Monday, November 24, 2008

Who is the Fono Kidding?

Talifaitasi Satele


Now that lawmakers can claim their office expense allowances as taxable income, Senator Moliga believes “we can see some additional revenue going to the government”. But all they are doing under the new law is reducing their costs to us taxpayers, and that’s if they choose to do so.

If cutting its own costs is the Fono’s definition of generating new revenues, then all anyone has to do to get rich in this life is not spend any money at all.

Revenue is the result of producing something and then selling that product to somebody else. But what does the Fono produce that helps our economy grow? Legislation? Toilet paper adds more value to the economy than the paper many of their laws are written on.

If the Fono wants to help the ASG generate real new revenue, it can help by easing the burden on the producers of our society: business owners, employers, investors, employees, farmers and so on. Reduce their taxes, remove unnecessary red tape, and don’t compete with them using their own tax dollars.

Until then, the Fono shouldn’t pretend it’s doing anyone any favors by taxing its own allowances.

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