The Bahrain National Holding Company announced yesterday that it is to bear the costs of the government’s one per cent unemployment benefit tax for its nearly 200-strong workforce.
Officials yesterday said the firm had already begun making deductions from staff salaries last month but that following a thorough management study, it was decided to ease the burden on employees. This includes employees of both of its fully owned subsidiaries, Bahrain National Insurance and Bahrain National Life.
This is a message to those companies whose officers are deluded by their “magnanimous gesture” of bearing the 1% unemployment benefits contribution on behalf of their employees: You are not doing Bahrain any favours, what you are doing is simply delaying the country’s progress in the long term.
We’ve all heard that idiom which says that the only two constants in life are death and taxation. Taxation has been hidden in our Gulf countries and has been named anything but its real name because of the prevailing thinking is that taxation is bad and we must promote our countries as tax havens. This is not a good thing. Whether we like it or not, we will have to pay income and corporate taxation sooner or later, and the sooner we get used to paying taxes, the better we will be.
Why? Because our lethargic and submissive culture will gradually change. When one pays their hard-earned cash into the government’s coffers, that person will ultimately demand to know how that money is being spent with all that simple demand entails: ultimately, a proper political representation and a proper voice in how our governments are run.
What these “do gooder” companies are doing is nothing but robbing us of that proper representation chance and delaying its onset by several years if not decades.
They should most certainly re-examine their position and think of the long term competitiveness and political stability of the country rather than providing this silly and unneeded momentary band-aid which will do nothing but prolong a much needed healing process.