Solving crime pays!Tuesday, June 08, 2021
Regarding the Jamaica Observer article published on Sunday, June 6, 2021, '$101 million collected, almost 3,900 charged under curfew, DRMA', it is evident that solving crime pays!
The General Consumption Tax (GCT) is a 'fine' (my sentiment) that is imposed on consumers for purchases made of food, utilities, or even medicine. It is customary to pay anywhere from 15 per cent to 25 per cent taxes on these commodities. Please note this does not include import taxes to Customs that could be calculated much higher when importing some goods or even a motor vehicle.
Albeit, the Government has proven that there can be income to be had from solving crime.
Thinking back 10 to 15 years ago, I could have beaten myself for not taking the police entrance exam as I would have been promoted by now to maybe commissioner of police. Imagine the large volume of tickets that I would have issued each day to only motorists on my way to work on just Red Hills Road. The breaking of the law by some motorists is like a massive vineyard of ripe, sweet grapes just ready to be harvested. I could just see the dollar signs, “chi-ching ching”, for the many infringements and law-breaking moves by motorists and pedestrians. This includes illegal overtaking, parking and stopping; not wearing seat belts; disregard for speed limits, stop signs and traffic lights; illegal crossing, loitering, littering, vending; the possibilities are endless. As a business person, I was just seeing money going uncollected by the Government that could have helped the country. The penalties needs to be a huge deterrent to the crime and the punishment needs to be upheld.
I have been to the United States of America (USA) on many occasions and my brother, who was the master of 'out and bad' here in Jamaica, would warn me repeatedly to ensure that I never disobey the law there, given the fact I would utilise his motor vehicle. That's his fear of the long arm of the law there. He advised that I make a complete stop at all the stop signs, wear my seat belt at all times, and always ensure I obeyed the speed limits. This is the same brother who has sped away from police in Jamaica, probably never even worn a seat belt here. Why the change of heart, I asked him. He was very clear, “Sista, yuh cyaan manage dem ticket yah a farrin; it will sen' yuh a madhouse an' yuh cyaan bribe no police, yuh will go a prison!”
So it became clear to me that my brother, who had no fear for the police in Jamaica, was now a coward under the thought of receiving a mere ticket in the USA. It made me wonder why Jamaica would always try to reinvent the wheel.
“Wi a falla fashion monkey,” so why aren't we replicating these ideas here. It's a win-win; more money in the pockets of the Government will allow for a decrease in GCT, especially on necessity goods, and a deterrent to disobey the law for citizens and bribery for police which equates to fewer accidents and deaths. There are millions, if not billions to be had. These monies remain unclaimed. I'm seeing new roads, refurbished hospitals, schools, police stations, home facilities, increase public sector workers' wages/salaries, implementing of social security and welfare, etc.
Let crime pay!
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