Cabinet taxing every portfolio
"Thaaththa," Bindu Udagedera asked, "what do you
think of the budget?"
"Why," Percy Udagedera, Bindu's father asked, "What
"Why, thaaththa, it was supposed to be the big event of the
"Why do you say that?" Percy wanted to know.
thaaththa, whenever someone raised an issue about the rising cost
of living, all they told us was to wait until the Budget…"
"Why, Bindu, did you hope that the cost of living would come
crashing down when Sarath presented his budget?" Percy asked.
thaaththa," Bindu said, "but most people expected some
"There are some relief measures aren't there?" Percy queried,
"haven't the taxes on essential food items been reduced?"
"That may be so," Bindu said, "but the Reds and Blues
must be surely heaving a sigh of relief now…"
do you say that?" Percy wanted to know.
"Why, thaaththa, that chap crossed over from the Greens to
the Blues on Budget day…"
"Why should they be so happy about that?"
"Why, thaaththa, that will ensure the Reds and the Blues now
have a majority in Parliament"
"So, getting a majority in Parliament is so simple after all…"
can you say that, thaaththa?" Bindu was puzzled, "Satellite
was trying so hard to get a majority all these months and they even
lost the election for the Speaker…"
"Ah, but that was a temporary setback…" Percy said,
"all Satellite has to do is offer a portfolio and they all
cross-over to the other side…"
"You can't be so sure of that…" Bindu argued.
not?" Percy countered, "Satellite did that to the Muslim
Congress, then she did it with the Ceylon Workers' Congress and
now she is even doing it to the Greens…"
"And that is why we now have so many Cabinet ministers and
deputy ministers…" Bindu observed.
Percy agreed, "Sarath would have raised more money for the
government if he imposed a ministerial tax on anyone taking oaths
as a minister or a deputy minister…"
"But thaaththa," Bindu protested, "if you have to
pay a tax on what you gain by becoming a minister then no one would
be interested in becoming a minister…
that is exactly what Sarath did in the Budget…" Percy
"Why do you say that?" Bindu was puzzled.
"Why, Bindu first he proudly announces a pay hike for everyone…"
"But that is supposed to benefit everybody…" Bindu
"Yes, but only fifty per cent of the pay hike is given now;
the rest is to be given much later…"
said he can't afford a full pay hike right now…" Bindu
"Yes, but he is going to tax all public servants right now
and then with that money, he will give us the pay hike a year later…"
"That's like robbing Peter to pay Paul…" Bindu said.
Bindu," Percy corrected, "this is robbing Peter to pay
Peter because first we have to pay back money as taxes and then
we get it back in the form of a pay hike and Sarath takes all the
"No wonder they call it a PA budget…" Bindu said.
do they say that?"
"Why, thaaththa, it is a 'Parakkui Arrakkui' budget because
the pay hike is 'parakkui' but the price increase is on 'arakkui'…"
Percy didn't argue with that.