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Commentary: Reality checks
Published on January 24, 2013 Email To Friend    Print Version

By David Tapfer

TCI political parties must realize VAT is coming and there is no stopping it. The basic underlying cause is the bills left by the 2003 through 2009 government led by the Progressive National Party (PNP).

It is the British answer to paying for the road paving, the stadiums, the CARIFTA games, the parties, booze, mansion, planes, broken causeway, exorbitant salaries and the 90 grand per year adviser, DonHue and others. All this followed by three-and-a-half years of interim government when paying the bills had to be top priority.

tapfer.jpg
David Tapfer is a retired, US-born engineer and management executive. He is the former chairman of the Middle Caicos Branch of the Peoples Democratic Movement
After no successful infrastructure or development improvements for ten years we are left with the $260 million loan, which our British comrades believe can be addressed by VAT.

Lillian Misick weighs in supporting VAT but she also needs a reality check. She barely gets started in her latest hoot before saying, don't worry the expats have to deal with VAT. The expats spent millions to create the development we now enjoy as the growth of the TCI. Therefore if you discourage them you discourage further development. They invested the millions, and they and others could invest millions more. She speaks of a July change of heart on VAT in the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM). A change from Taylor to Skippings?

Sharlene now says no to all tax increases. Cut health costs and collect what is due. Game over!

Let us pause and ask ourselves under whose administration did all the development occur. Not under PNP and not under the resultant interim government. Middle and North Caicos have had decades of PNP representation and not one honest and not one successful development. It is development, my friends, honest proper development, that creates jobs, brings in the visitors, pays the bills and contributes to infrastructure including education and roads.

I am against VAT on the basis it is complicated and leads to more bureaucratic complication from inside and outside both government and the private sector. The beauty of the TCI is not only nature but also ….freedom from complication.

Let us face the facts. VAT is an issue with the PNP because it gives them something on which to create conflict. Conflict with the British FCO. Washington Misick says collecting $15 or 16 million from his alternate taxes is better than VAT. Taxes of any type create contraction of the private sector. Not, as he says, an “expansion of the economy”. Conflict they believe will cause a rallying cry for independence and let Washy's baby brother and his cabinet get a pass.

Sharlene has put that independence idea to rest. Look to Bermuda she says. Bermudians have investigated and had a reality check themselves. They checked and decided independence is not needed, too expensive. Facts are the 2006 constitution gave us quasi independence with minimal oversight. With PNP in charge look at the results of 2003-2009 near independence.

Taxes in the meantime only create more dough for Misick's fellow minister, who has told the House and the public she is not happy with her $130,000 salary to represent little over 700 voters. Ms Amanda, also a Misick, needs to work on her ministry... health care. NHIP is a mess and super-expensive.

Expanding the economy is the answer. More taxes, VAT or otherwise, will discourage growth and punish the people directly and indirectly. Reality checks of history prove that complication creates costs and costs must be passed on to consumers, be they tourists or residents.
 
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