Paul Lismore


Rédigé par Paul Lismore le Jeudi 30 Avril 2020

" Tough times are like physical exercise.You may not like it whilst you are doing it,but tomorrow you’ll be stronger because of it.--Unknown.


Our politics since independence has been an unseemly race between political parties to try to con us by making promises we simply cannot afford. The game has been quite simple: if party A promises to give you X for free, then party B will promise X + 1...and a lepep kouyon invariably goes for the party which promises the most, whilst remaining deliberately ignorant of the simple fact that an island with no natural resources, no oil, no minerals, no rare metals, no gold, etc simply cannot afford to keep giving away freebies.

But no one seems to care, even though we have embarked on the spiral to national bankruptcy for quite a while now. Even now, the shouts of "Gouvernman bizin donner" can be heard from all quarters, and trade unionists and the private sector are all clamouring for freebies from a government with nothing to show in its safes apart from a mountain of debts.

And if it decides to 'donner' in these times of fiscal and health emergency, then the money can come from only one source: loans, i.e. debts to be piled on the Everest of debts we already have to climb.

Who is responsible for this criminally insane state of affairs? Politicians of ALL parties, esp the leaders who see the Prime Ministership not as the ultimate blessing from the people he wants to govern, but as the passport to enrich themselves and their stupid friends and soucerres even more than they already are.

They have successfully created a nation of dependent people, and both sides now seem stuck in this hellish piece of circular reasoning: " Ki to pou donne moi si mo vote pou toi?" No one ever asks the politicians, "Ki to pou fer pou nou pays pou to merite mo vote?" It is all me, me, me now: "Vote pou moi et mo pou donne toi x,y, z. Mo pou vote pou toi si to donne moi x,y,z, sinon mo vote ban la". 

Let us look at the many freebies that simply do not exist in any other country in the world and which do not certainly form part of government programmes in much richer countries.

A lot of these are relics from our colonial past, and we remain quite unique in being possibly the only ex colony to still retain many of these insane privileges:

1/ Pride of place goes to the bete noire of ''duty free cars", which is nothing but an expensive bribe to the middle classes and the rich. This is a fiscal and environmental obscenity which removes from our essential services like Health, Education, and Social Services the billions of rupees that should instead go to them every year. It is the grossest, most offensive act of callousness towards the poor and the not so well off that successive governments think it is ok to bribe the well off to the tune of billions of rupees, when thousands and thousands of our citizens are struggling to feed their families. 

It also symbolizes what is essentially immoral in the way politicians conduct our policies: the richer you become, the more the government will give you. 

Pravind Jugnauth has an ideal opportunity to get rid of this obscenity now: both in terms of environmental necessity, and fiscal prudence in these days when every cent of public money has to be cherished. When do we say that we can no longer sustain that number of vehicles on our roads? When we reach 600,000 vehicles? 700,000 vehicles perhaps? or 1.2 million vehicles so that we can then indulge in another piece of nonsensical flattery that we are the only country in the world that has the same number of vehicles as the number of people who live on the island?

2/ The insane 'droits acquis', as if these have been cast on a Biblical stone and therefore cannot be changed: No other country in the world tells its civil servants that it can take 15 days 'Sick' leave every year, even if if you are not sick! Which insane idiot devised this scheme?

As for local leave, two of the wealthiest countries in the world, the USA and Singapore give their workforce no more than 14 days Annual leave a year. Dan Maurice, nou mari nou: 22 local leave + 15 days sick leave according to the Workers' Rights Act, 2019.... and God help us if a public holiday falls on a week end! And we want to talk about productivity? Eoula!

3/ Another droit acquis, a monstrous relic from the colonial days: that thing called "Passage allowance" which sounds like medication to be prescribed if you suffer from constipation. In the old days, eligible civil servants were rewarded with a ticket to the UK after so many years of loyal service to the Queen....But we are now in 2020!

4/ We now come to the ludicrous freebies given to those who are more than comfortably well off:

    i/ These people are already well paid from the public purse. But on top of their handsome salaries, they also get up to Rs 33, 500 per year as "Judicial and Legal Allowance" well as a free laptop.
    ii/ When so many people are homeless, our Chief Judge receives a Housing Allowance of Rs 20,000 every month on top of his Rs 150,000 a month + free chauffeur driven limousine+ petrol allowance+ God knows what other freebies. By the way, most judges drive their limousines themselves, so why the chauffeur allowance?
   iii/ Clothing allowance for judges, state law officers, ushers, etc...Ziska zot lamoresse oussi nou bizin payer...


  i/ Their salary is an insult to the intelligence of the population: On average, Rs 200,000 per month to mostly mediocre individuals + duty free car+ petrol allowance+ free Ipad+ God knows what other freebies. They only have to be elected twice or passe par la porte toilettes et vine "Best loser" and bingo! A juicy pension for life!

ii/ Presidents, Vice Presidents, ex Presidents, ex Vice Presidents: So bloody important that they do not have to pay even one cent in income tax, despite earning around Rs 360,000 per month for current ones, and at least Rs 250,000 for ex ones. All of course entitled to all sorts of ludicrous freebies, including the free services of a secretary/typist even when they never write anything...And the chauffeur driven limousine for life as well as 24 hour VIPSU. I suppose the poor pets need those freebies in order to stimulate some of them to pontificate at length about poverty....

iv/ Nominees in our parasitical orgs who earn huge amounts including 13th, 14th, even 15th month salaries for basically running those orgs further into the ground than the previous nominee did, and free business class tickets for them and their wives/mistresses.


Most of us know of at least one claimant who is much fitter than us, but because he is 'nou bann', he will get his welfare payment. And yet, there are many genuine claimants who see their claims rejected, mostly because they have no political backing. Corruption in that ministry has been endemic for years, but no one wants to do anything about it,..

These are only a few examples where taxpayers' money is being wantonly squandered. I am sure you know of many others. 

All politicians want to carve their name in history by doing something good for the country. These days, the word 'patriote' is being abused to death. 

If Pravind Jugnauth wants to be remembered in history as the one Prime Minister who has stopped the rot and steered the island on the right economic path, now is his chance. The coronavirus has paradoxically been a Godsend to us because it has shown us how fragile our economy really is. 

Pravind Jugnauth can either repeat the mistakes of previous PMs and take us further down the road of economic oblivion by giving and giving what we do not have...or he can grasp the nettle and start getting rid of those nonsensical acts of largesse by successive governments.

He will do himself a huge amount of favour if he reduces his Rs 500,000+ monthly salary to one that reflects our sad economy better. Rs 250,000 a month is more than sufficient for a Prime Minister, and will make the other politicians, top civil servants, political nominees look greedy and stupid if they don't follow suit and instead continue to take so much from us. L'exemple vient d'en haut, non?

We simply cannot continue like before any longer. Our backs are really against the wall and a real patriot will do, as civil servants like to say, the needful before SS Mauritius runs out of steam and is submerged by a huge financial typhoon. 

Pravind Jugnauth has no choice now but to lead by example.

Jeudi 30 Avril 2020

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