LALIT has written how the bourgeoisie, though furious with all the Jugnauth popular measures in favour of the working class, nevertheless has remained silent as Jugnauth has returned to power – neither supporting nor denouncing the MSM. This silence of the bourgeoisie is because the MSM has stuffed its mouth full of gold. We have already written and spoken, in LALIT, about the subsidies the state gives the bourgeoisie – like subsidizing the selling sell off of the best and only good arable land in the country to billionaires from abroad through IRS and other schemes.
This article is to give three more examples of this kind of subsidy Jugnauth is giving to the bourgeoisie. This subsidy from public funds ends up being paid for by none other than working people – through our VAT contributions that make up the bulk of tax revenue.
1. The spokesman for the textile bosses, Mr. Ahmed Parkar, gave it all away. He said in an article in L’Express of 26th January 2020 that the wage increases, including the minimum wage, did not affect the bosses too badly because Rupee depreciation cushioned the expense. What this means is that the Government has made the broad masses pay for this by increasing the price to us of all that we spend on imported goods (most of our income) by engineering Rupee depreciation.
Security Industry Bosses
2. The security industry (a thriving industry, in times of inequality) has had a similar windfall gain which cushions its need to pay security guards more. At long last the Government has done away with the long shifts imposed on watchmen and other security industry workers, by reducing them from 12 to 8 hours. The reason the bosses did not complain is that this 15% increase in their expenses is now covered for by the fact that they no longer have to pay Value Added Tax. So, the State has financed this increase too, by dipping in to public funds.
Sugar Cane Oligarchs
3. As usually the Government gives the oligarchs subsidies for its cane industry while pretending they are for “small planters”. So, in January, even before the National Assembly met for the first time, even before the Program Speech was read by the President, the Jugnauth Government had handed to the sugar estate bosses all the subsidies they had, before elections, said were just for small planters. Now, Jugnauth has gone and signed a contract for the World Bank to spend a year looking at how the cane industry can continue to monopolize all the arable land, while
- sacking workers,
- making little or no contribution to proper food security,
- not only not paying tax, but gobbling up subsidies,
- contributing ever-diminishing amounts to foreign exchange,
- threatening to put up the cost of electricity to household by re-evaluating “bagasse”.
This is outrageous.
It is time to mobilize behind LALIT and get land used for:
- job creation
- proper housing for all those living in precarious housing, and in “heirs’ houses”.
- food security (in times of epidemics and war),
- foreign exchange.
This article is based on part of Rada’s paper presented at a LALIT members’ assembly on 9 February, at the Hall in GRNW.