Opposition Senator Damian Lyder said the implementation of property tax will increase the cost of business. He accused the government of making it harder for people to do business by increasing taxes.
Speaking at the UNC's Monday Night meeting at the party's headquarters at 31 Mulchan Seuchan Road, Chaguanas, Lyder said, “Instead of making it easier, the Government is increasing the burden of more costs and more taxes.
"It is hard to see when you have a government that does not deliver on the goods and services to the people and citizens of TT. When we see the level of flooding and the decay in infrastructure in this country, a runaway crime problem, we ask how the government has the belly to implement property tax now.”
He said the government has no sympathy for the businesses who employ thousands of citizens.
“We say no to property tax at this time, not when we are still suffering from the effects of the covid19 pandemic. When 6,000 businesses have closed their doors due to the government’s draconian measures. The government must scrap the tax!”
Lyder said the business chambers had woken up from their slumber, with several of them saying now is not the time for property tax.
“The imposition of property tax is going to worsen the ease of doing business in this country. It has now gotten harder to do business in this country than ever before, especially for the micro, small, and medium enterprises.
Look at what businesses have to go through, crime and criminality, spending money on security guards, and they’re still being robbed and people are still being killed.
“When you look at getting things like building permits, getting them from Town and Country, bureaucracy holding back this country.
"When you look at utilities, electricity, water, we used to be rated number ten in the world in ease of accessing utilities. Now we’re number 41 in the world, and government should be ashamed.
"Just look at getting a line of credit, the banks have lost confidence in the government and its economy, and we know how hard it is to get foreign exchange. Business people have to open three and four bank accounts just to get some.”
Lyder said over $7 billion had left TT’s shores as the result of government’s polices and foreign exchange issues. He said malls in TT were emptying and businesses were going under.
He said the issue of VAT refunds continued to be a grievous one.