Commentary: Tax Them to Death

Spread the love




By Dr Neil Gosine

THE People National Movement (PNM) last campaign slogan was “We love you so we take good care of you.”

However, only the PNM knows how to take your vote and leave you to suffer after they get your vote.

They have repeated this slogan over and over again, but it seems only the PNM has a plan to keep you in poverty. The PMM feels that they can fool you every time and when elections come around they make all sorts of promises however, never keep most of them. We should be accustomed to their empty Promises that Never Materialise, especially after an election. Yet the stalwarts and grassroots supporters always seem to be fooled again and again.

We love you so we take good care of you, only the PNM understands that it is not about you, it’s about them, their ministers, their members of parliament and their friends, families and financiers to benefit from their office. Not the common man.

That’s their real aim is to remain in power and live off the state. “We love you so, we take good care of you,” only the PNM has a plan, a plan to ensure they are the ones that benefit from the state resources.

We love you so because we can fool you so, we can fool you to vote for us again and again, where our own people like our own families and our own close relatives can live well and where you and your families can continue to suffer. Look at all the things that we have seen to come in our lifetime to affect us since 2015 :

  • Food inflation and grocery prices gone crazy;
  • They raise fuel prices four times;
  • They took away the fuel subsidy;
  • They closed down Petrotrin;
  • They sold the diesel desulfurisation plant for cheap;
  • They closed down Caroni;
  • They now focus on buying fuel from abroad and to spot buy fuel (spot fuel markets are where gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and other commodities get a physical price tag. You call it “spot” because you negotiate for the fuel “on the spot.”);
  • They make us pay 7% online taxes;
  • They applied a 40 % duty on apples and grapes to ensure it’s uneconomical for the common man. So the common man can’t afford it anymore;

Many commentators are always quick to blame the owners of supermarkets for price gouging.

What they never tell you is that many food items are subject to 20 % duty and 12.5 % VAT too. So every time the cost of goods increases, the duties and VAT are now payable on higher values, causing much higher prices at the supermarket. In other words, kill the poor man or woman. Kill them with taxes. Tax them to death.

If the PNM government loved us so, they would have amended the rates of duties and taxes to keep them in line with the dollar value of what was previously actually the cost of the goods.

This has in fact been done in many other countries to ease the burden on their citizens, but not under the PNM, – tax them to death. Enforce property tax now on them too.

The PNM has been campaigning that the main issue of the local government election this year will be local government reform. It is so ironic that that same line was touted when they were elected in 2015.

We are now eight years down the road and they are now singing the same song that they sang in 2015. If nothing has been achieved so far, how can anyone believe the local government will be reformed anytime soon.

The slogan that their “Promises Never Materialise” under the PNM seem to be true.

Before 2010, in every year in the annual budget leading up to 2010, there would be talk about the construction of a highway from San Fernando to Point Fortin and secondly the construction of the Point Fortin hospital. This became a recurring decimal as part of the annual budget speech for many many years. Then the government changed and it was the UNC that put it into action and commenced these projects.

When I was a very young child, the Caroni Arena dam was being constructed and the tagline at the time was “we turning on the pressure in ‘79”. Well let’s fast forward to 2023, forty-four years later. We have not seen that water pressure yet! In fact, all we see is all kinds of other pressure and waterborne dry taps too! The population continues to receive pressure after pressure under this government, because they love us so!

Neil Gosine is an insurance executive. He is also the treasurer of the UNC and a former chairman of the National Petroleum Marketing Company of Trinidad and Tobago. He holds a Doctorate in Business Administration, a Master’s in Business Administration MBA, BSC in Mathematics and a BA in Administrative Studies. The views and comments expressed in this column are not necessarily those of AZP News, a Division of Complete Image Limited.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *