Freundel Stuart’s New S-Class Mercedes Ride

Submitted by Anthony Davis

PM Freundel Stuart has a brand new ride. Amid all the talk about austerity, Stuart is now driving around in a sleek S-Class Mercedes Benz, fresh out of Simpson Motors showroom at Warrens. “The S-Class is said to be valued at $350,000 duty free or over $700,000 inclusive of duties.”Barbados Today June 2, 2017

Public servants in this country haven’t seen a pay rise in years, and other people are struggling with a tax burden which comes to 29.5% come July, but there’s enough money to spend on a luxury vehicle for his majesty.

Now the Minister of Sport and Culture, Stephen Lashley says “give us more time,” adding that the past eight years has been a relatively short space of time.

Pray tell me, Mr. Minister, where did you  get the idea that 8 years is a short period of time?

Furthermore, from 2008 to 2017 makes it nine LONG, HARSH years for the one horse which you’ve been burdening with more and more taxes every year.

You probably thought about the pony express riders during the wild West Times, not knowing that the riders didn’t flog the same horse from town to town, but collected fresh mounts along the way from what were called Way Stations.

This horse has been ridden by the same 16 persons from 2008 to this day.

What do you need more time for?

For the tax collector to find some new tax to drop on the back of this horse, or increase its load by raising some tax which is already in place?

Either way, the horse has become scrawny from lack of proper care.

Purchasing a new Mercedes is typical of the condescending attitude taken by this Government.

People in this country are starving, some must cut back on what is considered healthy food.

I overheard one old lady tell the other just a week ago that she used to be able to buy fish four times a week, but could only afford it twice a week now. I wonder how often she’ll be able to purchase it after July 1.

But you want more time!

Some items were taken off the formulary, so one pensioner said he had to pay  $100 for one type of his medication. After July 1 he’ll probably have to pay between $130 and $140.

Many people are either walking to or from work to save money.

How much can they save as of July 1?

The Transport Board’s service has gone down the drain, but you have no money for buses, but enough to buy a spanking new Mercedes Benz S-Class, yet you want us “to give you more time”.

Nurses at the QEH recently hadn’t been paid for months, and when they went to check why not they were sent from one person to the other, each claiming not to be responsible, but you are “entitled” to get back your 10% after 16 months, and you are taking it.

If the nurses were to demand what’s by rights theirs, you would want to fire them.

They can’t get transportation at correct times to get to/from work, but you can put all kinds of taxes on them knowing full well that they are among those who pay your bills, salaries and taxes, because they have to pay taxes.

How can you expect people to be productive when they can’t get to work?

Unlike you, they can’t stay at home whenever they like, because the few cents they are receiving will become fewer still.

The QEH used to be a bastion of health care in the Caribbean, but all one keeps hearing now are negative comments about it.

Every time one looks around there’s a new kid on the block when it comes to the number of vagrants in Bridgetown.

I wonder how come.

Yet we should give you more time.

As per usual you’re trying to lay the blame for the state of the economy at someone else’s feet.

All of a sudden you took over the debt of the BLP.

As far as I recollect, the BLP left millions of dollars in the Treasury.

What did you do with all that money, Mr. Minister of Sport?

You seem to be a sporty minister, because I had to rub my eyes a number of times in order to make sure that what I was reading as a headline wasn’t a dream.

I could do nothing but laugh when my senses confirmed that you were actually asking for “more time”.

Not one of YOU had the audacity to stand up to the tax collector and say: Enough is enough, but you have to come to us with nothing more than codswallop asking for more time.

“Time and tide wait for no man”!

You have always had a condescending attitude towards the populace of this country.

How many more Mercedes Benz S-Class do you want to purchase?

How many more sweetheart deals a la Sandals do you want to sign?

Does that hotel pay any taxes?

I note it has its own dive boat, and tour bus making sure that every cent which those who stay at the hotel spend doesn’t go to any locals.

And you want “more time”?

Methinks not!

As Shakespeare would say: The additional 8% on the SRL was the unkindest cut of all.

If, as you say,you “came to office in 2008 at the height of a very serious and challenging global recession”, why did you campaign to have a second term, seeing that things were so difficult?

You ran the horse to ground without giving it a chance to be properly fed and groomed, so the horse can’t carry your extravagant burden any longer.

You tore down every safety net which was put there for the poor, the needy and the vulnerable, yet you want more time!

You tore down everything! From tertiary education to health care, to welfare, to transport, and you have done nothing for the environment!

You’ve given the banks permission to defraud us by paying the least interest in the world, and they’re using it to their fullest advantage. No wonder the small businesses are not doing so well!

Can you imagine interest of one cent?

What shall we do with one cent? It can’t even buy a mint!

Yet you want more time?

It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.” – George Washington