Now, more than ever, is the time for the super-rich of Mustique and Canouan to start paying tax as Vincentians do.
Our country has been devastated by the La Soufriere volcano eruption. Farmers need to be compensated for the loss of their crops and income, and families need to be compensated for damage to their properties.
For decades, Vincentians have been subsiding the super-rich of Mustique and Canouan. It is the taxes of Vincentians that pay for the road and other services the super-rich of Mustique and Canouan use. Now, it is time to turn the tables.
It is essential that a windfall tax is urgently imposed on the super-rich of Mustique and Canouan to help compensate farmers and families for loss of income and damages suffered. The cost for compensation could be over EC$200 million. The simplest and best way to raise this money is a windfall tax.
The super-rich of Mustique and Canouan have been getting away with not paying their fair share of tax for too long. If they really care about our country and people, they would see that a windfall tax of EC$200 million to compensate our people is reasonable. It is only right and fair that the super-rich pay tax.
Taiwan has been making billions of dollars every year from our fish licence and has not paid tax. We should also impose an EC$3 billion windfall tax on Taiwan immediately to aid the recovery of our country. Money received from the windfall tax could also be used to set up an SVG tuna fishing and canning industry. This industry will bring billions of dollars in revenue to the SVG Treasury and create thousands of new, long-term jobs.
The longer it takes for our country to recover from the La Soufriere eruption, the more likely it is that the economy will collapse and thousands of jobs are lost. Rather than job losses, we need to focus immediately on job creation. A windfall tax on the super-rich of Mustique and Canouan would help this.
We must also immediately abolish the Mustique Act No. 48 of 2002, and other similar Acts that give customs duty and tax exemptions to foreigners. Any delay in doing this will increase the risk of an economic collapse in SVG.
Warrant Officer Ivan Bertie O’Neal BSc (Hons), MSc, MBA says that windfall taxes are reasonable ways to raise money. The United Kingdom imposed a windfall tax on super-rich companies in the late 1990s. This windfall tax raised about £5 billion and was used to tackle long-term unemployment, as well as providing capital investment for schools and university.
SVG needs a similar windfall tax to compensate our people and create jobs. To stop the economy collapsing, we must establish sustainable sources of revenue.
We must impose a windfall tax of EC$200 million on the super-rich of Mustique and Canouan immediately, to help compensate farmers and families for loss of income and damages suffered as a result of the La Soufriere eruption.