Sunday, April 17, 2005

Another Week, Same Story

So today is the day i am to be admitted to the hospital. I think i did mention that i am having surgery tomorrow morning. I am a little nervous, but i have been there twice before, the only difference is that the times before was at the hospital that my mom i KNEW that EVERYBODY was looking out for me. Anyways, i wont be able to blog for maybe two weeks....but thats nothing new huh? Tennis will aslo get killed for at least three months...i hope the little skill doesn't take a sabbatical!!!

Did i finish all the stuff i was to do at work? OF COURSE NOT! I actually still have work with me now....i am gonna try and do some and then drop it off later for completion by others......well I tried!!!

The budget was read by the finance minister this week...they raised taxes!!! Our general consumption tax (GCT) was raised by 1.5% to 16.5%. This is a tax applied to most goods and services and was originally supposed to replace income taxes. At the time of its inception, and it was 10% then, income tax was reduced from 33% to 25% , but this has not been reduced since. Now I am all for upping GCT to about 20% AND reducing the income tax to about 10 - 15%, because afterall with GCT the impetus is on you whether to spend or not, while with the income tax we have no choice. Plus the GCT nets a wider range of people than the income tax, cause alot of people do not file taxes. Only the relatively few people who are on the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system, where the employer takes it out of your salary before it even gets to you, are burdened with this tax. Let me add that they did up the threshold for income taxes, meaning that a greater number of people in the lowest income brackets will not have to pay any income tax. This benefits everyone because people in the higher income brackets do not pay taxes on the threshold amount. Of course for me, that probably means an extra $100 a month (insert eye rolling smile here!!!). Whew...that was a mouthful.....

Someone in the public eye, can't remember who, made the statement " There can be no peace without justice." A very profound statement that embodies day to day life in Jamaica. There is certainly no peace here. A young man, witness some years before to his mother's and step father's murder, was executed at one of our busiest intersections at the busiest time of the day - 8 am. He was travelling in the back seat of a cab and was shot three times when it stopped at a traffic light jut metres from where i work. Two men on a bike rode up behind the cab, one man got off, walked up to the cab, and shot the man through the rear windscreen. Strangely enough the police held the two men sometime later, and then eventually had to release them due to lack of evidence. I for one hope they turn up dead somewhere.

Elsewhere, on this same day, a peaceful by-election was taking place in the Jamaica Labour Party stronghold of West Kingston. I dont think there was one report of violence in this election which was of course won by the JLP in a landslide.

Remeber that police/army operation in Spanish Town, well not one weapon was found, a few people were detained however, lets see what comes of that. Another area was put under curfew after completion of that first operation. I hope the police have better luck? here.

I think this may have been my longest post to date. I am actually tired....i have to go...and I will see you all again soon.


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