Daily Archives: August 25, 2012

Small business waiting two years for VAT refunds from Barbados government

Is Government really serious about Small Businesses?

by Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner

After nearly 25 years running a small business on Barbados, I really wonder if the current Government, or in fact previous ones, are serious about encouraging small businesses and nurturing entrepreneurship.

Yet once again, we have been waiting for up to two years for various VAT refunds. If we are one day late submitting a return, a late filing fine and interest are payable, but clearly this is just a one way penalty.

Currently the following refunds are pending. 2010/07 period – $5,347.95, 2010/09 period – $7,675.73, 2011/07 period – $7,124.28 and 2011/09 period – $4,569.53.

So a total of $24,717.49 outstanding. Consider the strain on the business if we are paying overdraft interest on that amount.

Despite Government imposing a massive 16.6 per cent increase in the rate of VAT, it would appear that this hasn’t had any improvement of the level of efficiency. The private sector has been forced to absorb huge increases in most of our operational costs, while trying to maintain employment. Yet to the best of my knowledge, not a single civil servant has lost their job or witnessed a salary reduction.

In fact, to the contrary, it seems almost totally morally incomprehensible to see that certain public workers have taken delivery of  gas guzzling, luxury vehicles during a period of severe austerity.

The current Minister responsible for small businesses is very vocal and heard almost daily on the call-in programmes with a whole range of opinions. But now is the time to get off the phone, stop talking the talk and do more of walking the walk.

The late repayment of VAT refunds is not new and has been going on for years. Trade Associations representing various sectors have made repeated appeals but seemingly on deaf years.

If the current Government really wants the economy to recover and soak up high unemployment, it is going to be led by small businesses. Now is the time to give your support and ensure our massive civil service does the job they are well paid for.

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15 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business & Banking

What happens when you don’t change the oil?

A friend at the Sanitation Service Authority assures us that when those responsible don’t bother to change the oil, but just mark the chart ‘done’, and those in management don’t bother to verify the check marks…

… engines and transmissions destroy themselves far earlier than expected and budgeted for.

And then… this happens.

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Filed under Consumer Issues

Barbados Tourism Authority responds to TripAdvisor commenter

Three days and 150 comments later…

A few days ago we told you about Mr. Frank James, who posted a comment on TripAdvisor.com about his poor experience vacationing at The Gap. Our story Barbados Tourism Authority, police need to read this TripAdvisor conversation about The Gap detailed Mr. James complaints and resulted in some other negative comments about the sad state of affairs at The Gap – an area that used to be known for its vibrant nightlife and as a friendly and safe venue.

It apparently took 3 days and 150+ comments, but the Barbados Tourism Authority replied to Mr. James. Alright, good… but why wasn’t the BTA all over this from the first day? There is no reason why they should not have seen Mr. James’ complaint on the first day. That is the standard I would expect from our national agency looking after the mainstay of our economy…

Good morning Mr. James,

Your letter has been passed on to me by Mr. David Rice, our President. Firstly please let me say how very sorry we are that you have had to experience such annoyance during what was supposed to have been a very peaceful and romantic vacation. We are none the less grateful that you have brought this matter to our attention and we assure you that we will be meeting with the Police Liaison Officer to address these matters. As you can imagine this is most embarrassing and annoying for us as a destination and will do all possible to have this very distressing practice curtailed. We shall get back to you with our results and sincerely hope that you will give us another opportunity to welcome you back to Barbados and to try in some way to make it up to you.

Regards

Gerald A. Cozier

Manager Corporate Affairs/Quality Assurance
Barbados Tourism Authority

4 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Crime & Law