Everybody must contribute

Everybody must contribute

Government’s warning to people and entities in structural default of land lease payments (see Thursday edition) should not go unnoticed. Those involved must realise that they risk losing not only the parcel itself, but also anything built on it.

That may seem a bit harsh in this time of unprecedented socioeconomic crisis and talk of a real estate tax. However, it remains the right thing to do.

The main reason is that their non-compliance can disadvantage others who do meet their fiscal obligations. Especially where it concerns businesses that make money with the property, this creates an unlevel playing field and gets in the way of fair competition.

The same could be said for companies that owe Chamber of Commerce fees for a long period already. A number of these have now been exposed in the newspaper and may be removed from the trade register.

Keep in mind that payment arrangements, rather than having to come up with the entire amount at once, will often suffice. About the worst choice when unable to fully honour financial responsibilities is to just stop doing so altogether without informing the receiving party.

Ultimately, for a free-market system to work, everybody must contribute their part. It’s as simple as that.