Leader of the Opposition Andrew Fahie has accused the National Democratic Party government of taxing visitors, residents, and business operators to ‘death’ instead of finding more creative means of raking in additional revenues, while better handling the territory’s finances.
He made the comments in an interview with BVI News Online hours after the government announced relatively huge increases in work permit fees. The increases have left expats fuming, and suggesting that the increases be phased in to avoid shocks.
Fahie’s remarks also come as the government yesterday passed the Environmental Protection and Tourism Improvement Fund Act 2017, which seeks to have all visitors to the territory charged an environmental levy of $10.
Fahie said the government’s action shows clearly that it is in need of new revenue sources.
“It is clear that this administration is in need of new revenue streams for the Territory to fund many of its objectives. This is more than understandable, providing that a better job is done in making sure that Government funds are used more wisely while hitting their target in an accountable and transparent manner, while avoiding conflict of interest.”
“The raising of new monies by Government would better be achieved in the establishment of new industries as well as the creating of linkage industries to existing industries rather than continuously taxing residents, visitors, and our business people to ‘death,” Fahie further told BVI News Online
“In addition, where these new taxes/fees are deemed necessary by Government, it should be done in a phased manner especially given the current challenges our economy is experiencing. Contrary to what Government continues to tell us, our economy is not robust. As a result, Government should guard its actions accordingly.”
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