THE EDITOR: The statement by the Minister of Finance that the Government will save $510 million with the adjustment of the fuel subsidy is easily understood by the average laymen for what it is worth.
What is not said and understood by many citizens is that taxation could be an abusive methodology aimed at the transfer of wealth from the private sector to the public sector for salvation of the latter. It is nothing else. It is the easy solution — until.
We must not forget what the minister said about the gas tax: “I raise it, I raise it and I raise it again, three times and they eh riot yet.” This could be an ominous uttering if applied to the question of coming possible excessive taxation.
It is unfortunate that when the public sector and governance do not manage the economy well, especially the previous government, then the simplistic solution is to take advantage of the private or productive sector and transfer its wealth by force so that the public sector can continue the way it is going (no retrenchment, for example).
The public sector does not know how to produce wealth. It did not produce wealth when the oil price was high. Instead it “parasited” on the oil price, praised itself hypocritically, fooled many people and there is little to show for almost US$70 billion spent because of waste and mismanagement and the politics. So now the private sector has to pay for the cake. According to Ayn Rand, the most competent economist I have read over and over again, the obscene transfer of wealth from the private sector by huge abusive taxation in almost every possible method in order to mind and prop up the public sector is nothing more than a trend towards statism as opposed to desirable democratic capitalism.
Truthfully, I believe that the Minister of Finance is unable to see the bigger picture.
By hugely reducing the capacity of the private sector because governance is afraid to take the necessary bold steps and also come up with economic creativity, I am unable to visualise where economic growth necessary to eliminate the deficit will come from, since the public sector does not produce wealth and certainly cannot earn a return on what it is now being taken away by more taxation.
In summary, the additional taxation in the past three years is a negative attitude to economic problem-solving where the interest to protect the public sector has become the first choice. It wouldn’t work and it will catch up.
Over-taxation is unacceptable and cannot boost an economy. I suspect that the increasing tax measures might actually result in less tax too, because if the private sector becomes upset then it will be stoic and will keep pulling the hand brakes, especially due to a loss of confidence.
PETER S MORALLES, Cascade