The Public Services Association (PSA) President, Watson Duke has mentally prepared workers, who stand to be affected by the Revenue Authority (TTRA) debate that will be contested in the Upper House today. Duke told workers that they should be prepared to hear the worst of themselves.
“They will demonize you tomorrow in that place, saying you all are thieves, crooks, you are slack, you are lazy and they will point to the Revenue Authority as if it is New Jerusalem,” Duke said.
The PSA President was speaking at a Zoom meeting, which was later uploaded to his Facebook page. He said that the meeting was arranged ahead of the debate in parliament to answer any questions workers of the Customs and Excise Division and Board of Inland Revenue may have. At the meeting, President Duke asked, would a Revenue Authority (TTRA) have the ability to collect more taxes than it is presently doing under the current arrangement? Duke reasoned that the answer was no and was immediately seconded by someone on the zoom.
As stated by Duke, part of the problem is legislation and the lack of political will. “Greater policing of persons who ought to pay tax. What needs to be fixed is putting a stop to this foolishness called tax amnesty. Tax amnesty only benefits the rich. It does not benefit the poor.” Duke said.
He pointed out, “You can read books from now until next year and they will tell you that there is nothing to prove that the Revenue Authority is a panacea to the ills of revenue collection. They are not. They cannot solve the problems. Throughout the world, countries had to scrap them and restart. Some worked and some did not.”
In looking at other organisations such as TTPost and HDC that had restructured their enterprise, Duke noted that it did not solve the problems that plagued the country such as inadequate housing in the case of HDC or improvements in healthcare with the establishment of the Regional Health Authorities.