In our newscast on Friday we did not go into full details of the bills that got House approval and others that were introduced. One of the Bills that was amended and passed was the Income and Business Tax Act. It generally offers a small tax relief to persons in the workforce whose incomes fall under twenty nine thousand dollars per year. Prime Minister Dean Barrow said the Bill is a good thing for those who qualify but on the other side of the floor, opposition members said it offers very little, if any kind of help. Freetown Area Representative, Francis Fonseca says this will actually be more burdensome on many people who fall in the same threshold.
Francis Fonseca, Area Rep., Freetown
“We need to understand what the Bill is not doing. It is not exempting persons earning twenty nine thousand dollars per annum and less from the payment of income tax. It is providing additional relief by increasing the basic deduction allowed for persons whose chargeable income ranges between twenty six thousand and twenty nine thousand dollars. That basic deduction which now stands at nineteen thousand, six hundred dollars remains the same for all other persons. So Mr Speaker, if your chargeable income falls between twenty six thousand and twent nine thousand you will get some tax relief, and that, as the Leader of the Opposition has said, is welcomed, given the difficult and trying times that we’re living in. What I have a difficulty with MrSpeaker, and talking to people in the business community and foreign investors, what I have a difficulty with is the uncertainty of government’s tax policy. The sort of reactionary nature of our fiscal and monetary policy. There seems to be no rhyme or reason as to why things are done and when they are done.”
“The member for Freetown should have talked about how many people have been relieved in terms of how many salaried employees there are in this country. Talk about the huge percentage that now has been given total relief as a consequence of this United Democratic Party government. We’re doing all that we can, consistent with our determination to offer as much relief as possible, while still attempting to balance our budget.”Channel 5