Opinion on the elections: Three hot topics

POSTED: 08/18/14 5:08 PM

Citizens for Positive Change (CPC) may have pulled out of the elections, but it does not mean that the movement has gone to ground in idleness. On the contrary, the CPC-Facebook page has by now collected almost 1,400 likes, so it is fair to say that what they have to say is served to a significant readership. Recently, the CPC published its opinion about three hot topics: tax reform, campaign fin acing and the troubles at the Social Economic Council. The latter comment came with a link to the articles the Today Newspaper has published so far about the controversy between SER Secretary-General Gerard Richardson and the council’s senior policy advisor Arjen Alberts. We gladly share the CPC’s views on these topics with our readers.

The DP’s position on tax reform

“We are glad the DP (and the NA for that matter) has finally taken note what the CPC has been advocating since our inception:http://www.positivechangesxm.com/#!about1/c1oh6

What is lacking in this position paper, is a clear timetable. When will they get this done? As it did not happen in the past 4 years when the DP (and partially NA) was in government, when can the electorate expect such tax reform to occur realistically?

For the CPC, it does not matter which party implements tax reform as long as it’s done and legislature passed to implement such within the first year of governing. Empty promises we’ve seen too many times. Time to put your money where your mouth is.”

The truth about campaign finance

“Who pays for the campaigning? The Politicians? Donors? Companies? The answer is none of the above.

Taxpayers pay.

While the taxpayer can’t really get a tax-break on anything these days, the 15 Members of Parliament conveniently approved legislature that makes campaign contributions tax-deductible.

That means that a company gets to book these as expenses driving down the amount of profit tax a company needs to zero in some cases. If a company donates enough, they get to move the losses into the next couple of years and not pay profit tax in those years either. For these payments, a company gets to influence those politicians they sponsored.

Sounds nice, but at the end of the day the company pays no tax (or a lot less) and the politician pays no tax. In other words, instead of government receiving much needed funds to be used efficiently as per every party’s manifesto: the tax payers get posters, flags, shirts and all other sorts of self-aggrandizing marketing materials.

The next time you drive around looking at those folks smiling at you from posters along the side of the road. Keep in mind that the money to pay for those materials came out of taxes. That leaves a little less for education, healthcare, pensions etc.

So while the individuals tell you how well they will look after the collective, the fact is that they rather spend money on posters of themselves than make sure that government has the funds it needs to complete the tasks it should.”

The impasse at the Social Economic Council (SER) “The SER is an advisory body and as such one of her guiding principles is to be impartial and have no political affiliations of any sort. Having the Secretary General (SG) running as a political candidate for the upcoming parliamentary elections on the Democratic Party list as the nr. 10 candidate, while at the same time being tasked with the supervision of the SER, is in CPC’s view a conflict of interest and in breach of the impartiality principle. It puzzles the CPC that the SG would not vacate his post before postulating as in the event he gets elected into Parliament or a ministerial position, the law mandates him to do so.

For all the political rhetoric about transparency and integrity as well as the chronic lack of funds, CPC is very concerned about what sure looks like political games being played. If the intention is to make advisory councils an extension of sitting political parties, taxpayer funds are being wasted and the democratic deficit is only getting larger.”

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