Sandals deal a bad deal

beaches by sandals

A fabulous read at Groundation Grenada…

… considering the DLP government gave the same sort of outrageous concessions to Sandals Barbados.

“To lay, with one hand, the power of the government on the property of the citizen and with the other to bestow it upon favored individuals to aid private enterprises and build up private fortunes is none the less a robbery…” ~ Samuel Miller

In an act screaming of blunderbuss and willful myopia, last weekend, the Government of Grenada saw it fit to award a multi-million dollar private enterprise (Sandals Resort International) a multiple tax break….

In layman’s terms (because taxation jargon is notoriously opaque) this means that Sandals pays zero taxes on all profits it makes in Grenada. For thirty years.

It certainly isn’t our intention to belittle an investment of $100 million US dollars (or rather far less, as earlier explained) in these tight economic times. Even with the promise of an additional 200 jobs raising rising to a headcount of 400 based on Sandals’ press release.

Still the forbearance on the revenues given a waiver in this deal strikes as way too much given for way too little.

Must we always genuflect before these gods of “foreign investment”? Without a doubt, with some ingenuity, creativity and imagination, our own local manufacturing and agro industries could be supported in a similar fashion to create much more than 200 jobs, and without requiring such deep tax cuts.

This decision is also a foolish one because it belies our naïve and amateur approach to marketing and foreign investment and our inability to recognise that our country is a partner, not a charity.

… a few sentences culled from a brilliant article at Groundation Grenada: Deal or No Deal: Grenada-Sandals Partnership Debunked

6 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Economy, Grenada

6 responses to “Sandals deal a bad deal

  1. Sue

    Sadly, It isn’t just “foreign investments that benefit from this sleazy kind of deal. Here in my corner of the world(Massachusetts) town governments do the same thing. In my town a tax break deal was given to a large supermarket chain to build their storage facilty on some wooded acreage.
    It’s a common practice in the U.S. Sad

    Somebody is picking up the slack and guess who it might be? The town residents and property owners. Happens all the time in this country. All….the…..time

    They get a 20 odd year break but somebody is picking up that slack and guess who that might be?

  2. Government as Partners?

    A government that respects and treasures capital and risk takers, begets more business and more competition to do better deals, raising the standard of living for all citizens.

    Private investment in the Caribbean has been riddled with fraudsters and government corruption, so If you only have one company bidding to come into Grenada you are left with no choices.

    At least this company has a brand and is not entirely made of straw.

  3. Party Animal

    I wonder how come Scandals got in here so fast with all the goodies given to them ? How come Government takes so long to do certain things and Scandals done over night.
    I have a big problem for this Government to be giving way our money to a project that will not bring any Foreign Exchange to Barbados.
    How dumb a deal is this…Who profits from it ?????

  4. John Randall

    Sandals has tried for years to be in Barbados and the sticking point was always private beach. In their takeover of Casurina I sincerely hope they haven’t been given the rights to the beach. This would be a huge betrayal of Barbados rights. It was bad enough when Casurina was open with security men out making anyone who wondered on to their beach very uncomfortable and I imagine Sandals “Beaches” brand will have even more security.

  5. Anonymous

    There is a Public Pathway on the side of Dover Hotel that leads directly onto “casuarina beach” . You can walk , play, and swim anywhere along that stretch . No Sandals or other security can stop you . They do not own the beach, and can not tell anyone to move unless they are harassing people or trying to use hotel chairs etc.

  6. John Randall

    Thank you for the reassurance. We found the security previously made you feel very uncomfortable and you were not welcome there. Barbados open beach policy is one of your greatest assets and should never be given away. It is too bad people give Barbados a miss and opt for cheaper, all inclusive places, missing the freedom of movement and beauty of Barbados and the Bajan people.