Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 30th 2017 Contents viewpoint A25
Thursday, March 30, 2017 guardian.co.tt
Property Tax; what other option?
Property Tax did not come as a
thief in the night. We knew for the
longest while that it was there in the
making. It is now upon us and we sim-
ply cannot dodge the bullet. The fact
is that our Government needs to find
ways and means to pay the country's
expenditures. The oil price is really not
going anywhere at any rate presently,
so Property Tax to help the situation.
Let us face it, with the current state
of economy people will feel it now
that this extra money has to be put
out. For sure some will feel it more
than others, but it is what it is.
My main concern is that I do hope
that proper procedures will be imple-
mented so that the citizens will be
treated fairly. Please do not implement
with haste this Property Tax. Do all
that is necessary to avoid any hiccups
down the road.
I urge our politicians, while the bills
are growing, please consider the peo-
ple---they cannot be the ones always
to turn to. Our leaders need to create
other sources of revenue to run the
country. Dependency on oil and gas is
not paying off, as such other revenue
sources, beside citizens, need to be
Increase property tax by 300 per cent
Implementing the property tax as
suggested by the Finance Minister,
whether it is done through the rental
value or through the value of proper-
ties, would take considerable time to
implement throughout the country. It
means hiring hundreds of people, then
training them how to valuate a prop-
erty before they could venture out to
assess people's properties.
I would like to make a simple sug-
gestion to speed up the process for
the Government to implement, by
saying if in the year 2009, property
owners were paying $100 to $499 tax
a year, they would now pay 300 per
cent more which means they are now
paying $300 to $1497 a year. This ex-
ercise could be further used for those
owners who were paying a higher
annual tax in 2009. Their taxes could
now be increased by charging them at
a lower percentage rate.
Gerard Duval, Petit Valley.
Opening up of airways can help tourism
If our Government and the Tourist
Board encourage airlines from all
countries worldwide to travel weekly
to Trinidad and Tobago, this will be the
best advertising possible, as Tourists
are always looking for new destina-
tions to visit. Gone are days when
people have the time to spend in an
airport waiting for BWIA and CAL.
Give us a choice when travelling, and
give the whole world a choice also to
Naked Fifa officials
spotted in T&T!
Legendary children's story writer,
Hans Christian Anderson, once penned
a very funny story about a naked
Anderson wrote that because of
the shocking pride of the emperor and
because he knew that he was the law,
he went naked before his entire king-
dom and nobody dared to say a word.
Instead, they wildly applauded the
I am persuaded beyond the shadow
of a doubt that nobody in Trini red
was wildly applauding when the Fifa
officials at Tuesday's match vs Mexico
decided to go naked for all the world
to see. The off-side calls that they
made vs T&T players were clearly
Nobody expected T&T to really
try to go "toe to toe" with Concacaf
pound for pound heavyweights Mexi-
co, as local manager Dennis Lawrence
had said they would.
But amazingly they did and should
at least have had a share of the points
for their efforts!
Instead, those of us who are old
enough could only remember the sim-
ilar events that had transpired in Haiti
during another Fifa world cup quali-
fying tournament in 1973 when T&T
were scandalously denied going to the
world's premier football tournament
by some shocking refereeing.
Haiti I am sorry, but when I looked
at countless replays of Joevin Jones'
goal for T&T that would have put us
commandingly up 1-0 in the contest, I
cried out,"Haiti all over again!"
This was clearly a case of "ole time
business come back again" to haunt
T&T. I am not a conspiracy theorist so
I am not going to cry "conspiracy," but
all true totally Trinis must now cry foul
with one voice for all of the football
loving world to hear!
Holding my head
T&T versus Mexico. Like the Trini
fan who was shown holding his head
and literally bawling nearing the end
of the game against Mexico I, too, was
holding mine likewise!
To our newly minted coach who
was so passionate and animated
against Panama, what happened
against Mexico? And wasn't it you
who we all exalted in 2005 when you
scored with a header against Bahrain
at the very stadium to put us into the
2006 World Cup?
Which brings me to my point about
the loss against Mexico Tuesday night.
When last I checked (and do pardon
the sarcasm), the play is termed "a
corner kick" and not a "corner pass."
So why, given Kenwyn Jones' return
to form and his seemingly new found
passion under your coaching, wasn't
he given the opportunity with all
those corner kicks that we had, to try
to score with his huge presence?
Why the useless and ineffective
"corner passing" instead of "corner
kicks." Jones could have been given
those opportunities to become a hero
like you did, but instead we appeared
to take the easy way out by the use
of corner passing instead of creating
direct scoring opportunities like you
had in 2005.
I am still holding my head and bawl-
ing like that fan!
Hopefully we will find the winning
formula going forward like the Soca
Warriors of 2005.
I believe that in order to make true
change that can help the entire autism
community in our country we need
the government's involvement in the
form of public therapy to be made
available for our children and schools
which cater for their needs. I am quite
aware that this type of change will
require direct intervention by those in
authority who are capable of making
public special needs education and
therapy available with the stroke of
a pen---an agreement in cabinet. We,
the Autism Parents Association of
Trinidad and Tobago, have pushed and
will continue to push for this since we
believe it to be the solution. So what
happens in the meantime? What can
we do to truly help autism parents?
I will give my full support to any
venture that focuses on what can
be done to help parents and children
on the spectrum directly. I will give
my full support to any event/activity
that provides totally free services
for autism parents and their children
because what parents truly need in
very colloquial terms, is "a break."
Some respite for an autism parent is
an oasis in the middle of the desert.
Someone who can be their superhero
for a day and make things better, even
As Autism Awareness Month
approaches, I have some practical
examples about activities that could
directly help/benefit individuals on the
spectrum and their families:
1. If you wish to have a display of
services available for individuals with
autism (like an autism fair), instead
of commercialising the activity by
promoting businesses or make it look
like a PR event, get in touch with ther-
apists willing to donate their services
for free and give out a few vouchers
for free therapy sessions for children
on the spectrum.
2. If you wish to do something fun
for the children and/or the parents,
you can sponsor free restaurant out-
ings and movies. For a great number
of homebound parents, this is a luxury.
They could well benefit from a stress
3. If you are organising a workshop
that could benefit autism parents,
please ensure it is free so needy par-
ents can benefit. The reality is that the
big majority of autism parents locally
struggle financially and a lot of them
are also single parents. They struggle
to the point of taking bank loans in
order to afford private therapy and
private schooling for their children.
4. If you are planning an activity
that requires the lighting up of trees
and big buildings, why not use that
money instead on groceries and ham-
pers for some needy autism families
in desperate need of help? In this way,
you immediately have an impact on
their world in a meaningful practical
5. Organise free outings for chil-
dren/teens and adults with autism.
Please do not charge for this service;
it is already hard enough for teens and
adults who are aware of their strug-
gles to make it to the group, let alone
know their parents will have to pay to
access it. Remember, this could be one
of the few opportunities that many
individuals on the spectrum will have
to socialise with others.
6. Ask special needs teachers to
volunteer a few free teaching ses-
sions that could benefit children with
autism who do not go to school. A lot
of special needs teachers working in
the educational system, are not given
the opportunity to teach children with
special needs, this could be a great
opportunity for them as well.
One of the drums beaten during Au-
tism Month is "awareness." The ones
who need to be aware are the gov-
ernment, and in many regards they
are already aware but they feel that
NGOs like APATT help solve the issue
of autism in T&T. But they do not.
Awareness for most of the citizenry is
PR events surrounding tents, balloons
and lights. Autism is not a brand and
our children are not the poster boys/
girls. Commercialising autism, brand-
ing autism, does not pay for therapy
or create schools for our children. It
actually desensitises autism.
The key word for all the activities
I mentioned is free. Not because I
believe in a "gimme-gimme" approach
to things but because I believe this is
what a lot of parents truly need. If we
want to approach Autism Awareness
Month by making an impact on the
lives of autism families then why not
take a practical approach?
Autism parents and those on the
spectrum do not need your pity, they
need to know that someone like you
will give from your heart to help.
Please consider the six points above,
do it, and you will be touching the life
of an autism parent or child/adult on
the spectrum that needs to feel some-
one does care.
President Autism Parents Association
of Trinidad and Tobago (APATT)
Give us a break! Please
A homeless man comfortably sits in his tent to have a meal on Chacon Street, Port-of-Spain, recently.
PHOTO: NICOLE DRAYTON
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