Submitted by Anthony Davis
Barbadians will begin paying a 22 per cent tax on voice and other transmissions from their cell phones from January 1. “And Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler
said today the $14 million raised annually would be used to fund university scholarships – Barbados Today
My, my, my, Mr. tax collector!
You have really overdone yourself with this one. You are setting up the ISPs in Barbados for being hauled before the court in the USA, or the EU by taxing services that are free worldwide, because Whatsapp, Skype, etc. are not taxable anywhere in the world – not even in Russia, China, or the People’s Republic of North Korea.
Why should we pay tax on something which is free? That is why you are having a problem with the promoters of shows in this country. I deem the “soon-to-be announced university scholarship fund” to be nothing but an excuse for imposing a new willy nilly tax which will redound to the disadvantage of Barbados and doing business in Barbados.
You refused to continue funding Barbadian education at the UWI, and now want us to believe that you are putting your hands deeper into our pockets just to fund education at the said UWI? How many potential students have missed the opportunity of getting a university education in Barbados? How many belonged to the lower echelons of our society?
“All of these things were ‘certainly in in my mind” clings very hollow, seeing that you are the mastermind of putting many a fledgling business, and small- and medium-sized businesses out of business in our country as many of them rely on cell phones for keeping in contact with their employees in the field.
You are intent on destroying the above types of businesses.
You call yourselves a “people-centred Government”?
Which people are you talking about?
You already receive millions of dollars in taxes which you give away as if they were your own by handing them to companies like Cahill Energy. I am totally against paying taxes on things that are exempt tax – especially as they are US companies, which does not bode well for Barbados if this madness is carried out.
Can anyone imagine the USA wanting to tax Whatsapp, Skype, Facebook, or any of these free social media apps? I can’t!
You have also given the poor, the needy and the vulnerable a blow below the belt as they depend on these free messaging services for keeping in touch with their children when they are on the road, or with relatives overseas.
What happens if the child is attacked on his/her way home?
What if that child has to be taken to the doctor/hospital?
Then again, you were never interested in the welfare of those in the lower echelons of our society.
I believe it is also illegal to tax such services.
What about the idea of using the technology in schools?
Should teachers waste their money by showing students how to use these messaging services properly, if they have to pay for them?
I should think not, because we never know when the next willy nilly tax will appear.
On the other hand, why should any parent/guardian want to pay extra money for a service which is free all over the world?
I believe that it is also unconstitutional to tax something which is free.
You will want to tax the polluted air of Barbados next!
Tax collection and being a minister of finance are two different things.
How will the tourists be taxed?
I don’t see you doing that – especially if they are EU or USA citizens!
One minister says he would like to see Barbados become the technology hub of the Caribbean, and the other ruins the idea by taxing the very technology which is to take the island there.
This is a case of one step forward and a dozen backward!
Education is a vital part of any democratic society!