Letters to the Editor

Reassure us that tax dollars will be well spent

Monday, June 25, 2012    

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Dear Editor,

Concerning the recent tax issue, I think Jamaicans are experiencing a tax scare, primarily because we are not really accustomed to paying taxes on consumer goods such as patties. Many argue that a tax on patties is a tax on the poor. But in theory, the poor are the major beneficiaries of tax dollars which pay for such things as schools, hospitals and fire departments.

In the United States, for example, paying taxes is the automatic thing to do; they are paid routinely, because the citizens are sufficiently confident that tax dollars are being properly spent when they clearly see the fruits of their labour and there are numerous people and organisations who are monitoring government spending.

I gather from what I have read that Jamaicans would be willing to pay their fair share if the government could reassure us that our tax dollars would be put to good use. Consequently, the paying of taxes and how the tax dollars are spent are two separate issues that must be individually addressed.

Since we can agree that taxes should be paid, because it's necessary for the running of the country, we really are in disagreement with how the money is being spent. Therefore, we must have in place a system of accountability to ensure that the government does the right thing. It won't be easy, because accountability and the Jamaican government seem to be perpetually at odds. But as citizens, it is our duty to ensure that this is done.

Norman Edmonson

bigupja2@hotmail.com

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