Government isn’t getting any Valentine’s Day chocolates

Valentine's Day chocolates. Picture: AFP

Valentine's Day chocolates. Picture: AFP

May your loved ones spoil you with all those chocolates which won’t reach government next week.

‘You’re a hopeless romantic,” the lovely Snapdragon told me one evening.

Although I prefer to place the emphasis on “romantic”, and not on “hopeless”, as she did, I could see no reason to disagree.

If I’m ever forced to testify before a commission of inquiry into romance, I will bravely stand up and confess: “Yes, I’m a hopeless romantic and proud of it!”

But I couldn’t help getting the feeling Snapdragon didn’t mean it as a compliment. So she shouldn’t hold her breath expecting a Valentine’s Day card from me.

Which puts her in the same boat as government. We, the voting citizens, have, politically speaking, beautiful leather wallets where you would normally expect the heart to be. And those wallets are empty.

The Post Office won’t deliver mail bags overflowing with chocolates and white stuffed teddy bears to parliament. Not because the Post Office hardly delivers, but also because we don’t feel very romantic towards those fat cats.

They have plundered this country and now Uncle Cyril is fighting an uphill battle to heal the economy – because Treasury simply doesn’t have the money to support his efforts.

I am seeing more and more signs of resistance. Those of us who work for salaries – the majority – can’t do much to avoid income tax and the astronomical 15% VAT, but I don’t know anybody who pays e-tolls.

People smoke more untaxed illegal cigarettes than those sold legally and a huge portion of the liquor industry consists of taverns and shebeens that fall outside of the revenue collection network.

Entire industries contribute almost nothing to the state coffers. Most of the taxi industry – a substantial part of the economy – contributes nothing apart from fuel levies.

The sad truth is we are not witholding taxes as a boycott – we simply can’t afford it. If the choice is between feeding our children and stuffing the faces of corrupt correctional services officials, our children will always win.

May your loved ones spoil you with all those chocolates which won’t reach government next week.

And I? The universe has already shown its love for me by handing me one perfect flower – a beautiful Snapdragon.

Dirk Lotriet. Picture: Alaister Russell

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.

 

today in print