Jamaica Gleaner
Published: Wednesday | April 29, 2009
Home : Letters
Tax on books?
The Editor, Sir:

It is with significant dismay and disappointment that I read of the Government's decision to charge GCT on 'printed matter' with exceptions for those deemed to be for religious or educational purposes. In response, I pose a question to the Government, are not all books educational? Printed matter, whether it be fiction or non-fiction, book or magazine, historical biography or travel guide, all serve to teach the reader something new.

We are living in what is known as the Information Age. Now more than any time in history a person's value is increasingly tied to what he or she knows and what you can learn. So one would think that this is a time when we should want our people to be more informed, not less, to be more engaged, and aware.

Knowledge is powerful, knowledge can enlight our darkness and illuminate for us a path to a better, brighter future. It can, and should be, the key that unlocks the solutions to the grave and growing problems which face our nation. If there is such a thing as a silver bullet, a solution for all that ails us, it is books and the knowledge within their pages.

Profound disappointment

The government should be doing absolutely nothing to discourage reading and absolutely everything it can to encourage our people, especially our young people, to read voraciously. They should be encouraged to read everything they can get their hands on or everything they can afford to get their hands on.

And so, it is with significant dismay and profound disappointment that I read of the Government's decision to tax printed material.

I am, etc.,

Anthony Smith

Kingston 6

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