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FTInsight April/May 2016

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Freetown Insight online Poll We asked: High taxes or high investment? Which would do more to reduce the gap between rich and poor in Sierra Leone? 3 2 1 1 High taxes on the wealthy and corporations to fund programmes that help the poor 2 Low taxes on the wealthy and corporations to encourage investment and economic growth 3 Other RESPONDENTS TO THE ONLINE POLL SAID: “Taxes are already very high in Sierra Leone and we need to encourage more investment especially among indigenous Sierra Leoneans, to expand employment opportunities for Sierra Leoneans.” “High taxes on the wealthy and corporations to fund programmes that help the poor? This is the logical thing to do, the reason that the wealthy and corporations have the money is due to them taking advantage of the poor, basically that is how they made their money, so they should be the ones to finance programmes for the poor. The more money one has, the more taxes the wealthy/corporations should pay.” “If taxes are increased this increase will then be passed down to the consumer which will not bridge the gap between the rich and poor, it will only make the situation worse. Tax incentives need to be developed to encourage investment in Sierra Leone from foreign business. Additional investment will encourage new business and employment opportunities for all of Sierra Leone, thus improving the GDP and the quality of life.” “The Government of Sierra Leone needs to improve the foreign investment incentives for the mining sector. Mining creates significant training and employment opportunities and often the contribution to the SL fiscus from PAYE payments is overlooked as are the indirect employment opportunities which result. The process for obtaining Mine Development Agreements is unclear. Much could be done in this regard but in the absence of internationally competitive fiscal terms, investors will pursue opportunities elsewhere. The lack of grid power is a major negative versus other countries as generating power at mine site is very costly, reducing the attraction for investors. These are serious issues which SL needs to address.” “The authorities seem to think that taxing imports at punitive rates is raising money, but it actually encourages businesses to bribe customs officials into under-valuing imports. Those that pay the high prices correspondingly charge more for their goods which affects everyone.” “Collect taxes!” “Get Companies to commit to Community Development Action Plans, and see that they honour their commitments. Already over the past 12 months nearly all Government of Sierra Leone Departments have doubled their charges, be it for Visas etc. Mining related application fees etc. Enforcing the collection of GST would also go a long way towards having money to spend on the poor. But unless corruption is rooted out/reduced, the gap between rich and poor will only widen. Don’t waste money on showcase projects like a new airport, rather put that money into a new hydroelectric scheme. There are many examples out there of how to grow a middle class, it just needs a willingness to do so and the commitment.”

Mano River Union The Mano River Union is an Intergovernmental Institution made up of Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Cote d’Ivoire. It aims to strengthen the capacity of Member States to integrate their economies and coordinate development programmes. Republic of Sierra Leone Capital: Freetown Population: 7,075,641 (49.1% men and 50.9% women) Area: 71,740 sq km (27,699 sq miles) Languages: English, Krio, Temne, Mende and a range of other indigenous languages Life expectancy: 48 years (men), 49 years (women) Currency: Leone Republic of Liberia Capital: Monrovia Population: 4.2 million Area: 99,067 sq km (38,250 sq miles) Languages: English, 29 African languages belonging to the Mande, Kwa or Mel linguistic groups Life expectancy: 56 years (men), 59 years (women) Currency: Liberian dollar FT Insight 15 The Republic of Guinea Capital: Conakry Population: 10.5 million Area: 245,857 sq km (94,926 sq miles) Languages: French, Susu, Fulani, Mandingo Life expectancy: 53 years (men), 56 years (women) Currency: Guinean franc The Republic of Ivory Coast Capital: Yamoussoukro Population: 20.6 million Area: 322,462 sq km (124,503 sq miles) Major languages: French, indigenous languages Life expectancy: 55 years (men), 58 years (women) Currency: CFA (Communaute Financiere Africaine) franc www.ftinsight.net

Leone Sector Insight Economic Governance Freetown Countries Investors Herbert Opportunities www.ftinsight.net

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© 2016 by Yumpu
Leone Sector Insight Economic Governance Freetown Countries Investors Herbert Opportunities www.ftinsight.net