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The Minister of Finance recently revealed that corporate Barbados owes the Government a whopping $885.9 million. Add monies owed to the Barbados Water Authority, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and the National Housing Corporation, and this figure will jump to over $1 billion dollars. This is particularly disgusting and untenable. The $291.4 million owed to the National Insurance and the $361.1 million in VAT are no-nos. The former is the people’s money that was deducted from their salaries and should be paid in to the NIS on their behalf, and the latter represents taxes paid by the people on consumer items and should be paid to the VAT office in a timely manner. It is even more disgusting since the players in these businesses own large mansions and drive big, expensive cars. No government should come to the people with a Budget to impose more taxes on the backs of the ordinary citizens until these outstanding arrears are collected. Let it be said that it is the average Joe Bloggs who pays his taxes. The poor people of this country are living up to their obligations and are paying their taxes through their teeth while these unscrupulous businessmen are refusing to meet their obligations. It is time that Government (B or D) get serious with these defaulters. The country needs these funds now more than ever.