Owen Arthur’s legacy: One rule for GEMS and another for the rest of us

BLP Policy: No level playing field in tourism when the Government owns hotels

Statutory Instruments Supplement No. 28

Supplement to Official Gazette No. 54 dated 6th July 2006.

Duties, taxes and other payments (Exemption) (Hotels and Resorts Ltd) Order, 2006.

The Minister in exercise of the powers conferred on him by section 3 of the Duties, Taxes and Other Payments (Exemption) Act, makes the following Order:

1.    This Order may be cited as the Duties, Taxes and Other Payments (Exemption) (Hotels & Resorts Ltd.) Order, 2006.

2.    Hotels & Resorts Ltd, a company incorporated under the Companies Act, is exempt from the payment of property transfer tax under the Property Transfer Tax Act in respect of Silver Rock Hotel to Silver Point Villas Inc. pursuant to an agreement between Hotels and Resorts Ltd and Silver Point Villa Hotel Inc.

Made by the Minister this 27th of June, 2006.

O.S. ARTHUR

Minister responsible for Finance.

(The above was received from Adrian Loveridge and first published by Barbados Free Press on July 7, 2007. Almost three years later we taxpayers still have no answers as our government continues to act as competition to the private sector. BFP now adds the following comments in 2010.)

Barbados Free Press Comments…

We have seen hundreds of millions of dollars if not a billion or more dollars poured into GEMS Hotels. So much money has been wasted and “disappeared” that both the BLP and the DLP are afraid to provide an accounting to the public. Both promised to do so, both lied.

Whatever the intent or reasoning for the Government of Barbados in establishing hotels in competition with the private sector, it has now been well proven that government can’t be successful in running hotels – especially without any rules about conflicts of interest, integrity, transparency and accountability. Barbados has no such laws.

The existence of various minor subsidies for private sector operations in no way levels the playing field when the government is the competition. Compared with the hundreds of millions of dollars poured into GEMS and into biased promotions of GEMS hotels over the years by the Barbados Tourism Authority, the few subsidies to the private sector hotels are nothing.

Private sector investors are increasingly aware that tourism is a tough go right now – and it is made even riskier when your competition has access to unlimited tax monies without having to be accountable for performance, integrity or making a profit.

Marcus

4 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Offshore Investments, Politics

4 responses to “Owen Arthur’s legacy: One rule for GEMS and another for the rest of us

  1. Donald Duck Esq,

    I would take a guess that the above could only come from one person who has an interest in a hotel on the south coast. Is that person not aware of the concessions under the Tourism Development Act. Has that person not seen the concessions granted under the Duties, Taxes and Other Payments (Exemption) Act by the DLP when they were last in office to developments such as Royal Westmoreland which although not a hotel is a development owned by non-residents. What about the concessions granted by the DLP to the owners of Almond Beach in St.Peter when they bought that hotel.

    Perphaps that person should tell us if they have applied for concessions and have been turned down.

  2. Mobutu

    To the melody of Rolling Stones ‘ Brick In The Wall’ (sung by Various Political Hams):

    We don’t need no trans-parency
    No reporting or disclosure

    Hey people, mind your own bus-iness

    You don’t need details of projects
    Nor ex-plan-ations
    Its Guv’ment business only

    Hey people, leave this thing alone

    What we spend on and what we build
    Can eas-ily be forgotten
    Until the next elec-tion

    Just remember,

    People, leave us all alone

    Fancy cars and foreign travel,
    Is our right to do,
    Speeches in Parlia-ment,
    Are just not really true

    People, leave our bank-books alone

    We just can’t wait, till election time,
    When our coffers get nice and full,
    From those who, need some favours
    You know who you a-re

    People, leave this thing a-lone.

    We are the guv’ment, the Opposition too
    We are the chosen, so we say to you

    Mind your own, we will mind ours,

    People, leave this thing alone.

  3. BFP

    Fantastic Mobutu!

    Is that your work? We’ll feature it. (by the way, I think it is a pink floyd song)

  4. Facts

    BFP,
    You’re right. It is Pink Floyd’s hit from the 80’s