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Business Senator slams GOB on taxation

Matk moo mooPosted: Wednesday, March 14, 2018. 7:18 a.m. CST.

By BBN Staff: Yesterday, Business Senator Mark Lizaraga condemned the Government of Belize (GOB) for the taxation measures being implemented within the 2018/2019 National Budget, criticizing the GOB’s demand for more taxes while maintaining questionable spending.

Lizaraga said that GOB’s argument for broadening the tax base was to be able to make up for the shortfall caused by lowering the tax rate. He noted that the base has been broadened, but questioned what happened to the lowering of the rate.

“Governments refusal to curtail its wasteful and bloated spending and typical refusal to be transparent or accountable in the spending of our tax money is what spurs the repeated tax hikes,” Lizaraga said.

The private sector has maintained over the years that government needs to refine its spending practices, and even made a list of cost-saving recommendations for GOB to follow. Those recommendations have largely been ignored by GOB.

Following the presentation of the Budget last Friday, Prime Minister Dean Barrow explained that the charging of General Sales Tax (GST) on data services will generate around $6 million, which forms a part of a larger plan to raise around $20 million.

Barrow told the media, “We all know that there has been a shift away from voice or the regular voice calls to data and as a consequence, the GST collections have fallen steeply. We have to replace that loss and this is the logical way to do it.”

Barrow added that GOB is doing things the way it is because it does not want to scrap the South Side Poverty Alleviation Project Phase 3.

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