Trinidad Express / It says so much about this country, about the national psyche, when, in the wake of a budget that will impact the cost of living almost across the board, reducing people’s purchasing power, the most vociferous protests are coming from gambling establishments that add nothing productive to the economy, but enrich a handful of casino owners, pauperise thousands of families, reduce many female gamblers to prostitutes, and provide the biggest avenue for laundering the ill-gotten gains of criminal enterprises, in particular money from the illicit drugs and firearms trades.

The taxi operators who provide an essential service, and who have faced increase fuel costs from the moment Finance Minister Colm Imbert announced new gasoline and diesel prices, have hinted at increases in fares, but otherwise remained relatively mute. Truckers have stayed silent. Corporate Trinidad and Tobago, which will now pay more tax on profits, have voiced their concerns in a reasoned manner at several post-budget forums.


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