Daraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter
ARGUING THAT providing employment for ex-convicts is one way of reducing recidivism, one opposition senator has suggested that the Government further amend the tax laws to provide incentives for persons to employ members of this community who were previously convicted of a felony.
Kavan Gayle, in contributing to the debate on the omnibus tax incentives regime in the Senate yesterday, said his proposal might be controversial but begged that it be given consideration.
"What that would do is sufficiently and maybe effectively reduce our crime rate," Gayle said.
His proposal, which was among five suggestions put forward, was aimed at complementing the provision of employment tax credit, which is being created under the omnibus tax incentives regime.
Gayle welcomed the provisions, but said the Government should go further and provide more incentives for the employment of people.
"We are a country that has an extremely worrisome unemployment rate, and we need to make provisions to create incentives to create employment in this country," Gayle said.
He said while the Government might not be able to provide the incentives now, it should consider the provision of tax credits to businesses which employ first-time workers, former government workers, the disabled, and persons whose positions have been made redundant within the last five years.