Barbados Tax Grab: We’ve been living beyond our means and the bill just came due

Merry Christmas: Barbados VAT to 17.5%

“Finance Minister Sinckler says the increase to VAT is “temporary”. That’s okay, my new policy of buying as little as possible will be permanent.”

“That budget just cost our family at least $6,000 out of our pockets in 2011.”

…Heard at work this evening

Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler delivered his first budget today, and it was pretty much as it had to be given the state of the world’s economies and the heavy debt burden accumulated by Barbados over the last 20 years.

We lived beyond our means for the best part of two decades and not only that: we socked nothing away and spent like drunken sailors on everything except the fundamentals. We had cricket parties for half a billion dollars but neglected the hospital. We spent $400,000 on a $100,000 public washroom – and that was just one over-budget project of hundreds just like it. We forgot to change the oil in the garbage trucks, so we ended up replacing engines instead. We let the seawall deteriorate and then were so surprised when the street above it collapsed.

We gave a million dollars to buy the boys on the block some weed trimmers to “encourage the development of entrepreneurship and small business.” Do you see the boys on the block operating any businesses now? We gave millions and millions to every ad hoc community group that raised its hand and we never audited the spending or checked the results.

We had a great party while it lasted, but now it’s hangover time and it’s a doozie!

Taxes and government fees are headed nowhere but up, with a few stimulus bones thrown into the mix to confuse the wolves at the door.

Briefly, we’re going to borrow more money and increase taxes – then distribute a bit here that there to keep people from starving until tourism gets back to the levels we’ve always enjoyed.

The trouble with waiting for tourism to rebound is that many folks in the business don’t see it ever coming back again to what it once was from our traditional markets. That’s why our government is looking for new markets in South and Central America. Targeting new and closer markets makes sense considering that BIM is at the end of the Caribbean line for flights from Europe, the USA and Canada, but we’re right on the doorstep for Brazil and its neighbours.

And… Barbados is a very different destination for our South American friends. We’re a unique, close, safe and hassle-free destination. If we can just increase the comfort level for non-English speakers, we could see big gains from South America. Lord knows, we need them.

We’d like to hear from Adrian Loveridge on the tourism initiatives in the budget, but that’s our take so far.

One big omission in the budget

Minister Sinckler said very little about doing anything about the tremendous waste and inefficiency of government. We understand that he’s fighting a long-standing tradition of entitlement and lethargy in the public service, but unless the government tackles this head-on, nothing will change.

The Barbados government of the day can attract more tourists and foreign investors, but those efforts become useless when tourists and foreign business people meet our rude, uncaring and inept government workers (of which we have plenty).

This budget was about marketing our product and borrowing to keep the doors open.

We see very little about improving our overall product offerings to the world and we have to be concerned about that. The quality of our product has slipped and continues to deteriorate for many reasons. It’s difficult to effect repairs to the ship while we’re in the middle of the storm – but if we don’t start to concern ourselves with our overall condition of the ship, we are going to be in trouble.

“There are many Caribbean destinations out there with the same beautiful sun, sand and sea. Why should people choose to visit and invest in Barbados?”

That sign should be posted in every workplace and home in Barbados.

Budget Highlights taken from the Finance Minister’s prepared speech

Read Chris Sinckler’s entire speech at The Nation part 1, part 2

Here are a few headline items…

Bus fares up 50 cents a ride.

Gasoline tax up 50%

Tax-free employee allowances for business travel gone.

Drug user fee of 30% to 70% of drug cost.

Immigration fees up.

PSV fees down 50%, license fees down 60%, employees must buy and wear a uniform.

Liquor license fee down 50%

Environmental levy gone.

Tourism: $20 million into a “Small Hotels Refurbishment Programme” and establishment of a “Tourism Loan Guarantee Facility”.

Investment

“In order to ensure that Barbados continues to retain its position as the second largest recipient of foreign direct investment from Canada, after the US, the Government proposes to allocate additional financial resources to Invest Barbados in the 2011 fiscal year to enable it to mount an aggressive and sustained marketing campaign in the major cities in Canada through a series of seminars and road shows over the next 12 months.

Additionally, with respect to Mexico, Government will explore the possibility of Invest Barbados appointing marketing representative in Mexico, who speaks Spanish, to assist in developing opportunities in the Mexican market as well as other countries in Latin America.”

Agriculture: Farmers can now apply to the BWA for a commercial water rate.

Manufacturing: Barbados to borrow US$50 million from foreign financier and spend it … how?

Cultural Industries – “Richard Stoute Teen Talent Competition Trust” $400,000

Audit Requirement for small businesses raised to $2 million, then to 4 million in 2014.

Tax credit for profitable businesses that increase staff by 10%.

Small and micro business funding $1.5 million.

Energy

Borrow US$45 million or US$55 million

Welfare

Grant for children up $10 to $45 per week.

Mandatory Pension contributions up 10%

Advertisements

102 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business & Banking, Economy, Politics

102 responses to “Barbados Tax Grab: We’ve been living beyond our means and the bill just came due

  1. You should see how many Bajans are taking it, some are rather philosophical but the picture I have? Oh, my…

  2. Cantankerous

    I am reminded of the old saying “I spent 90% of my income on fast women and booze, and the other 10% I wasted.”

  3. Well this is no more than what is being done around the rest of the world , look at it another way if your exports are down you can not spend what you dont have . or you end up like ireland or even be in the situation like some of our caribbean nations collecting our wages in a pancart with no value .

  4. RRRicky

    This is nothing. Wait until next year when vacation flying is down 30% or more because the public has had it with the security strips and feel-ups and the EU economies are in melt down so there’s no money to fly anyway.

    You think it’s bad now? You ain’t seen nothin yet!

  5. Adrian Loveridge

    I fully understand the current Government’s predicament but two things really concern me.
    Prior to the budget, the borrowing goes on and most people would reasonably question the immediate need for some of the funds, if it is really intended for the purpose stated.
    From a budget perspective and looking purely at tourism, there is nothing there, other than the BDS$6 million for radio/tv advertising in the UK to stimulate growth.
    And how far does BDS$6 million go with 30 second ‘ads’ on ITV,
    while the almost free BTA FaceBook site has not been updated since 13th July, 2010.
    The BDS$20 million Small Hotel Refurbishment Fund to upgrade 300 rooms. What interest rate, what terms and if its Enterprise Growth Fund administered then many small hotels will be put off due to the cost of requiring three years full audited accounts.
    REGISTERED accommodation providers current pay 7.5% VAT, so does this now mean they will pay 10% with the 2.5% increase (a 33.3%
    hike) or 8.75%. This needs to be urgently answered.
    First re-action is that this is another nail in the coffin and anything that currently raises the costs of the product to our customers will
    influence their decision to choose Barbados as a holiday destination and will certainly determine whether they return.
    The near UK pounds 300 in taxes and add-ons of the lowest economy
    airfare from the UK and the impending increase to 20% VAT is ALREADY having an extremely negative effect from our currently main market and further increases across the board will not help at all.

    I get the overwhelming feeling that both the Minister of Tourism of Minister of Finance are NOT being advised in the best possible way.
    The reference to upgrading all accommodation providers to a minimum 3 star standard (not that we have any universally recognisable standards) is an example.
    Look at the 32 closed hotels over the last 15 years, what ‘star’ rating were most of them?
    A ‘3 star’ hotel recently closed with the loss of over 130 recently and thats after it received at least two chunks of TIRF monies.

    My feeling is that we need to concentrate on the marketing of Barbados and look for the opportunities, just as other destinations are doing.

  6. John

    And… Barbados is a very different destination for our South American friends. We’re a unique, close, safe and hassle-free destination. If we can just increase the comfort level for non-English speakers, we could see big gains from South America. Lord knows, we need them.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    “Millie gone to Brazil, Oh Lord poor Millie.”

    It is unfortunate that the hierarchy of the party in opposition is going to have to learn Portuguese if only to retrieve their password from Brazil.

    However, it could have long term benefits as it will demonstrate to the populace that people who claim to be our leaders are capable of being retrained, can actually learn a foreign language and are not the one trick ponies to which we have become accustomed.

    We need to hear our leaders speaking these foreign languages and making them sound less than foreign ….. ok, for a time the golf balls will fly, but we can duck.

    All fun and joke aside, our leaders need to demonstrate that they can learn or be trained in a new skill set and not continue to exercise themselves in the same tired old methods of robbing us blind.

    …. and they should demonstrate this not by force of circumstance, but because it is the most natural thing on earth to do. They and we need not only to think fast but to act fast.

    The first grouping of Barbadians who is willing to embrace a new skill set and lead from the front will find alot of Barbadians following.

    So, lets get off our backsides and look for the new skill set that will take us forward.

    Followers can become leaders too, …. and of course vice versa.

  7. John

    …. but don’t forget the basics.

  8. X

    I have a young family, a wife that works part time, a toddler, a mortgage and a very tight budget. I do pretty well but all of these things combined place a heavy burden on on our finances; perhaps I should say that we were doing pretty well up until last night. I estimate the cost to my family of the budget to be between $10k and $12k per year. The reason the cost is so high is that I dilligently save money to invest in mutual funds for my future and to take advantage of the allowances and my employer makes full use of the travel and entertainment allowance.

    Now, without that $10k to $12k per year we will have to cut every home improvement project that was planned for next year, skimp on Christmas presents and pull up our socks even higher on minimising utility bills and what little discretionary spending we previously has (there wasn’t much of that).

    I understand that my $10k to $12k will help to service the debt and hopefully bring the country’s fiscal house in order and I completely understand that some sort of austerity is necessary. But what will happen to the rest of the economy when I don’t go shopping for home improvement items, curtail my remaining discretionary spending and try to extract every possible savings on my utilities and other relatively fixed costs.

    This was an unbalanced approach to fiscal improvement and could have some real detrimental effects going forward.

  9. Donald Duck Esq

    X

    You seem to be in the right ball park for estimated cost of the proposals for a person like yourself.

    The Budget statement left out a lot. The major item left out was the impact of the CLICO fiasco on government.

  10. Oh My

    Adrian you say “I get the overwhelming feeling that both the Minister of Tourism of Minister of Finance are NOT being advised in the best possible way “I couldnt have said it better myself.

    Draco’s code of laws had death for almost any offences. Since the Finance Minister has sentenced the middle class of Barbados to death, perhaps it is appropriate to describe his performance yesterday and the measures Draconian.

  11. bob

    There has been no fundamental shift in the developmental course for Barbados, as the Minister alluded to at the start of his presentation.I see the same old thing of increasing taxes. To depend solely on tourism was always a flawed way of thinking. If the movers and shakers think that the USA and Western Europe are going to recover soon from the present economic meltdown,they are doomed to disappointment. The USA and Europe borrowed too much money and depended too much on the service sectors. As a result,their exports have declined because they do not product goods that the real world wants. Additionally, the level of education world-wide has risen. This is especially so in the sciences and technology. Since the world we live on has a finite size,there is a cake of finite size available for sub-division amongst the global inhabitants. In the new world order we are witnessing, this means that the living standards of the USA and western Europe must decline as the living standards of China, India, Brazil, south Africa and russia increase. Therefore the easy ride is over. As for the service sector, all countries can compete and therefore, the country with the lowest cost will excel in this area. Barbados has no comparative advatage in this area. The country has to start choosing persons base on merit and not on political and masonic lodge membership. This country is going to become like jamaica and guyana when this whole thinh is over.
    bob

  12. bob

    errata: In the new world order…..Western Europe instead of western Europe. Russia instead of russia. Barbados has no comparative advantage instead of comparative advatage. Like Jamaica and Guyana ….whole thing is over: instead of jamaica and guyana…..thinh.
    bob

  13. Harry

    The budget would be more palatable if, as you say, the Minister had done more to fight the “long-standing tradition of entitlement and lethargy in the public service.” There are sensible cuts to be made everywhere (how about UWI) and the Minister announces none at all. You cannot just tax the backside off the already struggling, hard-working middle class to protect public sector jobs en masse and expect the public to suck it up.

  14. Jacob

    Things come in threes, the third is the death of Barbados society cause the economy was killed off with great speed. We can continue to mourn the loss of the departed. No need to see reality because there can be no life after this death. Our eyes are watery.

  15. rasta man

    Wait for the increase in crime when persons cannot make ends meet. Nothing has been done about productivity in the Public sector and the wastage of Govt funds. Case in point the millions for Sherbourne to make a car park!1

  16. rasta man

    Maybe the trust fund for Teen Talent will lead to an improvement in the show

  17. All things considered, the Finance played a bad ball the best way possible. An economy should be restructured in good times with visionaries. Arthur had fourteen good years and all he did was open golf courses and bragged how well off we were. Remember, an elevator at the QEH was out of service for over three years, but Arthur built a cricket stadium for $400,000,000. 00. Such recklesssnesses is what Mascoll should at least have the political decency to conceded. But he taught us that politics makes strange bed fellows.

  18. Pingback: Global Voices in English » Barbados: Tax Increase

  19. DNAB

    Life just got harder….for the average Bajan. The VAT goes across the board so..light gone up, water gone up, food gone up, and oh yea…my salary was cut by 10%..even before the budget.

    This is just sooo wrong..on many many levels. I am deeply disappointed in the government and the minister of Finance.

    My two cents worth…add some VAT to that…!!!!

  20. Beefcake

    2 things the government should have added to their budget:

    1) pay cut for public servants (excluding police and nurses as suggested by C. Blackman)

    2) phase out free tertiary education

  21. 32

    The Minister of Finance needed to increase taxes on the well-off and the middle class . He also should have drastically cut expenditure on government programmes. Some of the increase in taxes should have been used for social security, unemployment and training while we wait for the economy to rebound.

    To pretend that you can solve the deficit by only raising taxes is counter-productive. Output in the productive sectors will decline and unemployment in the private sector will increase. Public service jobs will be saved at the expense of private sector jobs .

    The Minister’s budget will result in a slowing of the growth in the deficit and debt but there will also a reduction in GDP and increased uncompetitiveness of the Barbadian economy.

  22. bob

    The budget seems to be aimed at the appeasement of the credit-rating agencies. Once the credit-rating is not lowered further, seems to be the aim of this budget. As I said previously, to keep on depending on tourism and the sale of land is madness. Mr.Arthur Lok-Jack has pointed out the madness of continual selling of land. Both political parties seem to think that , selling land is the only way to go. Both parties are bereft of ideas.
    bob.

  23. 47

    Barbados is simply broke -and this has been a long time coming!
    Our government debt is an astonishing 110% of GDP.

    An island-nation of 300,000 ppl
    living artificially-sustained on a barren dry rock of only 166 sq.miles
    cannot sustain itself for too long!

    40-odd years and the party’s over.

    Independence amounts to economic independence
    -and we never had that, so who are we fooling?

    We often treat our tourism product badly, or with neglect(non-enforcement of problems)
    and we allow predial larceny to screw-up our few enthusiastic farmers
    who already have it difficult enough, struggling to grow crops in poor soils
    with less-than-adequate rainfall,per annum!

    The Barbados Labour Party promised us an imminent find offshore,
    in the oil or gas arena
    -you’ll notice that Saving Grave hasn’t come to pass.. LOL!
    and so we now find ourselves BROKE!

    Government is not broke…We The People
    who collectively make up the human nation of Barbados and its Government
    -are broke.

    And yet still we import (vitally-important?) expensive artifacts
    like flashy rims, mud-tyres and noisy stainless steel exhaust-systems
    to ‘modify’ cars that just arrived in perfect condition from Japan!
    -THAT NONSENSE HAS TO STOP! Goodbye Automotive Art?

    This debt-repayment process will take us some considerable time,
    and NO the BLP will not and cannot save us from this situation
    despite the fact they will seek to capitalise on it!

  24. 32

    What is needed is surgical work on the economy. The Minister is operating like a war doctor on the open battlefield. Something needed to be done to save the badly wounded patient and Dr Sinckler did what he had to do.

    Please get the patient to a good hospital with specialist surgeons (wherever there are?)before the patient dies.

  25. TWWIFOS

    “Finance Minister Sinckler says the increase to VAT is “temporary”. That’s okay, my new policy of buying as little as possible will be permanent.”

    Anyone who believes this is going to be “temporary”, I have a bridge in Brooklyn for sale….VAT free! It would be nice if buying as little as possible would actually help, but you can’t buy less food, less water and less electricity.

    Merry Christmas Barbados :-{

  26. Barbados First

    Lawd, i cant tek it no more…..

    3 continuous years of tax increases in one form or the other. remember the increase in water rates? FTC rate increase to Light & Power? Now bus fares up and VAT up this year… I only hope the government pharmacy aint only got panadols cause them aint gne be able to cure this migraine and belly hurt this Budget just give me – cant even go to the private pharmacy now, it gine cost me up to 30% of the cost of the prescription i getting fill! I only hope that this VAT increase is temporary in trute, some temporary things does end up to be permanent. Could end up drawing off my money from the credit union to pay the increase in VAT, wha i aint getting tax allowance for putting my coppers in the credit union no more… stupes, wha yah cud do nah?

    Lawd, ah cant tek it no more!!

  27. travler

    lets see…..the Jamica dollar 83 to 1 US$….the Guyana dollar 200 to 1, the Trinidad dollar 6 to 1, Dominion Republic peso 36 to 1….and the Barbados dollar 2 to 1… and now the tourists who do come to the island are going to have to pay more. Getting tourists to come is all about the competition and positioning ones self as a competitor. Is currency valuation a contributing factor to a decline in tourism. The internet has changed the way people select destinations. Setting the target of getting the hotel plant to “Three Star” at what the vacation seeker s see mostly as “Five star” prices is bad advertising. The competition have Five Star Hotels at Three Star Pricing. That should be the target.

  28. Donald Duck Esq

    I was amazed the minister could not think of any ways of cuting expenditure!!! How will the invrease in VAT affect government’s HELP plan.

  29. bajan kidd

    My fellow countrymen, and women. So much of ya’ll make me so damn sick.
    How many of you have a blackberry, how many of you have more than one vehicle in you driveways, how many of you have direct tv, multichoice, and or satellite. How many of you buy your children brand name clothes, or maybe 6 and 7 pairs of sneakers (not the cheap ones). Or how about those of you, who still permit your children to catch PSV’s, even though the Government has allowed them free passage on the state run Transport Board. What about you, who have school children that go to school and learn NOT ONE DAMN THING. How many of you have more than one computer in your house(s). How many of you are public workers, who turn up at a job site and dawdle away the whole fricking day and still collect a pay pack with overtime? I am totally sick and fed up hearing people crying out about this and that, and can’t seem to figure out that they put themselves in their own situation. We in Barbados are way better off than millions of persons in the world, millions. I will have no sympathy for any one. If you can’t curb your own ways and make it work, then maybe you should just curl up some where and catch dust.

  30. bajan kidd

    @ travler – about those countries you mentioned all I have to say is Crime, Crime, Crime, tourists want a destination where they can actually feel safe, and actually get to spend their money, what little it may be.

  31. David G. Brooks

    Except for one of the comments made above, I do NOT think the effect that the removal Tax-free employee allowances for business travel and entertainment will have on take home salaries. I’m glad that person could talk in terms of 10K & 12K, but mine is just under 5k per annum … hmm, I must be underpaid, but anyway, to each his own its still less money in your pocket at the end of each month, starting in January, and don’t forget NIS going up too.

    It has not sunk in as yet, smart move because everyone looking at the VAT increase and so on. On top of that, the Chamber of Commerce are not going to be looking at this aspect because those big boys have ways to get around this sort of thing, its the middle order employees that are getting the stick, as usual the ones to be sandwiched.

    I just worked out what not be able to to have these Allowances means to me, and its means I effectively have now been given OVER an 8.5% salary cut – i.e. my TAKE HOME SALARY is now what it was in 2002/2003 – this will affect ALL ‘salaried’ persons who could have taken the advantage of those allowances for tax purposes.

    In other words, its like the early 1990’s all over again but the net is wider, and I have not even factored in the increase in VAT into that. But is well noted that the VAT increase is supposed to be for 18 months … when are elections due now?

    Oh, and I like it that the Liquor License has been reduced, so now we’re encouraged to drink our worried away, more so now.

  32. civilsociety

    The government has definetly made a mistake. They can’t remove an allowance that has been in existence, and people have planned on it in their taxes. He must remove them effective Jan 1, 2011 or most companies in Barbados are going to have to deduct the whole amount of a 12 month allowance in one month. For a lot of people, that will mean a very small December pay cheque. Hopefully common sense will prevail, be cause if he wants to collect any VAT, people have to have disposalbe income.

  33. travler

    bajan kid, have you been to Long Beach lately?..lets not forget the murder of a Canadian tourist. Check out the all inclusive packages for Dominican, Mexcio, Cuba….and compare them to the advertising for Barbados. I love the place but I sure don’t wander out to Long Beach any more or for that matter drive a car with a H licence plate heading to the North of the Island….road tolls…I am sure you know what I mean and nothing seems to get done about it. The internet keeps it all in perspective. Barbados is a jewel but it certainly needs some polish right now. We have to find ways to get the tourists back. Thinking outside of the box is what is required.

    So, here are all these smaller hotels that we now want to make three star. Lets at least go for four star. Get them together and work with one of the air carriers to provide some affordable vacations. That is what needs to be done. I am guessing that a week in Barbados at a all inclusive for a family of 4 is perhaps close to $10,000.

  34. 32

    We have come to expect budget presentations of a high standard. Mr Sinckler made some blunders but can be forgiven this time. It it his first and he is still tired from having to deal with the loss of David Thompson.

    The next time we expect to see improvement. If not, the HC boys will continue to laugh at the rest of us.

  35. rasta man

    I agree with David Brooks.The Govt has now made it easier to drown your sorrows in liquor. Makes sense ?????
    Also “civilsociety” if the deduction is made from Dec salary most people will end up owing .This is totally unfair, just like the increase in the NIS pensionable age for those persons who had contributed from inception of the scheme

  36. bankers delight

    Donald Duck is right to mention the untold liability of Clico on The Barbadian taxpayer but lets not forget the GEMS project, Dodds, 3S, Cricket stadium and on and on with very little to show for it.

    World Bankers are now salivating for the fees to be earned on a new source of revenue off the backs of hard working citizens.

    Its a vicious circle all the while the middle class is being driven into the ground.

  37. honey

    What is left for me to get a tax incentive after this year?- If I have to pay taxes, they SHOULD be some avenues for me to lessen the blow.Yes I understand the need for the government to gain funds but I want to see the accountability and I want to see the government workers working or going home, I am sick and tired of inept public sector workers who contribute to the wastage by spending all day doing nothing and going to courses that I pay for -with my taxes and no one sees the benefit- time fofr the accountability and the transpiracy this government spoke about- this budget is devastating to the middle class and yes I do believe that the bajan live too high on the hog- but do I have to be kicked off the hog in one damned day?

  38. Politically Tired

    Bajan Kidd
    No Blackberry, one 14 year old vehicle, Channel 8 only, no children (just as well methinks!!) One computer used for my work, other half catches bus to & from work to a construction company that have missed two pay rises but in negotiation with the union now, waiting till the budget to make a decision I think, other half also taken no sick days, $950 a month mortgage on a small house, we get by but only just, really hard sometimes. Never go out to dinner or even the rum shop these days. Don’t tar everyone with the same brush.

  39. Politically Tired

    Be good to see other half’s tax return sometime too.

  40. David G. Brooks

    Like him or not, Owen putting down one of the best speeches or should I say lectures on finance and economics, that I’ve heard in a long time … I hope DEM listening … he is making a lot of sense.

    He even had to quote the Rt. Hon. Errol Barrow from a house speech in 1967 that effectively tells DEM (from the grave) that what they are doing is wrong. Lovely, just lovely.

  41. yatinkiteasy

    Has it ever been revealed how many cars and suvs are sold in Barbados “duty free” to people who claim to be “Farmers”? I know of one man who has two(yes, 2) cows…qualified as a farmer because he sells milk to Pine Hill Dairy, and bought a new BMW duty free, saving over $100,000 on his purchase. How much does the Government lose because of these tricks?

  42. John

    David

    If it is really that good, I have to wonder who he got to write it for him this time.

    That is just the cynic in me talking.

    I really don’t spend time anymore listening to politicians (including Freundel) so I can’t even agree or disagree with you.

    The last time I remember happening to be in front of the TV when a politician was speaking was when David Thompson skinned out the same Owen Arthur, that must have been sometime in 2007.

  43. curious

    Woe is we ..because we will finally learn:
    1. An eyeful don’t got to be a bellyful.
    2. Spending money don’t got to mean wasting money.
    3. Doing a budget is a daily/weekly/monthly activity…not a televised event once a year.
    4. What is meant by the “good ‘ole days”.
    5. Eating less ” Bajan food” don’t mean eating badly.
    6. Telephoning don’t got to mean “Blackberrying”.
    7. Brand name Christmases ain’t necessary.
    8. Who help uh buy de big guts horse…. CAN’t even help ya feed it CAUSE VAT pun feed !!! I right doh??
    9. As a matter of fact ….any body know bout recipes fuh horse meat?

  44. Anonymous

    Owen’s content was good but he had a problem with grammar. He is a CP/HC boy with a strong latin background and should have done much better.

  45. Watching

    It was vintage Owen .Like him or not one must admit that he UNDERSTANDS the economy. The whole parliament and the the people of Barbados got a ecomomics lesson that could not be purchased anywhere. I hope the Dees and the Bees were paying attention. When goes to Parliament one must be prepared and on top of your game, that is what Mr Arthur was this evening. I will admit he sounded a bit hoarse but the voice got better after awhile. The only other person in the House of Assembly i.e. Upper and Lower that comes to Parliament as well prepared is Dale Marshall although I am not a fan but I must give a person their due.
    I hope aspiring politicans would take a leaf out of MR Arthur book and practice being prepared when going on the job; not like most others in the House who always seemed to be on the political platform and just about making cheap political points and are of no substance.

  46. what will they think of next

    It does not take much to impress you, David G. Brooks .

  47. Capt. Nobody

    Open your eyes! Have you heard any new taxation on capital gains or luxuries? It is quite clear that who is going to pay with this budget are the middle-low class in this Country. Rich people are not touched at all!! Plus those measures are not enough to avoid the further downgrade in financial international ratings…that means that we are entering in the “no investment” zone. After all what else can happen when instead of an expert in economics this government put a fatty politician? Good luck Barbados.

  48. David G. Brooks

    John,

    Well, I didn’t see him reading from anything unless it was to quote some document, so unless he has an excellent memory or has tele-prompters (like President Obama has with his head between 2 o’clock … 10 o’clock back and forth) I don’t think there was any speech writing involved, maybe cue cards but that’s about it.

    Certainly not like Chris Sinckler yesterday looking over his spectacles, at the opposition and maybe more so Owen, with a look on his face like he was expecting a rock-stone to come his way any moment.

  49. David G. Brooks

    @what will they think of next:

    Please don’t judge other people by your own sub-standards, or else it would seem that you cannot recognise ‘proper’ substance when you hear it. As I said before when you’re out for someone you will find fault with anything they say or do, and that is an indelible fact.

    Owen Arthur delivered a speech this evening that was a lessen not only in economics , which included telling off the IMF (which I think more world leaders should do, once they know what they are doing of course), showing that he also knew how businesses are run – some of us, including myself, may not like how that works from time to time, but again it is an indelible reality of doing business – technocrats (read the average civil servant) ain’t got a clue about this and far less any economist who has never had practical experience in the business world – private sector, NOT public sector.

    Look, even Minister Sealy tonight said he did not want to be ‘lectured’ to by the Leader of the Opposition … see, misses it altogether and that arrogance is what costing me and my family – wife and two kids, paying schools fees, mortgage, continual rising cost of living (before yesterday) and working in a deficit from pay cheque to pay cheque, all extra curricular activities (for kids and us) curtailed for the last year or more – to FURTHER wonder how we will survive when January comes and my bring home salary will be over 8.5% less than it is now, with VAT gone up by 2.5% and I understand NIS contributions will be too.

    So I suppose I can say that my disposable income will roughly take more than a 10% decrease, which carries me back to 2000-2002 bring home cash in real terms, and what has the inflation been like since then and I built my house and started in mortgage in 2006/2007. Even the Civil Servants 8% pay cut back in the early 1990’s, sounds better than waht I have to loom forward to.

    Don’t come with me any crap, I know damn well that Owen Arthur was running this country in the last few years I would NOT be in the position I face now. Its called better of two evils.

  50. 100

    I would bet that the most Mr Sinkcler did in terms of numbers would be a first year basic math and stats and probably a little accounting. He will always be uncomfortable with numbers.

    Reciting and quoting he would be fine but when hard pressed to explain numbers he will always have problems.

    His flare for recitation and Darcy’s flare for numbers if they could be combined in one person would make a very good minister of finance.

  51. David G. Brooks

    correction:

    “if” Owen Arthur was running this country …

  52. David G. Brooks

    @Anonymous … my fear is not so much Mr. Sinckler’s potential lack of depth in understanding these things, but more so does Darcy, at al. understand not only the economics but the business processes involved – i.e. the applied aspect of economics and finance in the business world, and how it varies from region to region, country to country.

    The DLP, since Errol Barrow departed this world, has always seemed to lack the ‘applied’ talent to the economy and pointedly even some of their budgetary proposals which have either caused havoc by either being vague and/or not thinking the whole business process through to implementation.

    I’m sorry to say but Sandi had that issue back in the early 1990’s and (the now) late David Thompson came out with more than one in his first budget as PM (tax of cel phones, lottery winnings …) , which made me think, here we go again – we jump from 1993/4 to 2008 – SOS.

  53. David G. Brooks

    @Watching:

    I could not agree with your more. Owen explained it like it was and is, and I will go one step further and say not only does he understand the economy but maybe more importantly the business processes – like them or not, one has to grease a wheel here and there – and somewhere along the way your going to make some friends and some enemies, and as time goes by some of these may change from one to the other, but ultimately, for the better good, you cannot avoid either.

    Listen, David Thompson’s true legacy, good, bad or in between, may not come out for a while and it may never come out at all, yet in this day and age such things are increasingly harder to cover up. The fact that his death and funeral was make such a big deal of at a national level – I do not for one minute want to degrade his personal family’s grief – tells a lot and I will leave it there for the wise will know what I am getting at.

  54. Donald Duck Esq

    I note the minister had to come on the day after his budget and issue a correction for the date of implementation of the removal of the travelling and entertainment allowances.

  55. John

    David

    You need to read Georgie Porgie about putting people on pedestals.

  56. what will they think of next

    Owen Arthur, warmed over cold soup.

  57. bob

    I worked as the agronomist in 1971 at Soil Conservation. I was told then that St. Andrew was to be the bread basket of Barbados. Almost forty years later, Mr.Owen Arthur, who in the past seemed to have little or use for agriculture, is now telling us that he has an idea: make St. Andrew the bread basket. Is this the same man who talked of making the best economic use of land? What is all of this talk of alkaline soils? Anyone trained in Agriculture Science, knows that most of the local soils are alkaline and that there are ways of handling such soils. The soils in the scotland district are oceanics and are suitable for fruit and vegetable production ( the latter in the flat areas). What Arthur does not mention is the need for serious soil conservation efforts, for the area to be meaningfully productive.
    bob

  58. Adrian Loveridge

    bob,

    From someone that knows nothing about agriculture, would it be a practical proposition to turn the proposed Greenland Landfill into a reservoir to irrigate much of the Scotland District and/or St. Andrew?

  59. John

    Adrian

    The Prime Minister, overrode the Town Planner and changed the use of Greenland from what it was in the Physical Development Plan, a Zone 1 water catchment area to national landfill.

    Fifty million dollars later, maybe the penny will drop!!

    We should look at Greenland again and see if we can turn the loss of that $50 million loss into a gain.

  60. John

    … only thing is the land is unstable and one day its use will be taken away, but we should look again and see if we can mitigate our loss.

  61. economist just like owen

    The fascinating thing about Owen is his ability to SPIN.
    S- spew
    P- pompasset like a primadona
    I- intimidate anyone who challenges him
    N-negate

    While Owen understands the workings of a small open economy, NOT UNLIKE any other trained economist, what his supporters fail to understand is that he does not have a PREMIUM on economic thought.
    Furthermore, his DOUBLE STANDARDS were evident whne he made the call for removal of exchange controls on foreign currency movements. This indeed is a 180 degree turn from the position his administration adopted WHEN THEY WERE IN POWER.
    Only goes to show that he thinks that WHATEVER HE SAYS particulary on economic measures MUST BE TAKEN AS GOSPEL. anyone who dares oppose him, Mr. Arthur’s reaction is to put on his “pit-bull’ pose.

  62. Chester

    Different day, same crap.

    Do you people know what a politician makes? Let me tell you.

    The Leader of the Opposition as at April 2009, made $129,026.76 plus an entertainment allowance of $18,337.44 plus a duty allowance of $14,708.28.

    Other members of the Opposition $60,038.88, entertainment $13,202.40 plus a duty allowance of $14,708.28.

    The P.M makes $203,175.60, entertainment $54,838.44, official car, official house.

    Deputy p.m $172,710.36, entertainment $37,372.56, travelling $32,586.00.

    Ministers $152,382.00 Entertainment $24,170.28 and travelling $23,773.92.

    Now that we have a little perspective, I ask if the travelling and entertainment allowances of the politicos will be affected by the removal of allowances as decreed by the budget?

    I believe that the personal assistants to the politicos are still in the region of $5,000-$6,000.00 per month.

    I am waiting on the politician who will be brave enough to come on and say, listen we can’t afford all of this freeness, we can’t afford a huge civil service that don’t like work, we can’t afford to give pension to people who refused to work, we can’t provide free medicals etc for the voluntarily idle and we can’t afford to prop up sectors and entities who think that government must ensure they run at a profit.

    It is time that the dope smoking, no work wanting, always complaining, hand out seeking masses get off their royals and work for some of what they want. If you keep giving people everything free, they value nothing and see no need to try on their own.

  63. 100

    Owen is a man with above average knowledge of economics whose power as prime minister went to his head. He genuinely feels that he is the greatest economist ever. It is only Mascoll who can match him with this mania.

  64. de hood

    @ David G. Brooks

    I am in full agreement with you, Sir. As I listened to the RHOSA reply to that drivel that Mr. Sinckler foisted on us as a “budget”, I could not help but marvel at what a timely lesson on economics he was giving free of cost to DEM amateurs in guv’ment.

  65. what will they think of next

    All Owen needs now is a sturdy rocking chair. He is clearly past his best.
    Trying to live off past glory will not help him. The people of Barbados have moved on.

    de Hood you over here too with your nonsense.

  66. what will they think of next

    Why should the travelling and entertainment allowances of the politicos be affected?

  67. de hood

    @ what will they think of next
    November 24, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    You aked quote :- “Why should the travelling and entertainment allowances of the politicos be affected? End quote.
    ****************************************************************************
    Do you not think, “Sir”, that those allowances of the “politicos” should now be taxed just as they are going to be taxed for others who receive them?

  68. de hood

    @ what will they think of next
    November 24, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    All Owen needs now is a sturdy rocking chair. He is clearly past his best.
    ***************************************************************************
    Okay, okay, I surrender! Too many political pimps, I can’t hope to survive with all of them around! So gih mih ah break, ah beggin’ yuh?
    BTW, if the RHOSA is past his best at the age of 61 what about Froondel who is also the same age? And, don’t even let us remember Mr. Mandela who was President of South Africa well into his 80s. Note, South Africa is a country that is many times bigger than Barbados with just as many more problems to along with it. So, tell mih, Sah, jes’ wuh it be yuh is trying ta tell mih? Eh? Yuh en really serious, nah? Is only ah joke yuh is making, rite??

  69. 100

    Arthur’s brain might be good but his personality is rotten. He might do a good job at managing the economy but I am very certain that in spite of the current difficulties most public servants and quite a few of his former ministers would not want him back.

  70. economist nonsense

    What’s the difference between economists and businessmen?

    The first don’t keep their feet on the ground; the latter are use to keeping their four feet on the ground.

    How many UWI economists does it take to change a light bulb?

    None. If the light bulb needed changing the market would have already done it.

    Policy Analyst is someone unethical enough to be a lawyer, impractical enough to be a theologian, and pedantic enough to be an economist.

    an acceptable rate of employment for an economist is one where he has a job!

    I wid de hood—too many blind political pimps around looking to squeeze their snout into the trough.

    Do Barbadians forget the astronomical devaluation of the the Jamaican currency after OSA was advising as an economist?

  71. 100

    Too many so-called businessmen are “rent” seekers. They manipulate the system and sell at exorbitant prices.

    These people are as useless as the economists. Barbados needs real entrepreneurs who can produce good and services to compete on the international market.

    The inefficiencies in our businesses are contributing to our uncompetitive economy and any economist who tries to change the system will get no money for campaigns. The business people ,through the press will destroy her/him.

    Our economy is on the road to total collapse.We have “rent seeking” businesses and lazy public servants.The rent seekers and the public servants will destroy any serious reformer. The rent seekers do not want to give up their rents and the public servants want to continue collecting money for doing nothing or little.

  72. John

    100

    You are right in that we need to find different economic activities which the world wants but we are not going to do so by blaming people.

    We will fail in many attempts but if we do not make those attempts, we will never succeed.

    The same business people you speak of have probably tried and failed numerous times before arriving at a formula that works for them.

    Like most people, once they are getting by, they tend to become lazy and are satisfied not to go out to the world.

    But we do have at least one major business which operates outside of the country and that is Goddard Enterprises. I am pretty sure we can think of others.

    I would suggest it is because of Goddard’s diversification into different markets that it succeeds …. and it started with a man from “under the cliff” walking livestock to Bridgetown.

    Whatever mentality drives this enterprise we need to try to understand and adapt it to our own endeavours.

    Every person with a job or otherwise engaged in productive work also needs to respect the privelege of working and put in a fair day.

    If that respect is not present we are wasting our time on the world stage.

    Time to get back to basics and walk that walk.

  73. Sentinel

    @ bob
    November 24, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    “I worked as the agronomist in 1971 at Soil Conservation. I was told then that St. Andrew was to be the bread basket of Barbados.”
    ………………………………..
    L.B. Brathwaite said that as well during campaign for the 1976 Elections. Today, no bread, no basket in St. Andrew.

  74. It is going to be difficult , in a recession, to get Scotland going. Mascoll ad Owen only trying to pull a fast one. Remember that Mascoll spent fourteen years criticising the BLP/Arthur and then went straight to Arthu’s cabinet.
    If they knew of Scotland’s potential why did they not tsrst something during the last fourteen years. The reason they are promoting Scotland district is taht they intend to build hotels and golf courses every where else.
    They want to take more land out of agricuture and banish us all to the Scotland District while they are wined and dined by those whom they intend to sell Barbados to. Wake up people. these two guys are economist/auctioners !

  75. 100

    The Barbados economy needs to be restructured but who will do it?

    It is living in an old dilapidated house that should be repaired but the owners and occupants will not provide the resources and move out so that the repairs can be done.

    The house will eventually collapse.

  76. John

    100
    November 25, 2010 at 7:36 am
    The Barbados economy needs to be restructured but who will do it?

    It is living in an old dilapidated house that should be repaired but the owners and occupants will not provide the resources and move out so that the repairs can be done.

    The house will eventually collapse.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    I believe one of our politicians claims he has been saying the same thing … restructure the economy … for the last 16 years.

    What a waste of hot air.

    Which one was it? I forget.

    No plan, no execution, …. no nothing.

    Sixteen wasted years.

    The Goddard who started Goddard’s Enterprises lived below the cliff.

    His house is long gone but no doubt it wasn’t anything special and probably needed repairs.

    The best you might find today is a pile of rubble if you can locate it under the vines and leaves.

    … but he had a plan, and walked the walk!!!

    Then it all fell into place, no doubt not without its problems.

    The house was never important, it was the man and his plan … and his execution of that plan.

  77. 100

    The house is a metaphor for the economy. The house needs major repairs – our economy needs restructuring.
    If we do nothing to restructure the economy then like the house that is not fixed, our economy will collapse.

  78. John

    Sugar is collapsing ….. the house metaphor.

    Manufacturing ….. looks to follow … the house metaphor.

    A plan and execution builds a new house ….. sector or subsetor of the economy.

    We leave behind what is collapsing once it makes sense and build a new sector or subsector …. house.

    We pull ourselves up from under the cliff.

    So … what’s the plan for Sugar … or its replacement?

    What’s the plan for manufacturing …. or its replacement?

    What’s the plan?

    Do we move on or do we put resources into repair?

    What?

    Silence!!!!!!

  79. John

    … the house under the cliff was important for a time ….. until it became unnecessary.

    So keep repairing the house …. economy … but plan for what comes next!!

  80. Scrupie

    All you bright ones out there how come no mention of $314m to CLICO FUND.
    Any connection between cabinet decisions and the Budget of Monday this week.

  81. John

    Scrupie

    Bang!!!!!

  82. John

    … see what happens when people work together!!!

  83. David G. Brooks

    All of this talk of Owen being too old and past his prime is hog-wash … he’s only 61.

    – Errol Barrow was 66 when I won the election in 1986
    – Freundel Stuart is now 61 and the new PM
    – Grantley Adams was 60 when he gave as Premier of Barbados, to become
    the Prime Minister of the West Indies Federation
    – Winston Churchill was 66 when I took over as England’s PM
    during WWII

    On top of that you’re insulting a lot of capable people who are on the age group and older. PM Stuart should reign in his ‘young’ whippersnappers who are being disrespectful.

    Beside, it is only a sign that they cannot find anything else to talk about when they start hitting below the belt like that, and as for Chris Sincklers last dirty and well below the belt comment about Owen could come to him with advice but he would have to bring Mia, only shows you the nature of the man … when you’re cornered and ain’t got no where to run, that’s what happens.

    Owen must have been smiling at ALL the insults because he would know for sure that he hit several nerves.

  84. Frustrated

    Don’t know how I will cope, got a mortgage, car loan on a six year old car, two kids in school, one to start school next year, wife that works really hard for a small salary and I work hard in a job where I am underpaid by industry or even government standards, have not had a salary increase in three years the little entertainment and travel allowances used to prop up the little salary and now dem gone………………………somebody say death of the middle class ………jamacia here we come, don’t touch the upper class, push the middle class into the lower class. Way to go Minister of Finance

    We the middle class are sorry for trying to live, trying to build a house where our children can live, trying to get a half decent half old car to get to school and work on time, can’t save a cent with high water, electricity, telephone and food bills got to half pay a bill sometimes to get through the month,

    On behalf of all in the middle class like me, we say sorry for daring to climb out of the lower class and a better way of life. We will respectfully take our rightful place back in the lower class where we belong, where we will be when the mortgage is foreclosed, the car is repossessed and the utilities are cut off.

    So I can now say to my children: study hard in school, work hard at work so that you can see all your dreams dashed in one day

  85. @DG Brooks;

    EWB became PM at 66 and was dead the following year, over in St Lucia – Sir John Compton founded a party, became PM then left and returned but he died 18 months into his second salvo as leader.

    Arthur himself at Christ Church Boys in St Christopher earlier this year remarked that being a PM exerts a terrible toll on one’s body as you keep odd hours making sure how the country is being run.

    So Owen is lucky and rest himself, from what I understand I have heard from more than one BLP ex-MP that Mr Arthur may be diabetic and should therefore rest and enjoy his salad days and twilight time.

  86. Anonymous

    The job requires bright and energetic women and men who will stand up to the business class, unions,public servants and the welfare recipients and say to them enough is enough.

    Such a person will never be voted in. Any person who must get votes to get power or to stay in power will make compromises. The only thing that will arrest the present mode of operation is for a total collapse of the economy.

  87. Owen Arthur is tired and old. We in the DLP have the files to expose and prove his corruption.

    Last night was only the beginning to shake him up ! Owen knows the evidence is stink.

  88. Straight talk

    @ hartley henry

    We are waiting for the prosecutions.
    With your supposed abundance of evidence what is the holdup?
    Put up or shut up.
    We don’t need insinuations, we want action to cleanse the Augean stables.

    This delay in justice means either:
    1) The people have no case, and you are talking a crock of shit. OR
    2) You like it so, and we can never prosecute our plunderers.

    Please respond.

  89. David G. Brooks

    @Ian Bourne

    Okay, well tell Freundel Stuart to pack and go home, as well Haynesley Benn as both are the same age as Owen Arthur, 61.

    The main problem is that the DLP are scared to have to be up against him in the next elections, plain and simple or they would not be going to such lengths to use the age thing. On top of that they all had stings from his speech, in way or the other, because he showed them up.

    As to PM Stuart, I’m sorry but his speech last night was no where near what we have come to expect of PM’s in Barbados … in essence, he seemed to need a jump-start and got more boring as he went along, I turned the channel after about 20 minutes. Most disappointed.

  90. Anonymous

    Where can I listen to or read Owen’s full speech? I would also like to read or listen to Mia” speech and the PM’s speech and Sinckler’s response.

  91. @DG Brooks;

    Eskimos used to take all 60 yr old’s and put them on an ice floe out to what we call the Bering Straits, harsh, but understandable – when I am 60 I have no wish to be still doing BR. Hopefully, some young turk buys it out from me and I am free to travel the world looking for the perfect rum punch or tropical hula; but that’s me…

    Owen did not look too healthy Tuesday night and that’s a fact. Step away, relax, and let those younger do the job properly – shelf life, etc. Loved how Sinckler twisted the breakfast invitation around on OSA, now Arthur denies he made such an invitation… Ridiculous, I remember when he included Richie Haynes in the Breakfast session!

  92. David G. Brooks

    I think Hartley Henry better keep his mouth shut, because I understand the got some land that was sold up in St. George to people away, for millions, and the land cannot be developed and the people want back the money, and the two buddies (long time partners in profit), who did the selling and pocket the money, can’t deliver … well, one recently gone to the great beyond and the other hiding up in Florida.

    Anybody hear anything about this? Oh, and this also has something to do with why only one special plane trip had to be paid for by Government at the end.

  93. David G. Brooks

    @Ian Bourne:

    Its his brains and experience that we need, ask anyone of the prominent business men in the community who they have more faith?

    I agree he looked a bit out of breath but he still has what it takes.

    As to breakfast thing, I seemed to recall Thompson doing the inviting to breakfast.

  94. David G. Brooks

    Frustrated … I understand … Likewise I am now faced with taking home 11 months worth of net income, over a 12 month period.

    One whole month’s money effectively gone, just like that. And then people going to tell you to budget … budget with what. You can’t budget with what you don’t have (or is now been taken away) especially when you were hardly making end meet, going into savings to the point that all that rainy day money gone and now this.

  95. Jacob

    Chris got the PM looking over his shoulder. PM SLEEP WITH YOUR EYES OPEN. BE CAREFUL for nothing . Your age at 61 might work against you for the young bold and brash.
    Old folks watch out.

  96. John

    David G. Brooks
    November 25, 2010 at 4:39 pm
    All of this talk of Owen being too old and past his prime is hog-wash … he’s only 61.

    – Errol Barrow was 66 when I won the election in 1986
    – Freundel Stuart is now 61 and the new PM
    – Grantley Adams was 60 when he gave as Premier of Barbados, to become
    the Prime Minister of the West Indies Federation
    – Winston Churchill was 66 when I took over as England’s PM
    during WWII
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    I agree David, age is a number.

    Winston Churchill showed what a 66 year old could do even if Errol Barrow did not last long after reelection.

    Then he returned for a second term as PM when he was 75!! Remarkable man.

    … and of course, Winston Churchill was a painter of landscapes and an author of some real heavy books.

    He was also a known drunkard and lived till he was 91.

    Must have been the brandy.

    Seriously though, I agree age is a number and you can accomplish more significant tasks the more experienced you become.

    It would be wrong to write off Owen just because of his age.

    Maybe Owen should take up painting and writing books as it certainly seems to have agreed with Churchill and with the brandy saw him live to the ripe old age of 91.

  97. John

    “’You are drunk Sir Winston, you are disgustingly drunk. ‘Yes, Mrs. Braddock, I am drunk. But you, Mrs. Braddock are ugly, and disgustingly fat. But, tomorrow morning, I, Winston Churchill will be sober.”

  98. me

    15% to 17.5% is not as bad as 0% to 15%. A country of complainers. Spend a little less on foolishness.

  99. rasta man

    John, I love the last comment.Can’t stop laughing,reminds me of quite a few people

  100. de hood

    Why allyuh tink is stress from running de country put out EWB’s light. The way I understand it he died the way most men would wish, and with a big smile on his face. So maybe yuh got to check fuh de edder reason whe he kick de bucket……….story goes that the day he died he was seen escorting a “young ting” bout de place in Black Rock. Ask Bonny Peppa @ BU for confirmation. 🙂

  101. John

    On a more serious note, here is an amazing about turn from Russia.

    It has finally admitted to the Katyn massacre of 1940 in Poland after like the Nazis it had invaded that country the previous year.

    Churchill walked out of the room at one of the conferences the Allies had when Stalin suggested that the Allies shoud kill 50,000 German officers of the soon to be defeated German army to prevent a repeat of the war.

    This was as good as an admission from Soviet Russia that it and not the Nazis had committed the Katyn massacre where the Polish army was effectively beheaded.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20101126/wl_afp/russiapolandwwiimassacre

    Stalin even did the same to his own army prior to the Nazi invasion. It was prompted by documents sent by Germany to high ranking Russian generals which suggested Stalin coud not trust them. …. so he had them killed.

    Stalin was not very nice !!

  102. My Name Is Not Sylvan

    @me

    “15% to 17.5% is not as bad as 0% to 15%. ”

    Once again, I am forced to point out a DLP supporter playing fast and loose with the facts. The above comment ignores the fact that when the VAT went on ELEVEN different taxes were removed, the income tax rolls were reduced in number and the reverse tax credit was instituted.

    Now we have an increase in VAT and an increase in the amount of direct taxation that will come out of peoples pockets as well.

    All to finance a government that came and found a current account surplus (Government was making slightly more than it spent) and turned it into a record current account deficit (Government spending much more than it earned). To finance a government that STILL will not reduce expenditure on things like “constituency walk throughs” and “Independence Extravaganzas”