Thu | Oct 6, 2022

Dwindling moral authority

Published:Monday | April 19, 2010 | 12:00 AM

The Editor, Sir:

How does a government credibly assert its right to throw the book at tax dodgers, while at the same time unilaterally breaching wage agreements with its own workers in the public sector, and with such bravado?

How reasonable is it for the Government to expect the public to understand that it simply 'cannot afford' to pay outstanding monies to public sector workers, while it hardly spares a thought for persons who, for numerous reasons, may have genuine difficulty paying certain taxes? It may be the case that the dwindling fortunes of the small business class may have led many to operate, unwittingly I must add, under the tax radar.

And, having advised public sector workers, en passant, during a tax package parliamentary presentation about an imminent unilaterally imposed wage freeze, notwithstanding the existence of an unexpired memorandum of understanding (MOU), how does the Government expect wilful compliance by the increasingly burdened taxpayer?

No economy can perform optimally unless every eligible taxpayer meets his/her tax liabilities. This is to be encouraged. A significantly improved tax compliance rate does translate to a better level of service to citizens, all things being equal. But as the Government drops its heavy hand in gathering the tax dollar, it must be reminded of its moral obligation to honour agreements made with its workers, instead of the obstinacy, insults, and dismissive attitude demonstrated of late.

I am, etc.,