Thursday, November 23, 2006

This land is my land

The prime minister's cabinet appears to be the place to be if you want to more or less perpetuate the status quo, i.e. more for the rich, less for the poor. Senior ministers, who also happen to own a number of the country's sugar mills, made sure that investigating the sugar crisis would remain a non-starter (Leaving a sour taste). Now the landlords in the cabinet have acted to scotch any attempt to breathe some life into the country's dormant laws on ceilings for agricultural landholdings.

The landholding ministers objected on the grounds that there was no ceiling on industrialists and others. They would. But what they won't say is that a) they don't get taxed and b) the agricultural sector employs approximately 50% of the labour force. Vast landholdings are inimical to social cohesion and the well-being of the country's poor. They are, of course, good for those who can get them; and those who do have them won't give them up without an almighty struggle.

No comments: