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Enough is enough!

Amanda Lynch-Foster

Enough is enough!

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“Enough is enough!”

This was cry of National Union of Public Workers General Secretary Roslyn Smith this morning as she put it to government that if they improved tax and revenue collection, the controversial National Social Responsibility Levy (NSRL) would not be needed at all.

“It does not make sense you create a new tax and then you do not seek to police it,” argued Smith during her contribution to the agenda item on Issues of Concern at today’s highly anticipated and nationally televised meeting of the Social Partnership.

Smith pointed to several weaknesses and flaws in previous revenue generation efforts. She noted that when the NSRL was initially introduced at 2%, it was said those proceeds would go to health services, namely the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) and the Sanitation Service Authority (SSA).

She said that from the NUPW’s perspective “we have not seen any development” within the SSA and that “far from that we have seen a privatisation aspect” and said that the NSRL seemed to have only been to the benefit of private sector people and not the SSA workers.

Moreover she argued that “government is guilty of not collecting revenue”, pointing to the betting and gaming levy as one tax that was not sufficiently enforced. Value Added Tax (VAT) was another sore point.

“From the inception of the VAT we know some persons have never paid,” said the NUPW general secretary.

She recommended that government should engage retired customs officers and auditors on a commission basis to pursue the collection of these overdue revenues. She also called for the betting and gaming levy to be put back under the Customs and Excise department.