Sun | Nov 28, 2021

Letter of the Day | Tax revolt against extortionate Gov’t

Published:Monday | April 17, 2017 | 12:00 AM


What kind of government looks its population in the eye and says "I know your land taxes are significant, so here's what we will do - 1,000 per cent increase! How do you like that?"

Aside from the ruthless and voracious move itself, what does the Government think of its citizenry? This Government clearly has no regard or respect for the people. In any self-respecting country, a government would be terrified to suggest such levels of taxation, but here in Jamaica, these politicians regard it as 'no big thing'. As a best case, thousands of citizens will be under severe financial strain, not just to find the tax this fiscal year, but all subsequent times henceforth. As a worst case, others will simply be ruined.

By the same token, what kind of citizenry allows a government to propose a ruinous tax on a sector of its population and can only manage a few whimpers of protest? When a government is trying to do something bad to its citizens, as some administrations are wont to do from time to time, it is the duty of the people to let the Government know that such moves will not be tolerated. Indeed, the current Government is probably counting on the fact that Jamaicans are cowards and are too afraid to protest.

It is a sick irony that while extortionists in Manchester were driving around delivering letters demanding enormous amounts of money, the Government was preparing to do the same thing to citizens. There is very little difference between the two - both offer very little in return. For one, the alternative is death; on the other hand, it is ruination.

Perhaps the time has come for a nationwide protest of the property tax policy. And if that doesn't work, it's time for a tax revolt. This and all other governments must learn that the citizens must be heard and respected.

With this outrageous tax, citizens have to think that the Government no longer represents their interest. When a government ceases to represent the will of the people, it needs to be removed.