We elect a Government to, among other things, manage the national economy. Economic tools available to the Government include raising and lowering taxes on specific sectors of the economy, and increasing and reducing spending on specific Government services. The annual Budget presentation informs us of the Government’s economic decisions.
Those who expect to be negatively affected by the Government’s decisions may have legitimate concerns. However, it is unreasonable for them to ask the Government to spare them, and instead target some other sector for increased taxes or reduced Government spending.
Some Government owned corporations have been targeted for reduced spending. It is the responsibility of the management of these statutory corporations to provide a reasonable level of service with less monetary resources. Such management decisions are common in the private sector.
Management teams in statutory corporations who are unable to achieve this goal should be supplemented or replaced with better qualified persons.
Those targeted for increased taxes can only appeal to the Government for relief. The requirement for students to pay their tuition fees is effectively a Government spending cut to UWI. However, from the student’s perspective it can be interpreted as a tax on UWI education. Therefore, it is reasonable for the disaffected students to appeal directly to the Government.
The Government has shown a reluctance to reduce any imposed taxes on individuals. A similar “tax” was imposed, and maintained, on professional registration fees. Despite sporadic appeals for relief, this “tax” has remained.
The requirement for students to pay their tuition fees should therefore be interpreted as a Government spending cut to UWI. This should require the UWI management team to provide a reasonable level of service with less monetary resources.
In my opinion, the students may have a better chance of relief by negotiating with UWI to see how their tuition fees can be lowered to an amount that they can both afford.