BUDGET BOMBSHELL The wide-ranging and highly ambitious budget proposals presented by the prime minister to parliament on 17 November – in which national security, road and tech development, healthcare and measures to reduce poverty took centre stage – contained one stark contradiction: on the one hand, we were told that “punitive legal provisions” would be introduced to mitigate tax evasion whereby auditors and tax consultants who aid and abet taxpayers to submit fraudulent returns will be taken to task; and on the other, all entrepreneurs were requested to “utilise funds hidden locally or internationally in order to evade tax laws relating to taxes and foreign exchange” – they are to be pardoned if such monies are “utilised for any investment facilitated by the budget by paying taxes amounting to one percent.” That this flies in the face of those of us who have faithfully and voluntarily paid our tax dues over the years is a given; on the face of it at least, this means that the honest taxpayer will continue to fork out his or her hard-earned money while the crooks go scot free by paying a nominal one percent of their dirty money! Rough justice seems to be the order of the day.