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Eustace’s comments on property tax law disingenuous – Hans King

Eustace’s comments on property tax law disingenuous – Hans King

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Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace’s comments on the new property tax law to be tabled in Parliament next month are “disingenuous”, Hans King, press secretary to Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, told SEARCHLIGHT on Tuesday.{{more}}

King’s comments were in response to statements Eustace made on radio and reported by SEARCHLIGHT.

Eustace had said that the new law would allow the government to sell a property for the amount of money owed in taxes.

“… that is what the legislation currently says,” King said, citing Section 40-1 of the Valuation and Ratings Act of 1977, Chapter 343 of the Laws of St Vincent and the Grenadines.

“That has been the law for the 17 years of the NDP (New Democratic Party) government and that is the law that currently exists under this government,” the prime minister’s spokesman further said.

King said at the last sitting of the Select Committee dealing with the Bill, an amendment was made, stating that if a property had to be sold, it should be sold at market value.

“… the Prime Minister proposed that we change and that the government, if you have to sell it (one’s property), it should be sold for market value.

“I am further saying that Dr Lorraine Friday, who is a vice president of the New Democratic Party, was at that select committee meeting when the Prime Minister said that we should change that section that currently exists in the law, to put it at market value,” King told SEARCHLIGHT.

“So, when the Leader of the Opposition says this now as if it is some new piece of legislation, some new amendment that this government is proposing, that is disingenuous.

“… The level of propaganda by the opposition is just ridiculous. This tactic of trying to put fear into people and the dishonesty involved in it is just amazing,” King said, and described the statements by Eustace as “irresponsibility on the part of the Leader of the Opposition”.

King, however, did not say if any new measures would be introduced under the new law.

“I think there are some amendments to be made (to the draft legislation) and so on … Parliament meets in October, I guess you will have it being brought then,” he said.

Eustace has said he would not attend further meetings of that property tax select committee.

He said that his decision to quit the committee might not make much difference.

“You can present views ‘til you’re sick. The government doesn’t have to accept them. In the bulk of cases, they will not accept,” Eustace said. (kentonchance@searchlight.vc)

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