OPINION

A question of reliability

Under no circumstances should the government back down on the issue of petrol taxation and on cracking down on the illegal trade in fuel – ministers must not shirk crucial decisions every time these challenge powerful interests. If it is due to the inadequacy of state services to come up with a viable solution, then they should simply circumvent them. There are plenty of universities, international organizations and big companies that conduct studies that are equipped to come up with the needed solutions. If the ministers themselves do not trust their services, one can only wonder how long it will take to rebuild them, as was promised in the 2004 elections. If, on the other hand, ministers are too scared to make a stand against those who have polluted the petrol sector for so many years, they should be looking for a different line of work. Politicians are elected to serve the public interest and it is their duty to deal with tax-evading fuel smugglers and not to look for the easy way out, such as by raising VAT. This issue will play a significant role in the reliability of a government that appeared to have very specific goals and drive.