Daily Archives: January 11, 2013

Cost-U-Less will destroy local businesses, and Cost YOU More…

“We created more bribes to get investors to develop infrastructure to attract tourists to our region.  We gave them incentives  because tourism as an import industry brought visitors with blenders to spend in our countries and people were employed to provide services to these guests. 

We have ignored the fact that much of the revenues for accommodation never ever reaches our shores yet we offer subsidies on everything from shrimp to alcoholic beverages.”

Cost-Us-More!!!

by Baba Elombe Mottley

Warehouse chain Cost-U-Less is in line for major concessions when it opens in Barbados in the New Year. But while Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler sees nothing unusual about the concessions, Opposition Leader Owen Arthur is calling them “extraordinary and outrageous” and likely to give the store an unfair advantage over similar businesses in the distributive retail sector.

Showing an April 13, 2011 letter from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs which he said he obtained Friday, Arthur said the document, which was copied to the Comptroller of Customs and Commissioner of Inland Revenue among others, listed exemptions from import duty and Value Added Tax (VAT) on the importation of fittings, furniture, fixtures, equipment, construction material and supplies “for use exclusively in connection with the construction, development, sale and operation of the project”.

It also listed import duty and VAT exemption on personal and household effects and vehicles of specialist expatriate staff, as well as exemption for 15 years from the payment of withholding tax on dividends and interest to shareholders, financial institutions and individuals making loans to the company.

– By Ricky Jordan, Sunday Sun, Barbados

All across the English speaking Caribbean, there is an ominous movement of sorts, a movement of low frequency rumblings without patterns, without form, not like the rhythms of bumbatuk or soca or the one drop of reggae or mento that we are accustomed to.

The essence of all of these known rhythms is that they link us to a past of chattel servitude where there was little choice for self fulfillment.  In time these rhythms. isolated as they were in tenantries and yards and the dancehall, fortified our resolve towards freedom and independence.

Over the last 40 to 50 years, we built indigenous institutions in every sphere, oblivious to the rumblings that were moving across the region. We dismantled the psychological prison of plantation inheritance, killed off the skills we developed to feed and clothe ourselves while we were taught to assemble products that we never used.  We set a precedent by bribing investors that our labour was cheap and responsive to training and we told ourselves we could depend on these jobs.

We created more bribes to get investors  to develop infrastructure to attract tourists to our region.  We gave them incentives  because tourism as an import industry brought visitors with blenders to spend in our countries and people were employed to provide services to these guests.  We have ignored the fact that much of the revenues for accommodation never ever reaches our shores yet we offer subsidies on everything from shrimp to alcoholic beverages. Continue reading

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