By Omar Bah
The leader of the opposition Gambia Democratic Congress is not happy with government’s recent declaration to embark on aggressive tax collections, saying this could lead to squeezing small businesses and poorly paid workers from a decent living.
The government has denied increasing taxes but rather expanding its base to capture many areas not covered.
However, addressing that matter at a meeting in Nuimi Saturday, Mamma Kandeh said the first step is that government should show responsibility by reducing the salaries of the president and his ministers and drop its plan of increasing taxes.
“I am not saying nobody should pay taxes but the government should consider the poor Gambians. I will suggest that instead of increasing taxes, they should reduce their huge salaries and travel expenses. You cannot morally ask poor people to pay more taxes to pay for your increased salaries and allowances. That is unacceptable and unfair to the Gambian taxpayer. The government should know better than anybody that these taxes are hitting hard on the Gambian people especially the young businesses with very little in return for them from the government in terms of development,” he said.
Kandeh also took time to respond to claims that his party, with no representation in the National Assembly or chairmanship in the local government, is virtually dead.
“I want to tell you that the support that the GDC has today is the highest ever since the creation of the party in 2016. The Gambian people have realised Mamma Kandeh is the only solution and I want to tell the supporters of the party to believe in God and stay with the truth. You should not allow anything to change you. Do not take lies over truth. This party has principles that we should protect and believe that we can achieve our goals. We should not also allow politics to divide us,” he added.
The GDC leader also advised the president to focus on his task of serving the Gambian people.
“I heard the president the other day teasing me that he can only take a horse to the river but he cannot force it to drink. I want to tell him that I am not a horse and I will never be a horse,” he teased back.