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Jun 26, 2019

Social Partners Express Concerns over Amalgamation of Government Departments

Mark Lizarraga

Through the successful passage of this bill, the Belize Tax Service Department is also expected to provide for tax procedures and civil and criminal penalties for persons found to be violating tax laws. Social partner senators, while encouraging the amalgamation, pointed out the need for authorities to crack down on persons who evade taxes across the board. A call for the Customs Department to be part of the amalgamation was made by Private Sector Senator Mark Lizarraga.

 

Mark Lizarraga, Senator for Private Sector

“We encourage any move to amalgamate, to improve efficiency and to better administer these government departments that are crucial for the financing of our country, the collection of revenue. We believe that too many people, too many business people or too many people in business continue to evade and avoid taxes. It is not taxes. In this light, the business community had championed the customs department to be part of this amalgamation as well. The leader of government business acknowledges by his previous comments that there is mischief in that area that needs to be addressed. We had hoped that in an effort to maximize revenue because this is all what this is about, to spread the burden and ensure that everybody pays their right share.”

 

Osmany Salas

Osmany Salas, Senator for N.G.O.s

“Instead of creating new taxes what we have needed to do is to plug the leaks. Because we will all agree that government needs more revenue. I support the bill for those reasons and I can vouch for the facts that that law abiding persons, business persons get disappointed and frustrated at the fact that the playing field is not leveled. We do have a level playing field for doing business and hence there is unfair competition and part of the reason is tax evasion.”

 

Elena Smith

Elena Smith, Senator for the Unions

“Concerns from my people the N.T.U.C.B. – and the first is section five. Section five speaks about they should be appointed by the Public Service Commission or other competent authority. We have a bit of a challenge with the “other competent authority.” My colleagues, we know that the Public Service Commission is the body responsible for the hiring of persons within he public service and so when we insert the piece that says “other competent authority” then we wonder what is that going to look like, how will that operate, function, what effect will that have on the normal procedure of the Public Service Commission being responsible for hiring of these persons.”

 

Ashley Rocke

Ashley Rocke, Senator for Churches

“I think I want to follow the direction of Senator Lizarraga in appealing to Caesar, to make sure that taxation is not only on the poor but on all those people who have to pay tax that there be an equal, even collection. So that hard working people who are paying tax don’t feel pressured and the people who should be paying are not paying, they get away easy.”


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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