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BLABBERMOUT’ BABSIE: No one can escape VAT!

rhondathompson, [email protected]

BLABBERMOUT’ BABSIE: No one can escape VAT!

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Dear Nesta,
I hope de New Year come in fin’in’ yuh in good spirits (neffin liquid!) an’ lookin’ forward to a year full o’ healf an’ happiness!  One t’ing I know fuh sure, de years rollin’ by fas’ enuff. So I down hey tekkin’ it easy an’ jes’ t’ankin’ de Lord each mornin’ fuh allowin’ muh to wake up to see anether day!   
Aldoh t’ings hard, we open de year wid de good news dat Miz Thompson, de late Prime Minister wife, decide to run fuh de seat in Sin John! Dah is DLP territory, so she should be a “shoo-in”!  It is a wonder to me  why de ethuh side does sen’ anybody up dey to contes’ de seat, but yuh always hear dat de age o’ miracles en yet pass an’ she opponent mussee got dah belief! I mus’ say he got a stout heart to tek she on, an’ ’e talkin’ real brave.
Perhaps he know somet’ing we don’ know! Mara should mek a good politician, she is a well-educated, intelligent woman, hones’ an’, I sure, hard-wukkin’, so de Dems mek a good choice. De day fuh all de tears an’ laffter is 20th January!
Well, de holiders wid all de fun an’ frolic done, an’ we now in de New Year, facin’ de stark reality o’ de VAT increase!  I en know how true, but I been hearin’ we should get  reductions ’pon certain goods from Trinidad, but I en hol’in’ muh breff! Wuhevuh it is, I still won’ be puttin’ foot in no supermarket widout a lis’ in my pocket. A lis’ does help keep yuh ’pon track to stop yuh from buyin’ t’ings yuh could live widout!  Money scarce enuff as it is, even to get de basics!  I always hear I should “Buy Bajan”, but sometimes it cheaper to buy de same item dat come from ovuhseas!  I cyhan figure dah one out!  
But wait, I been readin’ in one o’ de English papers you sen’ muh, dat wunna get hit by a VAT increase as well, an’ it gone up from 17.5 per cent to 20 per cent – 2.5 per cent increase jes’ like we – an’ not likely to come back down neiduh, even ef de economy bounce back an’ t’ings tek a turn fuh de better.
I read de Chancellor o’ de Exchequer say he would prefer to bring in tax breaks befo’ ’e lower de VAT, as it would cos’ tummuch to bring back de ole rate at a later date. (I got muh doubts ’bout we VAT comin’ back down as well, but we got to wait an’ pray!).  I din realize VAT in Britain  higher dan ethuh developed countries, ‘cep’ dem Nordic ones – Norway, Sweden, etc- whey de average is 25 per cent!  Now, pon de ethuh han’, Hong Kong en got none a-tall!  Lucky people!
I hope you din’ one o’ dem  shoppers dat get ketch at de till wid de new rate, ‘cause de shops din get ’roun’ to amen’in’ price tags in time!  Like it was nuff confusion when people pick up a item at one price, an’ get a shock at de cash register to hear it was diff’rent!  From wuh I read, duh wasn’ too please a-tall!  
We, at leas’, en had dah problem!  Wid dah new VAT you facin’, you better shop wid care, ’cause I also read duh expeck a lotta dem retailers lookin’ to increase de cos’ o’ goods by mo’ dan de 2.5 per cent – mekkin’ t’ings go up higher dan de tax rise!  
I en know how duh gine wuk dah one out, but by de time duh reach de bottom line, yuh could be sure t’ings gine be in dem favour!   Retailers is a special breed, faif!   
Lord mek peace, wheyevuh yuh turn, customers got as much chance as a snowball in hell ’gainst de high prices facin’ we today!  
“Oh VAT, where is thy sting?”
Tek care o’ yuhself
Yuh frien’ Babsie