THE EDITOR: I did not listen to the budget speech for the simple reason that I knew what was coming , as sure as the night follows day: tax on this, tax on that, and tax on the other, as I expected no vision beyond filling the nation’s coffers by simply taking from the people.
Politicians in this country know nothing else except this straight line approach to the budget. It is never about growth and development that could generate the required revenue: providing incentives for big and small business, for cottage industries, for agriculture on a commercial scale and personalised farming for domestic self-sufficiency, for entrepreneurship in other forms, for family planning, for bed and breakfast tourism, for small scale technical and vocational expertise and education at the tertiary level, and the list can go on and on and on.
As third world politicians this myopia to budgeting is not unexpected , but how sustainable is this approach, if salaries remain frozen and unemployment continues to escalate, if small businesses are eliminated because of an onerous tax regime as in the case of the small gamers? One editorial speaks of a “Bankrupt Budget” for basically the same reasons above, of merely taking and not creating. The Opposition Leader offers the identical description, according to the media, but I give no moral weight to that assessment, for her approach, seemingly opposed to this “taking from the people” from the present regime , was a distorted form of “giving” which saw this virtue degenerate into profligacy and extravagance, corruption and nepotism, reward for political loyalty, which for many, may have contributed to a depleted Treasury necessitating the draconian tax regime adopted by this government.
Amazingly though, some seasoned “analysts”in the media would have given the thumbs up to this budget in the media, one praising the Government for being “aware of the problems” and offering “the more important solutions” and another, that the Government was extremely “creative” in sharing the burden of adjustment, now a very popular phrase!
That may be depending on your agenda, but how come these” authorities” in the media have missed the critical consideration of the plight of the people , manifested in a universal outcry, over a burdensome tax regime? How could they miss the dismissals in the gaming industry, one woman commenting that she may now have to “lie on her back” because of her dismissal , to mind her family?
How could they miss the cry of the fall out from increased gas prices or the small man’s dream of a foreign used car now beyond his reach? Is this “collateral damage” according to one of the politicians of the past? In an any event what is the essence of a democracy , of good governace , if not to serve the people, not to add to their woes?
Errol Benjamin via e-mail