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.
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.