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TALKBACK: Yearwood stirs debate on overseas tax plan

SHERRYLYN TOPPIN, [email protected]

TALKBACK: Yearwood stirs debate on overseas tax plan

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BARBADIANS ARE SO AVERSE to new taxes, they were not entertaining the suggestion by attorney Dr Ronnie Yearwood, who suggested some form of levy be applied to Barbadians who live overseas as a mean of combating the brain drain identified in a recent Inter-American Development Bank report.

Yearwood, who also lives overseas, says Barbados could consider an approach similar to that adopted by the United States where all citizens should pay taxes, whether they live at home or not.

However, he suggested a balance had to be struck since many Barbadians already made a huge contribution through remittances.

Yearwood did not state how such a system would work, but added those non-residents should have a voice in elections. Here are some of the online responses.

Charming Forde: With that being said, Dr Yearwood, what taxes do you pay? What is your contribution to your country, since you don’t live here? Why do you people feel that you have to come and tell us what to do after you leave and receive your “big-up, overseas” education? Are you still seeing Bajans as barefoot and illiterate?

Halsey Clarke: After taking all that free education, all of you should be supporting one of the Barbados institutions which helped you to achieve, knowing the generations behind have to pay. All of you took and did not help; real Bajans.

Jennifer Haynes: Maybe a close look will reveal that some do pay taxes. Several US, UK, Canadian-based associations and organisations are involved with assisting locally. What about double taxation issues? Remunerations?

David Gill: He must be crazy. There are many persons within Barbados who have both college and university degrees but cannot find a job . . . . Do not fault persons for wanting to look for opportunities that will use the knowledge they acquired. Do not fault them for possibly wanting to better themselves and possibly their family circumstances.

Jonathan Lynch: Have school-leavers’ programmes for both secondary school-leavers and university (not everyone is meant for UWI). That way they are building the experience needed, even if not drawing a full professional salary. Part of school programmes should have internships as part of the syllabus. Have a mentorship programme for specialised fields.

Tiffany Jones: So those who live overseas that benefited from free education should have to pay taxes twice (to Barbados and the country they migrated to)? Additionally, there are persons who send back money to their families/friends, which goes into the Barbadian economy.

Cynthia Bee: I remember in my country when children were given scholarships, they were bonded. If they did not return, they had to pay back that. So they came back, served and left, but they did return.

Olutoye Walrond: Would be interesting to hear how you will tax someone who lives and works in another country.

Maaz A Love: Sounds like a common-sense issue; give back or pay back.

Rawle Maycock: More taxes!