President of the Grenada Trade Union Council (GTUC), Madonna Harford is calling on Government to put measures in place to ensure that pensioners earning up to $5000.00 be exempted from paying income taxes.
Harford told reporters in St. George’s that this request is coming directly from the Pensioners association, which is not a unionised body in the country.
“Government recently would have passed the legislation exempting pensioners from NIS taxation on NIS pension but (in) TUC ….we’re still calling, we have made that proposal that pensioners who were not paying income tax before when the threshold was $5000 and above, we still feel that pensioners should not pay income tax at all because they would have already paid taxes on their wages and salaries, that they would have worked for over the 30 and 40 years that they would have worked for the nation already,” she said.
“We feel it is unconscionable to ask them at the later part of their years, their twilight years to pay taxes because we feel strongly that this is the time they need more support because you may find at that age a lot of sicknesses will come unto the pensioner or those retired persons and we’re still calling on Government to take a look at it again and make sure that those persons be exempted up to $5000 for pensioners,” she added.
Harford said the TUC recently called for an amendment to the legislation so workers could take home their severance pay packages.
“We felt strongly that when you are being retrenched from a job it might be very difficult. You may never get any employment for quite some time and especially in (this) economic situation we felt that it was something that we need to advocate and we were able to ensure that there was a law in place for no income tax on severance pay,” she remarked.
The two-year old Keith Mitchell-led administration in St. George’s has not made any public pronouncement on the issue.