Claims priority given to FNM constituencies for tax-free concessions
Englerston Member of Parliament Glenys Hanna-Martin blasted government yesterday for giving priority to Free National Movement constituencies for tax-free concessions as government proceeds with its Over the Hill Redevelopment plan.
A heated debate over the issue ensued in Parliament yesterday as members debated amendments to the Business License Act.
“The people of Englerston are beginning to think that they are being victimized,” she charged.
“They want to know if they are being punished for electing a Progressive Liberal Party member and are their taxpayer dollars being used to only help FNMs.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest sought to clarify Hanna-Martin’s claims.
There is no victimization taking place,” he said.
“We recognize that we operate in a budget and there has to be a planned approach.”
He added that additional zones including Englerston will be included but St. Barnabas is next on the list following with the Bains and Grants Town constituency.
“It is a logical fiscal plan to develop and assist the impoverished communities that exist in Nassau and it cannot be expected for it all to be done at once.”
Earlier this year, the government passed the Economic Empowerment Zones Bill, 2018.
The Bill seeks to designate communities as economic empowerment zones and to encourage the economic and social empowerment of residents in the specific areas.
It also seeks to provide for the granting of certain exemptions and fiscal incentives to individuals engaging in economic activities in the designated zones; to promote the construction, renovation, and restoration of property and structures in a designated zone; and to encourage the principles of corporate social responsibility.