Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has thanked the Government of China for assisting in developing the infrastructure of Dominica saying the majority of Dominicans don’t want to pay tax.
He was speaking at a signing ceremony for the Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement for the China-aided West Coast Road post-Erika Rehabilitation Project on Thursday morning.
“And we should say without that kind of assistance our country would not be able to finance those infrastructure,” he stated. “Where would we get the US$40-million to build the hospital, where would we get the US$21-million to build the road when most of my country people do not want to pay tax?”
He went on to say that there are those with government taxes and “are withholding the taxes and sending this money to their foreign bank accounts or treating the tax money, which they are collecting on behalf for the state, as their personal resources.”
“And then they want better roads, and they want better facilities, they want scholarships for their children, they want houses, they want indoor playing facilities,” the Prime Minister said. “How do we finance these if you do not pay your taxes?”
He stated that many go to the United States and pay taxes without fuss.
“With no fuss whatsoever,” he said. “Some of us even ask the IRC, that’s all I owe? Can I pay more? But a small country like ours with limited fiscal space, we do not keep our commitment to our country and if we have friends like China who are demonstrating its commitment, its interest and its concerns for us here in Dominica, we have a greater responsibility as citizens and residents of this country to play our part in our continued efforts towards our sustainable development.”