Smart islands create enough financial funding for their priorities. Achieving a balanced budget, not by raising taxes and social security premiums, not by cutting in the level of public services, not by foregoing the core government responsibilities and not by any other unnecessary measure, but by increasing compliance.
Most of our countries deal with a budget deficit of not more than 10% of government revenues. Even the most conservative estimates of unpaid taxes and social security premiums indicate that this deficit can simply be solved by increasing compliance.
Improving the levying and collecting of unpaid taxes and social security premiums solves the biggest government challenges; it is very doable.
In a recent publication by the Inter-American Development Bank it is stated that the average tax evasion rate in the region is as high as 50%. Even in countries where this rate is lower, the levying and collecting of unpaid taxes and social security premiums can clearly solve the biggest government challenges.
Picture how much more we could be offering our children in schools, how much better our infrastructure could be and how the overall welfare level could be raised with funding by compliance.
(motion graphic / executive summary).
1. By having the whole population on the radar screen (citizens and businesses)
By connecting the dots when people or businesses interact with government, either by paying taxes, qualifying for social security benefits or requesting a government permit or license, complete and reliable registration is easy.
connecting the dots
2. Correct, complete and timely levying and collecting
On-time, in-full levying and collecting by operational excellence, superior service, better enforcement and a strong public perception.
We all want smart phones, smart TV’s or even smart homes. But how about smart islands? Modern-day innovations enable substantial improvements in government operations.
Think about a one-stop shop, where technology enables cross-department collaboration. No need for the citizen to visit various departments and much less time waiting for government responses.
Efficiency is not just about producing better results for the citizens, it also results in lower costs of operations for the government.
More efficiency means faster responses for the citizens, better service and lower costs.
Nobody can do a good job without proper tools and civil servants are no exception. How fair is it to require the impossible without giving government employees the right tools? It’s all within reach, its not that complicated, and it will make a world of difference.
A just environment means that every citizen contributes with his/her fair share by complying with the law. With a balanced budget and a healthy financial state of affairs, governments are in control to execute their priorities and will not be forced to resort to contra-productive measures because there is no other choice.
It’s much easier and productive to focus on compliance. Enforcing and facilitating compliance will drastically improve the income of the government and remove the need for unwise and unappealing austerity measures.