Former Justice Minister Cllr. Benedict F. Sannoh is recommending that the next government after the October 10 elections should review salaries disparity between the Executive, state-owned enterprises and the Liberian Legislature, which he describes as appalling.
He made the recommendation on Saturday, 18 February while addressing the 23rd Commencement Convocation of the Morris Community College and Airline Studies held at the Monrovia Christian Fellowship Center in Sinkor, Monrovia.
Cllr. Benedict who is one of the shortest serving members of President Sirleaf’s cabinet, stressed that the next government should critically review the amount of money allocated in the national budget for salaries, vehicles, gas slips, scratch cards, car maintenance, travel, housing, internet connectivity and allowances, among others, which he observed, constitute the bulk of the budget, thereby frustrating appropriate allocations for social and economic development.
He explained that the greatest contributor to the revenue is the private sector, which includes concessions, corporations large and small business entities and individual investors.
Cllr. Sannoh argued that considering the low levels of economic activity, promulgating laws increasing or imposing additional taxes only to underwrite increased government spending will suffocate the very sector on which the government relies for revenue.
“The government must be business friendly, and our laws must be business friendly, government must honor its contractual obligations to businesses especially, small Liberian businesses many of which are often paralyzed by unpaid debts due from the government”, he stressed.
He pointed out that businesses must likewise be honest players, paying legitimate taxes and deal with government with honesty and integrity, rather than through corrupt practices with functionaries of government.
The former attorney-general indicated that Liberians should reconsider the necessity of maintaining the constitutional limitation on citizenship and landownership to person of Negro descent, noting that it makes no sense to maintain these laws on one hand, and permit the unrestrained repatriation of profit from businesses conducted in Liberia.
By C. Arthur Brooks-Editing by Jonathan Browne