12 May, 2007

Government Bills

Cut it off! A correspondent is incensed at what he describes as a rampant abuse of not paying Anguilla government bills. He proposes a ruthless solution.

I believe anyone who owes government for anything, whether a hospital bill, house tax, water bill or Social Security, should not be issued ANY kind of license, permit, passport, etc. until things are made right. There are too many people who prefer to put their money into expensive cars instead of meeting their obligations, and too many students who don't have school books.

Inland Revenue was supposed to be implementing such a system. They made a big noise about it several years ago but since then there is only silence.

I recognise that some people have genuine hardships and require government assistance. In any capitalist system, some people are going to fall through the cracks. It is the obligation of the rest of us to provide for them. We already have an entity established for such mutual purposes. It is called the Government of Anguilla.

The guest editor who contributed the above is not alone. Bermuda has a problem with unpaid parking tickets. The mayor of Hamilton in Bermuda has proposed a similar solution. You can read all about it in the Bermuda Sun by clicking here. Do you agree such persons should have their government services cut off?


  1. ... 40 years ago, a few men took on the establishment... They called it a revolution(?)... the birth of corruption. Today, one good man with "wisdom" has taken on that revolution and exposed that corruption... shouldn't this be our real revolution?... we love you mitch... keep up the good work.

  2. In response to questions on this blog about their annual financial reports, Social Security has removed the Annual Reports section of their website and has added a section reassuring us how open, transparent and accountable they are. I want to know if there are delinquencies in the payment of contributions, what they are doing about it and how effective they are. For years, our questions have been met with silence on this issue.

    On page 6 of this week's "Anguillian" there is a a good article by Labour Commissioner Russel Reid, who comments that his office is being "inundated with complaints from both employers and employees alike." I appreciate his honesty.

    Among these complaints he includes non-payment of Social Security contributions. This means that the money deducted from some employees' wages is being illegally converted to other purposes by their employers. I'd like to thank Mr Reid for telling us what Timothy Hodge has refused to talk about.

    Given the secrecy surrounding this issue, am I correct in suspecting the problem may be widespread and extremely serious?

  3. I thank Mr Russel Reid Labour commissioner, although I feel that he should not have been in the labour department, I am glad that he is honest with what it is happening within his department. The department is in a terrible state and I believe that it is an injustice to that young man.

  4. Congratulations, Mr Don Mitchell, Thank you. Thank you. God works in misterious ways, and God intervenes on time. It is through this medium that the people can find out certain things. I know that you does your homework properly,and you have the leal where withal.

  5. What people bawling about increases in labor fees, People can not live off the fat of the island all the time, People must contribute to the island. When persons come to work in a country they must pay something , ia am sure that almost all of the forein workers work all over the place although they have one work permit, people must contribute to the island, Anguillians have to pay likewise foreign workers as well. It takes money to pay school teachers buy buses, build clinics and all that, therefore someone has to pay.

  6. I have read Quincey Gumbs’ letter in the last Anguillian objecting to proposed increases in work permits. I cannot understand his arguments. Increasing work permit fees does not stifle growth and development. It makes it more expensive for employers to import foreign workers. If it forces employers to begin thinking about taking their own steps to educate Anguillian youth to meet their labour needs. In this way, it promotes growth and development of Anguillians. It can be argued that work permit fees are still too low. Much too low.

    I cannot understand his argument that foreign workers should be allowed to bring their families. Which Anguillians going to work in St Thomas, or in Cuba and the Dominican Republic before that, were allowed to bring their families? Which West Indians allowed into the USA today on the farm workers programme are allowed to bring their families? It is an outrage that foreign workers on work permits are allowed to bring their families. That only encourages them to become settled immigrants, entitling them to Anguillian status. The social cost exceeds the contribution of their work to the society.

    I do not understand his demand that government “invest in the social infrastructure”. Who is going to pay for the roads they use? Who is going to pay for their subsidized medical services? Who is going to pay for the subsidized government schools? The employers? The foreign workers? Clearly, work permits should be strictly limited to those absolutely necessary. They should be very expensive. They should not be easily renewed. They should be in the hands of an independent body, not politicians. If government is going to meet even the social needs of the imported workers, it is they and their employers who should pay the cost, through increasing, and increasing, and increasing again the cost of the work permits.

    I do not understand how government’s publishing of the proposed increases is arrogant and thoughtless. It is the height of transparency. It permits and encourages employers like Quincey to make his views known. It is to be commended. My only complaint is that it does not go far enough. The proposed increases are far too low.

  7. We continually hear rumours about employers violating work permit regulations, but all this is hushed up, so there is no disincentive to violating the law. If I hire 20 illegal Hatians that I bring over to Sandy Hill Bay on a moonless night and put to work in my sweat shop making things with happyfaces on them, all that will happen if I get caught will be their being deported. When was the last time an employer was prosecuted for such a violation? When was the last time you read about a work permit violation involving a specific employer? The last time I can think of was about 1990, when a man was accused of employing a housekeeper before her work permit was approved.

    This employer is now our Chief Minister and Minister of Immigration and Labour and has dedicated his life to saving souls.

  8. I support the Government on thier labour fees and immigration fees, who should pay for this hike, Anguillians, why? Most of those foreing workers work for more than the average Anguillian. They charge from $70-80 US per day, Work all over on one permit which they haave no right to do. The government better be careful, because they mean they would not pay for anything now look out civil servants they are going to come for your jobs, they do not have to get work permits, or marry off the simple girls. They most appreciate that they are getting their daily bread and they must contribute to have their schildren in school how he teachers would be paid, how they going to get medical treatment. They must pay for something , but you know what not all , but the majority do not want to pay for anything. 100% correct Mr CM. I must give you 100 % for this effort. Totally right, Anguillians travelled too but they were forced to leave their families behind. Apply for thier bonds and had to follow the law. Anguillians are hard working people irrespective what some business owners say, that is why they get their heads stolen off. Get the statistics on Anguillians living in the USA, and you would be surprised to see the high rating that they received to date. They worked and contributed to the development as well as they developed themselves.

  9. Immigration is made fun of, there are some people residing here in Anguilla for several years illegally, and then they run and marry an Anguillian girl, I heard that a few weeks ago, after residing illegally for years, and the immigration can not see that, they do not check about all of this, what it is they are doing all this time? the immigration vehicle does be all about even driving non- immigration officers, going shopping and all that in the supermarkets, I have seen that with my eyes and I saw the male officer in his uniform and the lady is not an anguillian and I know that for sure, why don't they use the vehicle for immigration purposes only. Even sometimes I see that vehicle in areas that you hear suspicion about with male immigration officers in the night, people see and talk over a few months ago well, earlier in the year. Cut that out and then more would get done.

  10. The Chief Minister is right with what he has done, Anguillians have to pay thier taxes likewise everyone that comes here. Every Spanish person selling underwear, hiar accessories, numbers tickets, do they have a business license? but Exotic and lauras and all the business have to pay. All the other masons and contractors never did construction before and hear the figure they charging you runing around getting all the jobs which is illegal, then they do not want to pay anything, some of the health authority staff after work working at nights who is monitoring this and then do not want to pay anything. Aguillians have to seek permission and they just exploiting and calling the authorities foolish, they can not catch me. They must pay. They are eating of this land. why did this took so long? and crack down on all this illegal work. Anguillians would have to go aborad again with this continuing like this.

  11. If the Government do good some people criticize, if they do bad they criticize, Give them credit when it is due. The CM is right you have to start some where. What about that burbul with the immigration officer and the Chineses? I hope that this would be dealth with and those people be made to pay with that illegal act just like the officer should be made to pay. 100% correct CM.

  12. I must commend the Chief Minister for this act of visonary leadership. In the past, I have been very critical of this administration but this review of permit fees is long overdue. It is a brilliant plan to charge those in high paying jobs high permit fees while som e of the lesser paid jobs the permit are fairly reasonably. I do hope the business people will see the reason in this permit fee structure. But sadly, I heard on the news, that the CM may be reconsidering the fees after Quincy's letter. Keep those fees high. Yes, some of our local businesses may suffer but in the long run Anguilla will be the benefit.

    By the way, was it not Quincy who started the flood gates with Mexican workers when he refuse to pay Anguillian workers $5 more.

  13. I've heard the CM called a lot of things, but "visionary leadership"? Come on, this writer's been reading too mucha Tommy Astaphan talking about the visionary leaderhip of the Commissioner.

    For the writer's information, work permit fees have always been scaled according to the skill level of the position. The new visionary scheme just increases the fees.


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