JIS News

Finance and Planning Minister, Dr. Omar Davies, has announced that no new taxes would be levied by the government for the 2006/07 fiscal year, which has a budget of $358.2 billion.
Opening the 2006/07 Budget Debate in the House today (April 27), the Minister said: “We have presented a budget which will be financed with no new taxation”, stressing that for the fiscal year, particular focus would be paid to increasing the equity of the taxation system.
This equity, he said, would be achieved “by going after those individuals and companies who have accumulated significant arrears or who consistently pay less than their fair share”.
Dr. Davies said the Government has presented an expenditure budget, “which is significant for a host of reasons.the reduced size in real terms, compared to last year’s budget, demonstrates our continued commitment to fiscal prudence”.
The Minister said the government accepted that it needed to increase the equity of the tax system, and he expressed hope that no protests would be made when “we ‘walk the walk'”.
Dr. Davies said the steps taken by the government in managing the economy have been geared toward preparing the country for a new era.
He said the new era was one of “fewer breaks, fewer concessions and reduced grant financing.an era of increased competition as preferential trade regimes are eliminated”.
The Minister expressed confidence that the country was capable of meeting the challenges that it faced in the medium term.
He asserted that the adoption of a policy of a fixed exchange rate would not address the fundamental issue of lower than desired levels of productivity, whether in the private or public sector.
“Adopting a fixed exchange rate is not sustainable, unless simultaneously, fiscal prudence is exercised,” the Finance Minister said.
He further pointed out that pandering to unreasonable demands for increased wages was not possible, unless other services were slashed or significant additional taxes were imposed.