiencing hardship, you can write for relief from your land tax, and they can waive or adjust it. And they can do this before you pay.

“A lot of people have done it. The pensioners do a lot of it. People who are in difficulty know that if you cannot pay your land tax you can write asking for relief before you pay.”

Abrahams then read out the relevant clauses in both laws to show that despite the wording being the same, Government was proposing to apply them differently.

“They took the wording out of the Land Tax Act and put the same wording in the Solid Waste Tax Act, but are telling you that where you can write before you pay the tax for your land tax, with the exact same wording you cannot write under the Solid Waste Tax.”

9 Responses to If you don’t pay waste tax . . .

  1. PJ White
    PJ White July 16, 2014 at 8:01 am


  2. Shirley Haynes-Johnson
    Shirley Haynes-Johnson July 16, 2014 at 8:05 am

    Them got to be out of they mind poor people aint got no job can’t buy food can’t pay bills were the money coming from so u got to steal and at the end of it give u a time to pay or else

  3. Heather Cole
    Heather Cole July 16, 2014 at 8:05 am


  4. Shirley Garnes
    Shirley Garnes July 16, 2014 at 9:57 am

    Very interesting how the people are crying no money but it seems there always on a plane to go the U.S.A. ,Canada or England.

  5. Sanderson Rowe July 16, 2014 at 10:05 am

    First we learn that we cannot trust the word of a politician nor a lawyer.And when that person wears both hats, its even worse.

  6. Rawle Spooner
    Rawle Spooner July 16, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    Question is Sandals exempt from paying Municipal Solid Waste Tax, reason is they are exempted from so many other taxes it might not be too far fetch to assume so.

  7. Veroniva Boyce
    Veroniva Boyce July 16, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    Lucky people. Try that in the UK and it’s go directly to jail.

  8. Patrick Blackman July 16, 2014 at 8:50 pm

    insurrection now right….. silly people blinded by politics not reality…. they cannot pay the tax but every one has an expense cell phone and new cars… just don’t get it.


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