Barbados Budget 2008 – Government Cancels Contract With Corrupt Flyover Builder Jonathan Danos & 3S

Good Start, Mr. Prime Minister…

But please remember…

The people of Barbados expect, demand and deserve so much more.

It is one thing to slash and burn the corrupt works of the previous BLP Arthur/Mottley Government.

It is another level to totally dedicate your government to integrity, transparency and accountability… and in that, you have fallen far short of the mark. Also… the citizens of Barbados expect and demand that some guilty people go to jail. No compromise there and you haven’t yet shown that you are capable of cleaning up the mess and changing a culture of corruption in the public service.

Still… Barbados Free Press will support you on principle on your government’s current budget. We’ll provide more detailed analysis later, but at the moment we see some innovation and common sense in your budget that pleases us.

We are concerned about the “theme parks” reference – we didn’t hear it all – and put you on notice that the green areas of Barbados and coastlines must be preserved OR NOTHING ELSE MATTERS.

More on that later.

Now… how about that ITAL?

Further Reading

Barbados Underground: Prime Minister David Thompson Grabs Centre Stage Delivering His First Budget

Barbados Free Press: Barbados Flyover Contractor Jonathan Danos Admits Paying Huge Bribes To Caribbean Government Officials & Their Middlemen


Filed under Barbados, Politics

118 responses to “Barbados Budget 2008 – Government Cancels Contract With Corrupt Flyover Builder Jonathan Danos & 3S

  1. Tony Hall

    I think it was a relatively good budget. The issue of school children in uniform travelling on the buses free is good and also an indirect way of keeping them off the mini buses. He has also given the used car dealers a level playing field to play on. Given the economic circumstances we are in it is a good start to rectify matters.

  2. Tell me Why

    The cancelling of the contract is six months overdue by the DLP and two years by the past administration. Hooray, no fly overs.


    BFP says…

    Owen Arthur said we were doing the flyovers to be ready for Cricket World Cup.

    Well… I guess we had better regroup!

  3. Bajanboy

    I liked the sin taxes on gambling, tobacco and alcohol.

    I think the limit on the video terminals is set at 750. I wonder what they are going to do with the other 1750 they brought in?

    Also, the increase the temporary visitor’s permit from $10 to $100 is ridiculous.

  4. Tell me Why

    Is the kiss from one of the males in the BFP household? Shona’s mouth ain’t that big. Ha Haaaaaaaaaa


    BFP says,

    Ha ha ha yourself!

    We hope David likes a kiss from Auntie Moses! She says he’s not as handsome as Frank Sinatra… but he’s still breathing, so he’s a candidate! 😉

  5. A breadth of fresh air

    Unless one is a naysayer, you would have to agree – the budget is a good starter.
    I am especially proud to see the govt. rectify at least two (2) heineous deeds of the last Administration in this goverment’s:

    1. Making ALL cars pay an equal $1500.00
    Environmental Levy
    2. Allowing qualifying Taxi operatiors the option
    of importing a gas powered vehicle once again.

    As for No. 1 above, I can’t imagine how a govt. could conspire with big business to penalise one sector of the industry with the soul purpose of “rooting them out” the smaller players in the market.

    No. 2 – The policy of limiting and restricting Taxi Operators to import only diesel powered vehicles was really “brilliant”.
    What were they to bring in duty free? – Mercedes’ Benz? BMW”S.
    Obviously this was another plan by the former caretakers to enrich the rich.
    No wonder they were booted out. They got bold in their arrogance.

    I hope this Administration remains fair and doesn’t fall to the arrogance trip.

  6. The Devil

    I thought that I asked you about the following but I don’t see any post, so any comments on

    (1) an airport in St Lucy

    (2) man-made island(s) off the west coast

    (3) the intention to build jetties and marinas on the south coast as well as a cruise ship pier in the north of the island.

  7. Wishing In Vain

    I think that we have just seen a very considerate approach to leadership in this country.

    Despite the last groups willingness to rape the treasury it is amazing that the new Gov’t found it possible to provide relief in as many areas as they have done, full marks to the Prime Minister for his thoughtfullness and compassion.

    The one that really appeals to me the most is the measure to move school children FREE OF CHARGE ON THE PUBLIC TRANSPORT SYSTEM this adresses two issues front on, one being the cost to parents to get their children to and from schoool and even more importantly the case of bad habits associated with these mini buses.

    I must say my sincere congrats to the Prime Minister the Hon Mr. David Thompson for putting together a sterling effort and a tremendous program for othe next year forward.


    BFP says,

    Laying it on rather thickly, aren’t you WIV?

    Can you tell us why the Prime Minister has failed to declare that government officials are not to issue contracts to themselves and close family members? Don’t give us the horse manure about legislation coming two years from now. Thompson could issue that order this afternoon. Why doesn’t he?

  8. 180

    Pray tell, what is the basic problem with flyovers when our vehicular traffic seems to be increasing exponentially. But I suppose the increase in road-tax is suppose to curb that increase, but on the other hand the equalisation of the environment levy (which I think is fair, mind you) and some of the other consessions may actually out-weigh this.

    I agree with many of the incentives especially the energy saving or alternatives – something I have been advocating for years and would have like have done so with my own home but could not afford it – yet like all budgets they have to balance

    While we all may think that the increase in insurance license fees are justifiable, they will only force up insurance costs more – like they need an excuse anyway – and this will affect the mortgagees (like me) who HAVE to insure their property at full value.

    Yet does the Insurance Company come around and inspect your property? To really access what the liability really is? Like if you’ve built a really strong house should you have to pay the going full rate?

    In fact, Insurance Companies (and Brokers to some extent too) simply sit down in their offices, take on business and the money, without coming out to have a look at what they are insuring and/or if necessary say that they cannot insure ‘x’ property because of ‘y’ risks, and then the rest of us has to pay for statistical occurences that may have been avoided if Insurance Companies were more proactive.

    Run with that BFP – call for more Proactive Insurance Companies – see how far you get.

  9. Jukecheckedeyskirt

    Mr. Primeminister so good so far. At least you are listening and taking heed to the people’s concerns. At least you are showing your country men that you are not an island but a servant of the soil. Now I implore you to continue to rule with all fairness, soundness and truth. Keep your minsters in check because I get the impression that some of them have hidden agendas and are really wolves in sheep clothing. I hope that you will continue to be a leader with commonsense and not like the last one who ruled in ‘rumsense.’ If you continue to show your true worth you will be in power for a very long time and I hope that you are because I have lost it for the Barbados Labour Party. I really hope that they get their just recompense for their squandermania and servitude only to their loyal sons, daughters and big ups. They should be thankful that Barbadians are a peaceful, non rioting people.

    Now Mr. Primeminister continue to do the peoples business and develope a reputation unlike any other Primeminister who have sat in office. Now it is time to put ITAL in place; now it is time to secure your mandate for the next 14 years of your reign.


    The Devil – Crackpot forecasts are mandatory in budget presentations, they rarely come to fruition and are hard to refute.

    So let’s stick to the present.

    The craziest news yesterday was about the non-building of flyovers. After years of disruption widening the highways and luring more and more cars on to them they’ll still have to exit at 18th century roundabouts. The nightly traffic jam at Warrens is a joke. To see thousands of Bajans in their snazzy vehicles inching forwards, grim-faced, unable to do anything about it shows the incompetence and contempt of those who throw public money on hairbrained projects.

    Now to the West Coast rape.

    Long before St. Lucy gets an airport. Long before we double the size of the island with landfill. Long before Maycocks becomes a cruise ship terminal.

    The fishing village of Six Mens will be destroyed, the people there uprooted and dispersed, the beach will be violated and all for the sakes of another marina that is slowly coming into being. After a public meeting where no public attended.

    Let’s first block the crackpot schemes already in progress before we worry about vague budget proposals.

  11. BFP

    The flyovers must be canceled for four very good reasons….

    1/ The BLP government was corrupt and the flyover project was contracted to a corrupt builder. For that reason alone, everything should be shut down so we can discover the truth about its design, contract and the land expropriations that accompanied it.

    2/ The BLP government had zero plan for public transportation and was committed to putting as many cars on the road as possible. This shortsighted nonsense was driven by a lack of vision and also by business interests that profit from cars and the necessary societal support structures.

    3/ If you want to shift the public from personal autos to a public transportation model, the way to do that is to limit roads infrastructure while putting other modes of public transportation into place. That is pretty basic but it requires some courage to follow through. We’ll see if the DLP has that courage.

    4/ We are out of money thanks to 14 years of borrow and waste by the BLP. I’d say “borrow and spend” but that implies that the people of Barbados received good value for the expenditures – which we certainly did not.

    We have a choice to spend money on roads to support ever more vehicles until the roads are so crowded that we need to spend yet more money (a cycle that will never end until every last road is a 4 lane highway and then the system collapses)….

    or we can use that same money for public transportation and let the road system naturally limit the number of personal vehicles on the island.

    It seems like a simple equation to us.

  12. Peltdownman

    The problems at the roundabouts are to do with the road layouts close to them. The Hothersal roundabout is jammed in the evening purely because of Hothersal Turning itself. At Warrens, we all know the reasons for the the tail-backs. But these problems can be overcome with proper planning for a lot less money than the cost of flyovers.
    As for “theme parks”, even Disney, with it’s huge market, is finding it difficult to maintain business. The problem with theme parks is that once you have been, it’s all over as an attraction. With the VERY limited Caribbean and Barbados market, I forsee any theme park being derelict within 5-8 years. Imagine ruining Graeme Hall for a water park only to find it abandoned in a few years!

  13. 180

    … and you really think that Bajans are going to stop buying cars and SUVs? You’re dreaming again BFP – pinch yourself quick.


    BFP says,

    I think that the same arguments were made back when every vehicle got 5 miles per gallon. Bajans have already stopped buying big SUVs as have most folks in the USA. Your solution of ever more roads for ever more cars is the unrealistic dream.

  14. Margaret Knight

    Oh, Lord! Please don’t mention the words “theme/water park” and Graeme Hall in the same breath – it gives me the willies. As far back as 1971, when the word “development” found itself associated with “Graeme Hall”, I wrote a letter to the relevant authorities begging them to remove from their minds such a frightening thought. In those days, you used to receive replies from relevant Ministries, and I did receive an encouraging reply from – I think – a Major Daniel (which I still have in my possession). Recently I made an “overture”, shall we say, to a “relevant person” in connection with Graeme Hall, expressing the hope that no water or theme park should be developed there. We live in hope!

  15. Tony Hall

    Mia Mottley has to say something but to start off as seen in today’s Nation by saying the Barbadians have been mugged by the .Bbudget is laughable. the BLP is still in shock. They still have not realised that they are not Gov’t.

  16. permres

    I was going to suggest moving this discussion about flyovers to another thread, but it seems accepted, and I am pleased that 180’s ideas have been addressed.

    The flyovers were designed to move people to and from the airport to the West Coast, not to help get them into Bridgetown all at the same time. An impossible task I think. Slip past the ABC Highway into town easily, and snarl up at the next stoppage, parked vehicle, rat-runners coming out of side-gaps, whatever.

    OK, 180, big-minded people (those who like to drive around showing how big their thing is) will always want their big vehicles, but they WILL be kept out-of-town, and not used to get one person at-a-time to and from work. BFP above explains clearly how this will be done.

    Park’n ride, bus lanes, pedestrianisation in the centre, its all got to come for us to move into first-world status. NOT more cars! And what about ferries and monorails in the future, and do not forget push-bikes and walking if we are talking health and fitness in our first-world scenario?

  17. I agree with you BFP

    Your comments to 180 are correct.
    The speed and influx of NEW (Not USED) vehicles onto our roads as we have seen in the last 2 years will be curtailed. Market forces and a slowing of the economy will equalise itself.

  18. permres

    Coming back to the Budget, the cell-phone charge is really neat. Along with alcohol, tobacco and gambling (and golf :-)?), they are a luxury and addictive. The people will not give them up easily (unless they are proved to be bad for your health) so the government should always tax heavily to get in the revenue. Well done!

  19. what a read

    Can anyone give the logic behind the 1000% increase in visitor driver permits, this will have a terrible effect on car rental operators and may even put some small operators out of business.

    No question 3S action was expected.

  20. Trained Economist

    I really liked some features of this budget:

    1. The government is finally making an attempt to broaden the tax net by increasing fees paid by certain professionals and businesses. This in my view is a good move. These professionals and entities should bear their fair share of the tax burden. This is a move in the right direction and the initiative should continue. for example, tax audits of many of these types of entities should become a norm. The FTC or relevant authority should vigorously monitor any attempt to price gouge as a result of these long over adjustments.

    2. The move to allow independent power providers is to be applauded. The government is sending a serious signal in support of alternative energy, without betting on any one technology.

    3. The process of seeking representations from various interest groups seems to have been quite effective in generating meaningful and commonsense measures.

    4. The notion that policies need to be explicitly funded is refreshing and I hope it remains a feature of this administration.

    5. There was definitely a lot of creativity in terms of the revenue generating measures. Who would have thought of a cell phone flat tax?

    Good job ,hope as much effort is focused on the implementation and monitoring.

  21. Tony Hall

    What a Read,
    I do not think the increase in visitors’ permits will have a terrible effect. I was home 2 weeks ago and I got permit which will be good for another year. However I will not have a problem in paying $50.00 US when the next occasion arises. I am surprised that the cost of the permits were not increased before. I do not think visitors will have any problem in paying for the permits. I know for sure that the increase will be a good revenue earner.

  22. Straight talk

    Regarding the Visitor’s Driving Permits, an extra $100 for a week’s car hire does appear punitive.

    If the intention was to address the anomaly of a permres paying $10 for their whole year’s driving, then perhaps a 28 day permit costing, say $25, should do the trick whilst not adversely affecting the car rental sector.

  23. Hants

    $100 permit for visitors can be part of the Car rental cost.

    Charge the Visitor $20 for the permit and tell them because you love them, you have discounted the fee by $80.

    Add the $80 to Rental price.

    Bajans have to strategise and be creative.

    More importantly, I hope the overseas bloggers will keep teh BFP family updated of the recession that is going on on the rest of the world except in UAE and Saudi Arabia.

  24. what a read

    Tony Hall, you seem not to understand the tourism market we deal with I can tell you it will have a dramatic effect I think Straight talk’s suggestion is a more in lines with my thoughts however i would do like many other Caribbean Island and have the permit valid for 3 months.

    pershons who rent for 1 or 2 days will now not rent, attractions, restaurants , rumshops the vendors will all be affected…..

  25. 198.1

    I cannot understand on what basis Government can tax cell phones. They do not provide the connection, they do not own the phones, and though the object of the tax is laudable, this is nothing but an exercise of naked power.

  26. Hants

    Trained Economist

    Your contribution will help us non economist to understand some of the policies in the Budget.

    I follow as my principal source of information as I live in Canada and my Clients are mainly in North America.

    In laymans terms, the budget appears to be good for a small country like Barbados that basically has very little to work with.

  27. what a read

    Hants, I am sure you will see many marketing gimics to hide this rediculos increase… but when you consider that Barbados Car Hire is one of the most expensive in the Caribbean – mainly because of high taxes/operating cost it is unlikely for a company to sustain this absorbtion.

    I can see extensive reductions in business, layoffs and company closures in the future with action such as this……

  28. bajanbat

    Trained economist – “there was definitely a lot of creativity in terms of the revenue generating measures. Who would have thought of a cell phone flat tax?” – DT would and did! going to be real popular with the bling folk!
    “tax audits of many of these types of entities should become a norm” – do you really believe lawyers (like the PM) will want tax audits? The law is for others and does not apply to them.
    $100 for a visitor’s permit is absurd. On top of increased drink prices as a result of the higher duty on alcohol! Adrian must be thrilled!
    Generally creative and some good stuff for those at the lower income levels, but there are some real anomalies – a sign of lack of adequate preparation but it has only been 5 months, next one will have greater preparation.

  29. JR

    I think we have to wait and see what fall out, if any, that will arise as a result of the increased costs for driving permits to tourists. If there is, I hope the government would be flexible enough to adjust.

    My own sense is that the government looked at a number of fees that have not been touched for at least a decade and has made some adjustments.

    It would be interesting if someone could point out what the cost of such permits are in competing markets. Maybe then we can have a more informed discussion on the likely impact of any adjustment.

  30. Bajanboy

    The cost of the visitor’s permit will dissuade many people from renting vehicles for 1 to 3 days, which are very common.

    I predict that the PM will be forced to change this.

    I would do away with the permits all together and allow anyone possessing a valid license to drive for the duration of their trip, providing it is for less than six weeks.

    Car hire companies are already burdened with high levels of taxes and insurance, so taxing this fattened calf anymore is not a good idea.

  31. Real Ting

    the flyover thing was madness; a couple of hundred million for decongestion of the roads; that is sheer madness; decongestion could be achieved by simply saying that on even numbered days only even numbered cars will be allowed onto the ABC highway and into Bridgetown and on odd numbered days only odd numbered cars. if you want to be less restictive impose the restriction between 7 and 10 on mornings and 3 and 7on evenings. No cost except the cost of sitting in parliament for a day. Watch and see how many people would put their children on the free bus system. Watch and see how many bajans would car pool or leave home earlier or leave work later or take alternative routes or Oh my gosh; take a bus or use the proposed park and ride facilities. Simple and easy. Bajans will quarrel for a while but they will adjust and just like with the seatbelt law in 3-6 months they will not even remember how it was before.

  32. Hants

    what a read

    Car rentals are high compared to the USA and Canada, but the reality is that you are adding $40 US or CAD to a US$400 five day rental and that is not going to stop a Tourist from renting a car.

    I admit it could be a problem if the Tourist is renting for a day or two.

    If it becomes a problem it can be reversed.

  33. what a read

    Realk Ting, not sure I agree that fly over solution was madness 8 were uncalled for but any given day of the week the LOB roundabout and “Bussa” roundabout are gridlock that some type of fly over would relieve.. try telling a bajan leave his car at home and see how quickly you get cussed….

  34. J

    I am concerned that now that school children will be riding “free” on Transport Board buses this may lead to serious overcrowding on these buses.

    As it is a lot of rural school buses are already dreadfully overcrowded.

    Overcrowding (maybe even more so that loud obscene music) tends to lead to bad behaviour.

    Ramming 70 to 100 horny teenagers on one bus will NOT make them behave like the good Sunday school children we would wish them to be.

    There are no conductors/conductresses on these Transport Board buses to help to moderate the bad behaviour.

    So I would like to see significantly more Transport Board buses for school children, even if this means pulling some Transport Board buses off regular routes.

    I would like to see the yellow buses and the ZR vans take up the slack in transportating adult passengers.

    Hopefully in this way everybody wins.

  35. what a read

    Hants, average rental length is 3 to 4 days It needs to be addressed now not later.

  36. The Devil

    Ok the Gov’t did the right thing in firing 3S.

    However, how can one cancel a contract when it was said that there was no contract to start with? In any event this ‘cancellation’ is cold comfort. Just imagine that 3S probably has been paid many times more for the work done than that work was really worth. They have practically completed the job anyway and all involved are quietly laughing all the way to the bank.

    I will really rejoice when I hear that certain persons are occupying a “room” at Dodds.

  37. Peltdownman

    The visitor’s permit was cheap compared with other islands, but I think that the increase is excessive. Very few visitors stay for a whole year, so why issue a whole-year permit? I agree with Straight Talk on this. It’s not so much the money, but the perception of a “rip-off” that is often counter-productive where visitors are concerned.

  38. what a read

    Peltdownman, The permit was cheap compared to other islands. what we really need is to do like the other islands and have a validity of 3 months.
    but 1000% increase is not reasonable I think most of us agree on this

  39. Hants

    Average car rental price is US$100 per day.

    3 day rental can now be raised to $360 and drivers licence charge would be US$20.

    Car rental companies will have to tighten their belts like the rest of us.

    I have had to reduce my driving by 50 % and will now have to reduce my trips to Barbados to 2 more this year but for longer stays.
    I also cut my fees to clients by about 25%.

    It ain’t easy but “it is what it is”.

    visit and you will see what is coming.

    “Industrial conglomerate Siemens AG plans to cut more than four percent of its workforce, or 16,750 jobs, to streamline operations in the face of a global economic downturn.”

  40. Get wid de program!

    ” so.. any comments on
    (1) an airport in St Lucy
    (2) man-made island(s) off the west coast”

    Airport for St.Lucy is LONG OVERDUE!
    and will wake up the deprived North of the island,economically.
    Suddenly the Speightstown Rush is ON,baby!
    Buy St.Lucy/SinPeter Real Estate NOW!
    Bravo! good move!
    Of course it isn’t going to be anything like Seawell/GAIA
    probably a smallish air-strip for starters,
    but certainly a good start in the right direction.
    Shuttle stuff,y’know.
    Shoulda bin done 25 yrs. ago!


    Man-made islands off the W.Coast sounds far fetched, but quite possible – made of compressed-garbage blocks, I say. Its starting base is the offshore banking reef which in many places is half-dead already.
    DOTTINS is a good place to start.
    35ft. depth.
    I been wanting to do that myself now, for the past 35 years!
    but then I think outside The Barbados Box
    unlike so many around here who want it to remain like 1963 forever..

    The calendar isn’t lying.
    It really IS 2008
    and we’re halfway to ’09 in case you haven’t noticed!

  41. S

    I thought that Gordon Brown had the award of being almost the world’s worst chancellor/prime minister (beaten only by Mugabe), but now David Thompson is pushing for the same award.

    The budget was a fiasco. When opportunities came calling he decided to tax the Bajan population and ensure another year or more of cash flow problems at home.

    I wouldn’t vote BLP but Ms Mottley has it right when she says “The Prime Minister admitted that ‘Barbadians are reeling under the impact of rising fuel and food prices’. This is largely a result of policies this Government sanctioned earlier this year when it recklessly removed subsidies and price controls designed to protect the vulnerable and productive sectors.” the Budget “extracts at least $104 million from the pockets of Barbadians through a range of measures, the immediate impact of which will be to raise further the cost of living”.”To raise $46 million per year in highway taxes to cover $117 million for the highway project which is scheduled for repayment over 25 years is to punish the Barbadian public to make an unsavoury political point,”

    Does he really suggest a Dubai style Palm Island off the West coast; there’s a nice spot directly opposite Sandy Lane!

    $48 a year tax on cell phones, taken from pre/post-paid monthly at $4 now he knows there are 290,000 of them in the island – legalized theft?

    An exec airport in St Lucy for private jets for Sandy Lane etc The lower classes can continue to use our nice new shinny airport.

    A new cruise ship port in the north to help the marinas up there and keep the profits out of Bridgetown, particularly the empty Pelican shops

    50% tax up on alcohol; lucky we don’t drink much

    100% tax up on cigarettes and no duty free allowance – one good item

    School kids in uniform ride free of transport buses (good) and if that doesn’t get kids out of the Z vans then he’ll ban school kids from z vans – good communist rule here then; perhaps we are ruled by China already without having it confirmed accurately? What happened to freedom of choice and freedom of speech? I KNOW WHAT Thompson is trying to achieve, but really…

    East coast for Barbadians only – a racist policy whatever way you look at it; but the rich foreigners don’t want to live there anyway. Too much repainting of houses every year.

    Visitor car permit up from $10 to $100 – that should help sales; not.

    He’s banned the flyovers, so what happens to the traffic now then? While I wouldn’t like to see flyovers (what about nice underpasses that should have been in place?) where is the traffic to go when it leaves the ABC?

    He’s selling the rest of the Barbados National Bank to pay for hospital upgrades -short sighted or what?

    He wants to put in a full kids sport camp for Easter/summer etc staffed completely by volunteers – that always gets the best people

    Children will not be allowed to linger around during holiday periods, they must go to camp. You vill salute police officers or pay zee fine or go to zee jail…

    He’s chucking 10 million more at Liat

    He’s increased tax on all insurances we pay (car, home, buildings) just when we need relief

    Annual car tax just went up 36% on my small car (doesn’t he know car insurance and gas prices have shot up?)

    Healthy issue this – cycle licenses are now $25 – what a great incentive; let’s get them back in their expensive tax raising cars!

    He wants to bring in 1200 gaming machines (money for their support group after they lose their homes?)

    And now for the good parts;

    Ministers will have to be accountable, one day (ha!)

    Smoking will cost more (good, about time – why don’t we just ban it like kids traveling on Z vans)

    He’s looking at removing taxes for Bajan’s returning to Bimshire (too dammed late)

    I know and understand that he needs to balance the book; I know and understand that taxes pay for the support we need, but not in this way.

  42. Hants

    Get wid de program! says “DOTTINS is a good place to start.”

    That is my favorite fishing spot but there are others that I can adopt.

  43. Yeaahh, DodgyCell..

    Take note, DodgyCell
    I’ll be shortly handing you back the Motorola HunkaJunk you gave me.
    It sits in the car for emergency use only.

    I doubt I put $48 a year in phone cards in the dumb useless thing,
    -with the dorkiest software everrr-
    and so I’m NOT about to fork over another $48 to run the stoopid thing.

    It’s yours – have it back!
    Glad to be rid of you from out of my life,anyway.

    Thanks for providing the impetus, Mr. Prime Minister!

  44. Hants

    S you have written a very long essay in reasonably good english.

    The value of said essay is questionable.

    I will leave it to the BFP economic gurus like Trained Economist to analyse your comments and I will keep my opinions to myself.

  45. 2009

    Tony Hall,
    You and repeat visitors are(I’m pretty sure) the minority.

    MANY visitors never use the 1 yr.driving permit more than once.
    Many visitors never come here more than once!

    I reckon the car rental places at the Port might as well give notice to Port Authority right now and hand back in their little spots,down dey.
    Not that cruisers are any huge segment of the short-term-car rental bizniss.
    Someone said the average rental term is about 4 days.
    That’s not a lot.

    It cannot but have an effect.

  46. 2009

    Clearly S is of the old school brigade
    perhaps a big shareholder in BS&T
    a dis-grumpled(yes, dis-grumpled) blp voter
    still unaccustomed to being out-of-power…and worst of all expected a Perfect Budget that kept him and everyone happy!

    Keep cursing the darkness!
    Whatever you do..

  47. Real Ting

    It would be a waste of time to analyse that vitriolic diatribe from S. Anyone who reads it can see it for what it is. Criticism motivated by either a personal hatred or political leanings.

  48. Tell me Why

    decongestion could be achieved by simply saying that on even numbered days only even numbered cars will be allowed onto the ABC highway and into Bridgetown and on odd numbered days only odd numbered cars. if you want to be less restictive impose the restriction between 7 and 10 on mornings and 3 and 7on evenings.
    Are you real in this suggestion. This simply cannot work in today’s world.

  49. Hants

    A picture is worth a thousand words.
    The fearsome four.????

  50. Hants

    BFP somebody saying the same as you.

    “This project, you will recall, was started by a company that no one knew anything about and, apart from information emanating from legal sources in the United Kingdom and Jamaica, we still know little about.”

  51. Hants

    Real Ting
    July 8, 2008 at 3:36 pm
    It would be a waste of time to analyse that vitriolic diatribe.”

    I concur.

  52. Tell me Why

    1. The government is finally making an attempt to broaden the tax net by increasing fees paid by certain professionals and businesses. This in my view is a good move. These professionals and entities should bear their fair share of the tax burden.
    It is a good move on paper but in reality the taxes expected to be derived will be nominal in comparison to the affect will have on John Public who might get the sticky end in lay offs. Look at the retail licences moving from $350.00 to $1,000.00. These high increased will have a dynamo effect on Hotels who are seeing hell to keep afloat and the majority of these hotels are propped up by their restaurants in off setting room stock. Are we just commenting through a partisan eye and missing logic from our views. Will these fees maintain employment in these entities? Forget the BLP, we know about the wastage, let’s deal with the present and the future.

  53. what a read

    hants your estimate on car hire chare is way off need to do more research the Hire industry has been in trouble for years now we could possible see the demise of the small operators.. exactly who Government is supposed to be protecting

  54. Vision Alert

    Best Prime Minister ever! He has made a very clear and positive statement, as much as he could have done in the circumstances taking over from the last administration. This man is a loving, caring, Christian man. He first impressed me when he gave those NHC people their houses which they had been renting for years. His budget had to be done this way to help the poor. The school children on the buses free is a fantastic idea! We can sit back and realise how it must be to a mother struggling, probably on her own, to pay for her children’s transport. If they are well trained they will respect what the PM has done for their mother. They will not try to sabotage the transport buses. They really ought to have been totally banned from using the ZRs and yellow buses.

    Alcohol, smoking, gambling and cell phones are all luxury items, they need to be taxed heavily. I agree we do not want to frighten our tourists away , but those that want to self-drive can afford the increase in the permit fee. Otherwise they can get a taxi!

    Some middle class people are not happy but I say to them, “What do YOU want?”. As Christians should we not be helping the poor? I ask you to give up your high life and help the poor. As for me I have not gained anything from this budget. I am not rich, but not poor, and rather than pay my tithes to the church, I will give my money directly to the poor and/or gladly pay those increased taxes which have affected me.

  55. 186

    david thompson dont know what he is doing
    or does he

    he fooling wunna big-time

  56. S

    2009 – no I don’t have any shares in BS&T and no I’m not a disgruntled BLP voter. I know governments have to raise money to pay the bills and balance the books and that budgets won’t keep everyone happy.
    real ting – It was not a that vitriolic diatribe, but a reasoned look at the awful budget. The criticism is not motivated by either a personal hatred or political leanings. Just a plain Bajan who expected some release during these times but the hole just got deeper.

  57. Thewhiterabbit

    The budget is one huge tax grab! An administration that was supposedly voted in on the promise of lowering the cost of living has 1. increased the cost of fuels across the board by raising the tax on each fuel. 2. Last night increased the total tax burden on each Barbadian by $400 per year (divide the total to be gathered by 270,000). How these increases will help to lower the cost of living is entirely beyond me. What we have seen is typical left-wing-London-School-of-Economics-before-Maggy-Thatcher socialist tax and spend mentality. If you think that the various businesses and concerns that were savaged last night will not pass the increased costs on to consumers (you!) then you had best go live in Disneyworld. Government believes that it knows better what to do with your money than you do, so give it all to them. We were already the second highest taxed polity after Sweden, and what did we have to show for the high taxes. We have just ratcheted ourselves further upward on that scale of high taxation and what will we have to show for it tomorrow? Mr. Thompson has his fingers firmly fixed around the neck of the goose laying the golden eggs and he is squeezing hard! I am reminded of the old adage that Michael Manley so loved the poor that he made all Jamaicans poor. Mr. Thompson is so worried about the “vulnerable” that he intends to make us all vulnerable. Any serious economist knows that the worst thing to do in recessionary times is to raise taxes. $100 for a visitor driving permit will really encourage folks to come here (not!), and then encourage them to rent cars (not!). Traffic stalled forever in order to appease the anti-flyover Luddites will make our destination equally unappealing. I well understand the mentality of “Welcome to Barbados, now go home!” but if we don’t have tourism we have nothing. This little tiny piece of rock with over a quarter million folks stuck in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean cannot exist as if nothing has changed in the last 100 years, unless we all want to be subsistence peasants.

  58. Real Ting

    Tell Me Why

    Tell Me Why not; Similar initiatives have been tried successfully in Singapore and other places like enforced Car pooling which effectively means if you dont have 4 people in a car then you cant drive it into town or use certain highways or lanes has been used widely.
    Its a cheap efficient way to discourage traffic and It doesnt allow the wealthy to buy their way out like tolls and high parking fees. So instead of discouraging traffic we simply limit it. The thing is if people get used to using an enhanced prioritised public transport system 2 to 3 days each week then pretty soon they may decide there is no need for a car. It may also dissuade prospective new car buyers.
    In Manhatten investment bankers who earn a base salary of $150,000 to $200,000 annually get on the subway each day. I can’t see why bajans can’t be CONDITIONED to think the same way.

    the public transport system and the road regulations simply has to be improved and designed to provide a cheaper quicker alternative in getting to and from work. It’s not rocket science.

  59. Real Ting

    Americans who could not be separated from their beloved trucks are getting rid of them in droves. Necessity dictates it. You would be surprised at what people are willing to do if it gives significant savings or if they are compelled by law

  60. Real Ting


    ok i apologise

    If i had more time i would attempt to debate some of your points and show you where i think your reasoning is flawed ; maybe tomorrow if work load allows it.

  61. Trained Economist

    tell me why explain how $650 a year more will break a hotel?

    Maybe you are right, but just explain it to me like a little child.

  62. Adrian Hinds

    July 8, 2008 at 4:01 pm
    A picture is worth a thousand words.
    The fearsome four.????

    Hant i saw inflation and deflation in dah pic.

  63. Stuggling

    I think the total abandonment of the flyover project is a good idea for one simple reason. Barbados, with both administrations, has a bad track record of maintaining the roads throughout this country. I am no engineer, but I would think that flyovers would have to be checked and maintained on an ongoing basis as a precautionary measure.
    It is known that we are a small country with a very limited budget compared to other countries that already have flyovers, so it would be hard to set aside millions of dollars every fiscal year for the upkeep of the flyovers.
    Government must now come up with a fuel-efficient, clean, comfortable (hopefully airconditioned) and RELIABLE transport system so that persons will feel ok about leaving their cars at home and use instead.
    It will be hard, very, very hard, but if this is implemented Barbadians will need to change their mindset about cars, using them on weekends or for leisure.
    I have friends in NYC who have cars, but use the train or the bus to go to and from work, using their cars only on weekends or to go to the supermarket etc.
    I don’t think that anyone has mentioned it but the Government is going to sell its shares in the BNB and ICBL to interested BARBADIANS. The money generated will go towards the rehabilitation of the QEH. I welcome such a move because it means that the Government won’t be borrowing money to fix the QEH.
    I also think it is about time gambling winnings were taxed.
    Gotta wait now to see what the leader of the opposition Mia Mottley will say about the budget, although if her thoughts so far in the Nation are anything to go by, I won’t be impressed with her arguments.

  64. Stuggling

    Oh did anyone get to read what Kerry Symmonds had to say about the Budget? Mr Symmonds is of the opinion that the PM’s budget especially the part about the new energy solutions is taken from previous BLP policy. WDR!!!

  65. Tell me Why

    tell me why explain how $650 a year more will break a hotel?

    Maybe you are right, but just explain it to me like a little child.
    Maybe you see $650.00 as a small increase , but to a small hotel to which this rate imply, will have to factor in the other increases since January 15. Utility increases to you is nothing, gas to heat the showers and the kitchen is nothing, dwindling in room stock to you is nothing….just a meagre $650.00 we are asking these small hotels to overlook. Come on every dollar counts, either to pay or to receive.

    By the way, $5,000.00 increase to the bigger hotels who barely maintain a 40% average have no problem collecting coppers here and there to pay $15,000.00. You all are just kidding whilst playing with people’s jobs.

  66. Tell me Why

    IMF mission’s warning a few days ago that the pace of economic growth in Barbados might slow to 2.25 per cent this year, down from 3.25 per cent last year; the current account deficit should rise to 8.5 per cent of gross domestic product and inflation might double, rising from four per cent in 2007 to nine per cent in 2008.
    Trained Economist. Do you think the proposed economic expectations will be able to correct or should I say stable the slides in these three major areas. I am telling you the revenue losses will be far greater than anticipated, thus the true picture will show up in the last quarter figures. I can see our economic growth will reach a record 2 per cent.

  67. Trained Economist

    I do not think the numbers support your alarmist position, tell me why? maybe its my ignorance but its hard for me to see that an extra $416 a month will break a large hotel.

    Hotels use public services as far as I am aware. Have the costs of providing the public services used by these entities remained constant since the 1980s? Who should then absorb the increased costs?

  68. Tell me Why

    I do not think the numbers support your alarmist position, tell me why? maybe its my ignorance but its hard for me to see that an extra $416 a month will break a large hotel.
    ………………………………………………………………………………….We My friend, an additional $416.00 per month, plus $35,000.00 plus in electricity bills, plus over $10,000.00 in water, salaries totalling over $40,000.00 and notwithstanding low occupancy with short time stay. …….And you say $416.00 a month is nothing. Wait until hotel start laying off workers and closing for three months using refurbishment as an excuse. Taxpayers will now have to compensate these workers through the NIS department. You are only looking at a small picture Trained Economist.

  69. Tell me Why

    Hotels use public services as far as I am aware. Have the costs of providing the public services used by these entities remained constant since the 1980s?
    What public services you are talking about. Utilities have increased by nearly 30% since the 1980’s and that is just one cost factor.

  70. Trained Economist

    The bills you described were in place before. You still have not explained why $416 a month will lead to layoffs.

  71. Jerome Hinds

    A very prudent and cogent budgetary response by Hon. David Thompson .

    Just what we required after the catastrophic era of Owen Arthur’s reckless economic meandering of the past 14 years .

    Tell Me Why…..

    * Millions spent on a highway…..with no contract in place !

    * Millions given to the contractor of the Newton Building…….but the building remains unfinished with plenty structural defects !

    * Millions spent on Hardwood Housing Inc and no houses… show for it !

    How can these reckless acts and others be condoned when the Barbadian population at large have to pay the price in the end ?

    Owen Arthur was the worst HURRICANE to have impacted on Barbados in the past 14 years !

  72. Trained Economist

    Surely hotels and their guests benefit from the full range of public services in Barbados. If you want examples what about policing, education, various coastal and environmental projects.

    Are you suggesting that we borrow to finance the increase of $10 million allocated for marketing at the BTA. Tourism pays our bills and the sector thoroughly deserves special treatment. But surely extra $416 a month is not too much to ask for the various forms of governmental support to the sector.

  73. Trained Economist

    I am sorry, but when I look at the revenue measures, in the absence of price gouging the only costs that should impact on the average person are the vehicle related costs and the alcohol and tobacco measures. The costs of second hand cars should go down and new cars up.

    As consumers we should taking a position to head off price gouging rather than suggesting that the increases on various service providers are unreasonable and preparing the way for unjustified price increases.

  74. Trained Economist

    On another note, I really like the return to the old format where the revenue gains and revenues losses are clearly itemized and a net projected figure.

  75. Namaste Trained Economist et al…

    Having had a chance to digest this new budget, I personally find it acceptably reasonable within the constraints of the global economy within which we find ourselves.

    TE: I would, however, add to your list of individual impacts: that of the BDS $4 / month tax upon cellular users. I personally agree with it, so long as the revenues are appropriately and effectively directed towards education.

    The carriers will no doubt complain about not being able to collect from pre-paid customers. This is a straw man — once a month when such a customer “tops-up”, they will simply find they have $4 less minutes available then they expected…

    With regards to the BDS $10 -> $100 visitor’s driving permit charge… This is, admittedly, a bit shocking. But if you think about it, in the big picture, it may not be a bad thing…

    Yes, it will have an immediate negative impact on the Rental Car industry. But, at the same time, it will have a positive impact upon the Taxi industry. And, perhaps (just perhaps…) some of our visitors might consider walking to some of the destinations…

    Let us please also recognize: many of our visitors are not accustomed to driving on the left hand side of the road. (Personally, I was only able to do it upon my first arrival to our beautiful island because I am dyslexic.)

    It could be argued that we don’t *want* a significant number of our visitors to be driving upon our roads…

    I’m still digesting and thinking, but this is what I’ve personally concluded so far.

    Best regards to all.

  76. ROBOT

    Banning school chillun from ZRs and minibuses will have negative effect. TRANSPORT board cannot service all the routes-
    simply cannot –FACT

    t-h-om-pSON raised BUS FARES for school -chillun without realising it. now where there are no buses available school chillun will have to take a ZR or minibus and they will have to pay $1.50- FACT ! when bus fare increase they will have to pay $2.00 so this will create more problems.

    t-h-om-p-SON is a bare showman , AN ILLUSIONIST who is more concerned about impressions because impressions count. his style of politics will not be good for barbados in the long run.

    he is doing magical tricks-tricks tricks and we know magic is illusion so that what you see is not reality


    HELP !!!–
    BETWEEN MIA AND t-h-om-p-SON -bim in trouble–they know um

    cost of living gone up again !
    down with the budget
    down with t-h-om-p-SON

    i dont expect you to understand this because you cannot see any further than you partisan political nose .

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  78. Tell me Why

    BFP. What say you on the decision on the opposition leader willingness to submit her financial records to start off ITAL. She is passing documents to the GG. She also asked the PM to join her with the submission of his documentation. This is a start, we now await the PM to present his.


    BFP says,

    Hmmmmm. About 14 years too late and nothing but a political gambit. It really means very little without the necessary laws. Except, of course, to once again highlight that David Thompson and the DLP lied to the electorate about ITAL.

  79. Tell me Why

    Jerome. Is the installation of locks fetching $2,000.?

  80. Hants

    We do not need any distraction by Mia Mottley.

    We need the results of forensic audits.

    We need to see the “deals” and terms and conditions of the 3s ABC contract,the VECO prison cost overruns and details of any improper dealings by the previous Government.

    Cash and Investments Assets can be hidden in swiss and cayman banks and are hard to find.
    Did you all hear of our former Canadian Prime Minister who kept a “gift” of $300,000 in cash in a safety deposit?

    Irregularities in contracts and deals between Government and 3s and VECO can be found.

    We want the evidence. We want the facts.

    Yes we want ITAL, right BFP? but we want to see evidence of all of the above.

    nuh lotta long talk.

  81. Bajanboy

    I do not think the banning of children on ZRs is legally enforceable. If a parent chooses to put a child on a ZR because the Transport Board bus has not turned up or is full, will that be illegal? The state must be very careful in crossing the line of how parents raise their children. What about a sixth former who is over 18? Do they have the right to chose their mode of public transport?

  82. Sam Gamgee

    That cartoon is the bomb!

  83. boredickey

    Thewhiterabbit, will you tell us your suggestions for a more favourable budget.With the give-aways, replacement monies has to come from somewhere. Maybe the PM should have given you some incentive to open an african snail factory for catching and packaging the pests and exporting them to France.

  84. Pat

    For all those who are complaining about the increase in taxes, how do you expect government to be funded? Would you like them to start selling drugs to raise money? All governments raise their money through one form of taxation or another. I see nothing wrong with the alcohol, cigarette and visitors permit taxes, nor with the amounts. I have no complaints and will pay when I visit whatever is charged.

  85. Jukecheckedeyskirt

    Man ignore the BLP discorders. The budget is quite a balance one. THe PM has provided ease where ease can be provided whilst at the same time raising taxes in areas where taxes could be raised. It seems that careful thought went into finding an amicable and balance solution to the budgetary basket put before Barbadians. To do this is the face of economic crisis and spiralling rise of inflation is to be commended.

  86. 117

    Don’t mind Matthew Farley. He can’t ban school children from travelling on ZR vans.

    The government can’t ban school children from travelling on ZR vans.

    You really believe that as Matthew and the politicans pass me and my Little Johnny at the bus- stop every monring that I will let 10 ZR vans pass me while I wait for a big blue bus?

    No I have to get to work and Little Johnny has to get to school. I have taken and will continueto take the first public transprotation which comes by.

    My Little Johnny will travel with me. Let Mattthew, or the police or anybody try to stop me. Any of them ever try separating a parent from a child yet? I certainly ain’t lef’ing my little boy at the bus stop for 90 minutes for some laggard Transport Board bus.

    I keep a loving and non-violent home. My Little Johnny has never seen nor heard of a fight at home becasue there has never been one.

    But my Little Johnny sees fights at school everyday. Every single day. This distresses me greatly. These fights take place within the school walls. Not on the ZR’s, but at the school. At the school Matthew and you and the other principals know this. Would Matthew suggest that Little Johnny be banned from attending school?

    In truth if I did not have to go out to work for a living I would take Little Johnny out of his violent school and teach him at home myself. No violence in my home, but violence in my tax-funded school EVERY day, EVERY single day.

  87. ASSETS

    Mottley declared ALL her assets?? Joke. Lie. She declared HALF, trust me. And why she didn’t do so long ago? Why wait until now? BLP still trying to scam Bajans, they are so use to lies and stealing that it is second nature to them. And that fool Albert Branford wrote his usual twaddle in The Nation today.

  88. Waterboy

    July 9, 2008 at 3:51 am
    For all those who are complaining about the increase in taxes, how do you expect government to be funded? Would you like them to start selling drugs to raise money? All governments raise their money through one form of taxation or another. I see nothing wrong with the alcohol, cigarette and visitors permit taxes, nor with the amounts. I have no complaints and will pay when I visit whatever is charged.
    Pat, I can agree with you regarding the increased taxes on alcohol and cigarettes. Visitors are accustomed to paying high prices in their home countries foir these vices.

    However the increase of the visitor license to $100.00 is absolutely ridiculous.

  89. Skool Bluze

    I agree with you 117. My children learn more about violence, sex and drugs at school than on the ZR. In fact all that they get on the ZR is transport to school. However at their schools (which are prestigious schools by the way) they have seen children performing oral sex in the classroom, seen fights which resulted in injuries requiring stitches and attended shows in the school hall (during the school day) where the ‘dutty wine’ was performed and wuk up competitions took place. There is good suspicion that the sale of drugs is going on at the schools. I had to pull my daughter out of cadets because I was warned about the sexual activity at camps especially by the officers. Let’s not mention the teachers who “hit” on the girls.

  90. J

    Dear Skool Bluze: My Little Johnny is at a school which has produced more than one Prime Minister and many other eminent Barbadians, so I guess that you could say it is a “prestigious” school. My Johnny has witnessed 2 acts of violence in the Zr’s in 9 years (I know because I always tavel with Johnny when on the ZR’s) . In one the conductor’s girlfriend came on board and threatened him with a knife. Both of the conductor and his girlfriend were over 30 years old. He did not respond in kind but fled into the yard of the adjacent Psychiactric hospital. In another 2 young men, both over 20 started to fight while the bus was in the bus-stand. I have been taking the ZR’s for almost 10 years and I have never seen an act of violence involving school children.

    A retired female member of the Defense Force warned me about permitting my young female relatives to join the cadets. She said she had been a member of the cadets and the BDF and there is no way she will permit her daughter to join the cadets. And indeed her daughter has not joined. A word to the wise was sufficient for me.

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  92. Skool Bluze

    There seems to be a somewhat communistic tendency in this Government to want to dictate how children should be raised. It is good to provide free bus transport and summer camps but please allow parents to opt out and make alternative arrangements at their own cost.

    I fear the introduction of a compulsory national youth service which the DLP is planning (see their youth manifesto). The BLP was also planning to introduce this and the consultant was a Dr Henry who I think is now in charge of setting up the constituency councils. This youth service could be a means of indoctrinating and abusing our children as happened in Guyana where Dr Henry was last working. See J’s confirmation about the cadets.

    So the Government threatens to ban school children from the ZRs. Apart from the loud music, the ZRs do a good job and as been stated before, it is in the schools that most of the negative behaviors are learnt. Ask any police about what goes on in the stands at inter school sports.

    The point I am making is that this assumption that schools, cadets, the transport board buses or a national youth service is a safer, more uplifting environment than our homes or private services is not neccessarily true and I wish to be able to exercise the freedom to make the best arrangements for my children.

    PM Thompson made a good budget presentation. He seems to be addressing the economic problems but that short statement about banning the children from PSVs “by law!” sent chills down my spine. Remember Mussolini made the trains run on time.

  93. J

    I can change a lock in 10 minutes for $10, but since I have to spend time coming to your house I’ll charge $40, if the job turns out to be real difficult and takes half an hour I’ll charge $100. It is scarily easy to change locks.

  94. iWatchya

    If a four member middle (to lower) class family is struggling with two children… both in different schools due to circumstance… and each parent in different jobs (no choice) in different locations….

    How do they survive? Do they give up their SINGLE, car as some ignorant people have said, and catch the bus? How would those dynamics work?

    They would have to move the children into schools they know nothing about… from schools that they know and the children are happy in.

    The parents would have to catch four busses, not including having to carry each child to school before work and collecting them from school after work.

    Also, they would spend three to FOUR hours commuting on the already crowded busses on thier roots and would be at the mercy of unpredictable schedules.

    When are they going to get home? 7/8 pm to cook and clean and get the children to bed? Most families today do not have the support from extended family.

    Also, when you add all the other inflationary factors in… they will be COMPLETELY decimated!

    Kill off the MIDDLE CLASS and WHO will pay the taxes???

    The rich man can lobby and bop and weave… the poor man cannot…. WHO WILL PAY??

  95. Hants

    Skool Bluze says
    July 9, 2008 at 2:53 pm
    There seems to be a somewhat communistic tendency in this Government to want to dictate how children should be raised.

    Don’t bury your head in the sand.

    Children need to travel to school safely. while in Barbados I have driven behind a minibus that was overloaded with school children and the back wheels were touching the metal fender when going around corners.

    I have been in Minibuses that played music inappropriate for the ears of the youngsters on the Bus.

    Minibus owners can clean up their act,cut out the music,obey the traffic laws and they will make money.

    Children need guidance and the Government is creating an environment that will help them.

  96. Jerome Hinds

    Tell me Why

    July 9, 2008 at 1:32 am

    Jerome. Is the installation of locks fetching $2,000.?
    Tell Me Why,

    I know you meant to ask me……if someone should be LOCKED up for being paid $ 11, 000.00 for cutting down an ackee tree ?

    I know you meant to ask me……if someone should be LOCKED up for paying a contractor $ 18 million even though the building he worked on remains incomplete ?

    Get your facts straight next time……Bimbo !

  97. iWatchya


    Your point then: Just because they stole we should and WILL too!

  98. Tell me Why

    I know you meant to ask me……if someone should be LOCKED up for being paid $ 11, 000.00 for cutting down an ackee tree ?
    Ask Hammy, he inherited it from his political alma mata.

  99. Skool Bluze

    “Children need guidance and the Government is creating an environment that will help them.” says Hants.

    well … I (as the parent) give my children guidance and create the environment that will help them, NOT THE GOVERNMENT!

    The Government would serve us better if it would address the environment in schools and the cadet corps (ask Bostic the BLP candidate).

    I (and my children) use the ZRs twice daily while Hants is driving, so I know what to expect. In any event, it is for the Government to enforce the traffic laws and the rules of operation of PSVs not just in the interest of children but of everyone. In one sense the threat of a ban, says to me that the Gov’t is powerless to enforce rules so it will take the children away but then leave the rest to face what they claim is a bad situation.

    All I want is to be free to make my choices for my family, in my family’s interest and at my expense.

  100. Hants

    Skool Bluze I don’t live in Barbados but when in Barbados I sometimes travel on PSV’s.

    Just pay the $1.50 for your children to ride on PSV’s.

    Trust me. The PSV owners are NOW going to make sure that children behave so the “problem” is solved.
    PSV owners want to make money and will do what is necessary.
    So Skool Bluze you will continue to be free to make choices for your family.

  101. iWatchya


    Tis ok for you. You do not have to wait hours while crowded busses pass you by.

    What happens to all those school children that get to school late because of there being too few Transport Board buses?

  102. Thomas Gresham

    As an economist I find the budget flabbergasting.

    Barbados faces a tight economic environment as a result of a rise in energy and food prices and the credit crunch. In this environment, the government should be providing relief, especially through income payments to the more vulnerable. Instead the macro-economic stance is crazy.

    The government is taking $104m out of the pockets of Barbadians. It says it is putting back $82m but much of this is creative accounting. $11m of this “put-back” is the VAT, that would have been paid on the houses that would not have been built were it not for the VAT reduction. (This is at the back of the budget.) A further $11m is the cost of taking people off the ZRs and other forms of transport on to the buses (are there is no costing of the extra capacity required). $10m is for increased marketing budget for tourism, a large part of which will probably go to foreign media, not Bajans.

    The only thing that is certain is the $104m tax hike. The only real give back is just $200,000 on increased welfare payments and $11m on a reverse tax credit that was announced bythe previous administration (the government says it is bringing it forward but the announcement is too late to do so.)

    This is economic recklessness of the highest order.

  103. J

    I know that I spend more time and better quality time with my children that either Matthew Farley or David Thompson so “no” I do not want those gentlemen offering me child raising advice. I have actually raised children sucessfully to adulthood and I don’t think that either gentleman can say the same yet.

    Let them stick to what they are good at, being a school principal is not the same as being a good parent, and being a good MP or good PM is not the same as being a good parent.

    When they have raised children just as sucessfully and just as long as I have then they can offer me advise.

    But for the time being they should back off trying to raise other people’s children and concentrate on raising their own.

    Sucessful child raising is much harder than they think. Much much much harder.

  104. Tell me Why

    I am just as concerned with the budget TG. Please explain how we can give free rides to school children who pays cash of $2 million and Government subsidising $3 million and yet we see the budget stating revenue losses of $11 million. Who will account for the extra $6 million?

  105. J

    And I hope that I did not hear Peter Wickham saying on VOB today tht the bus system “will work itself out” come September.

    It will NOT.

    The people at the Transport Board and the Ministry of Educaiton and the principals have to sit down and PLAN how to make it work.

    Peter may not have any children, but I cannot come comfortably to work some September morning and leave my little Johnny at the bus-stop hoping that the bus system will have worked it self out. Somebody has to do the WORK required to make it WORK.

    I generally have the greatest respect for Peter but this off-hand statement about a matter which will affect tens of thousands of our smallest citizens deeply disturbs me.

    My question still is what will be required to make it work?

    And who will do the work required to make it work well before September comes?

  106. Thomas Gresham

    The government estmates that the cost of free bus rides for school children in uniform is $11m per year. Around half of that is the cost of free bus rides for kids who already use the Transport Board buses. The other $5m must therefore be the cost of free bus rides to those who currently do not use the buses but will do so now that there is a subsidy. I do not get the impression that the budget has been well worked through and so I do not know the quality of this guesstimate and whether they are taking into account that some kids may not have an easy Transport Board alternative.

    But effectively thay are saying that the number of kids will double and so this raises the question, will they substantially increase the number of buses to cope with this or will they promote unsafe, over-crowded and late jouneys. There is no estimate the increased capital costs of increased bus capacity and so one has to assume they are expecting the existing buses to cope with the double traffic.

    As an economist my instinct is to say that we need to be clear what the problem is in order to tailor the solution. If the problem is cultural issues then it is not clear that spending $11m to switch all kids from ZRs to overcrowded buses is the main solution. We could probably spend $11m per year on sport and other facilities that would attack the cultural issues from a more fundamental level.

    If the issue is getting kids to school then you could auction subsidies to private companies amounting to $11m to deliver a special bus service for kids with tough standards on safety and social environment. The Transport Board could also compete for these subsidies. This would then not hurt the private sector but support it.

    I would also encourage the use of bicycles – a healthy and socially better mode of transport – through dedicated cycle lanes on the school approach and storage bins at school that would not cost $11m. I would also not raise the licence fee on cycles but in fact offer inducements to get kids on their bikes.

    It seems that many of the policies of the manifesto were ditched and we have some rather half-baked policies in its place. I feel they are showing great disrespect for the Barbadian public by throwing out half-baked policies. Budgets are not the place for nice sounding ideas, they are the place for policies that have been tested and gone through feasibility tests and experiments. I reckon very few of the very few policies outlined on Monday will be working well by this time next year, this is why I am concerned with the $104m tak hike, becuase these taxes will be working.

  107. J

    Thanks again Thomas.

    If the bus capacity is not increased of course we will get dreadfully over crowded buses.

    We will get children getting very late to school.

    We will get the bad behavior that people engage in when they are forced into overcrowded situations.

    It seems that we have already forgotten that the prisoners burnt down Glendairy prison because we stuffed 900 people into a jail built for 300.

    And now a generally sensible man like Peter Wickham is trying to pacify me by saying that the bus system will work itself out.

    How Peter? How?

    And if the bus system does not “work itself out” what effect will this have on my children?

    Please, please, please, we cannot dramatically increase the numbers of children using Transport Board buses unless we increase the number of buses and of properly trained bus drivers.

    Have we ordered the buses yet.?

    Have they arrived?

    Have they been serviced?

    Are they road ready?

    Has the insurance been paid?

    Have we hired more drivers?

    Have we budgeted for the hiring of more drivers?

    Have we started to train the new drivers?

    Do we have enough driving instructors to do the training?

    If anything bad happens to any of our children on inadequate numbers of overcrowded Transport Board buses then I will not hold this government guiltless.

  108. Thomas Gresham

    I have just been going through the budget presentation – OK call me sad, but as an economist and a proud Bajan, I think this is important.

    One of the interesting things about the budget presentation is the creative accounting of the expenditure. It is as if they wanted to raise net revenues, but didn’t want it to look too restrictive a budget.

    According to the budget, tax measures raise $104m this year and expenditure measures, increase government expenditure by $82m, for a net rise in the tax take of $22m.

    One number that stands out on the expenditure side is the $11m increased “expenditure” for, and I may be misinterpreting this, but for the VAT relief on the increase in house building that is forecast to arise as a result of no longer charging VAT. This is like saying in a budget that the cost of a tax cut is not just the lost revenues but the lost of tax revenues on the increase in the national income that will come as a result of the tax cut. This should not be in a cash flow statement, set against real revenue increases. It does not represent a real loss of revenues that the government previously collected. (It is at best a potential “opportunity cost” to the government, but not a cash flow cost.) This would mean that the net increase in revenue is really $33m not $22m.

    A related issue applies to free buses. The only cash flow cost of this is $5m to subsidise fully those kids already using the buses. The other $6m represents the income they would have had if other kids who currenty use the ZRs were using the transport buses. This is a real benefit to the kids and a loss to the ZR owners, but it is not a cash flow loss to the government because they were not previously getting the revenues from these kids.

    So the real net tax increase is now more like $38m. Based on this creative accounting one has to question how they calculated the other figures.

    The $10m marketing budget is a real cost and should be there, but it is not going to boost local demand, because much of it will be spent on paying for space in foreign media. (I think a Caribbean brand, rather than investing in the Bajan brand is a big commercial mistake, but that is a separate story.)

    What is the real effect of all of this – more inflation and less growth.

    The $104m tax hike represents about 1.25% of the economy, as much of this tax hike comes in the form of administrative tax rises that will be passed on to consumers and probably rounded up in the process, expect inflation to rise by a further 1.5% to 2.0%. That would push it over 10%. Nasty.

    Assuming that half of this tax hike is given back in local expenditure in some way, this will probably be a net drag on the economy of around 1.0%. Add this drag to the 1.0% drag caused by the 77% risen in energy costs announced earlier this year and growth will be 2.0% lower than otherwise – as it was forecast to be around 2.0% earlier, it will now probably be zero for 2008. This will lead to a rise in unemployment. So, expect around zero growth, 10% inflation and rising unemployment this year. Sad.

    I really find it odd that the government should choose to have a budget like this at this time. There is no economic justification. Our debt levels are high. But our service ratio is very sustainable at 7% and so it was not necessary to slow the economy in order to improve the fiscal position this year.

    I can only assume that this is about politics. I am no politician but I wonder whether Hartley Henry is using the example of Thatcher in the UK whose first budget (1979) and monetary policy shoved the UK economy into the deepest recession since the 1930s, but it made the economy lean and fitter and so by the time of the following election, it was recovering, the momentum was in the right direction and while the unemployed were there in greater numbers, they never voted for her anyway. Bill Clinton did something similar in 1992. But it is a risky strategy. Recession and unemployment tears the social fabric and this is not easily mended. I wish everyone here on Bim good luck for these difficult times

  109. Tell me Why

    Are we looking at the whole picture regarding Free Bus Rides? Have we factored in the many workers who will now be left stranded at bus stops since we will have increased students? Have we given thought to the many parents who will now travel with they children to school since the children will be free? What will happen is the removal of one monster and replacing it with a modern monster.

  110. R.Williams & Co.

    Dear BFP

    I have the clear impression that,once again, this new government make rough decisions and gross mistakes:
    The $ 100 visitor permit “brilliant idea” is incredibly short minded! This will punish all the car rentals people plus the short staying visitors and please remember that rent a car in Barbados is already VERY expensive.
    The decision to increase the road tax is another disturbing one….considered the high cost of gas and diesel this will push inflation and hammer any bajan pocket.
    And now, with the new taxes on drinks, even liming will become a priviledge! Wow!!
    Someone else said enough about the new tax on cell phones….
    What kind of politics is this??!
    Why not,for example, think to reform the traffic rules making easier for Police to punish traffic offenders and increasing the tickets revenue??!
    Too complicated or what?

  111. Bajantease

    Persons will never be satisfied.. People are happier believing that all police and politicians are totally corrupt, indeed all Bajans are. Rather than what I believe is a fact that most are good, honest and have the best of intensions for this country and the people; its the few that do such a great job of messing stuff up. Mad boys set up a shop in town.. recall that song.

    I support ITAL Mia and Owen have met the bar spoken about by the DLP, for what ever people may think of it, they have disclosed. Thompson has correctly stated that people want to know how much you entered with and not what you leave with. Members of the DLP Thompson included have entered and now run the government for 6mths+ and promise to have some form of ITAL no longer immediately but sometime in the future near end of year, early next year.. what would or could members of the party have gained in this time frame.

    Marlon Samuels comes to mind, no cash was passed but the WIBC & ICC have correctly determined that he received some benefit even if non-financial.. free hotel room stay.. placed him in breach.

    Would say flights on a jet, loaned by a “friend” who receives positions on boards count as a breach under ITAL..?? Was it free, if not who paid and how much??

    At the minimum the two top persons including Thompson on the DLP side should also declare their assets. The others can perhaps wait for however long until ITAL is drafted, debated and finally passed, but this example must be made.

    After its passed All members including those that have submitted previously must provided updated information and swear it is true bla bla. If they are later found in breach deal with them.

    In the future however I do believe that disclosures should be made to perhaps a shared committee of two including the GG and maybe the ombudsman, in a private.

    We do not need to know, like no one else needs to know how much is in your bank a/c even the person that pays you. and we “the people”pay them.

    Only when a breach is found would the specific information relating to the breach enter the public domain, as i guess it would be some sort of criminal breach, they would have to prove their innocence.

    People love gossip not the truth it doesn’t sell papers, let the suggestions of dirt everyone is interested. If a man/woman says I have only a dollar when they know they can get some prision time if it is not so then let them suffer the result. But to sit and say I don’t believe you , particularly when I’ve not declared my own interests. says a lot about who you say you are and you supposed values. Mr Innis is not interested in that ro so he said in the paper.

    At the minimum the two top persons including Thompson on the DLP side should also declare their assets. Otherwise they should have nothing else to say and questions as to how much do they have, where do they get their money and importantly why can’t you or don’t you want to tell.

    PS. BFP I submitted a post on tuesday I’ve not seen it .

  112. Hants

    ITAL proposal.

    List of disclosure.

    Codes of conduct usually require members of the parliament or state legislature to disclose their
    interests concerning:
    Tax returns Ownership interest in a business.
    Sources of patrimonial income Real estate interests.
    Investments Offices and/or directorships held
    Sources of income of business of a partner or
    Creditor indebtedness.
    Leases and other contacts with public entities .
    Compensated representation before public
    Fees and honoraria
    Professional or occupational licenses held Reimbursement of travel expenses from private
    Deposits in financial institutions Cash surrender value of insurance
    Private employer or nature of private
    Professional services rendered
    Identification of trusts by trustee Identification of trusts by beneficiary
    Names of immediate family members Financial interests of spouse

  113. Hants

    In Australia, Canada and South Africa members of
    the parliament are not allowed to vote on issues that may generate a conflict
    of interest.

    Barbados will follow.

  114. Hants

    BFP you are moderating my previous comment which is relevant to the one just posted

  115. ru4real

    The flyovers must be canceled for four very good reasons….

    1/ The BLP government was corrupt and the flyover project was contracted to a corrupt builder. For that reason alone, everything should be shut down so we can discover the truth about its design, contract and the land expropriations that accompanied it.
    This is a libelous and malicious rumour .
    2/ The BLP government had zero plan for public transportation and was committed to putting as many cars on the road as possible. This shortsighted nonsense was driven by a lack of vision and also by business interests that profit from cars and the necessary societal support structures.
    UNTRUE the previous government was committed to finding a solution to the traffic problem.
    3/ If you want to shift the public from personal autos to a public transportation model, the way to do that is to limit roads infrastructure while putting other modes of public transportation into place. That is pretty basic but it requires some courage to follow through. We’ll see if the DLP has that courage.
    UNTRUE – the only public you will shift are the poorer members of society by making it too expensive for them to run cars.

    4/ We are out of money thanks to 14 years of borrow and waste by the BLP. I’d say “borrow and spend” but that implies that the people of Barbados received good value for the expenditures – which we certainly did not.
    UNTRUE every government has to spend money
    you can’t make omelettes without breaking eggs ie spending money.
    We have a choice to spend money on roads to support ever more vehicles until the roads are so crowded that we need to spend yet more money (a cycle that will never end until every last road is a 4 lane highway and then the system collapses)….

    or we can use that same money for public transportation and let the road system naturally limit the number of personal vehicles on the island.
    UNTRUE- its not the road system that will limit the no of personal vehicles but the financial position of the road user.
    Only the rich and their families and their company vehicles will be able to use the roads.
    The rest of the plebs can take the bus and sit in the traffic jams- that is basically what you are saying.


    BFP says,

    GOSH… are you saying that 3S President Jonathan Danos was not a party to the kickbacks in the Jamaican bridge fraud when he worked for Mabey? He says he was in his affidavit filed with the court.

    If that isn’t corrupt, than I don’t know what is!

    You can read all about it here

  116. ru4real

    Malicious and libelous reporting on the part of the BFP .

    It is with good reason you maintain your anonymity .


    BFP says,

    So please state exactly which statements in this article are untrue…. We’ve all been waiting!

  117. Anonoymous

    Three Simple Quesions

    1) When did Mr Danos leave the employment of Mabey and Johnson Ltd?

    2) When was 3S (Barbados) SRL formed?

    3) When did 3S (Barbados) SRL submit any offer/quotation/MOU to Government?

  118. ru4real


    Look it up Baby!
    BFP been telling you for how long.