In this time of glorious recession where the government is trying to cut back on spending as well as tax everything as a means of collecting some much needed revenue, I have realised that while the measures that they have to take are a bit stringent, and doesn’t mean that they are actually targeting the population, I still do feel as if we, the population always end up getting the really shitty end of the stick.
In the past, the country has been in crisis such as this and we have pulled ourselves out of it only to forget about it, spend money like there was no tomorrow, because suddenly we had so much revenue coming into the country that no one thought about the possibility of history repeating itself or any other risks that could have also manifested, while continuing to escalate budgets every single year since 2004. Needless to say, instead of our so-called leaders taking the extra monies and saving it, they sought it necessary to go on a much needed spending spree, benefiting themselves and their friends, family and interest holders and to hell with the rest of the population.
You see, when things were going really good, we the citizens did not benefit from it. We did not get any goodies or any monetary enhancements, save well for the introduction of GATE so that people who couldn’t afford tertiary education could now get the chance to further their studies. But apart from that, the citizens were no better off than when we had to weather the storm previous times in the past. Now that we are upon yet another recession, it is again, the citizens who are again feeling the pinch.
The last administrations wasted so much money it shudders to even think about it and the continuous lies that were fed to the population was a daily norm. Now that we have a new administration, they still see it fit to run a deficit budget despite the fact we are in a recession. Clearly I cannot understand because it is simple mathematics. If I am earning twenty dollars but I am spending forty, where is the extra twenty coming from? Obviously I cannot afford to spend forty if I am only earning twenty. I have to make do with my twenty and spend within my means.
Consequently the same thing has to apply the country’s budget. I usually wonder when people reach in higher positions if their brain suddenly takes flight and they do not remember these basic concepts. It is quite obvious that the country cannot spend more than it expects to earn and the Finance Minister really needs to re-evaluate the budget and cut accordingly. One suggestion is that since the price of oil is down, why don’t we remove the subsidy that we have on gas? Let Trinidadians feel the real effects of the market price when it comes to oil and then citizens can start to wake up and learn to use these scarce resources wisely.
In addition, this would lead hopefully to a reduction of cars on the nation’s streets since it is flooded with a million cars and the traffic is unbearable for such a small island. Not to mention that government agencies need to automate some of their services because I hate having to go to a government office to do anything because the staff is slow, lazy, and provide poor customer service just to name a few. That would free up having to go to their office personally and wait to be attended but that is a post for another time.
At the end of the day, with prices going up in the supermarket and the labour market not wanting to increase wages, I don’t know what it is the government really expects from citizens. It’s like dig out our eyes forever, regardless of whether the country is doing well or not. And again, I am not hearing any talks of diversification into anything else. So, in order not to dig out our eyes, ears, nose, lips and mouth, they should seek to have some kind of price control where food is concerned because not raising our wages and then raising the price of basic food items is definitely a killer.