EDITOR, The Tribune.
There is nothing more onerous and delusional than the pipe dream of income taxes. Some suppose it to be a panacea for our financial woes, but internationally, the evidence seems to suggest that without sound fiscal management, the more access a government has to collecting revenue, the more they spend. They collect, tax and waste to benefit themselves or those close to them. They expand the social welfare net in order to create entitlement states to win the support of the electorate. Eventually you have progressively larger, unsustainable welfare states and crippling debt.
In this country, the crux of our problems revolve around a lack of understanding of basic economics, politics permeating every area of national life and civil immaturity. We wanted independence from Great Britain, but lacked the vision, wisdom and discipline necessary for perpetual self government. We continually elect people to govern who have not been able to prove that they can manage their own personal lives and finances. The ruling class does not have enough love for this country and its people to avoid self-serving, self enriching and destructive decisions. Consecutive governments seemed to have a 'wing it' philosophy with borrowing, spending and national development.
Increasing government access to more revenue will not solve our problems:VAT was implemented to pay down the national debt, instead the debt has increased.
It is time for our nation to grow up and become fiscally responsible. Maybe we can start by changing laws to ensure that pensionable public servants can collect one pension only instead of two or three as some are able to do. Reducing the salary of the President of the University of the Bahamas, collecting all outstanding debts owed to the government while not writing off debts from Bank of the Bahamas and some foreign investors. Streamlining the civil service to minimise waste and increase efficiency while taxing the income of all non-Bahamian citizens in this country.
We must do what we can and avoid borrowing to waste. Government should lead by example, maybe then individuals in this country will make better personal decisions in their lives.
September 20, 2017.