EYEWITNESS: No equity…

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…in tax paying

There’s a report that Exxon paid absolutely NO taxes on revenues of US$13.7B from petroleum products it extracted in, of all places, Australia! Your Eyewitness says “of all places” because most folks think corporations only avoid paying taxes to backward, Third World countries like Guyana and the Congo! Did everyone miss the news about Apple (which is as American as…well…apple pie!) registering its European business in Ireland – which has the lowest taxes in the continent?

It did that, of course, to avoid paying taxes in the US!! But when Ireland revised its tax laws in 2013, Apple moved its US$252B cash assets to the tax haven of Jersey islands – as revealed in the Paradise Papers!! Why pay the US 35% or even Ireland’s 12.5% when you can get away with .0005%!! The irony is the EU just slapped a US$13Billion fine on Apple – which Ireland doesn’t want to accept because it doesn’t want to offend Apple!!

And this is where we return to Exxon and its financial practices. Are folks so naïve to believe multinationals will “do the right thing” and pay taxes because we’re so poor and backward. Hey! In the neo-liberal world of business we now inhabit, the rule is “Show no mercy! Take them for as much as you can get!!” The thing is – if one corporation doesn’t make as much profits as they can, they soon get eaten up by those that do. It’s a ‘corporation eat corporation” world out there!!

But we’re even more confused about the outrage in Guyana about what Exxon may pay in taxes here. As the contract will reveal – if it is ever released, and that’s not likely!! – Exxon will be allowed to first deduct up to 75% of revenues to cover its “development and operational “expenses. Which accounting firms in the world (not just Guyana’s) can figure out the REAL expenses when Australia’s couldn’t – after Exxon ran them through the maze of 500+ offshore paper companies. That’s how the world turns!

But Guyana wont even get this “maze” treatment. “Why?” you ask dear reader? As your Eyewitness has been pointing out for over a year, the contract Trotman “renegotiated” says that EXXON’s TAXES WILL COME OUT OF THE GOVERNMENT OF GUYANA’S REVENUES!!! Yep! You heard that right…GUYANA will be paying Exxon taxes!! So if you have a gripe…take it up with the government..

And you moan and whimper, “But that’s not fair!”? Well, like they say, “all is fair in love and war”. And in the neo-liberal capitalist model we now enjoy, business is the new form of war!!
And as our Foreign Minister Greenidge, advises, “Please…no cussing. Of Exxon”!!

…in Parking meters

The Gang of Four at City Hall and Smart City Solutions must’ve figured the dust has settled over their Parking Meter heist. The City Council Committee proposed citizens should be happy to fork over $150 per hour for the privilege of parking in our fair city! Now your Eyewitness does believe parking meters are a legitimate vehicle (forgive the pun!) to raise revenues and at the same time control congestion in the city.

But at the same time, these must be balanced against the economic realities our people face. Can an average city worker afford to pay $1200/daily for parking? That’s $24,000/monthly! You be the judge, dear reader. But the folks at MAPM have opposed to the “settlement” for even more valid and fundamental reasons: the contract was void from the beginning!!

At a minimum, they point out, the law demands that there should’ve been a bidding process?
Why don’t we begin there? If Smart City is so good, they should win, no?

 …in Crime Chief demotion

Public Security Minister Ramjattan assured us Crime Chief Blanhum did a “fantastic” job and would be back after his vacation. Now after Blanhum’s demoted, he says it was the Commish’s call.

He doesn’t know his own job description?

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