Category Archives: Economy

US Ambassador to Barbados, 2006: Owen Arthur’s sugar decision “defies logic and sours prudent budget”

BFP:

Barbados EU Sugar Aid

Sugar is over, finished…

With the recent revelation that the Government-owned Barbados Agricultural Management Company left 1000 acres of cane to rot in the fields – and that our country’s total 2015 sugar harvest might not reach even 10,000 tonnes, BFP re-blogs this post.

It’s time to leave sugar behind. It is a deep, dark hole that sucks money and energy from this nation. None of our children will cut cane or pick cotton, and the cost of Barbados sugar production is the highest in the world.

It’s over folks. It’s over.

Almost ten years ago, BFP asked Prime Minister Owen Arthur about his plan for sugar…

Remind me… what was the Barbados government plan to replace the sugar revenues?

Oh ya… I remember now…

1/ Beg the Europeans for money – playing upon white man’s guilt.

2/ Sell the rest of the island to foreigners.

Ya… good plan, Owen!

Originally posted on Barbados Free Press:

“Instead of pouring more money into sugar, the Government of Barbados would be better served letting the industry die a peaceful death, as St. Kitts did in 2005.”

“This massive investment in the sugar industry defies logic and sours an otherwise prudent budget.”

“Sugar is so intrinsic to their national identity, however, that Barbadian taxpayers apparently support this fiscal profligacy.”

Mary Kramer, US Ambassador to Barbados, January 27, 2006

WikiLeaks just released a massive new treasure trove of US Embassy Bridgetown previously secret cables.

We’re looking at many of them in our article WikiLeaks: Massive release of Barbados US Embassy documents. You can help too by going to WikiLeaks Embassy Bridgetownpage and digging in!

But we’re going to post this cable on its own because it makes for very interesting reading.

Considering our current economic situation, Barbados Labour Party supporters will jump right on this cable as vindication…

View original 2,096 more words

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Filed under Barbados, Economy, Sugar

Santander study names Barbados as most expensive destination for British tourists

Lots of beaches, sand, surf, sky everywhere. Why should Brits pay more for Barbados?

Lots of beaches, sand, surf, sky everywhere. Why should Brits pay more for Barbados?

Wonderful. Just what we need ’bout this island.

BFP pundit Adrian Loveridge has been pounding this subject for years. Looks like nobody has been listening…

UAE and Barbados most expensive destinations for British holidaymakers

The UAE and Barbados have been ranked the most expensive destinations for British tourists in a new survey published by Santander.

According to the report, the two destinations cost Brits more than £100 per day in spending money. By comparison, Poland and India are the cheapest destinations, costing just £30 per day on average.

These figures do not include the cost of hotel accommodation or flights.

With a direct flight to Barbados costing an average of £3,136 – flying out on 27 July, the busiest week of the summer – a couple going away for two weeks could expect to pay around £12,900 for their summer holiday, once accommodation is included, the report stated.

… continue reading the full report at Travel Daily UK

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Weak Canadian dollar brings challenges for Barbados tourism industry

tax-evasion-canada-barbados

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

It is already more than halfway through the year and this is a time perhaps that our tourism policy planners are focusing on what marketing strategies can be effectively put in place to build on the first quarter increase in visitor arrivals.

As always, it is almost impossible to accurately predict what is going to happen in our global marketplaces and how that could impact on numbers, average stay and spend.

Important issues include the fall in the value of the euro earlier this year and whether this will be further impacted with the eventual solution to the Greek crisis. What effect will the first Conservative British government budget since 1995 have on the disposable income of most Brits? And finally, there is increased speculation about an impending recession in Canada, just at a time we were experiencing improved arrivals and airlift.

Having lived in Canada for some time, I know there is a psychological threshold when the Canadian dollar falls below 80 cents compared to the United States dollar. Naturally, Canadians then start to question whether they are truly obtaining value for money at holiday destination choices. It becomes an imperative to clearly demonstrate that we can offer a competitive product by at least attempting to reinforce component parts of the tourism industry that are more affordable.

While we will never be able to compete with the mass tourism regional offerings like Mexico, Dominican Republic, Cuba and alike, Barbados still has a myriad of more affordable accommodation choices. Of course lodging is only part of the equation, so personally I think there is room for a re-DISCOVER-like promotion specifically aimed at the Canadian market that helps minimise the currency value differential, which include not just restaurants, but attractions, activities, car rental and shopping.   Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Canada, Economy

Outrageous, corrupt government contracts are killing Barbados

barbados-flag.jpg

by David Comissiong, President of Clement Payne Movement

by David Comissiong, President of Clement Payne Movement

As we approach Barbados’ 50th year of Independence, I am calling on all patriotic Barbadians to join together and make a determined effort to uproot and eradicate the destructive remnants of the “Old Colonial System” that still exist in our supposedly independent nation.

And one particularly odious remnant is that aspect of the “Old Colonial System” that traditionally permitted the social and business elite of Barbados to have compliant members of the political directorate grant them outrageously preferential business and commercial arrangements that allowed them to feed on the substance of the Barbadian State and on the mass of predominantly black labourers, consumers, and – in more recent times- taxpayers!

Just take a cursory look at Barbados’ history and you will see exactly what I mean. From the earliest colonial days, the planter/merchant elite utilized a compliant House of Assembly to, inter alia:- supply themselves with cheap labour by legislating the enslavement of Blacks; grant themselves legal title to the lands they had occupied; give themselves a commercial advantage by prohibiting free Blacks and Coloureds from being able to give evidence in Court against them; control Black labour by enacting a Post- Emancipation “Masters and Servants Act”; prohibit the migration of Black labourers from Barbados; transfer the burden of falling international sugar prices unto the backs of the large black labouring class; use legislation and the Court system to ensure that the lands of bankrupt plantations did not fall into the hands of Blacks; use grant money from the British Government exclusively for the elite sugar planter class; and the list goes on and on.

In more recent “Independence times”, this old colonial phenomenon has been manifesting itself in the practice of predominantly black Parliamentarians and Ministers of Government granting amazingly preferential taxpayer- funded or guaranteed contracts to elite white Barbadian and foreign business-people – contracts that they would never dream of conferring upon black Barbadian business-people!

One such contract is the so-called “Take or Pay Contract” that the current Democratic Labour Party (DLP) administration granted to Mr Bizzy Williams’ Sustainable (Barbados) Recycling Centre Inc (SBRC) in June 2009. Under that contract, we, the taxpayers of Barbados, are obliged to underwrite a guaranteed minimum payment of $22.6 Million per year over a 20 year period to SBRC for the processing or managing of so-called municipal solid waste, whether or not the company is actually called upon to carry out work of the requisite minimum quantity! Thus, under this contract alone, we taxpayers are saddled with a minimum payment of $45 Million over the 20 year period.   Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Economy, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption

Pat Hoyos: Barbados not so far from a Greek-style meltdown

Barbados euro_2007

WHENEVER I ENVISAGE GREECE, lurching around in circles with a debt of 175 per cent of GDP on its shoulders, I see, not too far off on the horizon, little Barbados, walking with increasing shortness of breath with its own load of debt, now at 133 per cent of GDP.

In the Budget debate, Opposition Leader Mia Mottley called for a re-financing of the country’s debt in order to give us some fiscal breathing space.

Re-financing, if we could achieve it to a significant degree – remember, we have a debt of over $11 billion at present and rising by around a $1 billion every year – would certainly help us, as it would lower the amount we have to pay back every year, but for a far longer period.

Of course, it is just kicking the can debt down the road a few more years, so that not only our children and grandchildren will have to deal with it, but their offspring too, most likely. But, I wonder, could we get some sort of massive roll – over of our national debt that would bring it down to manageable proportions? Would we not have to go to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank for such a massive financial undertaking at rates we could afford.

Now, if that is the case, Greece is instructive…

… continue reading this article at the Nation News: A looming fiscal tragedy of Grecian proportions

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Filed under Barbados, Economy

Increased taxes and costs are killing tourism. Barbados government actions “simply defies rationale”

Barbados Solid Waste Tax

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

I had hoped to dedicate this week’s column to the new measures put in place announced in the 2015 budget to stimulate spending, especially in the tourism sector.

Unless I missed something while trawling through the 57 pages, not a single ‘incentive’ has been announced that would be likely to encourage increased domestic spending across the sector.

Conversely, many could fairly claim that the additional $200 million in taxation annually will further restrain people’s ability to take a ‘staycation’ or enjoy one of many excellent restaurants.

Government Broke: VAT refunds two years past due.

In fact private sector led initiatives like the re-DISCOVER dining promotion have been forced to scale down any paid promotion, due to the continued inability to reclaim due and payable VAT refunds, now overdue for more than two years. This in itself is ludicrous and short sighted as many of the participating restaurants do not qualify and are unable to apply the reduced rate of 7.5 per cent VAT, but obligated to pay the higher 17.5 per cent rate.

So Government could be easily losing up to $2 million a year in lost taxes. Add the duties and taxes lost in the included wine element and that figure could well be significantly more, let alone the employment this promotion generates.

Until we witness some real actual sustained recovery in tourism, it is very difficult to comprehend why any Government thinks that increasing taxation and operating costs will reduce the time it takes to attain that objective.  Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Economy

Barbados national crisis: Sargassum seaweed damaging tourism and fishing


Have a look at these Nation News videos that fairly depict the impact of sargassum seaweed on on beaches, and then ask yourself why our government isn’t calling “ALL HANDS ON DECK!”.

Sometimes I think I’m the crazy one when problems and priorities seem so obvious yet the government does nothing.

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Economy, Environment