PM: It’s tax collection or more taxes

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart has warned that if Government did not improve its revenue collection system, with the Barbados Revenue Authority (BRA) as the collecting agency, his administration would be forced to “impose heavier burdens” on Barbadians.

However, responding to questions from reporters this evening after chairing a day-long meeting of the Social Partnership at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, Stuart said he did not wish to impose any more taxes.

Government has said that the agency was designed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the current collection system.

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart

“We have been having serious problems with some persons being able to circumvent the tax laws and to stay without the tax net; and it is important that if we are going to continue to provide the quality of service, and to provide the quality of services that we think desirable for Barbadians that we get the revenue to do the things we want to do. Without the revenue we have to impose heavier burdens on the population and we do not think that is desirable,” the Prime Minister said.

The central revenue body was established in April 1, 2014 to, among other duties, assess, collect and enforce the payment of taxes, duties, interest, penalties and fees as prescribed in the Barbados Revenue Authority Act.

It evolved from a merger of various tax collecting agencies, including the Inland Revenue and Land Tax Departments, as well as the Value Added Tax Office and the Licensing Authority.

However, with the agency continuing to face teething problems, employees of the Customs and Excise Department have resisted efforts to merge their functions into BRA, contending that Customs was a law enforcement entity.

Asked if he was satisfied after a year that BRA was still the right fit for the island, Stuart argued that it received the support of both sides of the House.

“The issue of a central revenue authority did not originate with us. It originated under the previous administration, and that is why when the bill was debated in Parliament, former Prime Minister [Owen] Author made it very clear that he could not in good conscience stand up in the House as an Opposition member and oppose the bill because it started under his administration,” said Stuart.

“So really there is a bipartisan consensus on the need for a central revenue authority.”

However, it was only last month in her response to the 2015-2016 Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals that Opposition Leader Mia Mottley made it clear that the Barbados Labour Party did not support the absorption of Customs into BRA.

While agreeing that a central revenue authority was Athur’s brainchild, she said the former Prime Minister had a policy paper which stated that the Customs Department was not intended to be part of it.

“That is still the position of the Barbados Labour Party,” she said at the time.

marlonmadden@barbadostoday.bb

5 Responses to PM: It’s tax collection or more taxes

  1. Ricardo Sharon
    Ricardo Sharon August 1, 2015 at 6:26 am

    what about the free taxes you give to these new company’s and nothing local who side are you on not the people of Barbados Today

    Reply
  2. Chris hill August 1, 2015 at 8:08 am

    When we look at the tax breaks given to sandals, Cahill energy (if they ever get going) Hiatt hotels you have to wonder if this wasn’t on their minds. Furthermore you make the cost of living so high already how do you expect people to pay their tax in the first place. The dlp seem to be worried about how the bra is going to collect the riches of import duties now that customs will not be the BRA.

    Reply
  3. dave August 1, 2015 at 11:04 am

    “The issue of a central revenue authority did not originate with us. It originated under the previous administration, and that is why when the bill was debated in Parliament, former Prime Minister [Owen] Author made it very clear that he could not in good conscience stand up in the House as an Opposition member and oppose the bill because it started under his administration,” said Stuart.

    “So really there is a bipartisan consensus on the need for a central revenue authority.”

    However, it was only last month in her response to the 2015-2016 Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals that Opposition Leader Mia Mottley made it clear that the Barbados Labour Party did not support the absorption of Customs into BRA.

    While agreeing that a central revenue authority was Athur’s brainchild, she said the former Prime Minister had a policy paper which stated that the Customs Department was not intended to be part of it.

    “That is still the position of the Barbados Labour Party,” she said at the time.
    ————————————————————–
    THE ABOVE QUOTE -needs to be repeated again and again and again !

    Tell Carson C Cadogan who is really not who she is trying to fool people that she is –t o read this carefully.

    Customs was never meant to be in -NO BRA –

    PM Stuart , Sinckler and Sivers need to understand this,
    The thing is that it would be detrimental to the country if customs goes in any BRA

    Reply
  4. jrsmith August 2, 2015 at 11:45 am

    Mr,priminister, I could never see any of your present government ever being employed anywhere in the private sector. as you yourself , all we are seeing , bad management, bad management.

    Must remind the priminister , sir you are the government, get your fingers out and govern. stop making excuses , the other party has passed on, your lot had sufficient time to put Barbados on a level footing.

    Reply
  5. bajanguyster August 4, 2015 at 12:35 am

    keep taxing the people ,one of these days you are going to push them to hard

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *