UWP Criticises Proposed ‘Harsh’ Tax Penalties – St. Lucia Times

The content originally appeared on: St. Lucia Times News

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