Categorized | Features, Man from Baker Hill

PASSWORD TO MONTSERRAT 2012: taxarrears.tmr@ird.gov.ms

By Man from Baker Hill

Since August 2010 the words “Tax Arrears” have sent shivers, chills and thrills to Montserratians. In fact there is hardly a word more familiar and divisive to us than the words tax arrears and taxation. Nevertheless, many of us hoped that at the end of 2011 the government would have understood the realities of life on Montserrat and decide to shut the door on the issue of tax arrears. And that means to forgive the rest of us who can’t afford to pay up the income tax arrears. But no, our Premier will not give up, as if on a vendetta to persecute the few, he will go on the rampage. Yes, starting January 2012 Premier Meade promised to tear into friends and foe with vengeance and take each one to court …for tax arrears.

Is prosecution the best way forward? Certainly not! Tax education for 2012 is a much better approach towards Montserratians than tax prosecution all the way 2012.

But our Premier feels he is in control absolutely, so constantly he threatens to prosecute. Friends, to avoid prosecution, it seems as if you need a password to enter Montserrat 2012. According to reliable sources only those with a signed release from the Negotiator will get through, but you can try this password: taxarrears.yourname@ird.gov.ms.

Still on the subject of taxes, but in another pew, is Montserrat being managed like a corner market shop? Are our political leaders bartering one set of taxpayers against another set of non-tax payers? Are they confusing Montserratians?

Just so that you would understand what I am saying, let me take you back to the last Legislative Assembly meeting. Now recall the show down between don the leader of the opposition and ben the leader of government over the amendment to the Income tax Act.

The Premier should have said this. Madame Speaker, the benefit of the amendment to tax payers is as follows:

For an average tax payer earning $125.00 a day, the amendment will reduce his tax from $3,450.00 a year to $2,250.00 a year. The amendment will cause the average skilled labourer or clerk to keep $100.00 in his pocket each month.

The leader of the opposition should have responded like this. Madame Speaker, the Amendment to the Income Tax Act which this Honourable House is debating seeks to make it legal for retired civil servants, retired speakers of This House, and retired ministers of government to receive a monthly retirement income of $5,000.00 without paying $1.00 in taxes.

And Madame Speaker this is political gimmickry. Are we political bamboozlers? Imagine this house debates a Bill that causes a clerical officer to pay monthly $200.00 in tax on a salary of $2,500.00. Yet this same Bill seeks to make it legal that you Madame Speaker and every minister of government in this house pay no tax on your monthly retirement income of $5,000.00.

Madame Speaker this amendment seeks to make it legal that our politicians must earn a retirement income of $105,000.00 before they will pay as much tax as a labourer earning $125.00 a day. Madame Speaker, before I vote on this Bill I need an insertion of some sort that speaks to comprehensive Tax education in the schools, in the churches and in the media.

And Madame Speaker, do not push me. The people elected me to this Honourable House to represent them. They tell me that they are sick and tired of me locking my tail under my belly and crawl when you shut me up. I just want you to know that, Madame Speaker.

I am absolutely certain that if our politicians were able to address matters in the Legislative Assembly with sincerity and honesty we will have ….

But no, there must be this big stick and carrot approach. As if some of us are the donkeys; do as I say and when I the premier say it or else.  Montserrat is fast becoming an island for the fortunate.

Premier Meade, you have collected as much tax arrears as the people can afford to pay.  Maybe you are dancing or have to dance to the tune of your benefactors the UK government; but, even they can understand that people have no more money to pay. For goodness sake Premier, we have had enough of the Tax Negotiator and Tax arrears. The man who got forgiveness for $300,000.00 is just as obstinate as the man who refuses to seek forgiveness of his $30,000.00, because he is sincere. In the end, both of them disrespect Montserrat tax laws. If you can forgive a man who asks for forgiveness, then seek those who are afraid or ashamed to ask, and forgive them too. The entire negotiating thing was just a charade anyway, when understanding takes place.

Now listen to the people, put your ears on the ground. Forgive and write off the balance of the tax arrears.   Premier Meade, persecute neither foe nor friend; think and speak the ‘F’ word! Think forgiveness and say it! Forgive; and move Montserrat forward with joy, peace, patience, goodness, meekness, faith and temperance; try tax education in 2012 with passion.

And by the way, here’s my password: taxarrears.mbh@ird.gov.ms.  Sir, can I enter Montserrat 2012?

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

By Man from Baker Hill

Since August 2010 the words “Tax Arrears” have sent shivers, chills and thrills to Montserratians. In fact there is hardly a word more familiar and divisive to us than the words tax arrears and taxation. Nevertheless, many of us hoped that at the end of 2011 the government would have understood the realities of life on Montserrat and decide to shut the door on the issue of tax arrears. And that means to forgive the rest of us who can’t afford to pay up the income tax arrears. But no, our Premier will not give up, as if on a vendetta to persecute the few, he will go on the rampage. Yes, starting January 2012 Premier Meade promised to tear into friends and foe with vengeance and take each one to court …for tax arrears.

Is prosecution the best way forward? Certainly not! Tax education for 2012 is a much better approach towards Montserratians than tax prosecution all the way 2012.

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But our Premier feels he is in control absolutely, so constantly he threatens to prosecute. Friends, to avoid prosecution, it seems as if you need a password to enter Montserrat 2012. According to reliable sources only those with a signed release from the Negotiator will get through, but you can try this password: taxarrears.yourname@ird.gov.ms.

Still on the subject of taxes, but in another pew, is Montserrat being managed like a corner market shop? Are our political leaders bartering one set of taxpayers against another set of non-tax payers? Are they confusing Montserratians?

Just so that you would understand what I am saying, let me take you back to the last Legislative Assembly meeting. Now recall the show down between don the leader of the opposition and ben the leader of government over the amendment to the Income tax Act.

The Premier should have said this. Madame Speaker, the benefit of the amendment to tax payers is as follows:

For an average tax payer earning $125.00 a day, the amendment will reduce his tax from $3,450.00 a year to $2,250.00 a year. The amendment will cause the average skilled labourer or clerk to keep $100.00 in his pocket each month.

The leader of the opposition should have responded like this. Madame Speaker, the Amendment to the Income Tax Act which this Honourable House is debating seeks to make it legal for retired civil servants, retired speakers of This House, and retired ministers of government to receive a monthly retirement income of $5,000.00 without paying $1.00 in taxes.

And Madame Speaker this is political gimmickry. Are we political bamboozlers? Imagine this house debates a Bill that causes a clerical officer to pay monthly $200.00 in tax on a salary of $2,500.00. Yet this same Bill seeks to make it legal that you Madame Speaker and every minister of government in this house pay no tax on your monthly retirement income of $5,000.00.

Madame Speaker this amendment seeks to make it legal that our politicians must earn a retirement income of $105,000.00 before they will pay as much tax as a labourer earning $125.00 a day. Madame Speaker, before I vote on this Bill I need an insertion of some sort that speaks to comprehensive Tax education in the schools, in the churches and in the media.

And Madame Speaker, do not push me. The people elected me to this Honourable House to represent them. They tell me that they are sick and tired of me locking my tail under my belly and crawl when you shut me up. I just want you to know that, Madame Speaker.

I am absolutely certain that if our politicians were able to address matters in the Legislative Assembly with sincerity and honesty we will have ….

But no, there must be this big stick and carrot approach. As if some of us are the donkeys; do as I say and when I the premier say it or else.  Montserrat is fast becoming an island for the fortunate.

Premier Meade, you have collected as much tax arrears as the people can afford to pay.  Maybe you are dancing or have to dance to the tune of your benefactors the UK government; but, even they can understand that people have no more money to pay. For goodness sake Premier, we have had enough of the Tax Negotiator and Tax arrears. The man who got forgiveness for $300,000.00 is just as obstinate as the man who refuses to seek forgiveness of his $30,000.00, because he is sincere. In the end, both of them disrespect Montserrat tax laws. If you can forgive a man who asks for forgiveness, then seek those who are afraid or ashamed to ask, and forgive them too. The entire negotiating thing was just a charade anyway, when understanding takes place.

Now listen to the people, put your ears on the ground. Forgive and write off the balance of the tax arrears.   Premier Meade, persecute neither foe nor friend; think and speak the ‘F’ word! Think forgiveness and say it! Forgive; and move Montserrat forward with joy, peace, patience, goodness, meekness, faith and temperance; try tax education in 2012 with passion.

And by the way, here’s my password: taxarrears.mbh@ird.gov.ms.  Sir, can I enter Montserrat 2012?