Bloomfield asked to prove tax compliance
The People's National Party's (PNP) prospective candidate for Portland East, Dr Lynvale Bloomfield, has been instructed to produce evidence showing that he is fully compliant with a payment plan for taxes owed to Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ).
"He is to send in to me tomorrow (today), evidence to show that he is fully compliant, not that he doesn't owe taxes, but is fully compliant with his payment plan," PNP General Secretary Paul Burke told The Gleaner yesterday two days before nomination day.
Burke's comments also come less than a week after John-Paul White stepped down as prospective candidate for North Trelawny after it emerged that he had tax debt of $17 million.
Two days before White called it quits, however, Burke had indicated that he had seen documents that left him confident White had made payments and was now compliant with a payment arrangement with the TAJ.
BURKE NOT CONCERNED
Yesterday, Burke said he was not concerned about the fact that Bloomfield has outstanding taxes, as long as he complies with his payments.
"What we are concerned about is that he's compliant with the payment, because when you owe taxes for whatever reason, you and the TAJ can work out a programme of payment, so once you honour that programme of payment, you are compliant," Burke stressed.
"What I'm concerned about (is) if he's to pay J$1 million a month, or J$500,000 a month, whatever he's supposed to pay a month, that he's up to date with that. That is all I'm concerned about. Debt is a part of life, you know. It's a part of business, and it's not a sin, so our only concern is to ensure that he's compliant," he said.
Burke alleged that there are currently MPs on both sides of the political divide who have similar arrangements with the TAJ and that there was nothing dishonest about their situation.
As a possible solution to address similar circumstances in the future, Burke said he has made a suggestion to the PNP's campaign director, Dr Peter Phillips, to put a system in place that would require all prospective candidates to show proof that they are tax compliant.
Attempts to contact Bloomfield were unsuccessful.