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There should be linkages in data collection — Dalley

Thursday, October 18, 2012 | 6:43 PM    

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Finance and Planning, Horace Dalley, says there ought to be linkages in the data collection system, which would ensure that everybody paid their taxes.

“We have to reach a stage in our country, in a modern economy, in a modern country, where everyone pays (his or her) fair share,” he said.

Dalley was speaking against the background of information received from the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN), which showed that among the challenges faced by the census team, was the belief by some persons that the information would be given to other agencies of government, including the tax collectors.

The findings of the Population and Housing Census 2011 were presented by STATIN on Wednesday (October 17), at the Wyndham Hotel, in Kingston.

Dalley emphasised that the country has to reach a stage where information can be cross-linked.

“You can’t have an outstanding payment for your property tax and you go to licence your car and it doesn’t come out at you. You can’t go to licence your car and you have traffic tickets to be paid and it doesn’t come out at you,” Dalley argued. 

 “There are things that have to link, the census is not one of them,” he said, noting that “we want the people to be happy to know that when we are collecting data about the country, we are collecting data for the proper planning of the country.”

Dalley said there has to be a stage in this administration “where tax agencies will have to talk to each other in order to ensure that the taxes are collected.”

The Minister noted that some of the challenges faced by the census workers included a general hostility of the population with what sometimes is perceived to be government interference in their lives; the inability to relate their participation in the census with immediate personal benefits; and the belief that the information would be given to other agencies of government, including the tax collectors.

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