How government makes small, self-sufficient businesses support corporate leeches

Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner - now selling!

Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner – now selling!

Perhaps more than many, I can totally empathise with those individuals who have recently seen their business either fail or brought dangerously close to insolvency. In 47 years, it has happened to me twice and in both cases they were largely external forces which caused near personal financial catastrophe.

Of course, it is easy to attribute the blame to others, but in my case I can unequivocally state that both near failures, which occurred years apart, were largely caused by strike action in the United Kingdom involving the National Union of Seaman.

I personally witnessed bus loads of what can only be described as pickaxe wielding thugs, destroying property and intimidating ordinary people simply wanting to go about everyday work and operating their businesses. More than a decade later it was the same union blockading the English channel ports, which prevented literally thousands of our booked holidaymakers taking their hard earned trips.

Unless you have been a small entrepreneur and fully understand the work, sacrifice and dedication it takes to grow and nurture a business from nothing, it might be difficult to comprehend the feeling of sheer devastation you experience when all those efforts unfold and collapse in front of you.

Starting a business in Barbados

When we moved to Barbados some twenty five years ago and put our life savings into purchasing a derelict hotel, we were starting all over again.  Not surprising, the local banks we approached were not overly helpful, regularly quoting those seemingly worldly phrases like that we were ‘undercapitalised’ or ‘over trading’.  Little did we know then that these ‘pearls of wisdom’ would come back and haunt the many supposedly ‘responsible’ financial institutions, globally just years later.

In those early days, understandably, very few suppliers were prepared to extend us credit and we will be eternally grateful to the handful who took the risk.

In hindsight, the limited access to borrowing and credit was probably the best thing that happened to us. Growth of the business and enhancement of plant was restricted to positive cashflow, which left us entirely debt free.

Therefore, while I have absolute sympathy for those enterprises who have faced critical fiscal challenges recently, you are forced to ask if Government is now operating a two tier system of collecting taxes, when a relatively small company can amass outstanding debts of close to a reported $10 million, across four Government agencies.

Something has to be fundamentally wrong.

Our own experiences substantiate this inequity, after finally receiving partial payment of outstanding VAT refunds overdue for as long as three years and seven months.

Clearly any administration has to adopt a balancing act of trying to create a climate where enterprises are encouraged to grow and help soak up unemployment. But at the same time, they should not escape their fiscal responsibility by allowing selected corporate entities to avoid or even evade paying due taxes for long periods of time. Ultimately, the businesses who are playing by the rules, despite all the adverse trading conditions, have to pick up any deficit.

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23 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Economy

23 responses to “How government makes small, self-sufficient businesses support corporate leeches

  1. J Pierre

    I heartily endorse the article by Mr Adrian Loveridge. i, too ran a small to medium business for about twentyfive years. During that time the company dutifully (but erroneously) paid both PAYE and NIS at the end of every month. About twenty years later government officers turned up at my office to advise that they were now fully computerised and their data showed that I was always fifteen days late in paying one of those taxes (I dont remember if it was PAYE or NIS). They soaked me with a bill of about eighty thousand dollars which I paid.
    Like Mr Loveridge it, therefore, boggles my mind that a small to medium company could be indebted to the same government for approximately seven million dollars

  2. Government corporate welfare bums

    When was the last time you saw a detailed audited statement from NIS, The Vat Office or any other Crown Corporation?

    Just try and run a private properly regulated business in Barbados and not file audited financial statements and see what happens.

    If the people of Barbados don’t think have passed over their economic livelihood to a bunch of unaccountable profligate losers, just think again.

    The double standards are striking and dire.

  3. peltdownman

    There are several small and medium-sized business in Barbados which for some reason or another feel that they are entitled to a free ride, and the first target is government. Why? Because they know that government will not chase them down for what they owe until it becomes too large for them to pay back, and then they ask for and are often granted, relief from the debt. They don’t hide. In fact I know of at least two companies who fail to pay their bills but whose principals show themselves “large and in charge” in self-promotion in the local press and on television. I don’t know how anybody would have the lack of morals to turn up and face employees whose NIS deductions have been trousered by them instead of being paid in to the NIS. Yet it’s funny, when the inspectors are out, they only come after the businesses that actually pay and have some kind of record that they can sink their teeth into. It’s immoral.

  4. Concerned

    When ever I see your picture, I go, “now let’s see how the goverment has wronged this man.” There is never any positive remarks from you on behalf of the goverment. And to always subject us to the fact that you are providing employment to Barbadians is very insulting to me as a Barbadian. You provide servitude/employment but you benefit from the transaction. Barbados might be better off if you take your jobs back to where ever you came. Why do you make the decision to live in a country with such an inept goverment? Why do Barbadians have to grovel at you feet for employment?
    The goverment owes you monies which somehow, from your point of view translates into the government owing everyone monies. I know of one lady who work at Discovery Bay for 21 years plus and she found out she was laid off after contacting a goverment office about benifits. The hotel closed for repairs after the winter, but decided not to recall her and other employees on reopening. There was no consideration of severance pay or the simple decency to inform the employees that they were out. I always wondered how your comrades with your high standards and values who constantly complain about the actions of our goverment could be so inconsiderate and so vile to do something like this. Even with Discovery’s behavior, should I take a broad swipe and conclude that every hotel operator is a cheat like Discovery Bay? No, that would be wrong to you and all other hotel operators. Why don’t you share your time and instead of constantly criticizing the goverment get your hotel friends together and instill some of your
    great values. And also why don’t you encourage that incorrigable government to look into instances as specified above that take advantage of poor people.

  5. Canadian Tourist

    Concerned,

    Might want to change your name to “Horse’s Arse.”

    Just saying…

  6. yatinkiteasy

    @Concerened…there is supposed to be Government Ombudsman who actually gets paid to do what you are suggesting AL do. ( Fight for someone who has been wronged by another employer…the case of which he obviously would have no knowledge of)
    Beides that, your ignorant rant says a lot about you as a person…not good.

  7. The Oracle

    Concerned, you are a loser. And you always will be one. You likely come from a long line of losers, you thoroughbred. Jackass.

  8. Concerned

    To be called a “loser,” and “ignorant” and a “horse’s Arse” and even a “Jackass” I find quite complimentary. First as being ignorant, horse’s arse and jackass, that might be true from your perspective but as a loser- not true. I must say, not true because I have done very, very well at what I do. Please read the article again and see if by chance buffoonery or some other ailment could be blocking your ability to think clearly. I said that Adrian is always complaining about the government. Can you stack all of his articles together from the first to the last and tell me what is the gist of his articles. You might be surprise at what you find. Please do this as a project for me. I also wrote that he is always putting down the goverment and never seems to look closely at the persons he associates with. I gave an example Discovery Bay that I think did something which was not only inhuman and cruel but something no decent person/operation would do to their employees. Your response seems to be, “NO WHAT THAT HOTEL DID WAS FINE YOU ARE AN IGNORAMUS TO THINK OTHERWISE”. I do hope when it happens in your family; to you son or daughter, that you just jump for joy that the behavior of an employer to get rid of someone without just cause is fine. I am asking Adrian to pay more attention to his group rather than constantly focusing on the government. Is this unreasonable. Again you say, “ONLY A JACKASS OR SOMEONE FROM A LONG LINE OF LOSERS WOULD THINK LIKE THIS”.
    Is it not a fool/jackass/loser who often thinks that the other person is a fool/jackass/loser? Tell me.

  9. Just saying

    Is that you Roosevelt? Sounds like it

  10. Concerned

    No! I am not Rooselvelt and “Just Saying” I do hope you can avoid the venom that comes from the living cesspool of “Canadian Tourist” and the likes who call themselves human and also Barbadian. Barbados has really changed and for the worst and it is the likes of Adrian who has festered and contaminated his associates to be against anything that is good and decent. To Adrian greed is good; he loves the government when all its resources can be handed to him. And you know what, the government will never be able to do enough to satisfy Adrian.
    In your thoughts always think of the many Barbadians who live in poverty and you might recognise that you have enough.

  11. The Oracle

    Concerned, you are by no means the only loser…you have loads of company in this present Government who demonstrate their inability to manage our affairs with their daily examples of management idiocy. You are an idiot for actually thinking there is good in what this present Government has done, is doing and plans to do. Only 38,000 Bajans approximately think well of our loony tunes because they work for them as the snivel service. Wrong is wrong and if Adrian spends his time compiling examples of Government’s stupidity, that’s fine…what’s NOT fine is if any of his examples are incorrect. I notice you did not challenge the accuracy of his compiled examples. You doofus.

  12. Concerned

    I am grateful that I’am now only a “loser” and a “doofus” and no longer some of those nasty descriptors that you and your associates used before. I must however ask is “loser” a code word, or is it a representation of the extent of your vocabulary? I have no affiliation with the government but I am please that you seem to have taken time to look at Adrian’s articles and to conclude that they are all about the government. Thankfully we agree on some things but there is no agreement that Adrian is just emphasizing the government’s stupidity. I was always of the opinion that any Barbadian could run for the position of Prime Minister. If Adrian thinks he could make a positive difference for the island he should run. I am sure you could be his deputy and help him get rid of all those lazy civil servants and get tourism back on track. I am not sure however what you would call your party seeing your disdain for people and your propensity to be insulting to everyone. Place this on your dashboard as a idea: “The Indecent Party”. Barbadians will love it. Go for it.
    Wish yo well! This is my final comment.

  13. The Oracle

    Concerned, my vocabulary is decidedly better than your grammar and spelling. I bet you are short and bow legged.

  14. John

    @ Oracle
    Oracle, if the present government is incapable of effectively managing the affairs of the people of Barbados. As you and your haters so vehemently seems too suggested. Why would an electorate that is conscious of this incompetence; allowed them a second term?

  15. John

    @ Oracle
    Oracle, it certainly speaks to the level of political aware of the people in
    Barbados; when an incompetent government is reelected for a second- term. In other words, when you beginning to question the level of competence of the present government. You’re in essence questioning the decision making process of the people who has chosen to reelected them.

  16. Yatinkiteasy

    The people decided between the lesser of two evils.those in power may not be drunkards, but thy certainly are a bunch of idiots!

  17. The Oracle

    John, I’m sorry to hear that the hole you are buried in is bereft of all access to the news….because if you are aware of what is going on in Barbados, you would have read or heard with your own concrete ears that I am not “beginning to question the level of competence of the present government.” Its “we the people” who have been questioning the competence of these idiots all along….every aspect of society from professional associations to international organizations have been questioning their daily errant stupidity. And their very narrow victory is a sure sign that could change any day with a shift in political affiliation and that they are NOT viewed with confidence by the people.

  18. John

    @Oracle
    Oracle, Barbados as well as the United States have, and continue to grapple with the 2008 economic melt- down. So how can you attribute the current economic crisis in Barbados; however, difficult, to a visionless Democratic Labour Party? When the Minister of Finance has outlined the fundamental causes, and proposed solutions to get the island back on track.

    This economic crisis didn’t occur over night. And it’s surely going take the wisdom, and faith of our leaders to address it. Moreover, I really can’t understand how anyone who has had the unfortunate circumstances of being poor in Barbados; could forsake the Party that have been the life-blood of the Poor and down trodden in Barbados. So it is only fitting and proper that we stay clear of speculation and innuendo. Until we have ascertained the appropriate evidence to make a proper judgment of the Democratic Labour Party.

    And as far as America is concern, not much in the way of change has been seen by the average American. Since President Obama proposed his Stimulus- package. I must admit however, that the Stimulus- Package has brought back some sustainability in the Banking, Housing, and Motor industries. But little in the way of change has been seen by the average American since the 2008 economic melt- down. The job situation has risen slightly about the 2008 rate. Foreclosures are still evident in virtually every community in America. The vacant shopping- centers which used to housed the small – businesses are still a major problem here in American. Bridges, Highway, and city roads are in disrepair.

    The Private- sector, and now the State and Federal Governments are forcing their employees to take forlorn days, or risk the possibility of losing they jobs. Forty hours work week are now being slashed in half to avoid paying healthcare benefits. Welfare lines have increased astronomically since this 2008 economic melt-down. So the point that I am try to drive home here is this: if America is considered the wealthiest country in the world, and it is experiencing these kinds of economic changes. What hope is there for Barbados? A country with little or no natural resources; couple with its shallow economy.

    k

  19. The Oracle

    John, our Government has “choices” in what they do and that demonstration is invariably a moronic one. Example: The D’s excoriate the B’s during the election for suggesting an economic stimulus of $90M yet their first act as a new Government is to spend $600M. Who agrees with that? Nobody, for good reasons you can read in the newspapers or hear on the news. Choices John, our Government insists on making every one the worse one available. Our hope is to use our intellectual capital, not stifle it as this Government insists on doing every day.

  20. Barbadosbelle

    Oh, dear!! something else the UK is responsible for!!!

  21. iWatchya

    “poor in Barbados; could forsake the Party that have been the life-blood of the Poor and down trodden in Barbados”

    Yet they have increased taxes, cut welfare budget, cut benefits, cut, cut… told the suffering poor people that they must “become entrepreneurs” .

    All the political “donations” to the voting public are long used up and people are in need.

    Are they really for the poor?

  22. Anonymous

    Don’t know but if you are a bajan doesn’t matter who runs the country what matters is preserving our island nation

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