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Mr PM people need a salary increase


De VAT yu-knit got to go back to de drawing board and wheel and come again. Some-ting wrong, in fact plenty ting wrong. After de VATican gave us every assurance dat de way VAT was structured, prices foh ah lot ah goods will go down, people were hopeful, but hope turned to despair last week.{{more}} Is either de merchants beat de system as dey always do, or de system beat itself, VAT on Callallo and dry coconut, prices gone crazy! Ah waiting to hear from my AlmaVat-ah, ah hope she ain’t turn soft like de Chamber of Commerce who ain’t say nothing yet, dey not teking it pon dem-selves to mek statement like de last time, and den when de PM come dey will have to withdraw dey statement like de last time. Sir Louis ain’t foolish either he done say his bit, never mind it ain’t amount to anything, but yuh think he forget how de PM did buss him up foh de agreement he made in de Shell Gas issue. Par-liar-mint will wait till de PM come back to meet again, even if it tek forever. Dem fellars full ah VATulent!

De VATican staff is not incompetent so something got to be radically wrong, Man is everything gone up, what uses to be $2.00 now $2.50, ah juice foh $1.65 reach $2.15; things dat was not suppose to increase gone up by 15% and 25% and even higher wid certain items. Last week people from all walks ah life kept bawling foh Murder wid de new VAT prices, we need to hear from de VATican.

But ah ask ah cashier by ah Super-market if she knows of any commodity dat is reduced, she said Davy’s macaroni gone down by one cent on ah pack. If yuh know Michael Davy well, yuh would overs he’s full ah sarcasm, he did dat so dey can’t say he didn’t reduce his price!

And ah overheard ah lady who lived abroad and claimed to have worked with ah VAT yu-knit, telling someone where she lived there was no VAT on de basic essential items dat people consume daily, and ah lot ah stuff here dat should be considered basic items have been VATurated, ah suppose she will be branded NDP foh confirming exactly what Arm-In proposed. But she explained dat when ah mother wid ah small $150. 00 ah week maintenance money buys de basic items foh de home, she should not be affected by VAT or have to pay any increase in price. Secondly, she said dat it’s unfair to impose ah 15% VAT across de board. Den she reasoned is like ah man wid ah $ 4,000 ah month salary paying de same VAT as ah housewife wid ah $150 ah week pay. De Tax band should start from 5% to 7.5%, 10%, 12.5% and 15%.


But VAT is ah Repressive Tax, is it not ah paradox dat de ULP, self acclaimed as de most Progressive Guv-ah-mint ever, is hooked on ah Tax like VAT? Man I am appalled dat dis region wid three University Faculties, having produced several Nobel Laureates and we cannot come up wid ah Tax system dat would be less Repressive to de people of de region. Sickening! Maybe our intellectuals need to group and point de way forward, formulate income generating projects dat will put money in wukers pocket so we could have enough to pay VAT.

Based on de regional agreement de Consumption Tax had to go out de window. So dat lef de Guv-ah-mints and dem strapped foh cash, even SVG wid all its E-co-nah-mek Growth is in ah vice. Ah keep saying dat we have some ah de greatest Chefs when it comes to preparing ah glorious Budget. All dis talk bout SVG and its Hell-tea E-con-ah-me is ah Fan-Tom Tale! No way is dat Hell-tea E-con-ah-me reflected in de spending power of de workers, man pocket M.T. and wuking men seem always brokes, in Lickle TKO language “ man catching dey A-double S as in donkey” and dis should explain why de introduction ah de VAT back-fired from day one; de average worker does not have ah extra penny to spend on basic food and clothing, who ain’t owe foh house, owe foh car; and who ain’t owe Bank, owe Credit Union. Mr. Prime Minister de people living on credit and yuh must tek ah serious look at wukers salary, stop playing Father Christmas giving out bonus (small change) to buy ham on Christmas Eve; have ah proper salary revision in de country. Remember polly-ticks to de ordinary man is not all about Cross Country Road and Airport, it is about food, clothes, shelter and pocket change, yes cash in de pocket to pay yuh VAT. If yuh don’t try and raise salaries, VAT will kill we tail and yuh could be in foh surprises.


My friend and buddy Freddy Gonsalves passed away last week after ah short illness. Uncle Freddy was like ah father figure, he was very much my senior so ah took an opportunity to piggy-back on his wealth of knowledge and experience in life. Ah man with ideas whose tales could inspire you, he spoke freely of de many obstacles he overcame in life, how he had to quit secondary school early to help support his sixteen siblings. He actually started business wid $108 ah stock, barrels and bottles and spoke how his first batch of Black Wine was ah dismal failure and ah heavy loss too, he cried like ah child when his brew turned out to be Vinegar. He confided dat he acquired his taste foh fine wines when he was an Acolyte; he and Abdon De Freitas were delegated by Fr. Charles Verbeke with de responsibility of securing de communion wine, and like every teenager would ah do, dey uses to sample every bottle, but when dey over sampled dey would tap up de bottle wid Holy Water and Father Charles, none de wiser, uses to complain dat he might have to change de name brand to ah stronger brand. Ah ULP faithful to his death, he was ah political animal, like dat runs in de Gonsalves, and when he wanted to cuss de NDP he would phone me and give dem and me hell!

But Uncle Freddy has done his country ah great service wid his Black Wine, his product has taken its rightful place among other Wines on de shelves in de Caribbean, de USA and Canada. Come dis Sunday when ah get home from Church ah will miss de lickle note next to de phone dat says “Uncle Freddy say to give him ah call”. He was so full ah life, one never knows ah might just get ah note from him in truth. Ah always wonder how Jesus turned water into wine, if there is any possibility dat dey might just have wine up in Heaven, maybe dey do, and dat is why dey sent foh Uncle Freddy. May he rest in peace.

And wid dat ah gone again.

One Love Bassy.