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Thompson calls for conversation on tax reform

With the Davis administration seeking to decrease value-added tax (VAT) from 12 percent to 10 percent, former Minister of State for Finance Kwasi Thompson yesterday called for a “real conversation on tax reform”.

He made the comments as Parliament debated the supplementary budget and an amendment to the VAT Act.

Thompson said that earlier this year, he and former Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis “recognized that given the fiscal and economic prospects of the country, further tax reform was required.”

“We stated then, as we believe now, that we need to expand the tax base and to do so in a way that would ensure greater equity and fairness in the tax system,” Thompson said.

“… At some point, we need to have a real conversation on tax reform.

“It cannot continue to be a political football.”

Thompson said the former government’s plan was to commission a tax study, after which the government would publish a “white paper”.

“The white paper would have been put in the public domain by the end of this calendar year, 2021, so that all stakeholders would be able to contribute to the discussion on the way forward,” he said.

“And we think that’s the right way to go. It should not be a back and forth from politicians.

“It should be where these reports are done by the experts, it is put in the public domain, the public then should have discourse about it, and then we all come together and share how is the best way to move our tax system forward.”

Thompson said he believes that the global minimum corporate tax should be considered by the government, calling for a proactive take on the matter.

“It provides us with an opportunity for real reform and to make our corporate system more equitable,” Thompson said.

“It seems the government is intent … on burying their heads in the sand, which may be to our detriment.”

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Rachel Scott

Rachel joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2019. Rachel covers national issues. Education: University of Virginia in Charlottesville, BA in Foreign Affairs and Spanish

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