Property Tax and Economic Diversification questioned in Power 102 Digital Debate series

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Property Tax and Economic Diversification questioned in Power 102 Digital Debate series

Gregory Fernandez from the Movement for Social Justice, Lt Commander Norman Dindial from the NTA, Patrick Watson from HOPE TT and PEP representative, Phillip Alexander were all guests in a political debate on Power 102 Digital’s Power Breakfast Show.

Discussing the issue of investment and finance in local Government as part of the Digital Debate series, representatives expressed a fear that the money being collected under the new property tax law will not be fully assigned to addressing local government issues and thereby redound to the direct benefit of communities.

Professor Watson said there are always loopholes in laws and while there will be some benefit, it is unknown if the money will be spent on residents’ needs or if it will be put into a central Government fund.

Mr Fernandez also questioned if the needs of communities will be prioritized and if burgesses will have their issues addressed.

He highlighted what he said is the need for greater input by residents of communities regarding the allocation of local Government resources.

Lt Commander Dindial meanwhile called for the money to be distributed equitably and not equally.

PEP’s Phillip Alexander shared similar sentiments as he suggested that local government monies should be pooled.

Mr Alexander pointed out that it will be unfair to spend the money collected in richer areas on those communities only while poorer communities remain neglected due to limited income.

Meanwhile, on the issue of economic challenges, the majority of candidates cited the lack of economic diversification and bad energy deals as a significant issue.

Governments of yesteryear received heavy criticism as they were accused of relying on oil and gas rather than human development.

The candidates all accepted that while the economy is oil and gas based, there is a clear need to examine alternative sources of foreign income.