SANJAY JAGATSINGH

The one for ten years of biggest road fatalities. A word of caution though. In two years – 1995 and 2000 – there was a change of PM so the corresponding numbers don’t entirely ‘belong’ to the PMs listed for them. We allocated the full year to the PM who was in office for more than half of the year.

PJ who is already in the list along with three former PMs – Bérenger’s first entry of 144 for 2004 is at the 17th spot – is likely to see his number for 2018 go all the way to the top under three scenarios. The first two are if the last third of this year relative to the first two is like those for 2016 and 2014. The third if we extrapolate the total of 115 deaths reached at the end of August. Another entry might go in the middle of the table if 2018 is more like 2015. Of course all four entries would bump his entry for 2017 – his first year as PM – out of this ranking.

We haven’t made good progress in road safety for way too long. And in the last thirteen years the economy-breaking Sithanen flat tax and other indecent fiscal exemptions have ensured that we didn’t have enough money to bring road deaths down in a significant and persistent manner. Unlike say Singapore which has seen road fatalities decline in every one of the past ten years except two – here they have been increasing for each of the last three years with Bodha as Minister – reducing them literally by half. The type of tax structure you have determines the number of people who die on roads. So this makes the flat tax akin to a drone assassination programme. And exposes the absurdity of calls to transform the revenues of the dead sugar industry into a guaranteed fixed-deposit.