Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 24th 2017 Contents viewpoint A23
Monday, April 24, 2017 guardian.co.tt
What a dumb recommendation
Did I get it right? The National
Primary School Principals Associa-
tion (NPSPA) has recommended a
shorter school day as its strategy to
reduce injury and indiscipline among
students at school. And both Minister
Garcia and his deputy Dr Francis re-
gard this as “one which merits great
Using the same logic, wouldn’t it
be worthy of “great consideration” to
close down all schools and thereby
not only reducing injury and indisci-
pline among students but getting rid
of the problem once and for all? What
a dumb recommendation wherever it
And while I on that subject, I had
been a primary school teacher for 20
years and this is the first time I am
hearing that the lunch break is “teach-
ers’ time.” As far as I can recall, a
teacher and principal are on duty from
the time they sign that register on a
morning until they exit the school on
evenings. What has happened to that
concept of “child-centred education?”
Some places have stopped using
Styrofoam as their food contain-
ers almost 20 years ago. We copy
everything American, why not this?
Styrofoam originated in the 1970’s.
Its usage raises serious health and
environmental concerns. It is made
with a greenhouse gas that depletes
the ozone shield in the sky. The man-
ufacturing process generates copious
amounts of solid and liquid waste.
However, it is cheap and conven-
ient. It is used for cups, plates, egg
crates and meat trays.
When used as food containers, it
leeches or drains styrene into food.
Styrene is a synthetic chemical used
in plastic manufacture. Foam cups
lose weight during use implying sty-
rene is ingested by the consumer.
Volatile (easily evaporated at room
temperature) styrene has been de-
tected in eggshells after eggs were
stored in polystyrene containers.
Styrene has been detected in human
tissue and nursing milk.
Long term exposure can bring
about fatigue, nervousness, sleeping
difficulties, low platelet and haemo-
globin values and increase in carcino-
gens (cancer causing chemicals).
Do not microwave food in Styro-
foam containers as because of the
heating and cooling process Styro-
foam breaks down with all sorts of
toxins entering the food.
Styrofoam is not biodegradable. It
is a huge component in marine de-
bris. It is buoyant so it floats around
on the water indefinitely. A hideous,
unnecessary, perpetual eyesore that’s
terrible for the environment.
Styrofoam is recyclable. Bring your
own containers to restaurants. My
brother, Persad, has been doing this
Do not use Styrofoam peanuts to
package things. Avoid BPA-Bisphenol
A, a chemical used in food and bever-
age containers. My Naps chemistry
master must be so proud.
It is used in baby and water bottles.
It can also be utilised in CD’s, safety
equipment and beverage cans.
The verdict is clear, Styro must go.
That is the case for the prosecu-
Frightening voters into a corner
It worked for the Congress of the
People (COP) in 2010 but can it work
once more in 2020? It is only in Third
World T&T that the payment of prop-
erty tax is used as a political football
and not a reality of an educated life
style. First World status is out of our
reach if we continue to live life at the
level of a corner parlour rather than a
Do we as a people have the ambi-
tion for champagne and caviar or do
we feel content with a red solo, hops
bread and some sugar cake?
Simple minds are content with
living simply. It is the reason the COP,
as a political party, is unable to be
anything else but a third wheel. They
appear to believe that ownership
of a parlour is the height of political
achievement. How many of us are
willing to walk down that road of
ignorance as to what is expected of
citizens in a well governed first world
society? We go abroad, live in an
environment that is clean, well policed
and with well maintained public build-
ings and pretend not to know that
excellent maintenance is paid for from
the tax on property?
The reason that crime is rampant
in T&T is because too many of us fool
ourselves that we are sophisticated,
educated and intelligent. Mentally,
all we crave is our own little corner
parlours situated under our own little
house. No overheads. Just making
enough money to show off. When
it rains fiscal problems we bring the
chairs inside and when it stops we
put them back out.
I would like to believe that we are
now educated enough to realise that
one cannot escape the importance,
the very necessity of paying taxes
based on property.
Just the act of living is a sacrifice to
the greater good.
Middle and lower class
shall bear the tax
Almost every reader will agree
that one’s home is an extension of
its occupant’s personality and indeed
the lack of one could negatively affect
any person’s well being. As we always
say, a man’s home is his castle. In fact,
a good gauge of a community’s desir-
ability is reflected in the quality and
standard of the houses therein.
While I agree with some form of
nominal property taxes, the inflicting
of punitive taxation on all homes is an
attack on the freedom and enjoyment
of personal property. This is a fiscal
policy where self reliance and prop-
erty pride are penalised to encourage
state dependence and lacklustre, me-
diocre, Third World accommodation.
Reduction in government’s wanton
spending and the curtailing of waste-
ful projects and penalising officials for
costly mistakes will obviate the need
for much of the $500 million estimat-
ed harvest from the property tax.
I am therefore in no mood to en-
hance my property in any way and in
fact may have it run down to lessen
my liability. Ugly homes reflect an
ugly country. I can also assure all
citizens that this tax will be passed
on to the lower and middle classes
with a pernicious multiplier effect. Do
you know that super grade housing
where rent is collected in US$ are
Future generations are robbed via
depletion of the H&S Fund and the
current generation is being brutalised
via taxation. I hope the next adminis-
tration is kinder.
Listen to the groundswell Mr Minis-
ter, when the cost effect hits in a year
or so, they shall riot all the way home.
Reduction in government's
wanton spending and the
curtailing of wasteful projects
and penalising officials for
costly mistakes will obviate
the need for much of the $500
million estimated harvest from
the property tax.
Unknown woman, referred to as La Dama, stands down an armoured
vehicle amid protests on the streets of Caracas, last Wednesday. The
image is reminiscent of the man who stood before a row of tanks in 1989
in China’s Tiananmen Square.
Links Archive April 23rd 2017 April 25th 2017 Navigation Previous Page Next Page