West urges national gov’t to lower tax rates

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BY ALFRED PAGEPITU

GIZO

THE Western province government has called on the national government to seriously consider lowering its ‘very high taxation rate’.

Minister of Tourism and Culture Division Christian Mesepitu in his Sine Die deliberations last week said the country’s high tax rates is making investing in the country ‘very difficult to impossible’.

“I challenge the national government to pin down the very high taxation rate and allow some sort of incentives to selected category of investors to lure attraction to invest in our shore.

“If the national government finds it difficult to indentify taxation, why not Western Province takes the initiative.

“We can start of is by indentifying airfares for our international inbound tourists and travelers.”

Mr Mesepitu said subsidiary airfares should be provided lowering it to an affordable rate to maximise capacity on airplane seats.

“By the rate, I believe we can address high airfare rate currently in place which is ridiculous.

“Our national airline is struggling with empty seats on most of its international flight especially to Australia.

“This is because it is too expensive then they rather go to Vanuatu, Fiji, PNG or even Bali for vacation because it is three times cheaper compared to us.”

He said Solomon Islands is being regarded as an expensive holiday destination that only high-end customers can afford to come to Solomon Islands.

“But they are occasional or seasonal travelers. Therefore, we need to target demographic age group from 10-40 years but middle and working class who travels just about any time.”

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