first_imgThe Cadillac lifestyle has gotten better for Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, who can now import unlimited vehicles which will be exempted from Value Added Tax (VAT).This is in addition to the duty-free vehicle he is already entitled to as a Member of Parliament (MP), along with many other extravagant benefits he enjoys at the expense of the public purse, Opposition Chief Whip Gail Teixeira has revealed.Teixeira, in her presentation to the National Assembly on Monday, highlighted that the list of VAT exempt vehicles were expanded to include those imported by and for the use of the Prime Minister and the President.Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo“I had to scratch my head because I thought when you buy cars for presidents’ use; there are all sorts of things that they don’t pay, because it is the Government buying it for the President. But then I saw the word ‘by’. So it’s motor vehicles imported ‘by’ or ‘for’. When I saw it at first I thought it was normal because you got to buy the cars for the President and you got to buy the cars for the Prime Minister. And then I said ‘oh shoot’. It’s true what they say. One little word, one tiny word called ‘by’, that ‘by’ certainly changes the meaning of this amendment,” the former Presidential Advisor pointed out.Teixeira said she was confused even more as to why Nagamootoo was entitled to such a benefit, since he already had duty-free concessions.Junior Finance Minister Jaipaul Sharma had clarified that VAT-exempt items do not attract additional charges for the consumer.Since assumption to executive office, Nagamootoo has been accused of going to extreme lengths to ensure that he would be enjoying quite a sybaritic lifestyle for the next five years.In fact, just three months after being sworn in as Prime Minister, a $22 million customised luxury Land Cruiser was added to his existing fleet of more than 20 vehicles.The Prime Minister’s salary amounts to a whopping $1.7 million monthly and if he is to retire tomorrow, he will receive a pension, calculated to be higher than the pension enjoyed by any former President.Millions of taxpayers’ dollars have been pumped into improving the lavish lifestyle of the Prime Minister.Nagamootoo has cashed in on hefty amounts for the repairs to the bridge and road to his private residence, repairs to the official Prime Minister’s residence and the Office of the Prime Minister.Nagamootoo had refused to move into the State residence, saying that it was unfit for inhabitation, and he would only move in after it was upgraded. He exclaimed that he would not let his dogs live there and then demanded upgrades be done to the tune of millions of dollars before moving in.Cabinet had given its no-objection to the award of a contract for renovation works at the Prime Minister’s residence. The contact was approved to the value of $29,328,078.The PM is cashing in on all these benefits at the expense of taxpayers when his portfolio has been described as nothing short of what was the responsibility of a former Media Liaison attached to the Office of the President under the former Administration.Interestingly, it was Nagamootoo, who popularised local usage of the term “fat cat salaries” and condemned the living of a “Cadillac lifestyle in a donkey-cart economy” when he was sitting on the Opposition benches before May 2015.last_img

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