2k9 should bring positive changes
I would like to extend to you and your staff and all the readers, a very good New Year. Let us hope that all of our politicians can deliver to us, the people, a New Year full of hope through a virtual reformation of our government system. It is long overdue.
But not only the government services need reformation-we ourselves need to examine the way we live and the way we think in terms of our environment, our community and our neighbours.
We cannot continue to litter our environment with plastics, foam and other harmful trash if we want a better Guyana.
Go check our seawall and see all the trash, or check our drains and alleyways; we cannot better our communities when there is no real cohesion among the people to tackle problems together because you really can’t depend on this government.
Stray dogs and other animals roaming around our communities, beggars bothering hard working citizens, crazy persons roaming the streets, men urinating in public in front of our wives and children, minibuses overladen and speeding, leading to carnage on our roads.
We cannot be disrespectful to our neighbours and disturb their peace and quiet- noise. “Clubs” in residential areas should be curbed, garbage should not be burned to pollute your neighbour’s premises, animals should be confined and drains should be kept clean.
This government seems to think that taxing the people to the brink of poverty is the way to go in developing this economy.
The taxes on everything we buy(VAT, duty etc.) have passed the stage of being harmful to our lives, where it is now downright debilitating and affects all strata of society. What we need is tax reform urgently and the place to start is by bringing a flat tax (around 20%) on all imported items while scrapping the corrupt “duty free” designation (special businesses which now get duty free status should be required to pay a low 5% duty) and making all evaluations of imported items based on international pricing (E-Bay etc.), not on any local evaluations.
With a flat tax on all imported items, the VAT should be cancelled and a 5% sales tax be put in place; corporate taxes and personal income taxes should be lowered while taxes such as the 33% on the working poor should be lowered .
The banking system needs urgent reform. Interest rates are too high and even though there is great liquidity, the banks are not lending enough money for small business growth which will lead to many more jobs and an enlarged middle class and an all out attack on poverty. There are too many small businesses in Guyana which are not paying taxes and this is due mostly because the taxes are too high. Lower the taxes and more people will comply and pay their fair share.
Reformation of any system we have in place requires vision and an understanding of what it is that the ordinary people really want and what they want is change.
Change to see their taxes spent properly; change to see good governance and persons not qualified to lead stop being placed as square pegs in round holes ; change to see their legal rights upheld by efficient and quick serving courts; change to see more foreign investment and trade for better paying jobs and more money circulating ; change to see better water and electric services for their hard earned dollars; change to see no more flooding and better drainage for all communities; and most importantly, the regular folks want our politicians to come together and bring a real unity and cohesion to accomplish real changes, which we know will take time, but which will ultimately benefit our children, our most precious asset.
Cheddi (Joey) Jagan (Jr.)