A Nevispages.com weekly feature by Curtis Morton Sr
The way I see it, people are attracted to things that are CHEAPER and even more so, to things that are FREE. As a matter of fact, those of us from the old school, who grew up with AGED grandmothers, would have heard on numerous occasions: ANYTHING FREE-TEK TWO.
Well I newa!
So, some of us have grown up with this mentality that we should gravitate towards anything that appears to provide a DEAL for us. Today, Friday 18th and tomorrow Saturday 19th December, have been announced as VAT days—reduced mark you, from 17% to 5%. Some persons appear all excited and literally cannot wait for the stores and supermarkets to open, today and tomorrow.
However, this time around, persons need to be particularly cautious, because unlike last year and previous years, there will be no government double salary and we are currently in COVID-19 crisis when some persons have not received a salary for many months and money is a scarce commodity.
There are also other things to be considered.
As a member of the Compliance task force team, I have been involved with some preparatory work in encouraging the major business owners to establish set numbers of customers to be served at any one time and to reestablish markers on the exterior and interior of their premises, so that social distancing can be maintained. Of course, these establishments will be duly monitored closely, on the vat days.
One supermarket owner, who will remain anonymous (for the purposes of this class), indicated that he is very surprised that there is a zeal and enthusiasm with which persons look forward to the vat shopping days, as he said there are no real deals at the supermarkets on food items, for those days. Yet still, people generally increase on their shopping spree, almost as if a hurricane was predicted to be approaching!
Then, due to the lack of cash flow, some persons want to credit.
Some of them get excited over stores that indicate that one can collect an item and not have to pay a red cent until, for example, February of next year. The plan sounds good. Real enticing, especially for persons who are broke.
A person can look good in the eyes of his/her neighbour when the truck pulls up by his/her house and all of the peeping neighbours can see a brand new stove or refrigerator being loaded into their home. That’s the feel-good experience. They, however, do not cater for when February comes…
So, in many cases, February comes around and the individual does not have the money to make the required payments. Eventually, the establishment has to reclaim the item, in front of the same peeping neighbours.
What a travesty!
I heard of a case that happened right here in Nevis. This lady had taken a stove on credit and did not make the required payments. The Bailiff showed up one day, demanding the stove.
She pleaded with him, telling him that the rice was boiling on the stove and was not quite finished yet. The gentleman took off the pot and went away with the people’s stove.
Well I newa!
So, during these crucial economic times, I plead prudence. I plead common sense. My grandmother also use to say: ‘Cut and contrive’—pleading for THRIFT. She said it well, when she said: ‘Make do, with what you got!”
Some ladies are also apparently selling themselves really cheaply, depending on several men, to deal with their wide variety of bills, for a reward.
The God who created us, expects us to be good stewards of the bodies that he loaned us and the assets that he has allowed to our care. He expects us to be WISE in all of our doings and to be satisfied within our means.
So, I am pleading with you dear reader, if you do not have the funds, please do not get carried away with the vat days and the possible benefits, or it may well be a MERRY CHRISTMAS and an UNHAPPY NEW YEAR, for you.
That’s the way I see it. How do you see it?