Monthly Archives: June 2007

Trinidad and Tobago Outlaws Slot Machines – While Barbados Imports Thousands More

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T & T Government Worried About The Social Impact Of Gambling

Barbados Leadership Says “To Hell With Families & Society, Give Me De Money!”

It is really all about values and where the leaders want to take their respective countries. The Government of Trinidad & Tobago under President George Maxwell Richards just passed a law that will see the phasing out of slot machines in that country. Barbados under the government of Prime Minister Owen Arthur has recently embarked upon a massive increase in slot machines situated in local communities.

Everybody knows that slots in the local communities are bad for families and bad for individuals. Prime Minister Arthur did not restrict the increase in slots to tourist hotel venues and has decided that targeting local Bajan communities is acceptable.

Previously, Arthur has equated casino gambling with selling our daughters into prostitution. (link here) Perhaps he’s changed his mind about what is acceptable. Hopefully for our daughters, the PM’s change of heart will stop at slot machines.

Like we said, it is all about values… and, as someone much wiser than we are once said…

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also…

and

For the love of money is the root of all evil

Mr. Prime Minister, members of the government… Why do you do this to Barbados?

Article Links

Trinidad & Tobago Express: Slot Machines To Be Phased Out

Barbados Free Press:

Video Gambling Machines A Free-For-All In The Virgin Islands… But Don’t Worry Barbados, There’s Lots Of Money To Go Around!

Gambling King Robert Johnson “Gave” BET To Barbados And The World

Robert Johnson Pleased To Partner With Barbados Government In New Gambling Operation

Barbados Government Licenses Yet Another Gambling Casino – Nation News Treads Oh So Delicately

How Many Barbados Slot Machines and Where?

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Politics & Corruption

Cheryl and Ashley Cole Dump Spain – Head For Sandy Lane, Barbados

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Footballer Ashley Cole and his wife, Girls Aloud singer Cheryl Tweedy, have long been frequenting Spain when they want to get away from it. Perhaps their infatuation with that country is over as the rich and famous couple were overheard complaining about the number of paparazzi in Spain – and they have now popped up at Sandy Lane, Barbados.

Paparazzi are the price of admission for fame and fortune, and as the above photo shows… we’ve got paparazzi and cameras in Barbados too!

Photo credit: Celeb Source

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Filed under Barbados, Celebrities

Barbados Airport Taxes Now The Highest In The Region?

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Are the taxes payable to leave Barbados Grantley Adams International Airport now the highest in the region?

Let’s take an example…

Travel ONE WAY from Barbados to St. Lucia on 24th June 2007, with the currently lowest airfare available on LIAT.

St. Lucia base fare US$50

Plus taxes/add-ons

US$7.40 Sales Tax (VAT)

$5.00 Passenger Facility Charge

$27.50 Airport Development Tax

$2.50 Airport Authority tax

$0.37 Airport Passenger tax

$10.25 Fuel and Insurance Surcharge

Total taxes/add-ons payable US$52.12

Now let’s do the same comparison based again on the lowest available ONE WAY airfare from Barbados to:

Bearing in mind below figures indicate ONLY the taxes payable and not the actual airfare.

Anguilla – US$77.35
Antigua – US$63.75
Curacao – US$54.80
Dominica – US$51.50
Grenada – US$56.65
Guadeloupe – US$64.25
Georgetown – US$53.60
Martinique – US$55.10
Nevis – US$66.05
St. Kitts – US$65.50
St. Vincent – US$47.45
San Juan – US$81.75
Santo Domingo – US$106.05
St. Maarten – US$64.25
St. Croix – US$78.30
St. Thomas – US$78.30
Tobago – US$51.80
Tortola – US$69.65
Port-of-Spain – US$52.75

Can any BFP readers identify any other Caribbean territory where the taxes and add-ons are higher?

Adrian Loveridge

30 Comments

Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Politics & Corruption, Traveling and Tourism

Barbados – St. Lucia Airfare After Liat-Caribbean Star Merger = $US272 … Used To Be US$131 !!!

Well, THAT Should Encourage Inter-Island CARICOM Travel!

Airline chief executive Mark Darby is on the defensive about the recent increases in inter-island airfare, saying “Both Liat and Caribbean Star Airlines were losing millions of dollars in a competitive environment where fare levels were unsustainable.”

The key to Mr. Darby’s statement is that even the merged airlines are still money-losers. He doesn’t say it up front but he’s still begging governments to sink more into this venture.

The Government of Barbados is by far the largest shareholder of Liat so we Bajans should have a keen interest in how the airline is doing… or not doing.

The Swiss, the Belgians and so many other small countries couldn’t make a go of their national airlines, so maybe it is time for Barbados and the West Indies to admit that at the present time we just aren’t able to keep pouring money into another bottomless pit.

Perhaps the answer is to be found in sea travel with inter-island fast catamarans or other such craft. No, sea travel is not as fast, but for CARICOM inter-island commerce and movement of goods it is way cheaper than flying.

We should be questioning the assumption that there is no other practical and efficient way of doing inter-island travel besides tiny airplanes where passengers can’t even take along a decent sized suitcase.

That old definition of crazy sure applies to our continued willingness to sink millions into airlines based on a feeling of national pride rather than objective reality.

Definition of Crazy Airline “Investments”: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

From The Trinidad & Tobago Express…

US$20 fare increase by Liat

An increase in airfares on regional carrier Liat by US$20 for return trips in most islands has recently crossed over into the airline’s service to Barbados.

Airline chief executive Mark Darby said: “Both Liat and Caribbean Star Airlines were losing millions of dollars in a competitive environment where fare levels were unsustainable.”

“For some destinations, the total fare has been further increased by new airport taxes and charges. The fares in the market today are appropriate and realistic as far as our costs are concerned.”

He said in an advertisement yesterday that the fares had increased but not substantially.

Using the fare increase between Barbados and St Lucia of US$131 before the merger of the two airlines and a post-merger fare of US $272 he said:

“Within the fares listed above are a number of add-ons and taxes to the total fare such as airport development charges, various sales taxes to name a few which often account for one third of the overall fare paid by the passenger.”

He then listed the cost of running the company’s aircraft…

… continue reading this article at the Trinidad & Tobago Express (link here)

Also see LIAT CEO Says Airfares Realistic

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, CARICOM, Traveling and Tourism

New Canadian High Commissioner To Barbados Under A Cloud

The Canadian Globe newspaper says that a fellow by the name of David Marshall “has left Public Works and, according to federal sources, is in training to become Canada’s high commissioner to Barbados.”

The newspaper also says that Mr. Marshall is in the center of a scandal where he was in charge of doing some sort of study to find ways of saving money for the Canadian government. Marshall spent $24 million or so and accomplished nothing.

Hmmmmm….

On second thought, Mr. Marshall will make an ideal Canadian High Commissioner. He’ll fit right in with all the Barbados government members – no problem!

The Globe – Ottawa Lost Control Of Cost-Cutting Project

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Filed under Barbados, Politics & Corruption

Barbados Prime Minister Proposes New Flag

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Prime Minister Arthur & Ministers Silent About The 100 Illegal Chinese Labourers – And Silent About Chinese “Gifts” To Come

The Prime Minister and other senior members of government just returned from a big shopping trip in Communist China, but they are strangely silent about the specifics of any deals reached with the Chinese dictatorship.

Not to worry folks, the Prime Minister will tell us all about the gifts that China will shower upon Barbados – when it is convenient to do so.

When will we hear about all the support from China? Stupse… don’t you know? We’ll hear about all those Chinese gifts when we are a little closer to election time!

Meanwhile though, Owen and the gang don’t want to make any waves that might offend our new benefactors, so the government is remaining silent about those 100 illegal Chinese labourers that were caught working on the new hotel project. (For background, see here)

Were they given permission to stay?

Were they deported? (ha!)

Was the firm that hired them charged and fined?

Owen and his gang hope that we forget all about the price that we are about to pay as we return to our colonial days.

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Filed under Barbados, Politics & Corruption

Graeme Hall National Park – Powerful Entities Want To Possess And Profit From This Public Land

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Should We Allow More Houses & Commercial Building In The Last Remaining Green Space On The South Coast?

The majority of the lands within the proposed Graeme Hall National Park are already owned by the people of Barbados. The vast majority of us naturally want to preserve those lands for our country’s future and for the immediate enjoyment of all our people.

But this will not happen if very powerful entities who want to profit from these public lands have their way.

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How Powerful Are These Entities?

How Much Money Can Politicians Make If They Surrender Our Land To Them?

The people and corporations who want to use our last remaining south coast green space for personal profit are powerful enough, and the money is attractive enough, that the Government of Barbados ignored an offer from the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary to donate most of the sanctuary’s land to the people of Barbados.

You see, the gift of land from Peter Allard and the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary was tied to government declaring a National Park – and that would mean the end of selling off the surrounding public lands to “friends” of the government.

Graeme Hall National Park would mean the end of hundreds of millions of dollars of profits for those “friends of the government” who want to build wall-to-wall housing and businesses on our public land…

… So Prime Minister Owen Arthur and the Government of Barbados did not even have the courtesy to acknowledge the over 6000 citizens who petitioned for Graeme Hall National Park, nor the offer of a gift of the majority of the nature sanctuary lands.

The fix is in because the Prime Minister has those lands already promised to his friends.

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Declaring the Graeme Hall National Park would legally protect the last mangrove forest, the last major wetland, the largest inland lake, and the most concentrated biodiversity in Barbados. It would provide an easily accessible park area for the enjoyment of all and would be a lasting legacy to future generations – a refuge from the tightly-packed urban living that is crawling across this small island with a speed never before seen.

The great cities of the world are great in part because they are not mile after mile of urban development and nothing else. The leaders and visionaries of New York City set aside Central Park over a hundred years ago. Think what a concrete jungle that city would be without Central Park.

Think of what Barbados will be in 100 years – or 30 years – or even 10 – if everything is done for profit and nothing is done for quality of life and the future.

This Train Is Leaving The Station

After being kicked around for years by the Government of Barbados, the Canadian philanthropist who funded the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary is calling it quits in Barbados. Peter Allard poured some $32 million dollars into his gift to the people of Barbados just because he likes our country and our people. He wanted to preserve our last mangrove forest as a legacy to our children.

Do you remember what Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary was before Allard came? It was a garbage dump on its way to becoming condos and more concrete. Trucks would come in the middle of the night and dump chemicals and industrial rubbish and even then the developers had their eyes on it.

Peter Allard spent his millions to give that back to us, and now our government parasites want it so badly that they will take it from us to line their own pockets.

The Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary Is Now For Sale

What we could have had for free, what Prime Minister Owen Arthur and his government refused as a gift, is now for sale as Peter Allard rightly and righteously shakes the Bajan dust from his shoes.

Our leaders have decided to line their pockets rather than look after the future for our children.

This is not the first time that politicians refused a gift to the people because they could not line their own pockets.

Tomorrow we will tell you about how our leaders refused an offer of a free AIDS and cancer clinic – because there was no “squeeze” for their pockets.

Meanwhile, enjoy the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary while you can.

If you are concerned at all about the refusal of your leaders to create a national park at Graeme Hall, I guess you could do a few things to help…

1/ Write and call your Member of Parliament. Tell him what you think.

2/ Write and call Prime Minister Owen Arthur. Give him a piece of your mind.

3/ Visit the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary and its website. See for yourself what you and your children are about to have taken from you.

4/ Visit the website of the Graeme Hall National Park (link here). Learn about the issues surrounding this proposal. See how the government is violating it’s own plans and rules so it’s friends can make some heavy money.

5/ Talk to your friends and family. Talk on Brass Tacks and other call-in shows. Write letters to the media. Ask questions about the agendas that are preventing the creation of Graeme Hall National Park.

Don’t let the crooked politicians and their friends take your children’s land – the last green space on the South Coast – to fill their offshore bank accounts.

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Environment, Politics & Corruption