Amid all the fanfare of Nomination Day, those who were nominated and those who were not…we must endeavor to remember and keep focused on the importance of this election. This election is foremost about Belizeans, their overall quality of life, their access to health care, to applicable education, affordable and dignified housing and safety must be priority. Government achieves these goals through the proper planning and distribution of resources. These resources are collected from the people through taxes. These taxes are collected through our newly modernized Belize Tax Service Department. Our FIU has as its objective to ensure that together with other government agencies to prevent and suppress financial crimes. This week we may have missed the joint statement of these two agencies in response to several issues ranging from tax evasion and increased tax collection to the warning against bribing tax officers.
We are shooketh! The FIU is awake, and means business or so they say. There are many instances where this memorandum of agreement will be most beneficial, because there are many glaring instances of gross tax evasion in this country. Tax evasion seems a sport to some of these politicians and their senior public officer lackeys. How do some of these people in the span of just twelve years with a set salary acquire such enormous wealth? We question also how some very senior members of parliament have gone on record to say they have received tranches clearly above what is allowed by law, and it has simply gone unchecked.
All this is separate from the fact that certain members of parliament have amassed property well above their pay scale in record time and we wonder then why the FIU or the Belize Tax Service Department has not initiated an investigation. There are many glaring instances of gross illicit enrichment and clearly there has been no effort to look into the owners of those lovely yellow houses that seem to be sprinkled all over Belize City. It must be said that there are also many foreign bank accounts that must be investigated as tax evasion is rampant among the elite. “Give unto Ceasar…” This statement sounds just like another way that the UDP have kept the poor and middle class oppressed. They say pay your just taxes, and we should. The real question is are we all paying our due?
The rich seem to get richer, the middle class is all but disappeared. Belizeans are all being violently pushed into poverty and are now being warned that they must pay up. Progress can happen only when we get value for money spent, when we the taxes we pay are just and equitable and the government spends wisely and invests in Belizeans and Belize. The economic policy of the PUP is a plan to move forward together all of us. John Briceo understands that all our fates are entwined and we must forge ahead together all of us with no Belizean left behind. For too long the poor have subsidized the “fat cats” in this country. Our toil and taxes have allowed them luxuries they have not earned and we have paid and will continue to pay for years to come. It is time to get rid of all these fat cats on November 11th!