Can the Chris Brown tax break be converted to a tax break for ordinary Guyanese?

Dear Editor,
Prior to the cancellation of the Chris Brown show, the Minister of Tourism, Mr Ifraan Ali held a joint press conference with Hits and Jams, the promoters of the show and informed the public about how the Christmas package, which was apparently centred around this mega show, would be of tremendous value to the local economy. The Minister, in much excitement, related how the government would provide tax breaks for Chris Brown and other artistes associated with this supposedly mega Christmas season affair. We have since learnt that there is a cancellation of this mega-show.

I have paid keen attention to the local news since then but have not seen the Minister speak to the people of the possible disadvantages which would follow as a result of the cancellation of the show. Just as he boasted of the possible economic gains he claims the show would have brought, he also has a responsibility to report to the people about the specific economic loss expected as a result of the no-show. This for me speaks to real accountability and respect for the people.

I do not believe that anyone took Minister Ali seriously when he boasted of this major tourism boost and economic upturn that the Chris Brown show would have caused; what we saw was him engaging in the usual PPP/C propaganda charade. We understand clearly where the monies from these shows might end up, and how the expenses will be documented. The last Carifesta was more than four years ago and to date there appears to be no clear-cut accounting, and the economic and cultural benefits derived have not been itemized or described.

Since the Minister and the government seem to be able to calculate the intrinsic value to be had from granting tax breaks to these international artistes and promoters, they must be able to calculate the tremendous economic, social, psychological and moral value a nation gains when the majority of its people are respected by their leaders and are able to experience some economic comfort, even if it is just for a period. I would therefore find it incomprehensible if the government fails to accept that VAT has been more than a burden to ordinary Guyanese. In fact, many of the last campaign speeches by the then candidate, now President Donald Ramotar, pointed to an understanding of that fact. I believe that it is only fitting then, that the people get a tax break from VAT, especially during this festive season. It is no secret that many of our people, during this season, receive their largest barrels from relatives or friends overseas. These are not merely goodies or indulgences but in most instances are necessities for the family, necessities which they cannot afford all year round. However, too often many of those families can hardly find the money to pay to retrieve their barrels or boxes, due largely to the high cost attached. In the circumstances, then, one would expect a caring, understanding and sensitive government with a conscience to be mindful of this situation and render some relief to its people. We might not be an international artiste or promoter who easily gains their favour, but at least we are people who also deserve to live. Can the Chris Brown tax break be converted to a tax break for ordinary Guyanese?
Yours faithfully,
Lurlene Nestor

Latest in Letters

default placeholder

The city council would need revenue to deal with vagrants

Dear Editor, Please refer to a letter which appeared in the Monday, June 27, edition of your newspaper captioned ‘City Hall should forget parking meters and build homes for vagrants and beggars’.

default placeholder

Dangerous demagoguery won in a European country again

Dear Editor, United Kingdom (UK) Prime Minister David Cameron lost his job, after losing the UK referendum to leave or remain (the Brexit vote) in the European Union (EU).

default placeholder

Part of northbound lane of East Bank road deteriorating

Dear Editor, I would like to draw to the public’s attention the rapid deterioration of the northbound lanes of the recently constructed Section 2 on the East Bank Demerara Road.

default placeholder

Ogunseye should get Dr Thomas’s version

Dear Editor Based on a conversation I had had with Dr Clive Thomas after the 1992 elections, I asked Mr Tacuma Ogunseye to check his facts directly with Dr Thomas (‘Mr Ogunseye should get the facts from Dr Thomas,’ SN, June 23).

default placeholder

Guidelines for hiring teaching heads of department are archaic

Dear Editor, I note with worry and also much anger the replies of GTU President Mark Lyte and Mr George Cave in the print media recently regarding my letters in the press which highlighted the actions against dozens of teachers in the High Court, especially as they relate to my own preliminary promotion to Head of the English Department.

default placeholder

West Indies should be allowed to take part in Champions trophy

Dear Editor, Decisions have been overturned by those who made them on much more significant issues than which teams are excluded from a particular international sporting event or series of events.

default placeholder

The party is over

Dear Editor, With reference to the headline, ‘Cases being built against drug kingpins -US embassy official’ (SN, June 26),  this is the second instance in approximately two weeks that the US government, through a very high level representative, has showed its hand. 

default placeholder

‘I have never defended the PPP – only its right to govern’

Dear Editor, In his riposte titled ‘Cheddi Jagan withdrew the offer of a ministerial post to Clive Thomas’ (SN, Jun 22), Tacuma Ogunseye falsely attacked me. 


About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: