Thursday, December 10, 2015

Time for pressure groups to face the wrath of the Public

The atrocious behavior of self interest above the national interest was clearly evident in the various statements issued by respective groups on the recent budget. It was clear that they were quite deaf to the purpose of the budget, and when entitlements were removed, were shouting for them to be replaced and even improved upon.

It is this simple reason of pampering to the masses and pressure groups, that prevents a HOLISTIC approach to the preparation of the budget, and the sea change in attitudes needed for a cultural shift, is hard for those without an ounce of dignity to concur with.

Let us start with the Parliamentarians first, as they are the public servants who should put Country before self and did the opposite when it came to their Car Permits being taken away! Then Doctors and Public Servants made the same selfish case and took steps to strike.

It was a bright light when the public expressed their disgust at the Doctors strike and now they have LOST a permanent goodwill of the people, and are now known to be “scavengers of people’s misery”. This has suddenly put the GMOA, one of the most powerful, and least concerned about the Hippocratic Oath, on the defensive and people will now no longer support them, and will make it easier for the Govt. to tax, charge or in some other way obtain the cost of their education returned in future, when education policy is realigned to represent the interests of the Country.

It is incumbent upon the media to point out anomalous situations in the public interest such as these and garner public support to shame and take steps to remove the Holy Grail of benefits that penalize the Country, for the benefit of a few. It is vital that the next step is going to be how we treat tax payers.

Sri Lanka has a culture, where those who are not taxpayers, seem to be very smug about it, and like to even boast about it. Now it should be the other way, to find that people should put tax payers on a pedestal to make people proud of being a tax payer. This must be a badge of honor, and so we must all strive to be tax payers as the threshold has now increased to Rs2.5M before which tax is payable.

If the Lawyers, Doctors, Hardware Merchants, Tuition Masters, and Traders start paying tax we can increase the miserable tax yield from direct taxes by at least double, and lessen the pressure of indirect taxes on the less well off for essentials that are taxed far too heavily.              

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