MSJ wants a wealth tax

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

MSJ leader David Abdulah. File photo/ Roger Jacob

MOVEMENT for Social Justice (MSJ) David Abdulah is repeating the party’s call for Government to implement a wealth tax

In a statement on Wednesday, Abdulah recalled that in April, the MSJ suggested Government consider implementing such a measure on multinational energy companies and large local corporations.

He said the suggestion at the time was that such a tax meant its revenue could be used for things such as maintaining fuel prices at certain levels.

Abdulah said the British government recently introduced a 25 per cent windfall profits tax on oil companies.

“The evidence is clear. BP just announced that its profits for the three months April to June, 2022 were US $9.26 billion .”

Abdulah claimed this figure was “an obscene 300 per cent increase over the US$3.12 billion it made in the same period in 2021.”

He said there were other energy and non-energy sector companies that reported significant profits recently

“We also note that Republic Bank just yesterday announced that its profits for the first nine months of 2022 was $1.15 billion, an increase of $109.7 or 10.6 per cent over what it made in the same period in 2021.

Abdulah said these examples support the argument for a wealth tax.

“Tax policy is one tool available to a government to tackle the gross inequalities of wealth and income that exist in Trinidad and Tobago.”

He also believed revenue obtained from a wealth tax could be used to make a fair wage offer to public-sector unions.

Abdulah said the MSJ will wait to see if Finance Minister Colm Imbert will address this issue when he presents the 2022/2023 budget.