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Monday 20 August 2018
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Letters to the Editor

More taxes but no accounting by Govt

THE EDITOR: One of the most touted admonitions of democratic governance is “no taxation without representation.” As if to acknowledge the implausibility of such a promise, the clever people who run the world to their benefit have reverted to similarly hypocritical promises, though with a novel twist.

Today the burden of fulfilling the noble gesture of democracy has been cast in the mold of the State’s “fiduciary obligations.” The problem here though is that such an obligation falls to the subjective discretion of these same political animals. So today they speak of “transparency and accountability.”

Politicians under the guise of “majority rule” — “democracy” —have long taken cognisance that the wealthy elite often comprises a minute minority. Hence, majority rule has attached a caveat: recognition of minority rights.

It is a fait accompli that if a minority has successfully gained control and ownership of the overwhelmingly greater share of the world’s wealth to the disadvantage of the majority — an impoverished mob — majority rule must only be the pipe dream of fools. So, their tricks continue via the twin standards of transparency and accountability. They have even signalled sincerity in this promise by enacting the freedom of information legislation.

The cleaver minority, ever intent on outsmarting most of the world’s peoples whose work and creativity they regard as fodder, have again added a caveat to these twin standards. A proviso that allows for skirting around their promise of transparency and accountability and the burden imposed by freedom of information laws. They have legislated “exceptions” to Freedom of Information Acts based on the sensitivities surrounding issues of “national security.”

Here’s the rub: we have a situation in which on the one hand citizens are ordered to pay this or that tax upon pain of a penalty, and in the case of property tax —possible forfeiture by the State.

When government ministers suspend procurement protocols, we are not given straight answers. When we seek to inquire from annual reports the way our tax contributions are spent, we are informed that the “law” prevents government-appointed auditors functioning as a statutory body, from accessing information concerning the spending of billions of dollars.

As a citizen why should I accept that $1.2 million can be spent to rent vehicles with no contracts to support that claim? How can this Government spend $1.1 billion on contracts and render no account to taxpayers?

Rental payments have little to do with the secrets of national security. How is it then that in 2017 this Government can spend $790 million in rent and taxpayers cannot know who received this money? No signed lease agreements have been produced to support these rents. Is this how business is usually done?

The Judiciary we are told spent $17 million in property rental without cabinet approval. Is this the norm for the politics of republican democracy?

Why must I be asked to pay an additional tax to a government that refuses to account for the money it spends? I refuse any additional tax imposition until the above issues are satisfactorily resolved.

STEVE SMITH
via e-mail

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