Wednesday, July 11, 2018
EDITOR, The Tribune.
Comments regarding VAT being increased from 7.5 percent to 12 percent, made by the leader and several members of Her Majesty’s loyal opposition as well as various, former government members unceremoniously dispatched from office just over 12 months ago under a cloud and shroud of mismanagement, incompetence and greed, can best be described as abhorrent, contemptible, detestable, despicable, hypocritical, insincere, repugnant and reprehensible.
Prior to expounding on my reasons for describing opposition and former PLP government members’ comments thusly, it is to be noted that, concomitant with the increase in VAT, Custom’s duty is being significantly reduced or eliminated on some 200 plus items, VAT is being eliminated on electricity bills below $200 and it is being eliminated on a goodly number of bread-basket items that typically account for a significant portion of purchases by those who would ordinarily be most negatively impacted by the VAT increase.
Based on discussions with a cross section of individuals, notwithstanding the VAT increase, some will likely experience a reduction in their total expenditures, others will probably not experience any noticeable change in their expenditures while a select group, principally those best positioned to ameliorate the increase, will experience the increase. In fact, I share the view, already postulated by some, that the government’s revenue intake arising from the increase in VAT will fall short of expectations.
I return to my reasoning for having described the opposition’s comments as I have done. The PLP’s rationale for introducing VAT, at an all-inclusive rate of 7.5 percent, was to stabilise and begin paying down the country’s debt. Instead, debt ballooned. The fact that debt ballooned would lead to two reasonable conclusions: (a) the 7.5 percent VAT figure was inadequate to address the intended purpose, in which case the increase is justified, QED (Quod Erat Demonstrandum) or (b) the “cookie jar” was greedily and mercilessly attacked. I invite the PLP to purposefully and eruditely consider options (a) and (b) and to choose wisely.
Any attempt to muddy the waters, to seek to confound, confuse, complicate and obfuscate the issue by claims of hurricane restoration efforts is easily, readily and clearly dismissible given the fact that most households that experienced hurricane damage still had their roofs covered in bright blue tarps when the PLP were perfunctorily dismissed from office. Very recently, a large percentage of the blue tarps have begun disappearing suggesting that hurricane restoration efforts are finally being earnestly and comprehensively addressed.
MICHAEL R MOSS
Freeport, Grand Bahama,
July 9, 2018.