Re: Plastic bag editorial
The solution to plastic bags in my opinion has to be consumer driven.
We as consumers should politely insist to vendors/shopkeepers not to use plastic bags but use your own bags or go without one especially for smaller items. In Fiji now, everyone is starting to use their own bags to carry their shopping and shops charge you for using plastic bags.
On the issue of taxes and the church, what a lot of people do not understand is that as a country we have very few sources of revenue to fund and develop our country. We can raise money either from taxes, export precious resources, borrow/grants or raise capital.
We do not have any resources of note to export, our taxes are already high at 15% and we have borrowed to rebuild our economy from global financial crisis in 2008, the tsunami in 2009, TC Evan in 2012.
A lot of people say that ‘I rather live debt free...’ but where do you get the money to build the schools in the villages, the roads, free education for young kids etc... The only other option is to raise taxes from the 15% VAGST to 20% in order to get those funds and that will mean a lot of poor families cannot afford the basic food and services they do at the moment.
Either that or we borrow from multilateral sources, which is at very concessional rates (less than a percent).
Another source is the church, which I must say make a good living, well for one denomination.
Pastors earn a good living, free housing, car etc... so to choose between increasing the VAGST which will most affect the low income and poor families in Samoa as opposed to taxing the well off clergy and faifeaus of this country, I support the latter and as shepherds of the flock of God, they should be proud they are contributing to the welfare of their people/flock.