Andrew Mallalieu decries unfair pandemic levy – Barbados
Independent Senator in Barbados Andrew Mallalieu has described the Pandemic Contribution Levy announced by Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley in last Monday’s Budget speech as “unfair”.
In his opinion the narrow scope of application of the tax to a defined set, makes it inequitable.
“I would have preferred if we were all in this together. It is clear that if you have made profit you could afford to pay some more tax. And I think personally that all the businesses should have been asked to play a part, not just some in certain industries that we might think have avoided the worst of it because we frankly did not know who benefited, who was resilient enough.
He shared his views while contributing to the debate on the Appropriation Bill, 2022 in the Senate Chamber. The businessman, in his first speech since joining the Upper Chamber, lamented that the levy does not take account of those businesses in other areas not included in the catchment outlined but which may have been more resilient or may have even benefited from the pandemic.
“I give as an example one that I am well familiar with, an industry that did not exist before the pandemic, that is an industry of PCR testing. At one point we were testing 3000 people per day. We were struggling to reopen our tourism economy. People were coming back but we were requiring tests of people. It was a difficult time. Many private businesses were formed out of that and at that time they were charging BDS$300 per PCR.
“If one quarter of those 3000 people per day were tested privately that was $225 000 per day in revenue. So, we never know where one might profit in a pandemic and I am not saying they did it intentionally or with any bad motive. We needed it. What I am saying is it did happen.