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The country has already been placed on red alert by many economic gurus on what we can expect in the 2020/2021 budget. Judging from talk around T&T and the present economic situation, it seems as if the citizenry will be called upon the pay more taxes in various forms.

I know that this will not be welcome by all, especially at this time in our country’s history. The big question is this: Can the entire population, with many of them seeing tough, tough times, afford this? While many are afraid to call the word “poverty,” there are thousands of our citizens living there, according to world standards. You may say, is this so in Trinidad and Tobago, this oil-rich country. Yes, it is real, just do some observing?

I do hope those who are responsible for the budget will also take into consideration all the factors, including the ability of many to pay more taxes or the increase in the cost of living. This increase will automatically take place if there is an increase in gas, this is a known fact. I do understand the need for revenue and from the cry of the Government, things are not as before with the COVID-19 adding to our worries. Despite this, the people must not be made to bear burdens that they cannot bear, there is only that much people can take.

I am again appealing with the Government and the Opposition to have dialogue and see if there are ways and means in raising additional revenue. You never know what can come out of useful dialogue, which I believe is needed urgently by both parties. After all, we are in this together, let it become a reality for the betterment of Trinidad and Tobago.

San Juan