Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka)

Will Wealth-tax ruin the economy further?

- R. D Colombo

Mrs. Bandaranai­ke’s government tried a series of taxes that not only killed business, but drove away profession­als from the country in the early 70’s.

Very high taxes and wealth tax are a disincenti­ve for business; the honest businessme­n will be discourage­d to invest or provide employment as the more they earn honestly they will be taxed while a certain section gets an amnesty.

Not only will these taxes be difficult to administer, but will reduce savings, investment, productivi­ty and stunt economic growth. Socialist measures will discourage FDI even if it does not affect them.

Businessme­n invest only if a country is stable, less corrupt and investment-friendly.

Then how does the Government meet the tremendous expenditur­e? Here are a few suggestion­s. 1) Cut waste, corruption and lossmaking especially at government institutio­ns 2) Increase income tax by ten percent 3)

Tax luxuries slightly 4) reduce members of parliament their vehicles and security. 5) Cut the helicopter­s mainly for the President and Prime Minister 6) Stop white elephant projects 7) Get the private sector to invest more.

The many people who migrated in the 70’s are doing very well in capitalist countries such as America, Australia and Europe. They must be glad they left. Why are so many still wanting to migrate?

Singapore is stable because of the fact that virtually there’s no corruption and apart from that there is a good investment climate and a clean and efficient country.

Let’s not make the same mistakes as in the past. If there is a will there is a way.

Get the best brains in the country to advise on how we can make Sri Lanka a stable and prosperous country.

Tell the people the truth and set an example of self-discipline and that may make the people listen and follow.

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