Monthly Archives: August 2013

LIAT senior management’s “unbelievable arrogance, gross disrespect for customers”

robert maclellan Tourism

“Across much of the world, airline passenger numbers are rising strongly but at LIAT they have dropped.”

Tourism expert Robert MacLellan sounds off on LIAT’s crisis

On 28 August LIAT’s CEO, Ian Brunton, talked to Caribbean media and finally acknowledged in public some of the real facts behind the airline’s chaotic operations over the last three months. He also described LIAT’s worrying current financial position, in the same month that the airline has taken on a US$65 million loan from the Caribbean Development Bank to fund new aircraft.

However, it was reported that Mr Brunton has refused to have an investigation to hold people accountable for the recent chaos at LIAT. Instead, he said he will organise a “post mortem” (an unfortunate phrase) on what went wrong and use this to reward staff who have performed well during the crisis. Those who “dropped the ball” would be identified for “counseling or better training”.

This statement represents an unbelievable level of arrogance on the part of LIAT senior management and conveys gross disrespect for its customers! Ignore the widespread calls across the Eastern Caribbean for senior management resignations or dismissals at the airline. Instead, LIAT institutes some counseling and better training – presumably, for middle level and operative staff only? No personal responsibility accepted or culpability acknowledged on the part of LIAT’s Chairman, the CEO or the Director of Commercial and Customer Experience – all of whom have presided over three months of disastrous operations across the Eastern Caribbean and an equally disastrous public relations / communications exercise. Continue reading

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism

Barbados Government asked Facebook for private user information

Owen Arthur Facebook

Just when you thought it was safe to go back on the internet, word comes that our own DLP – Democratic Labour Party Government is spying on Facebook users.

Are YOU one of the three accounts that interested Prime Minister Stuart’s government in the past six months? Are you sure you’re not?

Barbados govt asks Facebook for info on users’ data

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) – Barbados is the only Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country to have made a request of the social website, Facebook, for information regarding how its nationals use the facility.

Facebook has for the first time published data on how often governments around the world request data on its users, and according to the social media group, Barbados made three quests in the last six months.

Facebook does not specify the nature or type request but said it set “a very high legal bar with each individual request in order to receive any information about any of our users”.

There has been no official comment from Bridgetown but Facebook has outlined the conditions under which requests are accepted from governments.

Read the full article at Jamaica Observer: Barbados govt asks Facebook for info on users’ data

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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Human Rights

Adrian Loveridge: Tourist VAT rate reduction an excellent move… but what about LIAT’s poor management?

Credit where credit is due.

Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner - now selling!

Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner – now selling!

I commend the Government for lowering the rate of VAT on ‘hotel accommodation’ and especially extending the same 7.5 per cent to the Direct Tourism Services.  This should relate to meaningful savings for our visitors and even, to a lesser degree, help encourage domestic tourism.

From the various social media sites it is already clear that regular repeat guests will be watching very carefully that all tourism partners benefiting from the reduced tax level will pass it on.

Restaurant dining, car rental, reduced attraction entrance fees, activities like catamaran cruises etc., will all be more affordable and hopefully the overall spend will not fall significantly across the board. The critical element now is to get this improved value for money into the market places, by every means possible.

Linking particular months with events, especially in the longer leaner periods, at first makes logical sense – but I think this concept has to be constantly analysed, to ensure any national ‘investment’ is proven to be cost effective.

This year with Crop Over is a classic example. Despite all the predictions and post event accolades, July 2013 recorded the lowest number of long stay visitor arrivals across the last 11 years in any same month.

Last week I touched on our tourism performance in September 2012, so today I wanted to cover land based arrivals for the same year in October and November. Both again, alarmingly recorded their lowest comparable monthly figures during the past decade. Continue reading

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism

CL Financial – CLICO bailout: Afra Raymond documents The Treasury Scandal

CL Financial Fraud

“In my view the failure and or refusal to account for the colossal and unprecedented expense of the CL Financial bailout is indicative of a ‘Quiet Coup‘ against our Republic.  I am deliberately borrowing Simon Johnson’s potent phrase, used to describe the coup of Financial Capital against the USA published in a fascinating and essential article from The Atlantic.  The fact that two successive administrations have remained bound to these arrangements and the low priority given to transparency and accountability in this matter all speak to the potency of the plotters.”

Afra Raymond gives ’em hell with The Treasury Scandal

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Filed under Business & Banking, Consumer Issues, Corruption

Barbados military head thanks Ambassador from world’s largest slave camp operation

china-barbados-flag-sm

Ambassador Xu Hong Meets with Chief of Staff of the Barbados Defence Force

(From Chinese Embassy in Barbados

2013/08/16

On August 14, Chinese Ambassador Xu Hong met with Colonel Quintyne, Chief of Staff of the Barbados Defence Force (BDF). They exchanged views on how to deepen bilateral relations with a focus on cooperation between Chinese People’s Liberation Army and Barbados Defence Force.

Colonel Quintyne extended his gratitude to the Chinese side for the technical support and personnel training provided to the BDF. He pointed out that in recent years, the military cooperation between Barbados and China developed smoothly with fruitful progress. He hoped to strengthen the cooperation and exchange between the two militaries thus deepening the friendship between Barbados and China.

Ambassador Xu spoke highly of the effort made by the BDF to promote bilateral military cooperation. He expressed the willingness to work together with Barbadian side to further widening the scope of military cooperation with the aim of raising bilateral relations to a new level.

And now for the counter story…

Slave Labour Camps “Vital Part of Chinese Economy” – Should Barbados Take Gifts From Communist China?

Barbados silent about China kidnapping, forcing abortions, sterilizations on 7000 women

China’s New Slave Empire: Africa

China’s Olympic Soccer Balls Made By Slave Labour – But Barbados Doesn’t Care

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Filed under Barbados, China, Human Rights, Slavery

Dominica hotel owner slams LIAT Airlines

Liat Airline

Dominica Hotelier Calls for Executive Changes at LIAT

Dominica hotelier Gregor Nassief has issued an open letter to the Board of Directors of regional airlines LIAT calling for an executive shake-up, insisting that “heads must roll.”  The letter complains of disastrous customer service over the past two months as well as disastrous public relations and the damage this is causing to the region and to fragile economies of island states like Dominica so dependent on tourism and the airline’s service.

August 12, 2013

Board of Directors
LIAT (1974) LTD
V.C. Bird International Airport
P O Box 819
Coolidge
Antigua

Dear Directors:

Re:  Heads must roll

I respectfully ask you, on behalf of the people of the Caribbean, and the people that visit the Caribbean, and especially on behalf of the people of Dominica who depend on LIAT for their travel and also for their tourism industry, to enforce significant change in the executive ranks at LIAT.

This request is being made first because of 8+ weeks of disastrous customer service which continues to this day due to lack of foresight and planning on the part of LIAT’s executives, and second because of LIAT’s disastrous public relations which has revealed the depth of your executives’ indifference to your customers.

It is your duty to hold your executives accountable for their actions and performance.

Disastrous Service

There has been a complete breakdown in service for over 2 months now, which I and most persons traveling LIAT have experienced.  Here is a list of incidents:  Continue reading

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados

Barbados Inland Revenue fails to act on tax cheat information?

Barbados inland revenue

Stop the tax dodging – It killing We!

Contributed by anonymous BFP reader “W” *

As Barbadian citizens and tax payers we are always angry when others are not paying taxes when they should be. This information was brought to our attention over six months ago which we considered taking to the media but thought it was best to rightfully bring it to the attention of the Barbados tax office first. Information acquired has led to finding out that (company name removed by BFP) have been avoiding paying tax on cash payments for many years and continue to do so. They will take the first month’s rental from landlords as commission nearly always in cash and never declare it to the Inland Revenue. The cash figures in question are huge and when you consider this has been going on for many years without being declared it has made a number of us very angry.

What has made it worse is the fact this has been brought to the attention of Barbados tax office on 8th March for the attention of Mr Anderson Padmore who quite frankly seems to be not taking the matter seriously enough. Written evidence has been submitted to the tax office in the form of dates, landlords & addresses of the various rental contracts along with some detail of which ones were undeclared cash payments and still nothing has been done about it.

The fact that the owner of (company name removed by BFP) is part of the (charitable agency name removed by BFP) team makes it even more disturbing. We have no doubt that the accusation will be denied by them but it seems to us that there is more than enough evidence to investigate and prosecute. This company obviously thinks that they are above the law in this country and they need reminding in the firmest possible way that they are bound by the law along with the rest of us.

* A word from BFP’s editor: Just remember folks… anonymous information isn’t to be trusted without some independent thinking and research. Take it with a grain of salt, and then let’s talk! Our readers are often able to substantiate or disprove stories. Let’s see what our readers come up with for this story.

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Crime & Law