ST. GEORGE’S: The Government of Grenada says the increase in taxes under the three-year “home grown” structural adjustment program, has resulted in a “reasonable” increase in revenue collection.
Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell said that the taxes have seen a reasonable increase in revenue collection and, as a result, the EC$18 million monthly operating deficit has been cut by almost half.
“The signs are looking optimistic,” he said. “The gap is being closed. It was EC$18 million, it is now down to EC$10 million; so almost half the gap has been closed.”
However Dr. Mitchell said that some of the taxes have not yet been implemented and will become effective from 2015.
“If the economy can become robust as we expect; if we get the investment that we expect to see; if we see the productive sector increase the way we want it to; if we get some upward mobility in the public service-delivering service to people more efficiently, then we won’t need to continue some of those increases,” he said.
Mitchell said people earning more than EC$10,000 a month or more in rental of properties, will have to pay their fair share of taxes, as the policeman or civil servant whose salaries are within the range of EC$40,000 a year.
“They have jobs and properties and are making US$15,000 a month from renting and they are not paying a cent. Is it fair? So I do not think that we need structural adjustment to have come with that tax,” he said. “I do not honestly believe that when the program finish we should necessarily remove the ability of persons who are making money to pay their fair share to the tax payers. They should not get away from paying and the person who is struggling has to pay. It is not fair.”
Mitchell said as soon as the situation improves, some of the taxes could be removed.