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On Friday, teachers picketed in front of the BTL-Digi offices countrywide, demanding that the company pay its taxes to the government. The joint unions say that BTL is one of the companies that owes millions of taxes. However, the compay’s board chairman, Markhelm Lizarraga says that the unions’ claims are false as the company does not owe any taxes. First Vice President for the Public Service Union Dean Flowers says that the company owes PAYE tax, or personal income tax incurred by its employees.

Dean Flowers, First Vice President, PSU: “I am certain that if the former Senator who now chairs BTL would want to continue keeping his good reputation intact that he will say to this nation why is it that the information was put out that BTL owed taxes. BTL has never been a compliant tax payer and that has now spilled over to even employees and so I believe the teachers were within their right, the information was proper that there are tax arrears owed to the government whether by BTL or by virtue of BTL neglect to the deduct PAYE taxes from its employees there are hundreds of thousands of dollars owed to the government by BTL.”

Reporter: What is PAYE ? 

Dean Flowers, First Vice President, PSU:  “PAYE is income tax, personal income tax.”

 According to Lizarraga, BTL does not pay PAYE taxes, the employees do. Flowers also responded to statements issued by Speednet-SMART and Centaur Communications Corporation Limited. The unions also picketed these companies but both companies say that they owe no taxes to the government.

Dean Flowers, First Vice President, PSU: “I’m not quite sure if the Smart release that they said “as of April 15″ they didn’t owe so it would have the way how I interpret these things is that maybe they would have owed as of April 14 and when they heard about the protest they went in and paid. I can tell you that where Centaur is concerned that’s the furthest thing from the truth but there’s a simple way to dispel these allegations of who owes taxes and who does not owe taxes, all these businesses have to do is to get a letter of good standing from the income tax department and publish it’s as simple as that and I challenge Centaur to do that.”