Another racist blast hits out at Indian doubles vendors

Another racist blast hits out at Indian doubles vendors

Photo : Ramdath Jagessar

We have become used to blatant black racism against Indians in Trinidad. But this week’s targeting of doubles vendors for non payment of taxes by so called tax expert Angelique Bart hits a new low.

She said that government should pay greater attention to the low and non-compliant sectors of society including doubles vendors and taxi drivers who make good money but don’t pay their fair share of taxes.

If you don’t see the racism here something is wrong with you. Bart knows as we all do, that nearly all doubles vendors and most taxi drivers are Indians.  She forgets the hundreds of other self employed like snow cone vendors, music hucksters, carpenters, and yes, doctors and lawyers too who have been said to be dodging  paying taxes. She specially wants government to take down the doubles vendors. That’s the racism coming from this black woman Bart.

When we look at her explanation for picking on the humble doubles man, we can’t help but feel this woman has no understanding of the doubles business or payment of taxes by doubles vendors. For a start, how does she know that the doubles vendor is not paying taxes? Does she have an inside line on Inland Revenue accounts? I don’t think so.

Her idiocy comes from truly outrageous charges against the “cheating” doubles man.  Bart says  “ you have 200 customers buying doubles at $5 in five minutes.”  Whaaat! Which doubles man have you seen selling 200 doubles in five minutes?  That’s making and selling 40 doubles a minute, each one taking 1.5 seconds!   Bart seems to think this is the typical doubles man, some kind of Indian Speedy Gonzales. But that’s not all.

She asks rhetorically how much money Speedy Gonzales Singh would be making at 200 x $5 in five minutes, and the answer would of course be $1,000 in five minutes or $12,000  per hour, $48,000 if he works a four hour day, and $96,000 PER DAY  if he works an 8 hour day selling doubles!  If he works a five day week at four hours a day he will pull in $960,000 a month! My God, it’s the million dollar a month doubles man who is not paying taxes!  You may see why I view this Angelique Bart as a prime gadaha. But there’s more.

Bart seems to think the $5 the doubles man makes for each sale is all profit, and she’s angry doubles man is pulling in “tens of thousands per month”  (her words) yet is free from paying taxes via PAYE in the case of an individual worker or corporation tax in the case of  a business.

I ask again, how ignorant can one alleged tax expert get?  The doubles vendor is not an individual worker on a salary but a self employed businessman who may not have a registered corporation.  Doubles man has to pay taxes like everybody else, but he pays taxes on his income, his profit, not on taxable income as in the case of an employed worker.

So that $5 doubles man gets from a sale is not profit, far from it.  That’s his sale price, his gross sales, something entirely different.  He has to subtract from that $5 the proportional cost of his channa, his flour for bara, his pepper sauce, his oil and cooking materials, his wrapping paper, the gas or electricity for cooking, the cost of transporting the doubles to his sale site. Apart from these, he has to subtract a proportional share of the salary he pays himself, what he pays his wife or helper if they contribute to the doubles making and sale, the cost of his kitchen utensils and his office, the cost of his doubles cart or van, his insurance, the clothes he wears for selling doubles, depreciation, cost of his accountant, and plenty more. This is a business that doubles man is running in, a business that Angelique Bart claims pulls in tens of thousands of dollar.  For a supposed tax expert, Bart’s expertise on the doubles business is strictly gobar!

I know that the profit on a $5 doubles is not $5, but it seems Bart doesn’t. Taking into account all those costs and legitimate deductions,  I would guess that  doubles  man Speedy Gonzales Singh is making $2 or less clear profit on each doubles, and is clearing a few hundred dollars each work day and not tens of thousands, certainly not $48,000 for a four hour day.

But as I said, Bart doesn’t care about all that stuff.  She sees only the Indian doubles man and the Indian taxi driver pulling in van loads of money, and not paying fair taxes on all that moolah. And she’s determined to make it stop, so she calls on her friendly government to put these uppity Indians in their place.

And will the friendly black government oblige?  Bet money on it.  Doubles vendors and taxi drivers better look out for a visit from the Inland Revenue boys. Somebody will be assessing you based on figures like those supplied by Angelique Bart, and they will tax your business to death. It’s happened before. Remember when pool halls were a craze many years ago, pool halls mostly run by Indians.. remember? People like Bart complained they were making money and not paying taxes, and quick quick  they got arbitrary and inflated tax assessments, and yes, the pool halls all closed down.