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UWP Criticises Proposed ‘Harsh’ Tax Penalties

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The United Workers Party (UWP) expresses strong objection to the recent proposal by the Government of Saint Lucia outlining harsh measures for individuals and businesses with outstanding tax payments.

The UWP firmly believes that a highly punitive approach to tax collection of taxes is counterproductive and advocates for fair and efficient methods that promote tax compliance without compromising individual rights.

First, the Government’s intention to double the penalty interest rate from 10% to a staggering 20% is excessive and unreasonable.

This hike in the interest rate can have a devastating impact on individuals and businesses already grappling with the challenges of the current economic climate.

Rather than unreasonable and unfair interest rates, the government should reduce the opportunities for noncompliance so that penalties rarely need to be applied.

Equally troubling is the proposal to grant the Comptroller of Inland Revenue the authority to seize assets, including homes, to recover unpaid taxes.

This measure is draconian and disproportionate, potentially leading to scenarios where families could lose their homes due to unpaid tax liabilities.

This policy not only creates fear and uncertainty, but also jeopardizes the overall economic stability of our nation.

Furthermore, the requirement for individuals owing taxes to obtain permission to travel is an unprecedented encroachment on personal freedoms.

This policy is not only an infringement upon the right to freedom of movement but also places an unnecessary bureaucratic burden on citizens.

The UWP believes in fair and efficient tax collection methods that support the development of the country while respecting the rights and dignities of its citizens.

We urge the Government to reconsider these harsh measures and engage in a more consultative process with stakeholders to find balanced solutions that improve tax compliance without resorting to punitive and oppressive tactics.

We stand with the people of Saint Lucia in advocating for fair and just governance, and we will continue to voice our concerns against any measures that threaten fundamental liberties and the welfare of our citizens.

SOURCE: United Workers Party

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11 COMMENTS

  1. @Lowgrade Lucian, I hope you paying your fair share of taxes on all the state funds you getting, Uncle PIP coming for your house.

  2. Love to hear what “Can I help Me” will say about this since he has always criticized IRD for using land purchase clearance letter as a method of ensuring collection of their unpaid taxes.

  3. Why would you Criticizes Proposed ‘Harsh’ Tax Penalties, what is your fundamental basis to make such a statement, is it for political relevance or for other means? Do you know if citizens have to pay all the necessary taxes and the citizens hold the government to task, do you know how many of you will end up at borderlay? Let the ones speak of their experiences in foreign countries such as UK, USA, Canada and the French countries they reside in and let them explain to you what happens if they simply do not pay there taxes. Based on the PM GDP report he said the Economy is advancing with an increase of growth. So on one leg a Finance ministers is happy about the dandy figures and on the other hand a former finance minister is barking the opposite. Both of you needed to put in a canoe no paddle no compass then when/if you touch land you will understand what struggling/hardship is. You all will understand how wicked you all have always been to your very own people. The fantasy world of borrowing and borrowing have us all in this mess, we often will refer to colonialism but equally you all have deprived you all own consistently since 1848!

  4. I agree with uwp on that one. Pierre where are the draconian laws to deal with gun crime? Instead of tackling crime, you want to ride our backs? Really bruh?

  5. Where are those who preach that we are not a “real country.” Well, that is how real countries operate; they go after tax evaders (e.g., the IRS), with a vengeance.

    There are dedicated professionals aiding and abetting businesses and individuals in the corruption of tax evasion in Saint Lucia. On Helen some people depreciate their property values to evade property taxes but appreciate the value when seeking mortgages. Sounds familiar? TRUMPIAN I dare to say!

    So ask yourself: you want a free ride and some other country will use their taxpayers’ monies to prop-up your country? How sustainable do you imagine that would last. Recall this old statement? : “Our friends in…. will help us.” We were given the impression that that was a bottomless well…Well that well will dry up, so let us do the right thing for our own survival. Stop going to your neighbour with a cup asking for some sugar, when you are gainfully employed. For when we are living in foreign lands we comply without a smidgen of complaint about the VARIOUS TAXES and mandatory deductions from our paychecks. We cry out for all manner of First World services in health and infrastructure and other first class services in our Third World of Saint Lucia…but must it be at the expense of others? And politicians who know better and would do the same, attempt to pull the wool over our eyes…and we think they may be right?
    THINK FOR YOURSELVES…WHAT IS GOOD FOR YOUR COUNTRY!!!

    The UWP is crying out for their hotelier financiers who are practised in the evasion of, among other things, the evasion of NIC Remittances and Accomodation Taxes for which there exists a paid “hatchet man” to show them how to do it.

    We ought not be amazed at the very apparent dubious logic of their argument in that release. They should ask Sandals to pay to us what the IRD calculated they owed to Saint Lucia, instead of this smoke screen.

    I advocate that both the IRD and the NIC should have dedicated fraud investigators working full time to not only ensure compliance but to identify evaders. So…

    BE SAINT LUCIAN ALWAYS!

  6. They didn’t pay at 10% penalty, what makes you think they will pay at 20%? And what is the penalty to government for the 10 years refunds they owe me?

  7. Do you recall a certain business man sold land to the distillery at Roseau and the former Prime Minister and his Cabinet signed an agreement that this man should not pay sale tax?
    Now why should I have to get a clearance if I have to travel? I don’t support this one.

  8. What does travelling overseas have to do with me paying taxes? Make it make sense PJP

    So burden us with more tax— Tax my salary, Tax me 12.5% vAT on the net income you already tax me on, then tax me another 2.5%, then tax me again on the fuel that I purchase for the already taxed car, then turn around and tax me for the house I built and is paying the loan + interest with already taxed money.

    And then when I try to leave the misery I need to pay my taxes 😭 before I can travel. Ki baytese ca….

  9. Again, we fail to address the inefficiencies at our Government agencies while trying to squeeze more from an already tax burdened population.

    With these penalities and draconian methods to encourage persons to pay their dues, does it mean that

    1. We will receive our tax returns within one year if filing?

    2. IRD will not lose our tax documents and then accuse us of not filing based on their incompetence?

    3. Persons who have worked overseas or have not filed because of being unemployed, would they have travel bans placed upon them because there are no record of them filing. Would they now not receive the clearance letter untill they have “filed”

  10. Let’s start by jailing the SLP politicians for tax evasion aka Juffalli scandal. Pierre, what tax did u pay when u were unemployed? What right have any of you to seize people homes for tax? None whatsoever. This opens up the way for abuse of authority. Let’s all take the government to court over their legislation. I will sign that petition. The whole public can then be in court with the government. All persons who join in the complaints will be allowed to take the stand in the case against the government. It is time that government learn to respect human rights. In fact, there should be room for “affected public cases” against any government for all purposes including tax. This is how democracy should work. Government can’t just tax the shit out of people, and don’t be accountable with how they spend it, they steal the money, and force people to pay more.money. in fact, as far as I am concerned, every government that collect tax not just st Lucia but USA,EU, UK, should be mailing each citizen a copy of how the tax dollars was spent. This should be demanded and standard procedure. Any government who seek to impoverish people through excessive tax should be taken to court by the public. Not just in st Lucia. Every single democracy the world over.

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