Why I don’t agree with Reverend Tielu’s latest column

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Dear Editor

 

I enjoyed the first column from Reverend Tielu about the shortcomings of the present government and the way it conducts its business. 

The special mention of the Police Commissioner’s appointment is rather pleasing for it confirms my viewpoint about this issue.

For this column I detect a note of hysteria in the Reverend’s writing.

Comparisons of different denominations in Samoa is a rather perilous and futile exercise. 

It reminds me of a recent conversation I overhead at the makeki between two seven year olds at which they were comparing the relative strength of their dads. Boy 1 said that his dad was really strong, so strong, that he could lift five cars. Not to be outdone, Boy 2 said that his dad was stronger because he could lift 10 buses. 

In retaliation Boy 1 said that Boy 2’s dad might be stronger but he was a coward. How could that be, asked Boy 2? 

Replied Boy 1, because my dad has a tattoo and your dad does not. 

Then the fighting started.

This fight is strictly between the E.F.K.S. and the government. 

Other churches have made their decisions and in a democratic society which you seem to yearn for Reverend, freedom of choice is one of its fundamental principles. 

Respect their decisions and move on but don’t get into the gutter and start my-dad-is-stronger-than-your-dad argument. 

Like you Reverend and the E.F.K.S., I know my history about my Methodist Church and its place in the Samoan society. I don’t need you to tell me.

By the way Reverend, I note with interest that you are an economist. 

What you say in this column regarding taxation of farmers, fishermen and women does not tally with my knowledge picked up from doing one semester of economics at a local institute. 

If moneys received as alofa by the above groups of people fall within the definition of taxable income under the Taxation Law, then it should be taxed. It is that simple. 

What I also learnt from my one semester of economics is that widening the taxation coverage, in terms of who should pay taxes, improves the equity of the system. 

Perhaps you have forgotten this economics lesson Reverend.

It is a rather different issue about the uses of taxation revenue. This is a debatable issue and different views have been put forward on this. If your best and most reliable economic indicator is ‘toilet’ construction in Apia then I guess the present Government has failed miserably. 

I am not going to argue with your logic on that Reverend Tielu.

Ma lo’u fa’aaloalo lava.

 

Vai Autu 

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