…the morning after
In the PNC’s first turn at the wheel – courtesy of their serial elections rigging – Budgets were eagerly anticipated. Folks wanted to know what other hardships they’d have to suffer with the new turn of the screw. But that kicked in only after they kicked out their minority coalition partner after their first term. Will less than two years to go into this latest “first term”, after looking at this Budget, one doesn’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out it’ll soon be “déjà vu all over again”!
The problem with the PNC then and the PNC now is they haven’t the faintest notion how to actually CREATE wealth…they just know how to tax and spend. And with this fella Jordan as Finance Minister – who’d spent a decade crunching numbers with Jagdeo.
For the umpteenth time, your Eyewitness repeats the caution he’s offered ever since the PNC slipped back into office with the help of the AFC: you have to create wealth before you share wealth. And just collecting taxes isn’t creating wealth – that’s actually reducing wealth.
Folks go along because they figure the Government’s gonna spend it so that wealth’s created by the Private Sector. Burnham, of course, insisted Government could create wealth – through nationalising the “commanding heights of the economy” – but destroyed the economy in the process.
This Government just doesn’t get it that facilitating businesses to expand is actually good for average folks, who get jobs. They’re busy following their master’s footsteps by exponentially expanding the Public Sector – which, while necessary, doesn’t really produce anything, does it? Jordan took a baby step in this direction by reducing the Corporate (non-commercial) Tax rate from 30 per cent to 25 per cent in the present Budget.
The theory behind that, is with taxes reduced, the business will use the money “saved” to expand and create more jobs. So far, so good. But with us hoping to compete with all those Trini companies slobbering to snatch our oil revenues, our tax rate will just be matching Trinidad’s!! If we really want to replace Trinidad as the manufacturing hub of the Caribbean, why not take our tax rates down to where Singapore – the most successful former third world economy – is at: 17.5 per cent??!! We’re not even going to mention Ireland’s 12.5 per cent rate in case Jordan gets the bends!!
And of course, Jordan’s Budget did even mention the elephant in the room, when it comes to boosting manufacturing to create jobs – electricity costs.
We’re still four times more expensive than Trinidad!!
The PNC Government allocated $350 million in its Budget for preparation to celebrate the “Republican Golden Jubilee” in February 2020!! Imagine that!! Now, with over $1.5 billion of our tax dollars spent – most of it unaccounted for!! – for the Independence Jubilee in 2016, you know this $350 million is just the tip of a monstrous Iceberg!! What will they do this time? Fix up the stadium at D’Urban Park? After three years of this PNC incarnation, your Eyewitness knows, dear reader, you’ve detected one of their major characteristic – love of a “jump up”!! But there’s more than meets the eye in this latest jump up – the timing!!
2020, of course, is when we get “first oil”. But even more significantly, it’ll also be General Elections time – to decide who’ll be in charge of the oil revenues!! So, with this massive Jump Up in February…followed by the Guyana Carnival which will then segue into the Independence celebrations, it’ll be one big PNC campaign sport until the elections.
All paid for with your money!! Development, eh?
In mentioning the $1.1 billion his PNC Government allocated to “maintain” cultural institutions and facilities”, Jordan gratuitously mentioned the Indian Arrival Monument at Palmyra.
But that was completely funded by the Indian Government! After the Guyana-funded base built by the Linden contractor collapsed!!