Basseterre, St. Kitts, April 14, 2016 (SKNIS): The responsibility of citizens to facilitate Government’s ability to provide quality public service was highlighted on this week’s edition of “Working for You” by the Comptroller of the St. Kitts and Nevis Inland Revenue Department, Edward Gift.
On Wednesday (April 13), Mr. Gift said citizens expect that if they go to the hospital there will be a high level of service and young children and the elderly can access medication free of cost from a pharmacy. He also pointed to the provision of free primary and secondary education for students and noted that meals are available at the school without cost.
“But guess what? There’s no such thing as a free lunch. Somebody has to pay for it,” he stated.
The comptroller outlined that government has three avenues to raise capital – grant from another country or institution, a loan or the collection of taxes.
“Taxes are a part of the process that we build the nation,” Mr. Gift said. “Because as a nation we expect roads will be maintained, we expect that when we contact the police services we will get the right response. The only way that that can be financed in a responsible manner is by citizens paying their taxes on time.”
Mr. Gift said 85 percent of taxpayers clear the fees on time and he applauded those that fit in that category. However, he said the remaining 15 percent adds stress to the finance system which results in government having to borrow funds from banks and Treasury holders to provide services that citizens demand right away.
Mr. Gift said the tax penalties were designed to encourage persons to pay on time and also allow extra fees to cover the added costs that government has to meet.