A Letter to the Editor from Moses Uneh Yahmia
The People too must have a victory against a money and power greed type of people: thanks to few senators for taking a step in this direction!!!!!
According to a Frontpage Africa's article, while 34 out of 38 members of the House of Representatives voted in favour of granting a national counterproductive tax break favouring a Lebanese business firm, some senators have rejected the president's request to grant such an anti-country tax incentive to her foreign crony. We want to not only commend the resilience of those leaders who stood against the Madam Ellen's kleptomaniac but we are also urging those senators to remain firmed on their decision to ably protect the interest of this land and it's people and graduate from protecting foreign monopoly capital against ordinary Liberian entrepreneurs that are left struggling.
We maintain that the president's request to grant the Farmington Hotel a 30-year tax break is not in the interest of our country. This request is just the president's continuation of making known to the people that she came not in 2005 to transform this space. She instead came to build empires for a few and leave the many to be victims of economic deprivation and inevitable poverty.
Why give a company that has in its employ not more than 200 Liberians a hooping tax break? In fact according to FPA and the Daily Observer, during the ECOWAS Summit, Mr. Abi Jaoudi, owner of Farmington Hotel and one of the few foreign investors that is enjoying extreme monopoly at the expense of our national agenda, had 180 employees. But right after the summit, this man layoff 40workers. So why the special preference when the interest of the country is not reflected in such arrangement?
As a developmental state, in cases like this, tax breaks are given when there are features that reflect national interest. One of those features is the state (Liberia), not the president, not Aunty Jenny Bernard, must have not less than 40percent share in the company. With this, the company is not employing many Liberian that will in return pay personal income taxes to government, the company is not paying taxes that will reflect in our national budget to contribute to development, but Liberia will benefit not less than 40cents from each dollar the company amasses in profit.
So if Farmington Hotel in profits accrue 250,000USD in a year, the government will walk away with not less than 100k. Such 100k can be injected into our budget not to pay the salaries and emoluments of officials of government, but to build schools, hospitals, roads, and etc. This is called the Honey -Jar approach in political economy. That is one of the major ways a developing country mobilizes capital to meet the social needs of its people. So we thank those lawmakers for taking the bull by the horn to initially reject Daboo's (president) request to have George Abi Jaoudi walk free in the park, making millions while the state depends on taxes from struggling Liberians, loans from international financial institutions, grants, aids, and goodwill from friendly nations to run a fiscal year.
Very truly yours
Moses Uneh Yahmia
Student, University of Liberia