I read, with amazement, a recent media publication in which it was mentioned that it is true the ministers and/or certain leaders are exempted from paying taxes on luxury vehicles.
I also read that no man is above the law, and that everyone is subjected to the same due process.
However, here in Trinidad and Tobago, one seldom sees any judges, lawyers or doctors sent to jail for misconduct or malpractice.
Whether it is the Constitution or in some special amendment, the facts surrounding the exemption is yet to be spelled out clearly in media print.
Government ministers and Opposition senators continue to enjoy and use the so-called exemption law to take advantage of the ordinary taxpayers who continue to pay their salaries, food, travel, hotel, and many other perks for their positions.
I think if we are all citizens of Trinidad and Tobago, we should all have the same rights and privileges. In fact, then we should equate or level the playing field that both ministers and taxpayers should be on an equal footing.
This exemption issue should be revisited in Parliament for some sort of consideration to eliminate the existing provisions governing exemptions on the purchase of luxury vehicles.
There are other exemptions that have posed serious concerns, such as those related to the entry and exit of people desiring to come back home or departing for medical attention, but that exemption was violated on several occasions.
The PM’s daughter got an exemption, Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodríguez got an exemption, and the children of the Attorney General got exempted, but citizens begging to come home from abroad were not so fortunate.
It couldn’t be more clear that the policy or administering it equally to all our citizens is a fallacy.
And, to say the least, the citizens of the country are not stupid or ignorant. They are seeing clearly how exemption is being utilised for some and denied to others.
This is a classical example of double standards—one rule for the ministers and one for the citizens.