Sun | Jan 20, 2019

Tan abraad! No kom bak a yaad!

Published:Monday | October 20, 2014 | 12:00 AM

EDITOR, Sir: Something is not right with the current 'returning resident policy'. To qualify for this exalted status, at the time of intended return home, a Jamaican must have been living abroad for the past three consecutive years, however, many years before that, (s)he might have been domiciled abroad.

I just learned this to my chagrin and utter surprise. My problem as a Jamaican coming back home very soon to 'live, work and do business' in my homeland after being abroad for 10 years is that for two of those 10 years (2011-2013), I returned to work a two-year contract in Jamaica. So, in effect, those two years spent in my homeland have blighted my chances of the meagre benefits offered to a bona fide returning resident.

It gets worse for me [personally?], because even if I qualified, I could not expect any duty concessions on my 10-year-old Toyota Corolla motor car which is crucial in the rural pastorate that I am returning to serve in my homeland. Was it too much of a stretch of the creative imagination of the visionaries who crafted the returning resident document to have seen a motor car as a 'tool of trade' for a [rural] pastor?

In this regard, we can learn very progressive lessons from our Caribbean neighbour Barbados.

I may be misreading between the lines of the returning resident document (perhaps seeing through my thick glasses darkly), but it seems that some of us in the diaspora are being told in effect, 'Tan abraad! No kom bak a yaad!'