16 Oct 2008

The mind reader in me

Yesterday, I pointed out that the Government will find some excuse to decline the offer of 200 free vehicles for the foreign (not-so) VIPs next year.

So said, so done.

And as I said, they are using (partly) the excuse of lost revenues from taxes.

"There are several things about that. We have to mitigate costs, they get the vehicles duty free. There is a cost to that in terms of revenues foregone, in terms of opportunity cost. At the same token it sets a precedent which we will need to look at. So that there may be hidden costs which we may not be aware of," Browne said.

So, so predictable.

Independent Senator Gail Merhair said the country would lose on tax revenue if the government agreed to the dealers' proposal to bring in the cars minus taxes and duties.

"We would be losing out on money and by extension, the people of Trinidad and Tobago would lose out," she told the Express in a telephone interview yesterday. "It would be like Government giving the car dealers a gift."

Hmm, I don't know the reasoning behind this tale. Of course we'd lose some revenue in taxes. Let's see, by doing the math:

1 luxury vehicle quoted yesterday at $750,000 times 200 = $150,000,000.

Take away 40% tax quoted yesterday = $60,000,000.

So the Government loses $60 millions in taxes.

Isn't that better than spending the better part of $500 millions on vehicles?

And by using the vehicles free, the Government saves another $90,000,000. Only an idiot the likes of a government minister or senator would fail to see this.