Tue | Dec 6, 2022

Enough private sector hypocrisy

Published:Tuesday | July 15, 2014 | 12:00 AM


Have you ever wondered why most of us Jamaicans don't take too much note of those who call for us to be patriotic? Ever wonder why our young people, in particular, give more credibility to our dancehall artistes than they do to our business leaders? Could it be because these leaders always seem to talk from both sides of their mouths?

Take the new tax measures the State came up with recently. A new tax on some of our financial institutions was implemented in an effort to capture some of the taxes that were leaking from state coffers. It turned out that some of our insurance companies were not paying over all of the taxes they were supposed to.

What some of these companies did was, in effect, to create artificial expenses that made their profits seemed less than they actually were. Less profit means less due taxes. Now, while all of this was legal, it does border too much on the disingenuous. It surely puts the repeated calls made by the private sector for the Government to go after tax cheats into an interesting perspective, doesn't it?

Then we hear the private sector urging us Jamaicans to buy Jamaican. "We must support our own," we are being constantly told. Yet, I saw a recent news item on TVJ that showed a major food-distribution company that is flooding our market with foodstuffs that are imported. Sure, their packaging is Jamaican, but the contents are not.

Here we have a major commercial entity that, obviously, has decided to put its money before the flag by making sound business decisions take precedence over patriotism. Why then is the private sector urging the rest of us to put patriotism ahead of good economic sense?

Now we have talk of finding a replacement for our outgoing commissioner of police. Our private-sector leaders always tell us that we are a very talented people. However, they clearly don't think we are talented enough to manage our own security. How can they be calling for the new police commissioner to be recruited from overseas and at the same time talk about us being talented?