Letter: ‘You cannot fool all the people all the time’


Dear Editor,

Mr President during your election campaign, you promised “A Good Life for All” – by adding Value Added Tax (VAT) on education is your referral to a good life? I can vividly remember when you and your Ministers walked the streets pleading with the citizens to support you and the promises you made, but like the great legend said: “Promises are a comfort to a fool.”

Unbelievably, you were quoted in the media as saying that you sympathise with the families and students who will be faced with the tax on school fees, “but there are other things that will be explained by the Finance Minister”.

How can you have any sympathy for the persons who are going to bear this burden Mr President? When every parent, including students, are appealing to and your Government to reverse the decision and you turn a deaf ear and a blind eye.

As a parent and a student, I find this act by your Administration callous and ruthless. Knowing there was a call for a protest on February 28, 2017 your Government used a known news entity on February 27, 2017 announcing the “Removal of VAT on education fees”, two days after there was a backpedal on that. Please bear in mind Mr President you were elected by the people, to serve the people!

I am appalled to know some persons are contending to the fact that “they went to public school and they turned out ok”, I also attended public school and yes I did turn out ok, but in my days you did not have the lack of teachers for various subjects.

We had mature men and women who acted as role models in our lives. Today I can reminisce on some of the advice and teachings I received from persons like Henry Rodney, Ms Fung, Ms Peters, Ms Seeta Coonja, Ms Sarah Doodnauth, etc. Sadly, the same cannot be compared today. Most of these graduate teachers can be found teaching in private institutions today.

Mr Winston Jordan, Honourable Minister of Finance, I would like to bring to your attention that adding 14 per cent VAT on private tuition – because the private schools are non-compliant with their taxes – is not going to be a burden to the private institution, it will be an added burden to the parents and guardians like myself. We are already faced with VAT on water, light, medical, grocery; the list can go on and on. You mention that the schools and parents should find “creative” ways into paying this tax; do you care to explain how this is possible?

I have already received a notice from the private school my child attends informing me about the VAT at will be added to the school fees including the current term since this tax is effective. The schools will in no way be affected by this new tax law since they will pass on the cost to their customers. Therefore, Mr Jordan with all due respect, stop insulting our intelligence.

You and your fellow Ministers were all given a 50 per cent increase in salary, therefore you must find a way for sustaining your super salary, and by doing so you place the burden on the poor working class Guyanese.

We pay PAYE from our salaries before it is given to us, we pay VAT on all our services needed, food items, medical bills, and so much more. Where will we get the income to supplement and sustain our lifestyle? “We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle” – Winston Churchill

In closing, Mr Winston Jordan, Minister of Finance; and Mr David Granger, Honourable President of Guyana, that “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time” – Abraham Lincoln.


A Ramoutar


  1. Well I am sure you were one who supported APNU. I lived through the eighties and seen the suffering of my pepole. I feel for my Guyanese brothers and sisters. But come 2020 many of you will still put them back in power. God help Guyana


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