Home / View Point / Letters to the Editor / Dear Editor: The Penal Papers; a satirical response to proposed doubles taxation

Dear Editor: The Penal Papers; a satirical response to proposed doubles taxation

“The aloo pie vending bourgeoisie, the saheena ladies and lords, the noblemen who sell nuts and fruits in traffic—all hiding in plain sight—are the wealthiest of all. Even Anthony Bourdain wasn’t invited to their houses for dinner!

“[…] Ever wondered why there are 30 different doubles vendors called ‘D Original’? It’s all tax planning: loss allocation and intra-group loans. The conspiracy runs deep.”

The following Letter to the Editor, submitted by ‘Baigan Jones’, offers a tongue-in-cheek retort to American Chamber of Commerce attorney and tax expert Angelique Bart’s call to make doubles vendors share their loot:

Photo: American Chamber of Commerce attorney and tax expert Angelique Bart.

The lavish lifestyle of local doubles vendors was alluded to earlier this week by a prominent attorney-at-law, speaking at the American Chamber of Commerce’s mid-year budget analysis.

The attorney stated that she could quit the practice of law for the lucrative doubles vending profession. In her words:

“My husband says of the doubles vendor—if I were to quit law, we could do that. Because you have 200 customers buying at $5 per doubles, in five minutes. How much money would you be making?

“I can’t follow his math, but basically he is saying there is about 200-plus million on average that the doubles section of society generates.”

Math is indeed difficult. Nonetheless, the “doubles section” aren’t the only culprits. (For the uncultured, the doubles section is located near the percussion instruments).

The aloo pie vending bourgeoisie, the saheena ladies and lords, the noblemen who sell nuts and fruits in traffic—all hiding in plain sight—are the wealthiest of all. Even Anthony Bourdain wasn’t invited to their houses for dinner!

Photo: US television personality Anthony Bourdain (left facing camera) has dinner with representatives from Trinidad and Tobago’s Syrian/Lebanese community.

It’s time for them to come out of the shadows and face the ‘Tax man’. Their ill-gotten gains have been sheltered behind blind trusts and shell corporations for far too long!

Ever wondered why there are 30 different doubles vendors called ‘D Original’? It’s all tax planning: loss allocation and intra-group loans. The conspiracy runs deep.

I, for one, applaud the attorney’s disproportionate attack on the lowest income earners in society. The Government must immediately embark on a patriotic mission to expropriate these ill-gotten gains from the street-vending cabal.

Strip them of their Porsches, Rolexes and yachts; these proceeds of crime cannot be allowed to exist in a utopian society like sweet, sweet TnT.

Photo: A customer prepares his doubles meal.

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185 comments

  1. Did she ever call out the casino owners,crooked,criminal politicians,the money grubbing businessmen (many in her own Chamber),the drug lords.the doctors and lawyers in private practice?…………

  2. So true Swisha King we fightn down d small man n fightn amongst ourselves n d govt thiefing out all d money n d 1% laughing at us

  3. Just asking ,what do these vendors contribute but they have access to over the yrs of free education free old age pension free subsidies free hospital care, they don’t contribute to garbage collection roads infrastructure. They expect taxpayers to handle the burden ,even if they pay vat,everyone does plus pay 25 percent of their sometimes low salaries in income tax while the increase prices on whim and fancies ,smh.

  4. Why the government don’t collect royality from petrotrin. Mc

  5. I am a fan of this page but I really hope the editor/s really sit before the put posts up.. unfortunately not everyone would understand the angles in which you take and won’t fully grasp what is being said. Don’t take the gullable for a ride when they don’t know what they riding in…. (Not about this post but just a general observation)

    • What should we do to help people understand?

    • Unfortunately that has no answer. Don’t matter what you do some won’t get it… Even though I would like all to enjoy what is said here the truth is that this is just a fantasy of mine..

    • Your point is valid because a lot of folks who may not have the faculty to truly appreciate the artistry and end up posting negative comments. I for one was very close to losing my temporary wuk from a headline on this site! The stories provoke thought, but the uninformed continue to remain blinded so every now and again one may see a comment from Public Enemy#1 with three points of view to also help different comments.

      One such view is that Doubles is documented as being invented in Princes Town in 1936 and not Penal. Unless there was an inquiry in Penal or a Newspaper from there, I really did not get it- “Penal Papers”. However, this was a decade before the Pan. Panmen dont pay taxes as far as I am aware.

      As far as I see, more people of East Indian descent are buying from sellers of African or mixed descent. A person that looked of African descent brought it up and the East Indian descendant did not know the huge figures from a CNC3 interview. I ask some how can it be racist when the country is coming together to defend something of heritage and a source of employment for many?

      For doubles to be in a conversation in the AMCHAM means that we have value in one of our products. One can be a bit perplexed only knowing that the AMCHAM is supposed to promote free trade in its objectives. I have to take a few more classes to see the link between free trade and internal taxes.

    • Matthew that’s just how it is. If you slow down your class too much, the more educated people would get bored. If you go too fast, most will be left behind.
      We try to have a balance but we know we won’t reach everyone.
      Once you’re trying to provoke thought, you’re always only going to have a niche audience. You’re never going to be mainstream.

  6. According to their own research #Laywers & #Doctors are the biggest #TaxEvaders
    But want to go after the little of the littlest, lowest on the food chain, really?
    #GetTheFuckOuttaHereWitDatShit!
    Wat about politicians and all their fancy cars…?! we need to open up that can of worms, full✅

  7. I like the phrase “…hiding in plain sight…” EVERYONE has to pay their just due via the tax system to help maintain this vehicle that is Trinidad and Tobago. Large segments of public servants and other citizens eke out lives from month to month while others just profiting and prospering without contributing to the coffers. While I applaud the hard working and sacrifical efforts of some of those persons they MUST give their portion like the rest of us…plain talk

  8. How can this be satire ? It breaks the first rule – it is not funny

  9. Check cost of pepper shadow benni mango tambrine cucumber channa flour oil and other ingredients to make the doubles .then sleepless hours to prepare before production .do the maths most a man could be making is a $2 on a doubles.

  10. To the person who did the maths did you minus the capital or the expenditure ?if not then do over the maths and come again.

  11. First I will like to see all politicians paying their tax stop all tax break on all these ppl that is allowed tax break let them pay their tax after all we are all employed & by rule we should be paying tax

  12. What about cock tax??? Lol talk nah!

  13. There are genuine doubles venders who do everything for them self but if investigated properly people would see there are doubles conglomerates that employs doubles wrappers and cashiers also kitchen workers . Gone are the days when the doubles man on the corner was working for him self , if checked one would see a lot of doubles venders are working for a doubles company , I know because I know a lot of people who does just that . I wonder if that’s why the price of doubles went up , just a thought .