The Mexican government have been working hard recently to get a little more tax money flowing into their coffers, whilst putting in just as much effort into decreasing the money they spend. It makes sense. Times are tough, even for governments. No one I’ve ever met in Mexico, not any decent person anyway, has objected to paying a little more in tax to help the country out. On the proviso that the money is spent ethically, efficiently and effectively. And it is that proviso that prompts derision, contempt and general skepticism. That’s why there are so many protests. It’s a trust thing. Tax cheats and tax thieves. That’s the problem, all rolled into one non solvable concept that won’t be going away anytime soon.
What I really hate about tax is that too many companies don’t quote it in their price. Nor do they in the US. They’ll add it on in the end. Transparency, they say. So you know what the product costs, and how big a slice the government are taking. I say it’s less painful when you’re left in the dark. There’s some things you just don’t want to know. Quote me the tax and I get confused, and leave with my purchase felling like I’ve just been robbed.
Take the bus below, a cool old London Routemaster, decked out in attractive colours with a fabulous price, all to try and bring a few more Mexican visitors to Britain. Less than 500 pesos! Normally you’re lucky to find a flight to London for less than ten thousand pesos. No, wait, that’s not pesos. Silly me for thinking they’d quote a flight in the local currency. It’s dollars. But still, less than 500 dollars! Normally you’re lucky to find a flight to London for less than a thousand dollars.
Always read the small print. You can see the $499 in the photo. Can you see the +$450 tax next to it? No? Fabulous! They’ll have you in the office before you find out!