Barbados Cost Of Living Just Keeps On Climbing – Hidden Factors Are Killers…


Just when Owing is paying lip service speaking about lowering the cost of living, then you get emails like this that blows his rants thru the window.

All these increased charges directly affect the cost of living very much like in the way he stuck the CESS TAX did he not realize that it would increase the cost of living and even when it was removed it made no difference to our living cost.

It is a sad reflection of what we have for a government…


Good Day,

Eric Hassell & Son Ltd. wishes to advise that there will be an increase in the bunker surcharge for both our Seaboard Marine Line (SML) and Europe West Indies Line (EWL). The bunker increase for SML will take effect on November 4th. EWL’s bunker increase will take effect on November 1st.

Kindly note the attached notices (Please open with the Microsoft Word Application).

Please let us know should you have any further questions.

Thank you and best regards

Karol Kirton

Sales/Marketing Coordinator
Eric Hassell & Son Ltd.


Filed under Barbados, Business

31 responses to “Barbados Cost Of Living Just Keeps On Climbing – Hidden Factors Are Killers…

  1. Wishing in Vain

    The more I listen to this blp bunch the more I realise how full of crap they really are, when a major part of the excessive cost of goods can be traced right back to the port of entry where they have our port operating as the most expensive port in the Caribbean and then he gets up and talks his nonsense yesterday, Owing should be ashamed to be seen out in public.

  2. Just Waiting

    You should know by now that they have no shame.
    Government protects, or in some instances control, the agencies responsible for inflating the cost of living, and then pretends to be concerned.

  3. Wishing in Vain

    The VAT was sold to the public as a tax to replace a range of taxes and levies but these levies and taxes such as the CESS are creeping back in thru the back door.

    The same CESS has added to our cost of living but guess what, when removed none of those prices dropped by 6 % the gov’t created an artificial level of profit for the importers of this island and that is exactly where the 6 % stayed at us the consumers of these things.

    We have a range of goods with duties as high as 60 % now you tell me if the selling of the VAT was not a nasty untruth, just another of their lies.

    Our top end on the duty scale should be 20 % import duty full stop, and then VAT at point of sale. but instead we have many goods being subjected to excessive dutiesand levies which should not be when the reason of the VAT was to tidy up the Customs and Excise dept.

    We also need to ask the gov’t what they intend to do bring our port in line with other ports in the region and not continue to have it stand out as being the most expensive port to load and offload at or to do business thru.

  4. banned

    The Barbados Labour Party like just about every other significant party in modern democracy is propped by big business. Modern political parties are not about ethos; they are about achieving wealth for contributing members. Surely this should be obvious by now. Owen is neither a saint nor a devil, just a pragmatist. Me? I am a romantic. I despise absolutely despise feet on the ground people. Makes me cursed.

  5. Owen is spinning his spin. Too many people of Barbados are not aware of the facts by either not having access of a computer or not having seen a printed version of the BFP.
    If they are gathering their news through the Nation or the Advocate, they will be cought up in the web.

  6. paul sealy

    I tell wunna already these people think all bajans foolish,spew out the crap and they will accept it like the yardfowls they are,see how packed that meeting was…its a damn shame,meanwhile the merchants are laughing all the way to the bank singing rap artiste 50 cents hit ” I Get Money”,you go figure.

  7. paul sealy

    ” A Promise Is A COMFORT To A Poor Bajan Fool”…right Mr.Arthur??

  8. peltdownman

    You are only partly correct. Those items that carry 60% duty are those that are manufactured in Barbados, though there are one or two exceptions. The very same costs that you see being applied above, are also applied to manufacturing inputs, making it harder for manufacturers to be competitive, hence the protective duties. Where you are correct is that, if and when these duties are removed, prices WILL NOT FALL! There will be immediate fallout in manufacturing, with increases in unemployment, whilst the distributive sector make even more profit. Bajans have to face the fact that government is almost powerless to stop price gouging. If Bajans could see the real prices being paid at source for some of the goods they are purchasing, they would be astounded. 1000% markup is not unusual.

  9. Portcharges

    Talking about increased Port costs. See link below where a company called AXCESS was awarded a US $2 Million Contract for Integrated RFID and Sensor Port Security Solution in Barbados.

    It says that AXCESS was “awarded” the contract but on what basis?Was it put out to tender? Was the system deployed in time for World Cup 2007? Is it presently in operation?

    What is for certain is that the Port has been increasing its security charges to users/importers.

  10. Bush Tea

    There is ONLY ONE WAY for the cost of living in Barbados to settle itself at a fair and reasonable level.
    There must be alternatives to the BS&T / GODDARDS and their other private sector cohorts.

    When this Government allowed the small shopkeepers to be destroyed without replacing them with an alternative competitor to the big business gang, the results were obvious.
    All price controls will achieve will be shortages and unavailability of goods.

    The other set of jokers in the ring are the Credit Union leadership. For the last 30 years now they have been bragging about how much money Bajans have been ‘saving’ with them. How have they contributed to empowering the masses??? except by supporting loans for consumables.
    – Have they controlling interest in any business?
    – Have they any influence in Government?
    – Have they launched any Co-operatives to compete with the monopolist?


    Apart from the Insurance Company launched back in 1990s by Doyle and Browne not a single initiative… and that ain’t saying a pang now anyway.

    Let’s face it. We are jokers, talkers, and complainers. That translates into ‘victims’.
    If we can’t find out how to GET THINGS DONE we may as well learn to accept our condition…

  11. Bajan

    you forget to mention the introduction of 1.5 %levy on most items .also recently a $10 processing fee was introduce for every item

  12. Anonymous

    What is a “Bunker surcharge”?

  13. Wishing in Vain

    A calculation of the increased cost of the fuel used or this portion of the trip.
    It has varied with the increases in the price of fuel but it only goes one way and that is up.

  14. Hants

    How do you stop price gouging in a free Capitalist society? Price controls.

    Every citizen should have the basic necessities of life.
    Therefore price controls may be required for food and toiletries etc.

    This means Government will have to do like the US and Canada and heavily subsidize farming or food production will cease to exist in Barbados.

    Importing cheap food from China is another option but there are “issues” with standards.

    Fish caught in Russia is sent to China to be processed and then frozen solid and shipped to Canada. It is then packaged, stamped “Product of Canada” and sold in supermarkets.

    Some Apple juice in Canada is made from concentrate imported from China.

    I saw cabbage in the supermarket here in Toronto and it said product of China.

  15. Gorilliphant

    Stupid BFP idiots.

    When did Eric Hassell & Son Ltd. become the Government of Barbados?


  16. james

    Price controls don’t work (who do you think ends up paying for them – it’s always our tax dollars in the end and some businessman always makes a killing). Trade barriers don’t work so well either. Genuine competition works. Encouraging new distributors and retailers would be a good first step.

  17. Adrian Hinds

    October 30th, 2007 at 2:07 pm
    Stupid BFP idiots.

    When did Eric Hassell & Son Ltd. become the Government of Barbados?


    Since no one answers questions in Barbados here is another one. 😀 Since when did Eric Hassell & Son Ltd. and other such companies STOP being the back office Government of Barbados?

    A Gorilliphant in an “encaged thought” is but a green monkey. 😀

  18. more

    Bush Tea says “Let’s face it. We are jokers, talkers, and complainers. That translates into ‘victims’.
    If we can’t find out how to GET THINGS DONE we may as well learn to accept our condition…”

    You sure got it right. Hit the nail on the head. That is one of the reasons we are where we find ourselves now. A bunch of cowards.

  19. Anonymous

    yes bushtea got it right whine and complain throw dust into the air in protest then settle down to more of the same
    bs&t have discovered the market will bear just about anything. the alternative? import it yuhself! whats this talk about food production in barbados ceasing? when did it ever begin?

    why havent the blp raised the price of gasoline despite crude being 90/bbl? elections must be getting close. what happen to nov28 talk? r they absorbing the raised costs in their fat fat slice of the gas pie? yes. lotsa gravy built into that slice. soon as elections over is k y in yuh axx – $3 a liter bam so

  20. Straight talk

    You don’t say gas may be come more expensive than Coke?


  21. theNickster

    Ironically if there was such a thing as a government supermarket (they still control the port after all), we could conceivably have food-stuffs at prices we could afford, and the S.O.Bs would still make a profit. Of course too many political scrotums have been rubbed for that to happen anytime soon. Wonder whats Thompson’s take on all this?

  22. Outgoing PM Arthur must think that we are fools whne we listen to him speak about reducing the cost of living.

    He blames the merchants, but appoints Allan Fields, the Chairman of B S & T (biggets culprits) to the position of Chairman of CBC, Ambassador to China, and given a Knighthood and facilitates his appointment as Chairman of Cable & Wireless.

    The higher a monkey climbs the more he shows his tail.

  23. Avatar Gurl

    All these tails and butts…watch them wiggle above you like worms… 😀

  24. Avatar Gurl

    Personally, I don’t want any butts wiggling above me! Don’t want that kind of air in MY lungs!

    Give us all that fresh country breeze…will it blow through this beautiful land? Will it? WHEN?

  25. Inkwell

    It is not so far fetched. Government could open a big supermarket and compete against the private sector the same way they operate the Transport Board, subsidize it heavily, and compete against private sector PSV owners and use the law to artificially keep the bus fares at $1.50. That is a particularly iniquitous form of price control that is being used unfairly against this class of small businessman.

    Government could in the same way subsidize the price of basic foodstuffs and other essentials for the benefit of the people, but, you see, Government wouldn’t consider using this tactic against big business, which everyone admits is ripping off the population with price gouging and making huge profits.

    It is only the PSV operators who get stiffed and everyone shouts hooray.

  26. Bush Tea

    ….what you are saying Inkwell, is that Government would not be ALLOWED by their funders, financial backers and string pullers to compete with the BS&Ts and friends Association in this lucrative area.
    Why you think Sir Allan got his high offices and honours?
    Here is a riddle… Had it not been for David T. and the BLOGS, this year we would shorely have had another “Sir David”.

    …again I say – the problem with this country…. We have no real leaders, and few men with the cajoles to make a difference.

  27. Adrian Loveridge


    Government running supermarkets?

    Look at how they run hotels, a transport system, hardwood housing ‘solutions’ etc, etc, etc.

    What the supermarkets need is real competition.

    There are too many intermediaries all wanting their substantial cut.

    A food warehouse with no frills and the importer selling directly to the consumer.
    You would soon see some price reductions.

    When I see wines selling in a certain supermarket for a higher price than we charge our guests, there has to be something fundamentally wrong.

  28. Straight talk

    Now that’s an idea for someone to approach the Enterprise Growth Fund with Adrian.

    Container loads of cheap food from Europe selling canned goods at a quarter of the current prices.

    Pile ’em high sell ’em cheap.

    Unfortunately it wouldn’t get past the first hurdle.

    No graft in it.

  29. Inkwell

    Adrian, you of all people should be sympathetic to the cause of those complaining about government competing against the private sector, which was the essential point I am making.

    Your voice has been loud against the Government initiative, where Gems properties have been undercutting prices of private sector hotels on the south coast and jeopardizing their viability.

    The same situation obtains in the transport sector. Not a word has been heard from the private sector organizations in condemnation of the government actions in marginalizing this sector, and may I add with more devastating effect, to the extent where it has for years been causing negative social fallout..see my article ..Public Service Vehicles In Barbados – We Need Them, But Government And Police Treat Them With Disdain, published here on Tuesday, July 17th, 2007…12:21 pm. Not a word of support and we pontificate about a social partnership? It is only a social partnership when it suits some entities.

    Of course Government should not be running supermarkets or hotels. All we are asking for in the transport sector is a level playing field.

  30. BK

    Inkwell I have read your battle to defend what I think is a weak position :-). To compare the distributive sector to transportation (I assume you mean the reconditioned car market?) and to further suggest that it should be an equal playing field is not fair vis a vis how government approach the two sectors. I don’t disagree that the hammer has fallen on the transportation sector because in my view they have not organized and articulated properly. My bigger point is that the big dealers employ thousands of people and the spin-offs in respect of taxes etc are greater. More importantly the owners of the private transportation sector in Barbados are wrapped up in the people who control the economic activity in the country. Any government which manages Barbados will always be mindful of the need to maintain a balance sometimes at the expense of the black majority.
    Try applying the 80/20 rule and tell who you think government will try to keep happy?

  31. Inkwell


    No, I am not referring to the reconditioned car market. I am referring to the Barbados Transport Board competing with the PSV’s. If you read the article “Public Service Vehicles In Barbados – We Need Them, But Government And Police Treat Them With Disdain”, submitted by me and published by BFP on Tuesday, July 17th, you will see what I mean.