Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Will Taxation Solve Our Problems?

“Let’s Take Our Priorities Right” - Editorial

VOL:1 ISSN:33 “The Gambia still faces a heavy debt burden. Interest on government debt is expected to consume nearly 20 per cent of government revenues in 2009, mostly in interest on domestic debt. This is why in the 2010 budget, Government intends to lower the domestic debt, ease pressure on Treasury bill yields, generates savings from lower interest payments and strengthens public financial management.” The Finance Minister was quoted as saying in his 2010 budget speech.
The heavy debt the country faces should be a concern for all Gambians and more so, the government of the day but increasing tax may not be the solution to this problem as majority of Gambians are reported to be poor. Since the Minister admitted that The Gambia is faced with limited resources, we believe that more revenue generating institutions should be created in order to increase the number of employment opportunities, as well as generate more revenue for the government.

Notwithstanding, The Gambia has already started reaping the fruits of under employment, as some of our sons have resorted to perilous sea and dreadful deserts journeys in search of better income generation. However, the lost of lives cannot be avoided in such journeys. Many people believed that they can be better-of only if they find themselves in Europe or America, this may not be the case but their view should not be dismissed just like that because it is a fact that the many who drive expensive cars and lived in big mansions acquired their wealth either from abroad or have sons and daughters sending them remittances.
So it is high time to make sure that the many people who are unemployed have avenues to earn their living, we should also think of cutting down food prices for the poor people of this country.
The increase of national documents need to be reviewed, so long as it has been established with facts that one is a citizen of a particular country, national documents should be made available at cheaper rates or even free. These documents are not revenue generating avenues for the holders, it is only meant for display when and wherever required in order to show who is what.
We are not disregarding these documents for the fact that they are crucial to a person’s identity or so but it should not be an avenue for revenue generation for any government. What is more crucial in revenue generation for a government is to be exporting more than you import, as well as establish more parastatals to increase employment and revenue making.
With all these, Gambians also need not to sit and say that Government has not created jobs, only to accumulate one’s family little wealth and head for the ‘back way’ and perish or be returned back to face a destitute family setup. This is not a way of getting out of the woods.
In as much as people want their government to create jobs, they should be ready to take them up even if it skilled labour. “It is true that every Tom, Dick and Harry cannot work in offices, so it is more than timely for youths to engage themselves in skilled labour rather than creating ghettos in every street corner.
We reiterate that in whatever development we are to be engaged, agricultural improvement should be the key for the fact that it is only through this sector that poverty can be reduced gradually because it is where 70 to 80 per cent of our population relies.

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