Should envelopes given to Cabinet Ministers be taxed?
The announcement by the Ministry for Revenue of taxes on the incomes of the Head of State and church ministers, has generated much discussion. Particularly when church ministers found out that not only was the money given by the congregation on Sundays to be taxed but also envelopes given when they attend weddings, funerals and other functions. One aggrieved church minister then suggested that Cabinet Ministers should be similarly taxed when they receive money in envelopes when attending functions. What do you think? Neretiti Matatia asked in today’s Street Talk and this is what people said:
Soi Vaifale Lalovi Lome Letoga 50, Satalo, Falealili.
In my opinion I do not think that is right. Whatever monetary gift that you receive from any occasion that you attend, belongs to you alone, including the pastors as well. If they receive an envelope from any event that they went to, that is rightfully theirs. On the other hand I think it is not appropriate that every church minister is getting taxed. Whatever money that they receive belongs to them alone and it is up to them on how they spend it.
Falefia Taliaoa 23, Vaitele
If the pastors are getting taxed with what they receive from any special occasion that they go to then the cabinet ministers as well must pay taxes from their envelopes too that they receive. A pastor’s job is not the same as any other person’s job. It is the pastor who preaches the good news, the word that can empower and change the lives of people. I know that some people are saying things that some of the church ministers are not faithful to their calling, but I believe that it is not our job to judge, we must leave it to God to handle this matter.
Derek Leota 21, Vaivase
Well I am not sure about that, but I believe that we must have balance in everything that we do. I support the idea of pastors being able to pay taxes. Everybody should contribute to help our country. We live in a world where taxes are everything and that we need to help the nation develop.
Sandra Laufilo 25, Saleimoa
The cabinet ministers must also get their ‘gifts’ in those envelopes taxed. What they are doing is not fair. They have made the pastors pay taxes and I think that we should not change what our ancestors already set up. I believe that the government should not get involved with anything to do with the church. These are God’s servants who are doing his will. To me personally, the church itself must be neutral, not every congregation is the same. Some churches out there barely have.
Taelega Faauma Aloi 50, Fugalei
If the government has already set up a law which states that every church minister must pay taxes including what they receive from other occasions, then the Cabinet Ministers must also consider this to be fair and tax their envelopes as well. I am not sure what the government was thinking about. We believe that pastors have made a covenant with the people from the villages but all these people are also paying taxes too. The only job of any church minister is to attend to the people that he was called to look out for. One thing for sure is that only when we are done with paying off everything and putting aside money for our family and what is left goes to the church. The pastor is the one who prays constantly for all these people and blesses them to have a good life.