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Plp Mp Says Vat Would ‘Savage’ Bahamians

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Gregory Moss

By KHRISNA VIRGIL

Tribune Staff Reporter

kvirgil@tribunemedia.net

MARCO City MP Greg Moss again blasted the Christie administration for its decision to impose value added tax (VAT) on January 1, 2015 saying the revenue generation system is “wrong” and would “savage” Bahamians.

It was one of a litany of critiques Mr Moss had for members of his own party yesterday as he contributed to the VAT legislation debate.

During a 30-minute critical address in the House of Assembly, Mr Moss reiterated that he would never support VAT as he viewed it as a betrayal of the PLP’s philosophy because it would burden the poor while giving the rich tax breaks.

Mr Moss also raked the government over the coals for its failure to bring

“compassionate” pieces of legislation to Parliament. Mr Moss said he was waiting for the Christie administration to table in the House bills for the protection of homeowners facing foreclosure; to increase minimum wage, and for the rehabilitation of offenders, among others.

“Bring some compassionate legislation to this House,” Mr Moss said. “As for this piece of legislation (the VAT Bill) you could doctor this and pretty it up and put lipstick on it however you want. But this is wrong. This is a betrayal of the philosophy of the PLP to enact this bill while the rich people out there are still not paying a dime. So I will not support this.”

He also lashed out at the Christie administration and said since taking office in May 2012, there was a lack of passion from the government to operate in a manner that matters most to suffering Bahamians. He suggested that the government was not serious about being effective.

“Where is the desire and the passion in this House to have a Centralised Procurement Agency in this government so not everyone is all over the place spending money and doing all kinds of deals? I am not talking about the PLP government, I am talking about Bahamian governments.

“Where is the passion in this House to put in place, if we are serious about deepening our democracy, a procurement oversight committee in this House with a majority on it from the Opposition, so the government can decide what to spend but the Opposition has a right to look at it. That is the most effective way of making sure that whomever is the government that they are always kept accountable because the Opposition always looking at it. Where is our sense of passion for our democracy rather than these political games we play?

“We can bring bills before this House and pass them in days and weeks when we are ready as we have just seen with the referendum exercise. Where is the bill to stop foreclosures on mortgage homes in this country? It is a simple bill.

“Where is the bill to reduce the prime rate in this county? Where is the bill to increase the minimum wage in this country? Our people are suffering. This is not a political statement. We come in this House and pass all kind of bills, where is the Rehabilitation of Offenders Bill? A real one. The Constitutional Bill was on the agenda and we are almost finished with it. These things are urgent tools that we need.”

Mr Moss also suggested that the government was afraid to implement income tax as an alternative form of revenue because it would force politicians and other prominent members of society to document their earnings.

The government plans to implement VAT at a rate of 7.5 per cent on January 1.

Mr Moss has been critical of his party in the past and in June, voiced his earlier concerns about VAT during a sitting of the House of Assembly. Afterwards, PLP Chairman Bradley Roberts criticised Mr Moss for speaking “out of turn” when he said implementing value added tax “goes against the principles of the party”.

Mr Moss was also embroiled in controversy during his tenure as chairman of the National Insurance Board (NIB).

Ultimately, Prime Minister Perry Christie terminated Mr Moss as NIB chairman after he refused to resign in January 2013.

Mr Moss has said he felt that the government did not fully defend his character against allegations made about his conduct while chairman of NIB.

Comments

asiseeit 3 years, 1 month ago

Mr. Moss they NEED to implement VAT so that they can continue to "buy" votes with government jobs. The government of the Bahamas is a rip off and is the biggest thief in the country. What do I get for paying taxes? Not much I can tell you. Basic services in this country are a joke. Electric, public safety, health, education, water, roads, sanitation, you name it, all a joke, so why should I pay tax? I get NOTHING in return! ALL governments have FAILED as the supposed leaders of this country are just well suited gangsters that went to law school to learn how to cheat the law. People are done playing around in this country and are headed for greener pastures, middle class family's are leaving in droves. Once they have destroyed the middle class, let's see how long the country will last before becoming another Haiti.

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ThisIsOurs 3 years, 1 month ago

They wont have any VAT money left to buy votes, they gonna spend all on Carnival, after the cronies appointed to plan the parade take their 8.5million pocket change off the top, Christie will come back to the nation and tell us we have to move forward and he needs 20 million more...20 seems to be the defacto number for every government project these days. I guess it covers the standard payment to every minister involved with just enough left over for substandard labour and equipment

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Sickened 3 years, 1 month ago

I fear that you are so right. But where does all these millions of dollars of kick backs go! Either to lawyers to hold in escrow or into bank accounts. Which banks are accepting all this money? My first thought would be BoB.

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jlcandu 3 years, 1 month ago

Mr. Moss,

Please continue the fight -- you seem to be one of the few REAL MEN in the House of Assembly who actually cares about this country.

There are many of us who will continue to pray for you to have the strength and courage to continue your fight.

You have a lot of support. Don't cave to the bootlickers in the PLP!!!

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SP 3 years, 1 month ago

Indeed, who asked for the referendum now in question? Not WE THE PEOPLE!

We ask for and DEMAND a referendum on Article 7 to protect our country from Haitian evaders.

We ask for and DEMAND an expedient Freedom Of Information Act.

"Mr. Moss also suggested that the government was afraid to implement income tax as an alternative form of revenue because it would force politicians and other prominent members of society to document their earnings."

Truer words have never been spoken!

The country is sinking, Bahamians are suffering and Christie and his band of merry men are skipping around talking nonsense.

Maintain your posture Mr. Moss!

If we had a handful of TRUE NATIONALIST as yourself in the whole government, the PLP and FNM would be forced to work for WE THE PEOPLE not friends, family and lovers of a handful of professional pirates!

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paul_vincent_zecchino 3 years, 1 month ago

Kudos to MP Greg Moss for bravely speaking the truth. The power to tax is the power to destroy. Europe's VAT tax has long depressed business and harmed independent businesspeople and store owners.

No society ever taxed itself into prosperity, quite the contrary, taxes reduce everyone.

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PastorTroy 3 years, 1 month ago

Good Job! Now, where are the others who refuses to "drop their pants and bend over" for the sake of party politics, but have some self respect? Let's start this movement Bahamas, Bahamians SUPPORT THESE MEN AND WOMEN! THEY WILL BE SLAUGHTERED IN THE MEDIA DAILY BY PARTY BANDITS, retiring or voting out at least 50% of politicians in both FNM and PLP including current PM and DPM! New, young leadership with bold 21st century ideas is what we need!

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