Answering Loveridge about Barbados tax concessions to Sandals

Sandals' Butch Stewart doesn't look like he's starving to death.

Sandals’ Butch Stewart doesn’t look like he’s starving to death.

by William Skinner

The granting of concessions to the hoteliers is a capitulation on the part of the Barbados government, which now finds itself with a one step forward two steps backward economic policy; trying to please an essentially lazy and backward corporate class while inflicting serious blows on the already poor and economically downtrodden.

The hoteliers in Barbados have clearly demonstrated that they have failed to capitalize on an industry that has been in existence for over sixty years. They have whined their way into the taxpayers coffers, on the spurious grounds that the concessions granted to the well established Sandals Group should be automatically theirs for the taking.  In other words, while very few of them can ever boast or hope to come close, to demonstrating that they can ever reach Sandals’ heights, they have blackmailed the government into giving them similar benefits. It’s akin to a fourth division footballer demanding the same salary and perks of a first division superstar!

Be that as it may, they have also refused to sign on to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which will be used to monitor  they operating in good faith with the agricultural community and other businesses , to ensure that the process is not exploited. In other words, the government wanted some formal agreement that the benefits will trickle down to local businesses. Low and behold, the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) said that it will not sign any MOU. Imagine a beggar being so bold faced, to be a chooser as well! It was very pitiful and embarrassing to witness a minister backing down from this group. 

Barbados has reached a very sorry state  where: poor university students must now pay some of their tuition; workers are being retrenched without out being paid money legally due to them; employers circumnavigating legislation designed to ensure employee rights and practically all the lifelines for the poor disappearing, in terms of government services. But the hoteliers can just demand government help without wanting to be held to any accountability.

This is the latest and most blatant evidence that this administration, is not fully in control of the management of the country. The Minister of Finance should not allow any one group to believe that it is above all others.  Hoteliers priced themselves and Barbados out of a very competitive and fast moving industry where inept managers, both local and foreign, blamed everybody from taxi men to beach vendors for their failures.

On the other hand Butch Stewart spent considerable time and resources to build a product that reaches and surpasses international standards. While it is reasonable to suggest that the concessions given to Sandals were excessive, it is also reasonable to suggest, that the gains that Barbados will make from a heavy Sandals presence will be far superior to any that will arise from those granted to inferior properties and management. We can rest assured that they will come begging again; in the very near future because restaurants not attached to hotels are already demanding concessions similar to those granted to the hotels. They will now claim that if they don’t get concessions they will be forced to lay off workers or carry their business elsewhere.

The blackmail is only surpassed by the capitulation of successive governments to these pirates who believe that governments must underwrite their alarming shortcomings.

The concessions should be withheld until they sign the MOU. Beggars cannot be choosers.

William Skinner is a social commentator. This article also appears at the Mahogany CoConut Blog

10 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Economy

10 responses to “Answering Loveridge about Barbados tax concessions to Sandals

  1. Moneybrain

    It is my understanding that Sandals sells———Sandals, in many Cbean Islands and will not be focusing on Bdos. The other local hoteliers must sell Bdos as they have no other properties. Sandals always secures the best deal for —-Sandals!

    Do you have evidence that the benefit to Bajans is the same for Sandals as that from other hotels? Will they source the same way? Will they create the same number of TOTAL JOBS resulting from all activity? Will the percentage of total revenue that actually arrives in Bim be equivalent?

    Why should the Bdos Govt prefer a Jamaican organisation over a Bajan one? Since Sandals is so successful they should NOT require HELP! How do we know how much individuals in the Govt are “receiving” for such help???? How do we ascertain how much YOU are receiving for such PR????

  2. As Mr. Skinner appears to be so well informed about Sandals, can he please tell us why they paid the TCI Government US$12 million to avoid a law case.

  3. yatinkiteasy

    You say it all here William … “Hoteliers priced themselves and Barbados out of a very competitive and fast moving industry where inept managers, both local and foreign, blamed everybody from taxi men to beach vendors for their failures.”
    Except that they did not price THEMSELVES out of a very competitive and fast moving industry….they were FORCED to be uncompetitive because of extremely high input costs, including ridiculous taxes , import duties etc on food and beverage, ridiculous import duties and taxes (including Vat) on items needed to upgrade their product, such as furniture, ac units, appliances, bar and restaurant equipment, and the list goes on.
    Other high input costs..NIS and payee contributions from the employer, high corporation tax…and the list goes on and on.
    In short, this and previous Governments have done little or nothing to help the backbone of the Tourist Industry..the private Hotels of Barbados, where the Tourists stay, eat, drink, and are entertained. indeed, it is a long suffering private , over taxed few who have been barely able to keep their heads above water, that have sustained an Industry that has been crying out for support and help…real help, not just bullshit promises, year after year.
    So yes, Sandals comes along and gets all the relief and benefits, in exchange for the employment and exposure the Island will receive…Does this mean that all the other Hotels should just shut up shop and leave it to Sandals? No..the Government has realized that they must level the playing field if the others are to compete at all with Sandals.It was a correct decision..it just needs to be implemented so that new investments can start to happen.Procrastination seems to to be the name of the game with this Government. Unfortunately, they are running out of time.

  4. PLANTATION DEEDS FROM 1926TO 2014 MASSIVE FRAUD LANDTAX BILLS AND NO DEEDS, BARBADOS DLP/BLP MASSIVE PONZI FRAUD

    All of them are crooks liars and scumbags ,looking to suck Barbados dry to fill their swimming pools of money ,
    Niggers in the DLP and BLP money laundering , Master of Fraud all will fail ,
    Suckers for the next under the table deal ,
    Let see Clear title to all lands these bitches looking to invest on ,
    We are watching and seeing the bull shit ,
    next election we will deal ,,, lets hope they bring more money to buy votes this time than last time,

  5. FearPlay

    Dear Plantation Deeds, you seem to be very angry and bitter in every one of you posts on this blog and the other. I am sorry that whatever happened to cause you to feel this way happened, but venting without meaningful contribution does not do credit to what I believe could be very valuable input from you into the many challenges we face at this time. If I have overstepped my bounds, I apologize. I offer the above as an observation and not a criticism.

  6. NYCBGI

    IT IS STILL A SHAME THAT TOURISM IN BGI SUFFERS AND IS ON THE DECLINE. BUTCH HAS A VIABLE PRODUCT AND HE IS THE ONLY CHAIN ON THE ISLAND THE HILTON IS GOVERNMENT OWNED AND CONTROLLED AND A STEPCHILD OF THE CARIB HILTON IN SJU, ALL THE OTHERS HAVE LEFT LONG AGO WHEN CUNARD LEFT PARADISE BEACH IS STILL VACANT,, SAM LORDS CASTLE GONE, MIKE LEFT GLITTER BAY, HEYWOODS GONE AND ALMOND DID A POOR JOB, DIVI IS LEFT ALONE THE OTHER PROPERTIES UNDER ALMOND DOWN, CLEARLY TOURISM HAS LIMPED ALONG AND HAS NOT BEEN A PRIORITY OF THE GOVERNMENT NOR THE BTA BOTH JUST RUMBLING ALONG. NOW WHAT OTHER ISLANDS ARE DOING WELL. OH I FORGET MAX WARD GONE AS WELL . GIVE BUTCH A CHANCE TO BEGIN TO REVIVE TOURISM IN BGI WITH A SANDALS. FROM TIME TO TIME YOU SEE THE SANDAL CARS IN MANY A CITY AND YOU KNOW WHAT PEOPLE STOP , LOOK AND GO!

  7. PLANTATION DEEDS FROM 1926TO 2014 MASSIVE FRAUD LANDTAX BILLS AND NO DEEDS, BARBADOS DLP/BLP MASSIVE PONZI FRAUD

    FearPlay
    September 21, 2014 at 8:43 pm @

    FearPlay @ We welcome all comments , We are not bitter we just need to let people know and not for get , We know what they did and all efforts is for them to cover up all things with money and lies, So now they say they will give this and give that,
    as the builder move ahead and invest greedy money to get some thing for free , Then the same government do nothing as the builder go deep in debt and can no longer pull out for they have to much invested,

    If the builders pull out then the government will take over with the Minister and pimp title holders look to save the day and project for self
    with less to finish the building or up grades.

    We post so that some good lawyer not Bajan can then warn investors to make sure they have a clear title that start for 1995 go back 70 years and is done in Barbados and not 20 year clear made up title by Sir Forde ex AG of Barbados,
    If the land is free and clear with not liens then build and do as you please, BUT if the land is part of the estate of Beatrice Henry or Violet Beckles then one day they will loose and the Banks can not to a dam things for being part of the Massive Land Fraud , land grab in Barbados,
    FearPlay @ we will run in the net election again and this time we see what the bitches did ,if the new election law is to buy votes we will be ready ,
    They feel as long as they on office they will never see jail , So they do all they can and spend all they make in the 5 years , Bail out side of Jail,
    None , let me say NONE can not deal with truth we speak and Know,..
    We take all comments and questions,,,, PUT my words to the DLP or BLP

  8. PLANTATION DEEDS FROM 1926TO 2014 MASSIVE FRAUD LANDTAX BILLS AND NO DEEDS, BARBADOS DLP/BLP MASSIVE PONZI FRAUD

    NYCBGI
    September 21, 2014 at 9:59 pm IT IS STILL A SHAME THAT TOURISM IN BGI SUFFERS AND IS ON THE DECLINE. BUTCH HAS A VIABLE PRODUCT AND HE IS THE ONLY ? Butch is now dealing in A Massive land fraud that can not stand in America and non will invest in Barbados until its cleaned up, Butch need these gift to make his money back as fast as he can in the next 3 years, When new election time come. These investors will have hell to pay before and with out doing a title search before they look to gain , We dont know who there lawyer are and we hope they not Bajan ,
    America is a bitch and a mother ffer with fraud , ask Madoff and Stanford , The thing is bigger than all 2 of the more than 65 Billion PONZI they in jail for now,,Barbados , better watch you money and the bank backing the fraud on land with trespass

  9. NOT PT

    Skinner’s analysis is spot on. The lying hoteliers for decades have said they don’t make a penny although everyone knows most of them are filthy rich. Hoteliers think government and the people are fools. They finger everyone except themselves for the sad state of tourism . Butch Stuart is investing more money re -constructing Sandals than most hoteliers spent on their properties in the last ten years. Yet the whiners and leeches want every concession that Butch gets on top of not wanting to pay taxes at all. At the same time they are notorious for treating their poor black staff in the worst manner possible.