Category Archives: Current Affairs

The 2016 Revenue Budget As I See It

edt-sun-1_1Our Finance Minister and the Jamaica Labour Party find themselves between a “Rock” and the IMF. That was the notion, as he (The Finance Minister) prepared to give a presentation on how his government will finance the 2016/2017 budget, in Gordon House Jamaica, on Monday May 12, 2016.  Clearly they need to comply with the restrictions of the IMF deal because they want to gain the credit the P.N.P. got for doing the same thing, (and, don’t forget, remain in power!) while, despite the current economic fragility, keep their “prosperity” promise  (and, don’t forget, remain in power!).  So what do they do?  They, “Phase it in” i.e. raise the Income Tax Threshold from $592,800.00 to 1 million dollars as of July 1, 2016 and then on April 1, 2017 to 1.5 million dollars.  What that does is put monies back into the pockets of all P.A.Y.E. workers; Jubilation! Celebration! Unprecedented!  But, through the back door they have sneaked in a new tax package. Did anybody notice?

In order for us to keep extra pocket money the government will give up approximately 12.5 billion dollars by increasing the tax threshold, and collect from the new tax/revenue approximately 13.5 billion dollars; wow! I’m not so much happy anymore.  In fairness to this government, since their last term in office, they have sought to operate “outside the box” wouldn’t you agree? Even in instituting new taxes. Give credit where it’s due, we never, saw this one coming. If one thinks about it, they all do the same; don’t they? It could be interpreted as putting a band aid with smiley face and bright colours over a sore. It just looks attractive but it doesn’t really cure the wound, it may become worse.

Mama P!  Mama P! She looked really tired, even battle worn, as she was being interviewed after the budget debate. But she’s a real champion of the poor; always speaks on behalf of the poor. She didn’t say much, but it was clear that she said the poor would suffer because of the new tax.  This seems to be very effective if one wants to be heard. When giving a sound bite, insert; “the poor!” or “children have to go to school!”  Example: someone would say; “We want justice; because the children have to go to school,” Or “We poor, so we have to hustle, and sell on the street, we don’t have anywhere else to go cause the children have to go to school”.  Have you ever heard it? The next time the news is on, and there is a demonstration, listen out for it.

Ultimately, it is the civil servants like me and most of you, who feel it hardest.  It is like climbing up a rope from a deep hole with only a couple of feet left to reach the top, and then someone pours oil to drench the rope; two steps forward five steps back. That popular Jamaican saying comes to mind.

Well, as we also say here in Jamaica; “A nine day wonda” Let’s just see.


The Total Lunar Eclipse

 

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Have a look at how the lunar eclipse unfolded in Jamaica at about 2:30 am Tuesday morning. I took these photos from my roof in Caymanas Gardens Portmore St. Catherine Jamaica. I was still a little dazed with sleep and almost got hurt while climbing to get on top of the roof, but it was rewarding at the end. Isn’t it something to behold?

Hope it’s as fascinating as I found it to be.

 


Kartel or Adidja Palmer, Who was on trial?

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The iconic dancehall figure Vybz Kartel also known as Adidja Palmer will learn of his fate in the Supreme Court downtown Kingston today. Last week’s sentencing was postponed after Justice Lennox Campbell and the lawyers agreed that certain guidelines regarding sentencing were not yet ironed out: this according to a Jamaica Observer report.

There are mixed views as to whether the self acclaimed world boss’ verdict was deserved, and there may be information as was exposed in the trial to support it. Regardless of the views however the Jamaican court system (which was also on trial) gave a guilty verdict. Therefore the world in hours or less will hear what his, along with the guilty co accused punishment shall be.

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While the world may be acquainted with Kybz Kartel very little is known of Mr. Adidja Palmer. This was the person at one point introduced to the court as a family man: a husband and father, the sole bread winner of his household and also seemingly a decent law abiding citizen (Ironically, it is said that he does not expose his children to his music). It appeared to be a ploy by his lawyers to shift the attention from the controversial dancehall personality so that it may not be the basis of judgment. This is also the view portrayed by some in sympathy against his verdict.

The argument though poses some questions: can we segregate the two? Is Mr. Palmer a separate individual from Vybz Kartel? Is he (Mr. Palmer) the innocent victim in this entire saga? If the answers to the above questions are no, then this argument is futile. Surely he (Kartel or Mr. Palmer) would not have been known except for the exploits on stage and in the media. So while he and his lawyers may reason that the image: Vybz Kartel, is the business; which is the entity providing a product or service in exchange for money, he is also the individual who resides in Jamaica, raise a family and conducts business. Note also he has a case to answer about perverting the course of justice relating to this same trial.

 


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