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Finding best economic way forward for nation

Monday, July 17 2017

THE EDITOR: The Government is desperately in need of income. Property tax is one of the potential source of income.

There is a possibility that a Government that seems incapable of getting a handful of public servants to work for a full day at the Licensing Department on Wrightson Road, Port of Spain, will not be able to get public servants to process the over 400,000 properties in time for next yearís Budget.

I suggested that rather than continue the complicated, time-consuming and costly path to collecting property taxes, a less costly avenue could be a percentage increase on the old property tax.

This percentage can be in tandem with the increases of property value over the years.

This will allow for immediate tax collection while the more complex structure is put in place.

That seems fair and reasonable.

This suggestion as well as many other seemingly logical ideas appear to be ignored by both the Government and Opposition simply because of politics. There seems to be a concerted effort to ignore that which may be best for the country if such suggestions conflict with oneís political agenda.

Consider the following suggestions that seem to be ignored despite the possibility they may be beneficial to TT : * Reduce our food import bill by cultivating the Caroni lands.

* Distribute the Housing Development Corporationís completed houses and sell the incomplete ones at a value consistent with their level of completion.

* Privatise most of the State enterprises or enter joint ownership with the private sector through the sale of shares.

* Privatise the public transportation sector including the water taxi service.

* Invest in a tourism partnership with the private sector to develop the bird sanctuary, Chacachacare, our mountain tops, rivers and swamps, beaches, Carnival and the pan industry.

* Reduce the Governmentís costs through restructuring the public sector to incorporate modern office practices, technology and up-todate job evaluation.

It is critical that a new economic long-term strategy is considered with the knowledge that there is a global glut of oil and gas. There is also a global change in the demand for energy as countries are quickly changing to less expensive sources that are not as harmful to the environment.

Politics as usual is not an option. We need to see beyond our political and ethnic division and agree on the best economic way forward for TT .

STEVE Alvarez



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