WILL THE GOVERNMENT ABANDON THE POLICY OF SKINNING THE GOAT TWICE?

The Gambia lacks industry and its private sector and public sector are not widespread. Hence its economy heavily depends on the informal sector which constitutes the tailors, carpenters, masons, market vendors, street vendors, photographers, welders, mechanics, shopkeepers, etc.

Often when governments that rely heavily on taxation to raise revenue get desperate to minimize the budget deficit they often increase that tax burden to unbearable proportions which has the tendency to be at loggerhead with the tax authorities or get out of business. This is like skinning the goat twice.

The GRA showed wisdom when it put aside its Machiavellian tactic of tax collection at Latrikunda and showed willingness to negotiate. The tailors there who are virtually seasonal workers relying on the feasts of ‘koriteh’ and ‘tobaski’ for their earnings will be able to contribute to the revenue and earn incomes – a win-win situation.

An alternative to heavy reliance on taxation to raise revenue is to use sovereign national wealth and invest in the productive sector such as the fishing and processing industries.