Barbados Car Rental Agency “New Driving Permit Fee Will Be Devastating”

‘The effect on our business will be devastating. Considering that what the Prime Minister has done is effectively removed our ability to sell 1, 2 and 3 day rentals. We simply cannot absorb this increase’.

‘My fear is that we will have such a significant downturn that jobs will be lost and the ripple effect will be felt at all attractions’

…Comments from one of our leading Car Rental Agencies

UPDATED: Scroll Down to “Another Car Rental Owner Speaks”

Visitor Diving Permit from $10 to $100

What effective will this ONE THOUSAND per cent increase have on our Car Rental companies?

Will it also impact negatively on our attractions like St. Nicholas Abbey, Andromeda, Flower Forest and Orchid World and our many restaurants.

And will this result in overall reduced income for Government and further jeopardise the viability of the tourism sector?

With car rental rates already among the highest in the region is this going to further push the cost of a holiday on Barbados above many peoples reach?

Car Rental companies will already have to absorb or pass on increased costs of vehicle licences.
Our registered accommodation providers again will have to absorb or pass on the 50% increase in liquor licences and the 50% increase on alcoholic taxes have still to be evaluated.

We all understand Government’s have to collect taxes but was there a better way of introducing this massive hike on the visitors driving permit?

Perhaps it could have been made a three year licence to encourage people to return again soon!

Did representatives from the car rental industry discuss this increase prior to its imposition?

And, importantly, what is the average duration of rental, as if it’s only two or three days, the increase is even more of a deterrent?

Adrian Loveridge

UPDATED: Another Car Rental Owner Speaks

As an owner of a car rental company here in Barbados, that is almost totally dependent on the tourism industry, I am totally mortified that our wonderful Prime Minister would think that by increasing the visitor permit fees to this ridiculous new rate was a smart move.

All he is doing is SCARING AWAY the same said tourists that we all depend on.

Barbados is by no means a cheap Caribbean Island to visit; we hear this everyday. So what makes this government think that by adding to an already high bill for a HOLIDAY, our visitors would not look elsewhere for beaches and white sand? We fail to remember that there are many other islands in the chain that offer what we have and more for alot less.

I agree that fees must go up but moving from US$5.00 to US$50.00 is ridiculous; especially for a person who plans to come here for a one off trip for a week or less. It is NOT worth it to them. I have already had clients say this today. Many are seriously rethinking their visit because of this.

What about thinking of an option for permits? Why not offer options – 1 month, 3 month, 6 month and 1 year permits, so that we can allow our visitors to choose what they can and cannot afford to do!

Believe me, this thought of saying that the permits offered are valid for 1 year is a reason for visitors to buy them in the hopes of returning to this wonderful country of ours is JOKE!!!!

The cost of living is increasing all over the world. Getaways to exotic islands are luxuries not necessities!!!!!! We want to entice people to come here not chase them off before they even get on a plane.

Please also bare in mind that it is not just us, the car rental companies that are affected by this permit increase. Visitors rely on their cars to allow them the ease of exploring the island and visiting all our sites, attractions, bars, nightclubs, restaurants etc…..so we are all in the hot seat!!!!!!!!!!!

I beg more and more people to put some serious thought into this budget and voice your concerns so that the powers that be can make their adjustments before things get completely out of control.

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95 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business, Tourism, Travel, Traveling and Tourism

95 responses to “Barbados Car Rental Agency “New Driving Permit Fee Will Be Devastating”

  1. WHAT?!

    from 10 to 100?
    ridiculous! will work for longer term visitors only. day cruisers arriving at the port for 8 hrs. simply won’t bother any more.

    from 10 to 25 would have been more practical

  2. frankly....

    …the increase in tobacco tax was nowhere near enough
    it shoulda been bds.$1 per cigarette yes $20 per pack of twenty and then the other manuf., markup and distrib. costs on top of that – when ppl start considering $28 for a pack theyll stop smoking fer real and make Barbados history as we become the first non smoking nation on earth with an eventual view to making even more history as we become the first nation on earth to ban the Amerikan killer weed outright..yessir illegal like gonja..and then other countries will follow our excellent example..who will be the first brave country to fly in Amerika’s face and do dat??
    cnn would be here the next day covering dat shocking move but are we brave enough to tell uncle Sam and his N.Amerikan weed where to get off?

  3. What Two?!

    This increase shocks. Too much in one go. Yesterday my grandson in Amsterdam asked cost of temporary license and I told him $10. He will be knocked off his feet when he hears its suddenly gone to $100.

  4. xenophobe chick

    Pure vindictive foolishness. I deal with visitors every day who already complain bitterly about paying $10 for a visitor’s driving permit. For a tourist destination like Barbados a valid overseas permit should suffice. The rental companies would be responsible for checking.

    And let me warn you more and more visitors are complaining too about the ridiculous waiting times at passport control after arriving at the airport. One recently told me it reminded him of entering the Soviet Union.

  5. reality check

    This couldn’t have been well thought out. Even a 100% per cent increase for a car rental license would be difficult to absorb.

    Maybe the taxis will get a break here but the penalty for 1-7 day car rentals car license is ridiculous. Maybe $20-30 for less than a week and $100 for everything else? Back to the drawing books before a new fee structure is implemented.

  6. Beefcake

    $100 is excessive, especially when none of us pays for a driving license when we travel to the US or Canada as our Barbados license is considered valid (albeit laughable when the book is presented).

    The comment on making a $100 license valid for three years is a good idea as it encourages or rewards repeat visitors.

    You could keep a $10 license for a 3-month license, similar to what it done in Grenada.

  7. Bajanboy

    The PM and his cabinet did not think this though carefully. I believe it is case of “Tourists can afford it so let’s tax them some more”. This will definitely reduce the demand for the shorter car rentals.

    Car rental companies pay enough tax. Get rid of the fee for the temporary license and allow renters to drive with a valid license from an approved country.

  8. 2009

    Xenophobe, I love you girl!
    Thank you for the frank expozay!

  9. 73.751.007.6381

    Now’s a good time to start axein about rental cars selling off cheap?

  10. Trained Economist

    I would suggest that stakeholders make a formal representation to the government as soon as possible. The measure does not appear to be a major revenue earner and the government may reconsider.

  11. John

    Are we allowed to drive on our Barbados Licences when we visit countries as tourists or do we have to pay a similar fee?

  12. Peltdownman

    John, I have never paid a fee to drive in any overseas country. A licence from my country of residence was all that was required. I believe that the fee was originally introduced as a way of offsetting the cost of issuing the licence, and it may even have been a revenue earner – it certainly is in St Lucia. But for a budget that spent a lot of time on improving tourism, it doesn’t make sense for this charge to apply. It sends the wrong message, that is, “we’re ripping you off because you have lots of money and we don’t.” I understand the government’s need to garner money, but I’m puzzled as to why they are targetting the tourism sector, with higher liquor licenses, higher excise taxes on wines and this crazy visitor’s licence.

  13. Duppy Lizard

    Barbados already has the reputation of being one of, if not, the most expensive island in the Caribbean. Most tourists to the islands are simply looking for warm weather – and they will go where it’s cheapest i.e. the Dominican Republic and Cuba.

  14. John

    I think this imposition on our guests may not be in our best interests.

  15. Tom Field

    When I first heard the report that Barbados was spending more on alcohol that pasta, I thought to myself “Here we go – a reason to tax”. What never crossed my mind was to ask the question “How much of this is consumed by the upsurge in visitor arrivals”. The statistics did not explain how much of this whopping consumption was caused by the World Cup Cricket influx.
    Can anyone imagine what a guest to the island will now have to pay for a glass of wine or a bottle of premium scotch? Keep it up people, let’s keep plucking the goose that lays the golden egg.
    In my opinion, $100 for a temporary drivers licence can never be justified nor a 50% tariff increase for alcoholic beverages. Maybe we will now see an upsurge in cigarette and liquor smuggling as it becomes more financially attractive.

  16. Rohan

    Unbelievable!!
    $100 ($50 US) is equivalent to two days car rental in the States. Good luck asking an American tourist to pay that. Contrary to popular belief, the majority of tourists to Barbados are not rich. Most are middle class folks who shop around for a good value. Add that to the fact that the economy is in shambles now…folks have become even more value conscious. Shaking my head at the jokers who thought this was a good idea.

  17. Beefcake

    The DLP, while necessary to replace the BLP, have not demonstrated sound economic judgement from even the election.

    For example, their VAT proposal for residential properties under $400k is one example of an administrative and impractical headache.

    It would be best if government would stop meddling in the economy and focus on governance.

  18. ROBOT

    was the blp that bad

    i dont see it

    the country was runnin good

    man t-h-om-p-SON aint know what going on

    the man is ALL froth and no beer

    TRUST ME I KNOW WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT

  19. ROBOT

    t-h-om-p-SON fool wunna again
    partisan political jackasses

    this is a trick budget just like the person thompson is

    impressions count
    mek wunna feel wunna getting something
    cost of living gone up again

  20. GreenBB

    I would just like a brief comparison of what occurs in other tourist destination countries…what do they charge if anything at all for a visitors permit. And I agree $100.00 for a short stay visitor, 3 or 4 days is ridiculous. Maybe the car rental companies will go guerrilla and rent without issuing the permit vigilante style. Clearly this wasn’t thought out, if you come in on a cruise and want a 1 day rental are you going to pay $100.00BB, no way.

  21. crossroads

    taxi boys must be smiling quietly to themselves

  22. Straight talk

    She scare the shit out of me too.

    Maybe BICO could replay her budget reply to their workers and scare the shit out of our ice cream.

    Come on Thirwell we demand an explanation and solution.

  23. Canuck

    What is your Government thinking? I agree with many of the other bloggers. I already pay enough just to get to Barbados and stay for 2 weeks. I get taxed by my own Government already. I for one will be starting to look elsewhere. Oh did I mention for half the cost.

  24. I personally feel that Barbados should be doing more to attract tourists, not trying to scare them away. They could perhaps have got away with doubling the license fee to $20.

    This is a crazy short sighted move, which will have an adverse effect on the tourist money that is coming into Barbados. I would also like to mention that coming through customs into Barbados is a breeze, a hell of a lot quicker than any visitor will experience when entering into the USA.

  25. disgusted car rental company owner

    As an owner of a car rental company here in Barbados, that is almost totally dependent on the tourism industry, I am totally mortified that our wonderful Prime Minister would think that by increasing the visitor permit fees to this ridiculous new rate was a smart move.

    All he is doing is SCARING AWAY the same said tourists that we all depend on.

    Barbados is by no means a cheap Caribbean Island to visit; we hear this everyday. So what makes this government think that by adding to an already high bill for a HOLIDAY, our visitors would not look elsewhere for beaches and white sand? We fail to remember that there are many other islands in the chain that offer what we have and more for alot less.

    I agree that fees must go up but moving from US$5.00 to US$50.00 is ridiculous; especially for a person who plans to come here for a one off trip for a week or less. It is NOT worth it to them. I have already had clients say this today. Many are seriously rethinking their visit because of this.

    What about thinking of an option for permits? Why not offer options – 1 month, 3 month, 6 month and 1 year permits, so that we can allow our visitors to choose what they can and cannot afford to do!

    Believe me, this thought of saying that the permits offered are valid for 1 year is a reason for visitors to buy them in the hopes of returning to this wonderful country of ours is JOKE!!!!

    The cost of living is increasing all over the world. Getaways to exotic islands are luxuries not necessities!!!!!! We want to entice people to come here not chase them off before they even get on a plane.

    Please also bare in mind that it is not just us, the car rental companies that are affected by this permit increase. Visitors rely on their cars to allow them the ease of exploring the island and visiting all our sites, attractions, bars, nightclubs, restaurants etc…..so we are all in the hot seat!!!!!!!!!!!

    I beg more and more people to put some serious thought into this budget and voice your concerns so that the powers that be can make their adjustments before things get completely out of control.

  26. smoove

    as a small car rental operator, i listened in shock at the pm when he made the announcment. We are unable to absorb this increase for 1 day to one week rentals and have already received some cancellations after informing customers about the increase. We are sure to lose more tourists to more affordable destinations… sigh..

  27. Pat

    Personally I see nothing wrong with this increase in the temp. permit costs. If a tourist does not want to pay the $50 Canadian,then they can use taxis or buses. In Ontario, if you do not have an International Drivers Permit, you must take the driving test and fork out $125. That includes the written test, eye test and road test. You dont just get it like that unless you are from another province in Canada. There is no such thing as a temporary visitors permit.

  28. smoove

    But Pat Thee tourists here have to purchase them regardless of if they have an international drivers license or not..

  29. Sargeant

    Pat

    I don’t think that you can equate the costs of temporary driver’s licenses in Ontario with that in B’dos. The importance of tourism to Ontario pales in comparison to the importance of tourism to B’dos and tourists are unlikely to complain about the cost of an International license in Ontario. The majority of tourists who visit Ontario come from the USA and many of them drive their own vehicles across the border. They can rent a vehicle without penalty with their own state driver’s licenses. Every visitor to B’dos who wishes to drive would be subject to this increase and since B’dos is primarily a tourist destination and well known as an overpriced one this adds salt to the wound. I agree that $10.00 for a license (which is valid for one year) is inexpensive but the increase to $100.00 in one fell swoop is a bit much. I believe we should listen to the people on the ground and not make statements that the tourists can always use taxis and buses.

    While I am on this subject many older returning nationals exploit a loophole and use temporary driver’s licenses since they would not be able to pass the mandatory medical test which is required for Barbadian residents over the age of 70

  30. Wishing In Vain

    Not sure if any of you suffered thru to see the beast mottley labour thru her presentation this evening in the House Of Assembly but for me this was a classic case of having nothing to offer and to bluff her way for the duration of her speech, she would have been better served instead of trying to labour for four hours to compact her speech into an hour and call it quits, actually much of what she said lacked any substance anyway and it maybe could have compacted into ten minutes but I will be kind to her and suggest an hour.

    It was empty, shallow and boring, Mottley had two choices to make today one was to take the high ground and still stay above the nasty politics and nasty snide comments or to get political and get down dirty and deep, I honestly felt that she had no defined plan and as a result she was scattered all over the place and then finally got to the point that she lives in the gutter.

    She of all people should be wary of where she attempted to go this evening, she would have been better served by staying in the clean and clear and maybe the listening audience would have respected her much more and would have been understanding of her position when it could be said she was trying her best against a six month old Gov’t that has done little if anything wrong since they came to office.

    Noiw based purely on the comparsion of the reception for the two leaders yesterday’s was by far a massive show of support whereas today was nothing in the courtyard of the Parliament.

    She has yet to learn the importantce of timing and opportunity this maybe why Dale Marshall has her measured and is simply biding his time on the rails to lurk thru with a strong finishing bust to the election leaders finishing post ahead of Mottley.

    Chris delivered a most telling series of punches that in five minutes of his speech he have destroyed her four mispent hours of presentation, his most telling response to her other than his comment about being scared for her because of certain of her skills was the one in which he nearly threw the receipt book at her for rents collected by JOE ATHERLEY’S wife for homes built by URBAN and for which she has been collecting rents not on URBAN’S behalf but on her own behalf, added to this was his comment that URBAN built nearly 500 homes most of which they have no records for, really a sad and an amazing revelation of gross fraud once again by Mottley / Arthur combination of crooks in action.

  31. Wishing In Vain

    I beg more and more people to put some serious thought into this budget and voice your concerns so that the powers that be can make their adjustments before things get completely out of control.

    The reality is that for many a year the fee was frozen at $ 10.00 it moves and each one of you see gloom and doom come on guys grow up, this is 2008 and the country needs urgent attention to assist in provide services.

  32. reality check

    “was the blp that bad”

    this would be an incredible understatement

    the 1-7 day car license needs to be revisited.

    Does everyone forget MIA’s cricket visa fiasco?

  33. 117

    I expect a significant increase in the numbers of school children who will attempt to use the “free” Transport Board buses come September.

    Does the Transport Board have enought buses? enough drivers? enough fuel? enough mechanics? adequate insurance policies? to serve the expected increase.

    Or will my little Johnny who lives 5 miles from Bridgetown and 5 miles from his rural school be faced by dreadfully overcrowded buses and 2 hour waits at the bus-stop?

    I am asking now, because come September I don’t want to hear Transport Board officials, school officials and the politicians blaming each other if as expected inadequate preparation is made.

    I just want my Little Johnny to get to school on time.

    And sorry Matthew Farley if I have to my put Little Johnny on a ZR van I will do so, if my choice is between a ZR van and having Little Johnny being late for school I will choose the ZR van.

    I think that my Little Johnny deserves efficient transportation to school.

    And “no” Little Johnny should not have to get up at 4:30 a.m. in order to get to school on time.

    Little Jonny is a growing boy and needs an adequate night’s sleep.

  34. tour guide

    Pat,

    Maybe you should check your facts. I have had many overseas clients come to Canada (Vancouver), for over 30 years. They all rent a car at Vancouver International Airport. They never paid $125 for an international lisc. They had a valid overseas lisc. and that is all they needed….same as when I go abroad which is about 25 times a year!! Where did that come from?. Check your province ..I know with the Olympics coming….no one will be paying $125.

  35. Gavin

    From when does this new cost come into affect?

    I am from the UK & coming to Barbados in October, I have only yesterday e-mailed several car rental companies for quotes on car rental for my stay in Barbados. The new license fee was not mentioned in any of my quotes. If it is in action for my visit I will now not be able to afford the already high cost of renting a car, on top of what is already an expensive island to visit!!

  36. Rumplestilskin

    Gemerally I have few problems with the budget.

    However, I am puzzled and find it unusual to have these new ‘fees’ for professionals such as lawyers, doctors, dentists, accountants, who generally already pay subscriptions to professional organisations for registration.

    Most of these people have earned their qualificatiopns over many years but must now pay for registration on top?

    Are mechanics, bobcat operators, masons, carpenters, public service drivers, businessmen also going to pay fees for registration?

    Seems unusual and unfair.

    Peace.

  37. JC

    I like the idea of school children being able to ride free of cost. However, I think that before school commences they should make sure the transpost buses get it right.

    My next question is if there is an inadequate supply of buses as Gline Clarke claimed why didnt he and his Government do something about it?

    In addition, I was wondering if it would not be beneficial for ‘all’ if transport board and persons who own mini buses and ZRs merge their businesses therefore creating a functioning bus system. This bus system should be properly managed and schedules should be kept. Moreover, this would stop the hustling and reckless driving by our drivers since everyone would have a contract and be paid a fixed salary?

    These are just my suggestions I know they would have flaws but at least it gives persons something to think about and a way in which one can better manage the escalating cost of oil in the future…….

  38. 180

    … and all of you thought things were going to change after January 15th. – I would give the young people a chance because they tend to be naive, but most of you big hard-back men and women should have known better.

    How many of you voted for the DLP? Better yet, how many of did NOT vote at all, and now complaining? You vote with your hand, a pencil and a piece of paper, not your mouth!

    I note that Opposition’s reply is not seeing the light of day here either, or would that make BFP have to choke on some of its own words? Hmmm, what I wonderful web we weave.

  39. Darnley L. Pinder

    WIV , what about the $2500.00 lock. Chris said that a government dat paid 11000 to cut down atree cant talk about a 2500 loc. What utter nonsense, we kicked out the other party for that.

  40. 180

    … you really think the school children are going to ride of the Transport Board buses, when most of them got more cash in their pockets than you and I put together. They will continue to pay and travel of the ZR’s and continue to do all the ‘nice’ things they do on board.

    The only way to stop that would be to enact a law and then of course enforce it.

  41. Waterboy

    Pat, 2 years ago ago when I visited Toronto I rented a car and all I did was present my Barbados driver’s license. There was no additional license fee etc. Same in the USA. Check your facts and come back.

  42. Waterboy

    The reality is that for many a year the fee was frozen at $ 10.00 it moves and each one of you see gloom and doom come on guys grow up, this is 2008 and the country needs urgent attention to assist in provide services.
    —————————————————————–
    So you try to suffocate the golden goose that provides the revenue for these services?

    Is one if those services the $2,5000.00 lock that Ms. Mottley highlighted? Tell us about that.

  43. Waterboy

    Darnley L. Pinder
    July 9, 2008 at 10:50 am
    WIV , what about the $2500.00 lock. Chris said that a government dat paid 11000 to cut down atree cant talk about a 2500 loc. What utter nonsense, we kicked out the other party for that.
    —————————————————————–
    But we the PEOPLE can talk and we want to know.
    Is it true or not WIV?

  44. in reply to PAT above

    In reply to Pat above……this country does not accepted international licenses…we can get them here in Barbados – hell we are even listed as one of the countries they are accepted ( on the actual license ) but they are not accepted when you arrive with them and try to use them to drive here!!!.what sense does that make????? Educate yourself before you get into this discussion!

  45. Adrian Loveridge

    A notice a quarter page ‘AD” in the Nation today asking ALL Car Rental operators to meet tomorrow (Thursday 10th July) 10am
    at the Barbados Yacht Club.

  46. what's with the secret name BFP know who your anyway

    No its not true. In fact the PM will have the facts to reveal that the 2,500 was for a series of other things as well not only the lock and the bills have been delivered to the PM.

    What Ms. Mottley needs to tell the nation is why under her watch 6 plywood sheet where put on a house in the Orleans for 10,000 dollars. And trust there is so much more.

    Oh by the way did Mia say when and how she amassed 3 million dollars in assets? Was it before she came a minister of after. And exactly how did she do that on 13,000 a month? that is what you guys should be focusing on.

  47. Adrian Loveridge

    Too late was the cry….

    ‘24,086,762 travellers from 190 countries planned trips here this week’

    Yes! thats over 24 million people!

    The site of course: TripAdvisor.

    And already our potential visitors to Barbados are reading and commenting on the proposed 1000% increase in a Visitor Driver Permit.

  48. Hants

    Adrian Loveridge and Car Rental company owners need to contact the PM’s office immediately and ask him to reduce the permit fee.

    Instead of whining on BFP, go and deal with the problem.

    I had a Client who told me my fee was fair but “difficult “for him and I cut it by $2000.
    Result I have a happy Client who continues to give me Business.

    David Thompson is not Owing $ After.

    Adrian you are now a member of “the Board”.

    You have a duty to inform the Government of the need to reverse this Permit fee immediately.

    I remain a DLP supporter because David Thompson and his team are doing a good job in spite of the difficulties caused by the worldwide downturn in the economy.

  49. Bajan in Canada

    US $50 for a year is obviously a money grab. Especially when most of those tourists will not make it back to Bim within a year. For a resident license where I live in Canada is $75 for 5 years!

    What do bajans pay now per annum for their driver’s license?

  50. Centipede

    Says xenophobe chick, July 8, 2008 at 3:19 pm:
    “And let me warn you more and more visitors are complaining too about the ridiculous waiting times at passport control after arriving at the airport. One recently told me it reminded him of entering the Soviet Union.”

    The chaos in the ‘arrival hall’ at our wonderful new airport is opprobrious. When the airport was being built/expanded the public was told how efficient it was going to be and how this new edifice was going to take care of increasing business for many years to come.

    Instead, what is the actual position? In two mild words – mess and frustration.

    It is really sickening that ‘our people’ simply can’t get anything right.

  51. Bessie

    For those who want to see the full text of the budget, check here: http://www.acutevision.com/web/gismedia/

  52. Trained Economist

    I want to respond to comments made by Wilfred Abrams and Sue Springer in the local media.

    Mrs Springer offered support for the various measures that benefited the tourism and hospitality sector, and then criticized the ones she saw as increasing costs in the sector.

    Her comments seem to suggest that in her and industry’s eyes, any subsidies to be paid to the sector must be funded either from borrowing or at the expense of the rest of the society. In effect she seemed to be saying, find money from somewhere else to subsidize this industry.

    The fact that the revenue raising measures are in the form of one time increases in annual fees, seems to mean nothing to her. I would really like to see a little arithmetic as to how a one time $2,500 annual increase or $6.8 a day factors into the unit operating costs of a hotel in such a manner as to affect its viability, or need to be passed on to clients.

    Please educate me!

    One cannot deny the value of the tourism and hospitality industry, but your industry does come across as a rather spoilt child, always wanting more.

    Would the industry prefer to handle a greater share of the costs of marketing and have the annual fees remain the same? Oh I forgot, the sector must get the money from the state regardless of how its financed.

    Is it not a fact that all Barbados governments are extremely generous to this industry.

    I have a couple of questions for Mr Abrams:

    1. Does the provision of legal services contribute to the tax net through value added taxes?

    2. How many of your members and some of the other professionals you spoke about, file regular income tax returns?

    3. Where tax returns are filed how many of them are reflective of the true profits of these service providers?

    4. Do you believe these service providers beat their fair share of the tax burden?

    5. How many of these professionals received their professional training and certification with significant tax payer contribution? Mr. Abrams
    should note that these various professionals begin their working life with a modest if any student loans because of tax payer generosity.

    6. Can you explain with some numbers how an increase of $1,750 for a year, or $4.79 a day, maybe you can break it down per client for the smallest law practice, needs to be passed on to clients. maybe you can do the same for dentists and the other professionals you spoke about.

    Please educate me:

  53. HIT FUH SIX!

    Mia Mottley Declares Her Assets!

    Hits David Thompson for SIX!

    http://www.nationnews.com/story/360180682472633.php

  54. 2048.2009.381

    “Are we allowed to drive on our Barbados Licenses when we visit countries as tourists
    -or do we have to pay a similar fee?

    When I visit lil KissMeAxxx Trinidad
    I merely show my Barbados pink book Drivers License as being valid and I GO.

    NO T’dad driving permit nonsense!
    Such doesn’t exist!

    This is a nuisance tax bullshirt thing.

    Barbados is making a BIG mistake with this illogical increase in a Visitors Driver Permit that shouldn’t exist in the first place!

    ————————

    http://boards.cruisecritic.com/forumdisplay.php?f=124
    to see how outsiders perceive us,here at the center of the Universe!

  55. Outside Perceptions of us.

    Centipede,boy…
    We inherited our love of bureaucracy and red tape from The British!
    Thus the procedural attitude.

    We is de BigShots now
    and we gyne mek de white man wait pun we,
    just fuh de fun of it! HeeHee!

    Big Joke,nuh? Wait en see!
    —————–

    As regards GAIA: new infrastructure
    same ole same ole deliberately-inefficient Bajans to run that infrastructure!

    Yuh hear it’s like entering de Soviet Union??
    Shouldn’t that alone scare you to death?
    That one comment says TONS
    at least it does to me.
    Hurdles hurdles hurdles!
    Just what every tourist comes here for, because he doesn’t have enough of them, at home.
    ————————-
    Tourists comment that Barbados is the priciest destination in the Eastern Caribbean.

    We are not ‘ready’ ..sorry!

  56. Adrian Loveridge

    Hants,

    I HAVE advised the board, I HAVE written to the Minister of Tourism, I HAVE been in contact with the BHTA, I HAVE been in contact with several car rental companies and groups of them are meeting today and tomorrow to discuss the 1000% increase.

    I have witnessed 14 years of inept tourism policymaking and the disastrous consequences this has had on our tourism industry.

    I have EVERY confidence in the new Minister of Tourism, but he and Government have been badly advised on this proposed 1000%
    increase.

    The irony of it, is that if the predictions the car rental agencies are making become true, that the Goverment will actually loose revenue, as the loss of VAT will be greater than the increased permit collection.

  57. Tell me Why

    BFP. You have been calling on the Thompson’s administration pertaining to the Declaration of Assets. After 6 months nothing happened, but to lo and behold, Ms Mottley submitted her assets to the Honourable House and made it a document and you with your partisan behaviour, refused to highly her act. This is what you call a hypocritical act. The former PM is suppose to submit his today. I am now calling the present administration to show your honesty by doing likewise. Declare your assets.

  58. Green Monkey

    I have EVERY confidence in the new Minister of Tourism, but he and Government have been badly advised on this proposed 1000%
    increase.

    Just who has been advising the Government on this matter is what I would like to know. Does he wear a bright yellow suit with green polka dots? Does he have a bright red nose and wear large floppy shoes on his feet? Is his name Bozo?

  59. Tell me Why

    This is an open submission to Trained Economist.
    I have been reading your submission and I can fairly say that you should rename yourself as Trained Auditor. To make your case, you keep harping on the daily, weekly and monthly costing on the proposed increases. Remember, in the final analysis the real impact is shown in the P&L at the end of a financial year. If a $5,000.00 increase in licence, a $15,000.00 per month increase in electricity, a $2,000.00 in water, a $15,000.00 increase in salaries, a maintenance and replacement bill of $60,000.00 and most of all a reduction in room stock will show in your annual report and will be able to tell if you will remain or go into liquidation. That is the common fact, if we have so many negatives affecting this sector and to compound it with the 1000% increase in drivers’ permit, do tell me, are we serious in protecting the vulnerable poor who are employed in this sector? Economics deal with long term influences, not a three-month fixed.

  60. Tell me Why

    I was listening to the debate and Hamilton Lashley is supporting the measures. Are we about to see political hopping again? Can we label this move as someone who love to be part of power? Should the constituents who rallied behind this parliamentarian be concerned with his about turn behaviour after six months?

  61. Trained Economist

    Tell me why,

    My point is telling about a 100% increase in an annual fee or any cost tells me little about the increased costs of units of output, which then feeds into your unit pricing, whatever your output is.

    I took an auditing course one, and I have taken too many economics courses, but commonsense says that a 100% increase in a cost that constitutes less than half of 1% of your total costs has a rather different impact than a 10% increase in a cost that is 25% of your total costs. Which is what I am getting at.

  62. Let's all "declare"!

    ANYone who believes that Mia declared her full assets
    is naive in the extreme.

    That’s like me saying I have just $139.45 in one single account at Barclays in Broad St.
    I have no overseas accounts, of course I don’t! riiiight!

    Who are we all fooling?
    Who is Mia fooling?

    WAKE UP.
    Her “Declaration of Partial Assets” is nothing but pure lawyer-training THEATRICS and Stage Play!

    You’re smarter than that.
    Aren’t you??

  63. 187

    Tell Me Why: Anybody can submit ANYTHING, document or otherwise. Who will swear to the accuracey and veracity of this declaration? Big up people in big up places can hide much of their assets and wealth under umbrella companies and overseas bank accounts. Who would challenge Mia or Owen on their so-called declaration of assets?? Who would step forward in the house of commons and say “yes it is a very pretty and official document but is it worth the paper it is printed on”?

  64. 187

    ……and as the previous poster before me has just stated…….a pure piece of theatrics which is what Mia is good at…..honestly, the woman should have chosen a career in acting upon the Shakesperean stage.

  65. Tell me Why

    Tell Me Why: Anybody can submit ANYTHING, document or otherwise. Who will swear to the accuracy and veracity of this declaration?
    ………………………………………………………………………………….
    You are missing the fundamental issue regarding the declaration of assets. At least the people can see a start from someone who was not the author. What we are waiting on is the move by the PM. His reputation is at stake in the scenario.

    *****************

    BFP says,

    Say…. didn’t David Thompson submit his assets about 3 months ago, like he promised?

  66. Hants

    Tell me Why says.

    “I was listening to the debate and Hamilton Lashley is supporting the measures. ”

    He is supporting measures that help the people he claims to represent.

    What is wrong with that?

  67. Another Car Rental Company

    To those who want to say costs rise and the permit fees are not a problem let me say this!!
    You are dependent on tourism correct? Well according to the TOURISTS they seem to be having a problem with it and are starting to rethink their vacations here. I would know because I am in direct contact with quite a lot of them. To those that still come but just cancel the car rental, fine. That is my well being personally affected. BUT, how are the tourists getting around? Taxi right? So they take a taxi to see the island for a day. They are not going to pay taxi fares to travel around as if they had their own car. So what does this mean? Where are the tourists that stop at the rum shops, the bars, restaurants, nightclubs, convenience stores? Who is going to walk to Oistins on Friday night for the fish fry? The only place close enough is the Butterfly Apts if I have the name right. But is the whole Oistins thing to be peopled by that one hotel? Right down to the stall operators are affected by this driving permit fee. No one place is peopled by visitors staying next door alone.
    I seriously don’t think the people of Barbados really realize what this means for ALL of us as a whole. The car rental companies will feel the sting first. Many of us will not survive, perhaps myself included. But from the moment the tourists coming here are not mobile every vendor of every type is in danger!!!!!!!
    THINK ABOUT THAT PEOPLE…….

  68. armchair critic

    BFP has spent the last few months rallying the cause of ITAL in public life and now that the Leader of the Opposition has publicly declared her assets the silence is deafening…..

    Thompy and his gang are now put in the position to follow suit or be condemned as hypocrites. This should be very interesting……

    ****************

    BFP says,

    Hi AC

    You must remember that this just happened and we are part-timers with real lives. It has been mentioned by our readers and will be the subject of an article just as soon as life slows down for a few moments.

    Besides… Mia, Owen and David never even breathed the words ITAL until we started things two and a half years ago. This is an important development (though not for the reasons you might think) and we will cover it of course.

    Cheers!

  69. Thistle

    And what were Mia’s assets BEFORE the BLP gained power in 1994? Would this not be more relevant?

  70. Hants

    Thistle asks
    “what were Mia’s assets BEFORE the BLP gained power?”

    Irrelevant.

    She was born Rich and will stay Rich as a bonafide member of the political lawyer class.

    Owings assets will be easy to “compute”.
    14 x 100,000 plus 600,000 equal two million.

  71. Tell me Why

    BFP says,

    Say…. didn’t David Thompson submit his assets about 3 months ago, like he promised?
    ………………………………………………………………………………….
    I have not heard such, but you might be more knowledgeable. I now ask you these questions. Did he present the information to his household? Was BFP privy to the information? Was it made a document of the house? Was it delivered to the GG? Where is the said document? Why did you keep it a secret instead of informing the people who keep your blog ticking? Come on BFP please answer at least one question.

    ***************************

    BFP says,

    Tell Me Why… are you more than one person? Have you been reading this blog?

    Here’s a quote from one of our many – dozens – of articles about Thompson not declaring his assets, adopting ITAL etc etc etc…

    “Voters should be asking themselves why Thompson and his DLP Government don’t want to implement rules that will criminalize and prohibit corrupt behavior.

    Same old, same old ’bout these hills…

    Here piggy, piggy, piggy! Soooooooeeeeee! Come and get it!”

  72. Sargeant

    Tell Me Why

    BFP was being sarcastic when they asked the question about Thompson disclosing his assets. Can’t you recognise sarcasm?

    Cheez

    *****************

    BFP says,

    Yes, Sargeant… doesn’t it make you wonder about Tell Me Why?

    Very strange… sort of disconnected from reality and what we have been saying for months. Strange.

  73. Tell me Why

    BFP was being sarcastic when they asked the question about Thompson disclosing his assets. Can’t you recognise sarcasm?
    ………………………………………………………………………………….
    So should we all believe that everything BFP wrote about is embedded with sarcasm? Can we really believe anything that is written? Makes me go hmmmmmmm.

    …..and BFP, I read everyone of your blogs, some I respond to and the majority I overlook due to your partisan statements.

    You need to take a leaf from David at BU in being neutral sometimes, but yet still effective….and don’t try threatening me of being banned or opening my own blog, cause it don’t ruffle my feathers. Now start writing about the declaration of assets that you have been requesting from politicians.

    ******************

    BFP says,

    Oh, excuse me for a minute I thought this was your blog.

    So you write about Mia and we’ll publish it unedited. Send it to barbadosfreepress@yahoo.com from the same computer you are using now and we’ll know its really you… or submit it as a comment from the same computer and we’ll make it into a front page article.

    You’re on a deadline. You have until midnight.

    Now get busy.
    Thanks!

  74. Tell me Why

    As usual, I am under moderation.

  75. Trained Economist

    I notice that no one has bothered to post that the government has agreed to review the visitor permit fees.

    And, I get accused of being partisan.

  76. Bajan in Canada

    Ahh thanks Trained Economist. You have bothered to post that information. Not matter what side of the fence one sits on this issue (or side of the political fence), I think this review of the fees is a good step.

  77. what a read

    Maybe we were all too busy at our meeting this morning.. seems like car rental grouping will be more organised thanks to all involved.

    A promise to review however is not a promise to revise.. we wait to see.

  78. factfinder

    perhaps Lewis Hamilton the fastest driver in world from the Caribbean, knows something we don’t

    That’s why he’s put 10 million into Granada to avoid bajan roads and taxes!!

  79. Hants

    It is truly amazing how many bajans find prairie oysters since Owing gone.

    The climate of fear is gone.

    The Dems will listen and reduce the permit fee.
    I am willing to bet a bottle of single malt scotch on it.

    Better still I will reveal my Identity to BFP.

  80. Hants

    There was a time when this statement would not have been printed in mainstream media but people are Advocating change.

    “When I was a child I spake as a child, understood as a child and thought as a child, but now that I am become a man I have put away all childish things.

    “That is perhaps the fundamental distinction between the Member for St. Michael North East and myself, because even though she may have become a man, she has not yet put away all childish things”

  81. Justice

    I heard Stuart say that, Hants, and there was silence from the House. I thought nobody else got it. But it was so subtle…and he repeated it too!

  82. Thomas Gresham

    I wonder how much the government expected to raise with this? This will influence its willingness to back down on the issue – perhaps a reduction to B$50.

    Does anyone have the number of separate car rental agreements a year (some people come more often than once a year and will not need a new permit each time).

    I recall seeing a figure of 500,000 tourists per year. I guess a back of the envelope calculation suggests there are about 150,000 families individuals who might rent a car. Some of them would decide they are here for too short a period to rent a car or have other forms of transport, so let us say there are 50,000 separate rentals per year (some tourists come more than once a year and they would not need a repeat permit).

    50,000 permits at $100 each would be $5m revenue raised. This is about 20 times the amount to be spent on the increased welfare payments , so it is not a small figure, but nor is it the lynch pin of the $104m tax increase.

    It would seem to me that there would be room to cut this fee in half with a review in 12 months time to see if there has been any impact on our tourist numbers and if there has, to consider dropping the fee and if there has not to consider raising it.

    But while they are reviewing this, I think they should also drop the rise in the bicycle tax. I cant believe this tax is expected to raise much. Everywhere else I know in the world they are trying to encourage people to get on their bikes because it is healthy and reduces congestion. It is also what economists call a “nuisance tax” the kind of tax that is costly to collect, costs time and nuisance for people to pay, and collects small revenues. Nuisance taxes have a high degree of non-compliance and studies have shown that a culture of non-compliance in one, innocent area, often spreads to other more important areas.

  83. Adrian Loveridge

    Thomas,

    I honestly do not think it would have generated a net revenue gain for Government at all.

    1) It would have virtually eliminated ANY business from the cruise ship sector. I cannot see many passengers paying US$50 for a drivers permit for a days car rental from 9am until 4pm.
    So no rental, no VAT on rental and petrol.

    2) According to many of the car rental agencies, I spoke to, the average rental for long stay visitors is 3 days.
    So with an average daily rental rate of US$50, thats US$22.50 in VAT and whatever the VAT/Excise duties collected on the petrol used.

    3) Then look at the losses to the attractions, activities and Restaurants.

    Average entrance fee (VAT element)
    Average Meal Cost (VAT element)
    Shopping (VAT element)

    Then look at the secondary consequential losses like employment. Less car cleaners, delivery drivers, mechanics etc).

    Sense, I am sure will prevail and it will galvanise the car rental operators into becoming more effective in lobbying in the future.

  84. Thomas Gresham

    Dear Adrian,

    Good point. I have to agree with you that when you consider the wider, spill-over effects and the disincentives, it could prove a revenue loser.

    But the same could be said for many taxes.

    Even the free school ride is, for half of it, a transfer from PSV owners to families with kids and so not a net injection into the economy of $11m, probably ends up being more like $5m.

    Which is why when you add up all the effects of the $104m of tax rises, not matched by uncertain expenditures, we need to be very concerned about the wider economic effects.

    In January the prospects for Barbados were an inflation rate of 5% and a growth rate of 2%. Not great compared to the likes of China, India, Brazil, Bermuda, Cayman, etc, but not too bad given we are energy importers.

    Today, as a result of a number of measures, we will see at the end of the year an inflation rate of 10% (and more if international prices rise further) and a growth rate of 0%. Our labour force grows by about 1% per year and productivity growth is around 1-2%, so that probably means a rise in unemployment of around 3000-5000.

    Adrain, you know the hotel sector alot better than I and most of us, I would be interested to hear from you how you think this would impact the hotel industry. At one level, if international demand holds to current levels, lower growth in the rest of the economy, which means less congestion and excess demand, would make somethings easier for the industry, but what about the wider effects? What happened to the industry the last time we saw weak growth in the rest of the economy and rising unemployment?

    Thanking you in advance

  85. Adrian Loveridge

    Thomas,

    I must first state that I am not an economist or pretend to be.

    I think we have to start from where we are now and I am afraid from a tourism perspective that is not in a position of strength.

    I have said this a number of times, but it is relevant to our situation.
    Over the last 14 years, we have lost 28 hotels. Despite this fact, our registered accommodation providers barely reach an average annual occupancy of 51%.
    Simply put, over 3,500 of our registered hotel rooms are empty EVERY single night of the year.

    This has to change, to give the properties the viability to re-position themselves.

    Inflation will obviously put further pressure on operational costs.

    In my opinion we have to start to change HOW we do business and attract more direct business through the internet and reduce the level of tour operator dependency bookings.

    Currently, airlift poses a major challenge BUT it also provides an opportunity.
    During our softer months (September, October and November) an American Airlines AAdvantage member can fly to Barbados from ANYWHERE in North America served by the airline for 25,000 miles.
    AAdvantage has over 45 million members.
    By partnering with them we could buy some miles and reduce that requirement to 20,000 or 15,000 miles.
    So we have eliminated the air cost challenge and all thats left is the actual or perceived cost and value of a land (accommodation) package.

    We also have to become a great deal more creative in how we market Barbados.

    One simple, example, Brian Talma is featured in a ten page article in the September 2008 edition of Caribbean Travel and Life.
    As the title implies, it is geared towards travellers that are interesting in visiting the region.
    The Dollar value of this spread, if we had to pay for it would have been around US$400,000.

    This afternoon I will be walking a journalist from the Boston Globe along the East Coast.

    Both involve little or no cost but get the destination enormous exposure. We have to convert that exposure into bookings.

    This may not have answered all your questions, but I am currently writing an article on Destination Marketing for the new publication called ACCUMEN being launched later this year by the Cave Hill School of Business.
    I expect it will accessible online and this may shed other answers to the problems facing our current state of tourism in Barbados.

  86. Thomas Gresham

    Dear Adrian,

    Thank you for that clear view as to what we need to do as our cost of living rises further.

    It seems to me that we are a relatively expensive destination to begin with and so we either have to justify that expense – through the quality of the experience and service or, we have to lower our costs, the largest part of which is wages and social costs like taxes. The former – justifying our high cost – seems to me to be the developmentally better path, though that does not reduce the pressure to contain costs and taxes.

    I am sure we could improve our marketing along the lines you suggest. Placing articles which raise our profile and speak to our strengths is worth more than advertising and is often cheaper. We probably need to spend money more wisely than more of it. That said, in the UK, where I was based until a couple years ago, the Barbados brand is a strong one and the UK accounts for 250,000 visits per year. I guess what we need to do is to broaden our market beyond the UK and for that, as you say, airlift is important. As you mentioned before there is some encouraging news on this front with regards to Canada.

    It seems to me that as we are a relatively expensive destination we need a brand that is consistent with that and so I am not convinced that we should put much money towards developing a Caribbean brand, a measure that was announced in the Budget and an initiative that I guess will take a sizable share of the $10m marketing budget announced in the Budget on Monday.

    I am as much a regionalist as the next man, but it seems to me that this is not a good way to spend scarce tax payers dollars. Mixing our tourist brand with Jamaica, Guyana and TnT for instance is not in our interest. We have the strongest brand today and that brand needs deepening and extending rather than sharing. Is that right Adrian? I would be very interested in your views on that initiative. I have heard about the forthcoming “Acumen” and will look out for your contribution.

  87. Trained economist

    For the various professionals and service providers who appear alarmed by the increase in annual fees I would like to remind them that the fees are tax deductible as a business expense.

    If you currently file a tax return you can recover around 25% of the fee. if you don’t( as I suspect many do not) this might be a good time to start.

    If you are one of the small providers filing a tax return showing your true income may well allow you to qualify for a reverse tax credit, which may be worth rather more than the increase in the annual license.

  88. Hants

    Trained economist

    Unless fees for services are regulated, the “Professionals” will bill their clients a little extra to cover the cost of their “increased” annual fees.

    Most will probably make it a profit centre while giving the “lotta long talk” citing the “massive” increase by Guvment”.

  89. Thomas Gresham

    I am with Hants on this.

    Because our professionals operate in a non-competitive environment, they will pass on these fees to consumers and blame the government.

    In fact most of the fees raised in the budget will be passed on to consumers in some way. (If Trained economist would like to check his economics text books he will find the issue well covered under Ramsay Pricing.)

    And remember, the point of the exercise was to raise $104m, so if professionals can avoid paying it through tax rebates the policy would have failed and, presumerably fees would rise further.

    In most countries faced with a cost of living problem, the last thing a government would do would be to raise administrative prices. Most governments reduce administrative prices in order to cut the cost of living, and make up the revenue loss through an increase in direct taxation.

    I reckon these administrative tax rises would on their own add about 1% to inflation, but as we found during the conversion to the euro in Europe, businesses may use the occasion of tax rises to blame government and push their prices up a little more, so I would not be surprised if the net effect was more like 2.0%. Add to that the effect of the removal of energy subsidies and I reckon inflation will reach 10% this year, a big chunk of which relates directly to administrative price changes by government. Very Odd. I suspect they did not have Trained Economist inside Bay street.

  90. Bimshaboy

    I have plans to visit Barbados later this month and just checked my permit which was issued last year only to find out it has expired.
    Could someone tell me if the new fee of $100.00 is for one year or is it for a longer period.(Stupid ? I guess). One would think the rational thing to do would be to extend the time period for about two years or so as the fee for has been raised.
    I guess I’ll be using public transportation and taxis for the visit.

  91. ridiculous

    i am a bajan living oversears and i pay CDN$50 for five years……..

    I hope the PM revisits this….there is no way i am paying $100 for driver’s license..that is ridiculous… i think it’s a good idea to have different rates as others suggested….. how could ANYONE think that going from $10 to $100…. a 100% increase would be “ok”……. a jump like that would NEVER be ok..and it is even FARTHER from ok considering the economic stance of countries right now……..ppl will go visit Jamaic or Trinidad or some other island……. why would they come to Barbados where EVERYTHING is already mor expensive thatn theother islans…the airfaires, the hotels, someof the shopping, and now the driving too….RIDICULOUS…….

  92. ridiculous

    Tourisim is supposed to be B’dos main industry now……. tell me….how does this promote that!!!!!!!

  93. Green Monkey

    I heard that they introduce a lower fee for a short term visitor’s of license. I can’t vouch 100% for this, but I believe the cost is the same as the old visitor’s license $10 or $20 or something like that, but it only good for a week or two (which would probably accommodate about 95% of the tourists anyway) .

    Maybe someone else can verify if this is the case. I haven’t heard any more eruptions from the rental car businesses over the excessive visitor’s license fee charges for a long while, so maybe this is the reason why its no longer an issue.

  94. St George's Dragon

    Its $10 for 2 months and $100 for a year. Most people hiring a car through a rental company will therefore go for the 2 month versions and get a new licence every time they come. I have just added my daughter (who visits us a few times a year) to my insurance so she can use my car. For us it was better to go for the 1 year licence as it saves waiting in line to get the licence every time. For those who have been used to getting their licences at police stations, you should note that they are only issued at The Pine, Oistins and Holetown now.

  95. Hants

    BFP can you verify that the cost of a driving permit is $10 for 2 months?

    If so could you change this post or print a new one that reads.

    Due to (pressure?) from BFP and others, the visitor driving permit now cost $10 for a 2 month period.

    Fair is fair.