Koim discusses private sector’s drop in employment


THE Internal Revenue Commission (IRC) says there has been a drop in employment in the private sector reflected in the past months by a reduction in the salary and wages tax.
IRC commissioner-general Sam Koim said there was “a substantial loss of employment”.
In the public sector, Koim said the Government had been “generous to keep everybody on the payroll despite the Coronavirus (Covid-19) setbacks and lockdowns”.
“There has not been a pay cut, there has not been any laying off of (Government) staff,” he said.
“The Government has been so generous by keeping all the public servants employed.
“It’s a costly exercise for the Government.
“(It’s) the taxpayers’ money that is keeping everybody at work.
“Sometimes, it commensurates the labour, but sometimes it does not.
“Government is just paying for unproductivity.”
Koim said the private sector was the opposite.
“Bitter as it may be in the private sector, employment has substantially declined (according to) the data we collect on a monthly basis from employer filings, and the salary and wages tax,” he said.
Koim was at the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the IRC and the Small-Medium Enterprises Corporation (SMEC) to enhance tax compliance and enforcement activities through data sharing among small businesses.
“The partnership is to provide that relief to those who have lost their employment but have a little bit of startup capital to venture into something, or to private small and micro businesses,” he said.
“We don’t have much fiscal space from the Government to continue to stimulate or give relief to individuals who have actually lost their employment.
“But this is one way of providing an alternative for those who have lost their employment.”

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