The fundamental principle of the Solomon Islands Constitution is everybody should pay tax, says former Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo.
Mr Lilo told SIBC News in a recent interview there are inconsistencies in the Constitution that resulted in the unpopular tax exemption of MP’s salaries and other entitlement benefits.
“There are some inconsistencies because on one part of Section 106 of the Constitution it states that no tax shall be imposed or altered except by an Act of Parliament but then, on the other hand, it also states in Section 69 of the Constitution, which empowers the Parliamentary Entitlements Commission, that the Commission can make regulations to even exempt salaries and entitlements to Members of Parliament, so there you are, we have these inconsistencies.”
The former Prime Minister adds, these inconsistencies should be addressed otherwise the Constitutional principles of equality will not apply.
“What we need to do is to address that inconsistency, otherwise the principles of equality, social justice, and equity, for instance, that our Constitution preamble spoke about will not apply well and that’s what is happening right now. I always believe that tax should be administered by one authority which is an Income Tax Act, and that’s what Second 106 of the Constitution said.”