Thursday 23 November, 2017

Unreasonable taxing will lead to gaming industry's death, Union says

The gaming industry cannot withstand proposed increased taxation.

That’s the cry of the Union of Members Clubs and Lottery Workers, which represents some 9000 currently employed in the gaming industry – most of which are single mothers.

Ahead of a meeting on Tuesday with stakeholders of the gaming industry, the Union rejected the announcement by Minister of Finance Colm Imbert to impose a gaming tax of over 100 percent, warning that the last time the industry was taxed without fit and proper consultations it resulted in the contraction of the industry and the loss of jobs.

The Union further warned that unreasonably taxing the gaming industry will lead to its death.

“The Gaming Industry workers cannot be singled out and targeted by the Government to solve the national finances,” it stated.

Knocking the proposal as oppressive and harsh, the Union said Government cannot be allowed to continue with its misapprehension about the industry and formulate policy which will prove detrimental to the industry.

The Union likened the imposition of increased taxation measures to the closure of Caroni (1975) Ltd and the retrenchment of over 9,000 workers as it said bars and small businesses with amusement machines will be severely affected if not forced to close down.

It said the industry has created over 30,000 indirect jobs employing the services of taxi drivers, caterers, decorators, florists, pest control personnel, air-condition and refrigeration personnel , electricians, plumbers, IT support, security guards and local entertainers and musicians year round.

The Union added that employees earn a competitive salary that affords them a decent lifestyle, with some trying to move away from a life of crime to honest work.