Perks of unequal sacrifice

Express EditorialIN engaging in counter-accusations and whataboutisms, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley is missing the point of the public’s annoyance over ministerial tax exemptions.

On the principle that two wrongs don’t make a right, his Government does not get a free pass from public criticism just because former ministers in the Kamla Persad-Bissessar administration are accused of various acts of corruption. The two are separate and one does not justify the other.

In citing an editorial written by this newspaper last October, Dr Rowley took issue with the fact that we have not been calling out opposition figures who are facing numerous matters in court.
Full Article :

16 thoughts on “Perks of unequal sacrifice”

  1. The PNM with machismo Dr. Rowley at the helm was voted in two elections to end corruption and make TnT the envy of the world. Six years later the dream has turned into a nightmare.

    If the UNC engaged in corruption the PNM is suppose to learn and do better. Instead of blaming the other or seeking justification from the other.

    The poor tax payer has endure much. With gas price increased 3x and set to go up some more. VAT increased, and a slew of tax measures. Why don’t Dr. Rowley cite the none increase of taxes under the UNC. Because Kamla cared. He must care even more.

  2. Has the express metastasized into an ethno-political enclave? Is this the latest red herring to beat the PNM over the head with?…really? Desperation?…a cry for help? Ministerial Tax exemptions are now a national problem? These are the known perks of government ministers…or is it only for when “hindu”, indian governments are in office and purchasing range rovers? The express did not seem to give a damn about these types of issues and MUCH MUCH worse for 5 years and 3 months (2010-2015), but NOW, with a “different” face in the prime ministerial seat, they all of a sudden, “have mout” to talk DOWN to the current PM and administration as if they are children? Is the hope that Kamla and the UNC can return to office and whoever writes these “editorials”, along with fazeer et al, will get “journalism” of the year awards?
    I don’t give a damn about current ministers perks concerning vehicles! Hold Kamla and the UNC accountable for their destructive, fiscally irresponsible governance (to put it mildly), and build some credibility! we’re waiting! The game and hussle is up!There’s no movement forward without across the board accountability! Trinidad only has been reduced to four “estates” post 1995-2002! Trinidad’s 22nd century media ? :

    Indian media
    Indian media
    Indian media
    “Mixed” media
    Indian media
    Indian media

    “Any black government, POUND dem til’ dey leave!
    Cro Cro – ‘Compare and Contrast’

    We will NEVER FORGET the crass racism, the hateful denigration, the degrading disrespect, and the incestuous role the indian and non-african controlled media played 2010-2015!

    1. Any media outlet that disagrees with the Ghanaian descendant Chief Rowley is treated with high scorn and ridicule by the tribalist on this board.
      All the pro PNM media was doing was to remind the PM to do better. Tax payers are footing many of the bills with this out of touch regime. Which is the role of the media.

      Look at this tribalist and note carefully how he blames Kamla for the horrible mess this nation is currently in “I don’t give a damn about current ministers perks concerning vehicles! Hold Kamla and the UNC accountable for their destructive,…” Inconvenient like all tribalist is an avowed racist, and it come out of him like someone who recently took “Siene and salt”.

      In the words of another tribalist Birdie McClean “What it should do to become a credible newspaper is to give a balanced view of things. Don’t just give a one-sided, anti-PNM, anti-black view of things; allow some views on the other side to be presented.”
      Again the Ghanaian agenda of national domination in Africana psychosis is manifested here. McClean alleges (1) the express is not a credible newspaper, (2) its views are not balanced, (3) it is one-sided, (4) anti-PNM, (5) anti-blackview….

      Here the thread of corruption flows from Trinidad to Ghana
      It is alleged that the $90 million fake oil (AVS) money made its way into Ghana bank to avoid suspicion. Le Hunte brought in by Rowley from Ghana, being in the banking industry there, is part of the players in this scandal of the century. As Dr. Rowley said the PNM does keep each other secrets. The always dim witted AG who have loss over 30 cases and spend million in legal cost of tax payers money made sure that AV got away from any persecution. Same as the billion dollar Malcolm Jones scandal.

      The tribalist gets very angry and emotional when the PM mischief is the subject of interrogation.

        1. I know Mr. Baksh as a boy and I also know the connections to the PNM. There is a thread that has been broken to avoid media scrutiny. Mr. Manning was a good friend of one of the contractors working in the oil fields, but that is all I am going to say on that.

          When Panday daughter got some money to help her through her education in London from Duprey, the astute AG at helm Mr. RLM activated MI5 sending them information on the troubling situation. Insp. Virgil was sent to London to further the investigation. $5 million (a paltry sum) was found in a bank account…. It cost the silver fox the election.
          Enter the skillful Rowley whose cousin name was found on a cheque(Inconvenient it gets better) coming from AV. The money found it’s way into an account in Maimi (Calder Hart hideout location ). Then was wired to London and then to Rowley tribal homeland Ghana. How much Inconvenient?Much more that $5 million. But who knows about it and whose banker friends works in the banks in Ghana? Yes inconvenient the ole mamoo brighter than a 100 watt light bulb. I am sure your know that by now.

          1. Lol… Mamoo.. Firstly, is Miami the hideout of ONLY Calder Hart? Are you serious? Secondly, you have not been paying attention, so read carefully… If it is as you say, despite you being the habitual liar you are, I hope it’s 1 TRILLION that ends up in ghana!

            After the scandals you mentioned and more, Panday did not lose the indian vote!

  3. National Awards 2011 | Trinidad and Tobago Government News

    Sooo…. Helen Bhagwansingh, Anthony Sabga and Zalayhar Hassanali are equivalent to ULRIC CROSS?

    Trinidad and Tobago Air Guard – Squadron Leader Ulric Cross (Retired)

    Brenda Gopeesingh, Dianna Mahabir-Wyatt and Hazel Brown? An award created for them?

    First year in office….2011!

  4. Guardian Editorial: Politicians must walk the talk
    Unfortunately, Minister Young and other politicians now fervently arguing the issue may have completely missed the point. You see no one is begrudging politicians the right to enjoying the exemption afforded to them in the law. However, at a time when so many among us are facing unemployment, financial ruin, hunger, sickness and even death and amid a State of Emergency, the timing of these purchases only serve to expose the disdain our politicians generally hold for citizens.

    Newsday Editorial: Lead by example, Minister Young
    On Thursday, Energy Minister Stuart Young defended his new wheels – a million-dollar Mercedes Benz luxury vehicle, which comes with a tax exemption of a half-million dollars, which he is entitled to as part of his emoluments in public office. Last October, the Prime Minister said Cabinet is also considering capping exemptions on new vehicles for public office holders at $350,000, and the matter was before a sub-committee.

    Abdulah: PM has moral obligation to sacrifice
    “…you have a moral obligation Prime Minister and Members of Parliament to demonstrate that you are prepared to also make a sacrifice when hundreds of thousands of people are suffering and are without food.”

    UNC: Wrong time and place for new luxury vehicles using tax exemptions
    WHILE members of Parliament are entitled to tax exemptions, Opposition Senator Jayanti Lutchmedial said the United National Congress’ concern remains on any decision to take advantage of these concessions to purchase luxury vehicles during a global crisis.

  5. The Express is a partisan, anti-PNM, anti-labour, pro-business elite propaganda paper. It has no credibility. Recently it has been on a anti-PNM propaganda blitzkrieg in order to bring some relevance to the dying UNC and its irrelevant and incompetent leader. What it should do to become a credible newspaper is to give a balanced view of things. Don’t just give a one-sided, anti-PNM, anti-black view of things; allow some views on the other side to be presented. Try to get rid of the same old tired, boring anti-PNM journalists that have been around since time began it seems. The article is entitled, “Perks of unequal sacrifice” and it shows the usual, pro-business elite type of distraction from the real issue. Yes, some people are paying a high price, sacrificing a lot, have lost their jobs, have lost their little businesses during this Covid crisis. It has happened worldwide, to every country around the world. But while this has been happening, some have been profiting, some have gained, some have made no sacrifices. In an article on CBS news, it has been reported that the rich have been getting richer during the Covid crisis. “The world’s 2,365 billionaires enjoyed a $4 trillion boost to their wealth during the first year of the pandemic, increasing their fortunes by 54%, according to a new analysis by the Program on Inequality at the left-leaning Institute for Policy Studies. Between March 18, 2020, and March 18, 2021, the wealth held by the world’s billionaires jumped from $8.04 trillion to $12.39 trillion, according to the IPS’ analysis of data from Forbes, Bloomberg and Wealth-X…All told, the total wealth of the world’s billionaire class grew 54% during the pandemic year, IPS reported. The ballooning wealth among the world’s richest people is sparking calls for a “wealth tax,” or an additional tax that would be added on top of regular income and capital gains taxes.”
    In Trinidad and Tobago, there have been some businesses that have been raking in the profits during the crisis. People will tell you that prices have risen in those businesses that have remained open. They have made no sacrifice but have been raking in billions in profits. If we want to do something substantial about the unequal sacrifice, let them pay a Covid tax which will go to those who have lost their jobs and little businesses. We don’t need the distraction of pointing to red herrings. Get the real profiteers; get those who have raked in billions while contributing only a rise in prices. Put a Covid tax on the businesses that have raked in the billions in the Covid crisis and give that money to those who have made real sacrifices, those who have lost their jobs and their businesses.

  6. Since the 1980s, in T&T since 1986, we have been operating under a neoliberal ideology, let the market determine everything. The NAR, particularly with the encouragement of its Minister of Industry, Enterprise and Tourism it is alleged, Managing Director of the Express for many years, adopted the Washington Consensus, which did away with the Keynesian economics and substituted a free market oriented economics, along with that came a supply side ideology which stated in a nutshell – see about supply, demand will follow – the famous “trickle down” economics. What it has done is to increase inequity; it has made the rich richer and the poor poorer. The main instrument of supply side economics is the tax cut, the economy will prosper it claims, if we give tax cuts to businesses and the resulting increase in the profitability of business will trickle down to workers and the poor. It never did. What happened was that inequity increased, big business got richer, workers got poorer. If we give tax cuts to big business we hope that that money is used in expanding the business, hence more hiring and better wages. But you are focusing on the supply side, what happens to the demand side? If wages don’t go up, (and why should they, that just cuts into the profit margins), then where is the increase in demand. And if we cut off social services (as a free market economy tells us to do) where is the demand to come from? And if the demand is not there, why should big businesses invest in expanding? So if you give the billionaires more money through tax cuts, where is that money going to go? Traveling in space? When you give workers more money obviously that is going to go in the necessities, in food, etc. They are living on the margins. So demand goes up and supply will follow. So that is the problem with supply side and the advantage of demand side economics. In America, which has been a champion of supply side economics, a champion of tax cuts to the rich, has realized that supply side economics is not working, that the rich are getting richer and the poor poorer, so the new administration is trying to deal with that issue. It’s spending big, trillions it hopes, on infrastructure as a return to the old Keynesian economics. The Covid crisis has made such changes in economic ideology more urgent, the population is calling for those changes. There is resistance however from the economic elites. Here in T&T we are faced with the same challenges, exacerbated by the Covid crisis. In the 1980s, we moved away from Keynesian economics to follow what was happening in America under the Reagan revolution; that is a transition to neoliberal, supply side economics. Now in the 2020s, we will need to follow what is happening in America under an administration that realizes the failures of supply side economics. That is how America is dealing with the Covid crisis in economics, a new “new deal”. And perhaps instead of the usual distraction which big business uses in T&T, i.e. blame the government for everything; what we need to do is conceptualize a new “new deal” for T&T. Reconceive the failed neoliberal, supply side economics. A Covid tax on those big businesses which have been profiting in the Covid crisis, using the tax money collected to help those who have lost their jobs and incomes during the Covid crisis, is one way to start. That would be a real way to help rather than the usual distraction that economic elites and their bought out media hacks always use. Tax the businesses that have been profiting during the Covid crisis and use that money to help those who have suffered by losing their jobs and small businesses during the crisis. Let everybody sacrifice, not just some. The Express is up to its old neoliberal tricks, distracting from the real perks of unequal sacrifice while it covers the naked anatomy of big business. Let those who have been profiting from the Covid crisis give to those who have been suffering from it. Stands to reason.

  7. The racist stream of consciousness flowing from many bloggers on this site is becoming a raging tsunami which is destroying all logical thought in its wake.
    This express editorial was simply stating that the PM and his band of intellectually deprived sycophants were once again rationalizing their unethical, foul actions by claiming that, “the UNC did it too”.
    “Blame the UNC” has become the trademark of this present government. When are they going to take responsibility for their own shortcomings? The UNC was in government some six years ago and their entire time in power since Independence is miniscule compared to the lengthy stewardship of the PNM.
    If the UNC “did it”, does it make it right for you to do it? “They thief, so we could thief. They were involved in procurement bobol, so what if a few of our ministers get catch? Or better still; let’s make all procurement agreements nondisclosure documents.
    Even more aggravating is an uncouth Prime Minister, devoid of any civilized communication skills who defends unethical behavior by savagely attacking the Media and anyone who stands in his way from Parliamentarian to dog catcher.

    1. “The racist stream of consciousness flowing from many bloggers on this site is becoming a raging Tsunami which is destroying all logical thought in it’s wake.” – Tman (Siewdath)

      “Even more aggravating is an an uncouth Prime Minister, devoid of any civilized communication skills…” – Tman (Siewdath)

      “devoid of any civilized communication skills”

      Traslation: To brahmin-ist “Hindu” indians like Siewdath (Tman), being dark skinned (especially african) = Uncouth, devoid of any civilized communication skills. This is Tman’s ancestral ethos and culture for 2,500 years! Tman’s “aggravation” didn’t even tickle him during 2010-2015! However, the mere SIGHT of an dark skinned african in prime ministerial office AGGRAVATES him!

      “Hush yuh stink mouth” by “rudy” didn’t even strike Tman as “Uncouth” and “devoid of any civilized communication skills” , but BLACK SKIN & AFRICAN does!

      The racist indian political hussle that has been playing out in the media post UNC/COP/PP’s democratic ejection from office 2015, is the same as post UNC/COP/PP’s democratic ejection from office 2002. The hussle is to support their band of racist marauders’ every action with hooray while they enrich themselves and their ethnic group, and the indian managed media ignores what they are doing for the entire term of office, while simultaneously highlighting every scandal of the african supported opposition. Then, when the indian party is in opposition, they reverse the strategy to focus on MANUFACTURING scandals of the african supported government, while trivializing and ignoring the outrageous scandals and harmful actions that the now indian opposition party did with impunity while in office, aided by the indian media’s complicity and brazen support. Indian media are not proffesionals, they are religious “devotees” and RACE SOLDIERS!

      This is the true face of indian media and indian politics!

      A rare case of public honesty and understated at that!

  8. Seems like everybody is calling each other “racist” in a tirade of ideological “I am right and you are wrong” attitudes. We are loosing it!!!! The cradle of democracy, The United States of America is currently lost in a battle of ideology that has nothing to do with morality, democracy, respect, law and understanding.
    If you support Donald Trump, you naturally see a government that was “taken away” from you by cheating and an “unfair election”. If you are a white christian, you see Trump as the savior. If you support Trump President Biden “did not win the election, it was stolen from Trump”. We are in the same khaki pants here in Trinidad. If you are UNC Kamla can do no wrong.
    Rowley is the devil. The PNM is racist. There is no rationale emanating from the PNM government. On the other hand, talk, talk, talk and no rationality CANNOT substitute for rationality, morality and truth. Maybe, just maybe, we should all take a deep breath and go back to what we know to be moral, ethical and true to make our judgements. I know we live a political vacuum and it is heated where everybody want to stand their ground, but the question is, where do we go from here???????????????????

    1. The problem, kian, is that after that “Deep Breath” you suggested, “we” will inevitably be divided by morals and values that “we” do not share! Do not take chain up from ralphie, the “hindu” nationalist…judeo-christian morality and brahmin-ist (“hindu”) ethics are oil and water and vastlt different, which is precisely why most indians do not see the UNC or Sat as racist and corrupt.
      Brahmins and higher varna (“upper castes”) are exempt from wrongdoing and INHERENTLY “good”. The morality and ethics of brahmin-ism, is quite literally “different strokes for different folks”…. All men, women and races, are NOT considered equal or HUMAN in the eyes of their creator and gods, and are subject to different rules and entitlements, or lackthereof.

      This is the brahmin-ist (“hindu”) legal text “Manu Smirti” . The codification of brahmin-ist (“hindu”) morals and ethics into laws akin to the ten commandments only in terms of their purpose; will of god or gods be clear and understood

      Manusmirti (The Laws of Manu)

      1. While we are products of our environment and culture, it is innate within us to differentiate “good” from “bad” and “right” from “wrong”. Indoctrination either numbs or increases our senses to any given event or subject. Within the hindu indoctrination is strongly based on “where they belong” as opposed to what the creator intended. This also differentiates christianity from hinduism. Because christianity focuses on behavior while hinduism concentrates on whether you are true to where its teachings place you in terms of its hierarchal standing. It falls in line with my argument with Mamoo. While I see taxes and “good” for all of us, he sees it as evil because the “government” is not a person
        (although represented by who they see in power). Therefore, stealing from the government is no big deal. This attitude plays out in our basic instincts.

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