Cost Of Living in Barbados Out Of Control Like A Runaway Freight Train

Organized Response To High Prices Needed

Published on: 7/17/07.

  1. IS ANYONE INTERESTED in the welfare of the lower-income workers in Barbados, or have we become a society where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer?
  2. Every day in Barbados one can hear of some increase in goods and services – from food to telephone, flour to gas. What is really happening in Barbados?
  3. Does anyone realize that a chicken in some supermarkets is at least $20 and that some families of five or more cannot afford to eat a chicken until on Sunday?
  4. How a single is mother to food, clothe and school her children and still get herself to work every day of the week?
  5. Who are we to complain to? Who is looking after our interest?

We do not have the money or the power to fight a battle, but the cost of living in Barbados is killing our society little by little. Yes, I know we have to try to survive but it is becoming increasingly difficult month after month for some of us. I do not want to hear that we are living above our means, because that is rubbish at this point. The money we take to the supermarket can only purchase the staples; there is no room for luxury foods.

What is the present Government doing to help us, and what will the Opposition be able to do if elected? I personally want to hear from both sides how they will solve this inflation.

One thing for sure that we can see is that our wages and salaries are not moving, or if they move it is by very little. Are we keeping too quiet? We need to form a strategic alliance and say what is happening to us, speak out about our concerns before our predominantly black societies become extinct.

Come on, Barbados, we are becoming a place that is very expensive to live and survive. I need to hear more comments.


Source: Nation Newspaper



The issue of the high cost of living has been an abused discussion in Barbados. We say abused because the stakeholders in Barbados, both governmental and non-governmental, have not addressed it with any clarity of purpose. As general elections approach, our Prime Minister has been singing the praises of his government’s achievements. He has been preaching of the low unemployment which is tagged to a booming construction sector; the experience of an incumbent government that the public should feel safe as it sails into the turbulence waters of a world economy. All the macro indicators certainly look satisfactory. BU remain concern about the sluggish approach by a Barbados Labour Party government after 14 years, to strategically reposition the Barbados economy to generate the foreign exchange required to pay for the high life style to which Barbadians have become accustomed and of which we boast to all and sundry. The perception of our West Indian brothers and sisters over the years has been blinkered with envy at our fortune. The continual dissecting of our prime real estate, to be sold to foreigners, is a plan mired in stupidity by the men in our government who have been educated at the highest levels.

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The letter quoted above which was sandwiched in the Nation newspaper on July 17, 2007, struck an emotional chord with the BU household. Naturally, we empathize and join with the writer in lamenting the absence of a plan to mobilize resources/agencies in the country to address the runaway prices currently prevailing at our retail outlets, especially our supermarkets. Unlike the “fat cats” in our government who can afford to shop at the prestigious BS&T supermarkets, the plight of the working poor continue to create tension in our society. Obviously, they are the defenders of the status quo who will point to citizens who live in government housing, owning cable TV and enjoying a lifestyle that belies their stations in life. We say to those people that we would be scratching the surface of the problem if we accept those red herring arguments.

Today in the news, we heard spokespersons from several bakeries crying out at a recent 12% increase in flour, which will obviously affect the retail price of bread, a staple food in the food basket of the poor and working class groups. The plight of our working poor must be held-up against the gush in government spending that is currently underway. Only today we heard Minister Barney Lynch announcing to the nation that four air bridges will be installed at the remodeled Grantley Adams Airport at a cost of twenty one million dollars. No doubt as general elections draw closer, we will see another level of spending which is geared to return the incumbent, and to hell with the stress on the current account of the country. Our government that has boasted of their prudent management to date will be quite prepared to depart from its careful strategy. BU surmises that the government, as a recourse, can always“print more money” even if it exceeds the limit established outlines in the Financial Rules of the country; who cares with a toothless Auditor General and an ineffective Public Accounts Committee in position.

12% price hike in flour

Faced with massive cost of living expenses, Barbadians will have to dig deeper in their pockets to pay anticipated increases in bread prices. Operators of bakeries tell STARCOM NETWORK NEWS, the 12 percent price hike in flour to bakeries from today, will significantly impact their operations and customers. One Baker said Bajans are going to “holler for murder.”

Source: VOB

Individualisation of companies losing to mergers

Should we remind readers of the recent levy that will see the reconditioned car preferred by the working class being pushed out of reach? What about the skyrocketing real estate prices? We have already mentioned the food prices in our supermarkets; even the efficient pricing of fast food can play an important part in the Barbados society, which has become all about convenience given our hectic lifestyles. Let us not forget the utility companies that continue to rake in the dollars while not offering competitive products, when compared to our neighboring islands. How can our communications costs continue to be so high in a world that is driving itself on the effective use of cheap communication technology? Let us not forget the Barbados Light & Power Company, which continues to depend on petro-based fuel to create electricity in Barbados. Should they not have seen their role as partnering with government and private sector to provide cheaper sources of energy? The economics of price in Barbados cannot be fundamentally changed for the betterment, as long as these utility companies continue to play a passive role in the countries development.

The lack of attention to our run away cost of living has become so out of control that we are not sure if the government knows how to fix the problem. We are hopeful that as a society we can come together to encourage debate on what is a bread and butter issue. How long can we continue to build an economy which rake in unprecedented and indiscriminate collection of VAT monies? After several years of operating our government find it difficult to adjust the rate of VAT on staple goods in which poor people require to live. What about the effort which Minister Lynette Eastmond and her ministry sought to engage which highlighted pricing anomalies among several supermarkets in Barbados? Should BU assume that a lack of follow-up resulted from a “shaky” approach, pressure brought to bear by the “big-ups”, or are we being too harsh because the follow-up maybe in slow progress?

We have to feed our babies.

We have to feed our old people.

We have to feed our families.

The biggest disappointment on this matter is directed at our government in waiting, the Democratic Labour Party. This issue should be whipped to a frenzy because high food price is an issue that will always get people’s attention. It speaks to survival and despite what is being said by our Prime Minister, the cost of living in Barbados is high.

BU answers the questions posed by Dellemar Taylor by saying the leadership of Barbados is now concerned with preparing Barbados for CSME. Issues of a domestic nature have been relegated. Ministers like Lynette Eastmond et al appear out of touch with the people on the ground. When a government begins to lose that connection the vacuum is filled with malcontent. One quality which I have always admired about Arthur over the years has been his solid connection with the people. In recent times it appears to BU that he has become so enamored with creating a legacy of Caribbean Statesman that matters on the domestic front have been left to simmer.

Let us hope that for the country’s sake, he is able to arrest the high prices which Barbadians continue to suffer in silence.

93 thoughts on “Cost Of Living in Barbados Out Of Control Like A Runaway Freight Train

  1. David,
    What do you expect this current crop of politicians to do about high prices? By creating the kind of expectations that they have over the past decades; by the kinds of loans and commitments that they have taken us into; and by our buying into their hype and their promises WE have made our beds.
    Here is a parable for you..
    Trinimum comes into some petro cash and decides to invade and take over the nearby island of BimBam. (this is in the best interest of everyone). After a brief battle BimBam gives up and becomes part of TriniTobagBAM.
    Prime land is taken over by the new rulers, vat is raised, new managers are put in place in all the important organisations and the profits all flow back to Trinimum headquarters.
    Bimbamians complain about the high prices, lack of access to beaches and prime land, and being treated as second class persons in bimbam.

    …but wait, all these things happening now… when was the battle? is the battle of Globalization, FTA and CSME.

    And it only just started, cause now it seems that China is surely setting their sights on the whole CSME thing.. but not to worry – no guns will be used – only Bush, Howard and Blair are foolish enough to resort to such ancient crude tactics.

  2. Who predicted COL and food prices dropping with removal of cess? Was it Arthur, Mascoll, Eastmond? Prices have dropped. They have dropped a bomb in consumers pocket books.

  3. bajans dont realize that owen starving them out so that the guyanese and other foreigners can take over and keep the BLP in power. it is sad and shameless what owen arthur is doing to bajans. bajans believed he was their saviour. they believed he could solve every problem and accepted all the foolishness he was saying. plastic bag said bajans are blind so i have to agree then that they could not see that owen was looking for heself. he is the man who was ready to leave politics because he said he could not live on a MP salary. i thought politics was about service. i did not realize it was about making money. errol barrow saw politics as service. but bajans make arthur believe he was a god. a lot of children going to sleep hungry at night. old people suffering. bajans dont realize owen stop talking about poverty alleviation. it was a election trick for 1999. now they talking about oil making big promises to try to fool bajans again but nobody has not dug for oil yet and find any. liz flying her mouth nearly every night on tv. i cant wait for the election to come. my vote is a sledge hammer. when i go to vote, i going use it to smash the blp for all the wrong things they did to bajans.

  4. Pingback: Barbados Underground Reminisce About The Time Owen Arthur Threatened To Quit Elective Politics « Barbados Underground

  5. As we talk about the high cost of living and the disappearance of Agricultural land it should be noted that Mr. Christopher Sinckler is now correctly advocating Agro and other industry as the way to go for sustainable employment.

    However as this reality, is now seemingly receiving attention one has to wonder if it is not a case of trying to close the barn door after the horses have escaped.

    Most or a tremendous amount of Prime Agricultural land has already gone through the eddoes for development. And we are in the process of selling Barbados Farms Ltd, to purchasers who themselves are developers without any gurantees that this land will be preserved for agriculture. Of even a greater concern this land could well be sold to off-shore or foreign interests which would even be more risky.

    The BLP Government seems to be making up rules and reacting to the concerns of the people as they go along. They certainly are not showing leadership when it comes to having short and long term goals for any of the major things ailing Barbados. It is truly scary!

  6. Cabinet Ministers are only now drawing Bajan attention to the correlation of food and energy prices.

    All fuel and therefore imported food prices are on an irreversible upward trend.

    Tinkering around the margins with price gouging enquiries and small duty reductions are ineffective in the face of future economic conditions.

    Small island states should be planting towards self-sufficiency now, not selling off prime agricultural land for development.

    In the face of current international events, food and water security should be our No.1 priority.

  7. Another point while we’re on the subject, is gas that expensive?

    Looking at your graphic of the man pushing his SUV makes you realise that 1 gallon of gas can “push” that monster from the airport to Speightstown.

    The man would take 8 days to complete the same task.

    Something to think about eh!

    We need a new respect for our precious but dwindling fossil fuels.

  8. In addition to what Idealist has said here is what I do not understand and what can be done to head it off at the pass.

    No sooner is something done like the Governments announcement today to reduce duties etc on some food costs. We see that shipping costs are going up so the Government gives with one hand and business takes with the other.

    Now with costs for food, real estate etc going only in one direction and being justified by all sorts of market forces which will not be going away or getting cheaper anytime soon. And with Barbados and most other small Caribbean Nations dependent mainly on Tourism as their main foreign exchange earner. And having no options to stem the rising costs of EVERYTHING when will tourism be no longer viable? I suggest not long!

    Barbados and most of the islands in the region have no land area or resources to become self sufficient far less grow or produce the food and other items needed to sustain tourism.

    Therefore what plans or alternatives do they have or are contemplating to address this inevitable outcome?

    We are seeing most of the Caribbean islands losing market share to other destinations because of economic and political factors that are not available to the Caribbean region so what will be the answer?

    The average tourist has only so much to spend for travel/vacation. The inflationary and upward trend of costs in Barbados fuelled by high aviation fares will soon surpass the inflationary rate of the travellers homeland and make Barbados a no-fly destination for them.

  9. It is sad that our Caribbean governments have not enunciated a strategy which is designed to the needs of our small countries. It seems to us that the several economic models being put forward by our economic guru’s all come out of theories which have been influenced by developed markets. Maybe this is where our UWI and other institutions of learning in the Caribbean can bring some value to the table. We have heard Beckles promoting the idea of the UWI advancing in the area of research, we absolutely agree. Our only hope is that the research hypotheses which they seek to test are relevant.

    Yes Mascoll and Howard we are still waiting on those hypotheses!!!

  10. We need to re-read Idealist’s posts for emphasis. The FACTS are, that we undervalue the resources that this generation have taken for granted during the last 50 years ‘of plenty’.

    When you consider the VALUE of one gallon of petrol and what it can do -if well utilized- you are talking of a bargain by any measure in HISTORY.

    Anyone really thinks that the many gadgets we take for granted and purchase at great bargains (by any historical measure) are not worth much more that what we now pay?

    I am amazed that we expect that this wind fall would continue forever…

    My fear is that such affluence only sets us up for a really big fall sometime soon…

    Big expensive flyovers, Sealed air-conditioned housed and offices, fancy airports and mariners become really expensive jokes when there is no fuel available for petrol or electricity…. or when food is so scarce and expensive that most of us won’t have monies left over for such luxuries as gas, mortgage and rents.

    …brings into question this overriding quest for ‘Developed’ status and acquiring ‘things’..

    What is the REAL purpose of life?
    ….I like “Lowdown” Hoad “bad bad” yuh hear?!

  11. David with all due respect I think the opposite to your suggestion in dealing with the economics of Barbados and the Caribbean region is the way to go.

    Yes certainly the UWI have more experts or learned scholars that are familiar with the realities of the adversities facing their jurisdictions. And this is mainly because most no doubt are local academics who grew up in the region.

    However, the downside to this is, knowing what the problem/s is, is the easiest part of the equation. Having the knowledge, expertise and tools required for fixing the problem/s is far more important and herein lies the quandry.

    The UWI put out I am sure many credible and able professionals but many never reach their full potential in the Caribbean foe myriad reasons. Take medical practitioners I think you will agree that many of these specialties are sadly lacking the up to date medical facilities, equipment etc and knowing up to date procedures needed for them to reach their full potential. All of these things change rapidly and daily with improvements different treatment modes coming out faster than most can keep up with it

    I think what you say is correct and I just said it on your post. The Government does not have a plan nor are they capable of coming up with a plan to address the many economic and other social issues that are impacting Barbados and getting worse. And the BLP are not necessarily the only ones in that boat. It is an inherent problem with most if not all third world country Governments because they cannot see the trees for the forest.

    Overseas experts from “Developed” Nations and I am talking credible, people with proven track records not mocking birds or friends of a Bajans, have a greater and broader understanding, better University education in their specific science supported by experience in solving problems even those that are not necessarily found in their countries of origin.

    As you know Lee Iacoco though coming from Ford took over a monumental task in turning Chrysler around a few decades ago. The reason? Iacoco was a genius in many ways. Executives often take over struggling companies with no prior experience in the industry involved. And turn in around because they have that broad base of vision and a wealth of experience. They have that special talent and gift to see what needs doing and how best it can be done.

    I suggest to you with respect that were the truth known many of the scandalous overruns on contracts allegedly taking place in Barbados and involving Government contracts could have been avoided. Had the Government taken time to enlist the help of knowledgeable people with proven track records to advise them. But, it could well be they did not want to do this and the overruns could mean something else. But all of it has a serious impact on the islands debt and taxes. Both ultimately impacting the high cost of living!

    David even developed countries are now utilizing the brains and expertise of retired experts in many fields who were regarded as yesterdays men and women. Why? because their experience, education and knowledge surpasses many of to-days generation.

    To-day many of our professionals are Community college stuff, their earlier education overlooked many learning deficiencies to let them make the grade. Education to-day and University degrees are not up to the same standards as they were 35 years ago. Some people in the world of academics live in a totally different mind set than their counterparts of yesteryear.

    I have no doubt that rising costs like oil, freight and other market forces significantly play a part in the cost of living in Barbados. But I think they are other and just as important controllable causes for it that are being puposely overlooked.

  12. Here is something on the wire service to-day that I found both interesting and deplorable. Now we are talking about a financially wealthy Nation that is practicing the same deplorable social and political ethics that so many are complaining about in Barbados.

    The story shows a picture of 4 guys going off to play cricket in Dubai, that is what caught my interest. Why were they going to play cricket?

    Because they were among 40,000 Asian workers who put down their tools and walked off Construction projects in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

    They have put down tools because of low wages and because Dubai has no “minimum” wage. Imagine?

    This action has prompted Dubai to address the issue of the workers grievances and the Indian Consul General Venu Rajamany says a minium
    wage now looks very likely. And when it is set that figure will be a benchmark below which no company can go.

    In addition to striking because of low pay the 40,000 workers have also complained about pay delays and random deductions and have vowed not to leave 26 labour camps in semi atunomous Emirati States until their salaries are raised by at least $55 US per month. They currently earn $109 per month unskilled and $163 skilled. The workers claim, low wages, soaring living costs and poor conditions as other factors for their discontent.

    Among the many high profile projects they are working on is the worlds highest skyscraper.

    More than 300,000 workers have returned to Asia since August.

    Dubai is said in the article to be a top Mideast business and luxury tourism hub.

    What is unbelievable about this story is, that this sort of exploitation of Asians can be tolerated and encouraged by a peoples who money is not a problem. And while they stick it to the rest of the world with high oil prices!

    Another point of interest, a minimum wage would be unprecedented for the Emirates, which ban Unions and has long depended on cheap imported labour. Maybe that is why their Big Up Prince is interested in investing in Barbados. Did I not see him here not long ago or was it another Camel jockey I was thinking about?

  13. Typical crap coming out of the UWI.

    “Americanization” is blamed for every damn thing in the world.

    When are places especially third world Nations going to take responsibility for corruption, bad economic policies, high debt load and thehost of other causes really behind their development and poverty problems?

  14. David,
    What kind of UWI student is this?!?
    This is brilliant and incisive thinking… this student must be close to being expelled from UWI for non-conformance (thinking).

    Of course this student’s analysis is largely correct and even the linkage to globalisation (americanisation) is bang on….

    No name’ comment is consistent too….

  15. Hey neighbour, I’m having a dinner party and I would just like to know if I can borrow some things I seem to be running low on, may I borrow a cup of cash?

  16. I feel the need to defend myself and my post, now I aint calling No Name….s but some would have others believe that I am blaming America for the high cost of living whereas I distinctly said Americanization has led our people to wanting what they see as socio-economic /class symbols and even as everyday items. If one were to read my post carefully, you would be able to discern the difference.

  17. Superalative1

    You are digging a deeper hole for yourself and I suggest you quit before you get buried.

    Americanization and blaming America in the sense we are talking are one of the same.

    But maybe superlative 1 might like to share with us if he/she has aspired to wanting what Americans have and are blaming Bajans less fortunate for wanting the same thing.

    Superlative tell the people aspiring to live the good life if in addittion to being able to go to the UWI, if you have a car, a house or live in your parents house, eat well etc. I hope you answer truthfully and not dance around the issues like you did with my question about UWI degrees.

    Human nature and our parents taught us to go for what the world has to offer and if that is Americanization and anything close to it so be because for MOST it is the best life in the world second to none. It is not without fault but it is the best.

    The millions who go to and want to go to along with the thousands of Mexicans risking their lives to go to speaks volumes about the US way of life. And about Americanization. That is the point! Do not fault Bajans for wanting the best!

  18. Furthermore, let it be known!

    Though generally I try not to get involved in debates with persons who really and truly I don’t consider as having anything concrete to say, I couldn’t let it go down like that. I would like to know why those of use without names seem to have it out for Caribbean people. *Wonders where the nameless one is from and currently resides*

  19. You may accuse me of dancing around your questions but I answered them the best way they could be answered given the types of questions you were asking. Besides, your ‘points’ are all moot and prejudiced. If we didn’t import 90% of the things we use, our import bill would not be so high FINE cost of living would not be so high FINE however your point is third world countries need to stop blaming America yada yada yada who ever said anything about BLAME?????

  20. Please answer the questions if you are a man or woman. Are you Americanized? Why should ALL Barbadians not want to be AMERICANIZED? And in that sense they mean getting food at reasonable costs? This is what they are talking about the basic necessitities of life that most people in a Nation like Barbados should be entitled to. Instead we have academics, the BLP and other nut cases talking about becoming a “Developed” Nation if a few short years.

    I think you need to clear your head first of the vendetta you obviously have against Beckles and then come back and talk to your brothers and sisters.

  21. Clearly English is not your native language because I posed that SAME question to you earlier when YOU were crying down people for wanting to be americanized and by that I keep correcting you and saying Westernized. As far as my ‘vendetta’, for those outsiders who are not personally in attendance NOR work there could really hush their mouths. My issue is his alleged looking out for the poor people of Barbados by giving them university access which was nothing he championed. The father of Independence, Errol Walton Barrow made sure education was free. Furthermore, Hilary Beckles during his brief yet tumultuous tenure, has succeeded in doing nothing more than increasing enrollment beyond the university’s capacity forcing the already understaffed faculties to rush through the courses, cut back on interaction and feedback; open the ill named Errol Barrow Center for Creative Imagination which he passed off on the students through amenities fee while restricting the premiere arts group Cave Hill Theater Workshop from being able to use it until the last minute for a play that Hilary himself attended and generally used it for his private wine and cheese parties; meanwhile getting private financing for a cricket pitch to host events because his primary focus is was and will always be on cricket, see his Master’s in Cricket History etc., cutting back the football field to the size of a joke and having little to no regard for students during the exhibition matches that are put on! No Name, it is uninformed, misinformed and ill informed persons such as yourself who are a vexation to those who have a true cause that they are widely knowledgeable on and have NOTHING better to do when the days come than get on other people’s blogs and act like foremost authorities on EVERYTHING!

  22. Stop sitting down and typing up a load of drivel and passing it off as fact and get off your rump and find out what’s happening around you.
    Educate yourself. Peace.

  23. I will leave you because you are truly a “troubled” individual. I hope you find peace I already have it.

    I am done!

  24. Let’s divest a bit and look at a major utility company that is using the rising fuel cost as an excuse for the constant increase in electricity charges.

    Although the company installed two 30-megawatt low speed diesel generators and the company was supposed to save millions of dollars, but instead, we are getting massive increases in our electricity bills and we are not speaking of $5.00 increases to our monthly bills, but real dineros. Everytime we object to these increases, we get the excuse from the company of increased fuel charges.

    I am saying to the Barbados Light & Power that the increase of fuel is not the only factor that are increasing our bills, we must look at a shortage and the distance of transformers close to heavily populated areas. We have to look at the type of gauge wiring being used, since low voltage can be costly.

    We must also look at the utilities being used. A household might have the same utilities from 2006 to 2007, sometimes using less electricity and yet, that bill will move from $80.00 in 2006 to $150.00 in 2007, which is a 53% increase. Yet fuel charges will only be less than 20%.

    This is something that every Barbadian must deal with NOW, let’s start asking more questions to these outrageous increases.

  25. Going back to the issue at hand in terms of cost of living and its seemingly exponential increase over the years. I have to point out that No Name has made one moderately good point where it comes to Barbadians and other developing nations wanting what the so-called developed nations have and it being natural/human nature etc. With this I do agree any ambitious person strives to be better and to have the best. We have all benefited from the developments we have seen in the recent years in terms of telecommunication, motor transport, informatics etc. But as the senior persons used to say ‘eyes to big for your guts’ which is a general reference to gluttony, I believe it is also relevant here in terms of us biting off a bit more than we can chew. It is not only a problem of developing nations but also one of the developed ones, the only difference that their financial buffer is a bit larger than ours. If I am not mistaken it was Whitmore who said ‘the biggest problem with mankind is that our knowledge is increasing so much faster than our wisdom’. And the problem is WE ARE TRYING TO DEVELOP TOO QUICKLY without looking at the consequences. The myopic methods used to weigh the pros and cons in our economic plans are what have been killing us. Yes we have to nourish and develop our tourism and off-shore finance sectors but after selling and developing this land for these purposes where will we grow our food or house our ever-growing population? Who is going to foot the bill of upward spiraling import costs? Yes transit has been hell as the years go by but who will foot the debt after spending hundreds of millions on flyovers.

    So before I start sounding like a member of the opposition; pointing out all the deficiencies without out proposing any plausible solutions.

    SOLUCION: Though it sounds like I am trivializing the situation, I am aware of the complexities involved with economic management, but in its simplest form – Tek we time! I would like to eat in all the finest food and clothes and have all the latest gadgets at my fingertips, and if I were to budget adequately I could probably do and have such. BUT. BUT. BUT. In 5 or 10 years I would like to have some marginal form of security, be out of my parents’ house and maybe have some form of business of my own. So in an effort to make proper future-wise investments, proper saving techniques and planning are essential. Development at my own pace. No need to look at friends on my right or my left who may have greater financial resources than myself and therefore the ability to develop at a more rapid pace.

    The way I see it why not finish the 4-lane project which should be adequate for another 10 years or so and use the rest of the money to subsidize food and/or fuel costs and continue to develop our service sector (which by the way is all we have left) possibly exporting consultancy services to less developed nations especially with the advent of CSME (and possibly even some developed ones). Putting us in a better financial situation for when future infrastructural development is needed.

    Our nation was not build in a day. Indebting ourselves is not the way to a brighter future. I am not saying go back to the stone ages. Just remember the most ‘powerful’ nation once had golden sanded beaches and clean air and in their haste to develop and ‘turn a buck’ irreversibly polluted them due to poor planning in terms of waste treatment. They have the size and resources to bounce back from such but we cannot afford such trial and error.
    As for Mr Frankology I agree with your findings and these increases are having a drastic effect on Barbadian households. But what you must understand:

    1. BL&P fuel charges to the customers are regulated by law and cannot go out of certain bounds.
    2. Fuel prices are not the only ones that have gone up, funny you should mention voltage and wire gauging, but are you aware that the price of copper (the most conductive economically manufactured metal) has risen by over 35% in the last few years.
    3. The cost of many tools and equipment, such as meters, replacement parts etc, shipping costs and even the price of oil, lubricants etc. which are used in the same transformers which you have mentioned which need to be maintained regularly, have all risen.

    Do not think that this problem is unique to Barbados it is happening all over the world. We live in an energy intensive world and as fuel prices rise so does manufacturing and shipping costs. So even though BL&P may be saving millions of dollars in fuel economy in the new plant it has incurred significant increases in cost in other sections of its ‘production line’ all of which cannot be absorbed by moderate savings in other areas.

  26. Hmmmmm

    Look at todays Nation News to see yet another “Bimbo” from the University of the West Indies expounding on what Government needs to do if they want to address the high cost of living in Barbados.

    First and foremost when you see a “Professor” from the UWI talking about anything bear in mind that he/she is mostly a professor in name only when coming from the UWI. Having said that we do not need a “Professor” to tell us Port taxes, operating costs etc at the Port is too high. The man/woman in the street with a basic education knows that. They also know that several other Government costs impacting food costs are too high. As is the waste of tax dollars on over-run contracts, and the host of other waste going on in Government. Added to this you have price gouging and price fixing. Until all of these are fixed cost of living in Barbados will continue to rise not go down and stay down so do not hold your breath.

    But here is the belly laugh of all. This “PROFESSOR” is talking about needing “Competition” to also address the problem! How much more competition do you need? The island can only sustain a certain number of Grocery stores that can remain profitable and they are already at or past that number.

    Most people in Barbados has a car or a friend who has one so they can go to any major grocery store that has a sale/s on and buythe sale/s item. The fact of the matter is Hmmmm, there are few sale/s on and in most cases the reduction in price at some stores is not worth the cost of gas to drive to them.

    Focous on this. Though you cannot realistically compare Barbados to North America because of many factors you certainly can in many cases of economic theory and application. Allowing for the differences in population, spending power and other such factors.

    Barbados has to import most of their products and blame the high cost at the REATIL level mainly on that because of freight, duties, higher oil prices and inflationary trends. This is all relative as North America have these pressures too. And in addition pay higher labour costs, property, income taxes, Store overheads and a host of other costs that Barbados businesses do not pay or pay at lower rates.

    To get a crate of tomatoes from California, Chile, Mexico etc it has to come as far overland or by sea by train/ship as going to Barbados by boat. People dont seem to look at these FACTS they just talk BS. They are usually subject to duty, Government health inspection and other related costs. They just don’t come in for free!

    Having said that the merchants have to deal with it as nobody in North America is going to pay $20 for a flippin chicken just because feed for the chickens went up. This is BS. They are selling turkeys in Buffalo at 29 cents a pound. A friend just sent me an e-mail saying he was over to the US and picked up 2 huge birds for $11 US.

    Do you think the US and Canadian merchants are buying these birds from a space farm? They are buying them from the same suppliers Barbadian merchants would use if they bought birds in North America.

    Admittedly as you have seen on TV like me the Canadian consumer is now getting a break because their dollar is 2 cents higher than the American greenback but this only happened a few months ago. Before that merchants etc had to pay $1.25 or $1.30 for each US dollar when making Canadian purchases in the USA. Do you think the consumer would accept this as a reason to pay a 30 to 50% mark up. Man you mekking sport.

    But you know what don’t listen to the egotist listen to the make believe economists and Academics coming out of the UWI thay have the answers. But we are still waiting for the results.

    Why are you not seeing the same problem with car sales in Barbados because they are flying off of the lots. But are there any bargains. Yet in that Industry I think like the grocery industry there are enough car dealers new and used. Don’t you think?

    Most say they cannot buy a piece of land, own a house what is the problem there. Only excuses that is all we get excuses yet in other Nations people face the same adversities but their Governments find REASONABLE MAYBE NOT PERFECT solutions. But in Barbados we are always told things here are different and cant be compared to anywhere else. BS. But if you guys/gals want to remain gullible and with your head in the sand be my guest!

  27. I am looking at the rape of the people by Utility Companies,

    Hmmmm, the emission from the vocal cord when things are good.

    With we the struggling class, we hold our belly and bawl, “not again”, “oh my God” and “help”.

    Now, to your submissions with my views.

    1. BL&P fuel charges to the customers are regulated by law and cannot go out of certain bounds.
    BL&P revenue comes from charges for their services. We should be asking how come this company makes massive yearly profits? or, we can reach the conclusion of the public standing the cost for all capital expenses incurred by the company.

    2. Fuel prices are not the only ones that have gone up, funny you should mention voltage and wire gauging, but are you aware that the price of copper (the most conductive economically manufactured metal) has risen by over 35% in the last few years.
    Hmmmmm, it look that customers are paying for electrical wiring monthly.

    3. The cost of many tools and equipment, such as meters, replacement parts etc, shipping costs and even the price of oil, lubricants etc. which are used in the same transformers which you have mentioned which need to be maintained regularly, have all risen.
    Every time a customer pay a bill, a portion is calculated for operating expenses.

    My observation is…. Since we know for a fact, that Barbados Light & Power makes massive profits, probably, the raping of our people for services from this company might be overpriced, therefore, I feel that the Fair Trading Commission – the regulated body, has all rights to review the income from these outrageous charges from customers.

    Although we know of constant profits by this company, we are not seeing this company sponsoring any major sports in the island where bajans can say we are getting back something from this corporate entity.

    Next time, I will be dealing with Cable & Wireless.

  28. Frankology and all others that want to listen with an open mind let me say this to all of you with respect.

    Before starting let me show you one of thousands of such examples that will give you a better understanding of what I am trying to convey.

    First Point. Look at this Opera House nonsense and the obvious scam this Lottery is perpetrating against no doubt thousands of Barbadians using it and believing they might hit it big.

    Second Point Gambling as we ALL know is a very addictive sport and many who get addicted are the least who can afford it.

    Now would you not think because of these points alone and if Barbados operated like most countries do. And who protect their citizens from fraud like what is certainly suspected as going at the Opera house that by now our Government and police force would or should not want to at least check out the validity of this operation? Have they? Have they said anything about even caring to do so? This is the opus oprandi of the Barbados Government and upper echelon of society.

    This my fellow Barbadians is where our problems are at. And we can write our hearts out on these Blogs and nothing is going to change.

    Bad roads, high food costs, a decrepid education system an equally decrepid QEH, land and house costs, high crime, drugs, etc etc etc.

    In the past 14 years what really has been done to address these matters? Have we seen any major changes especially in rural Barbados?

    Instead we got a CWC, Flyovers, a new jail, etc ALL of which are riddled with contoversy of Government corruption, teefing, waste of tax dollars etc.

    Now to end what my main point to this diatribe is. What to hell can we or anybody DO ABOUT IT? Sweet FA! The Government does not have to nor does it pay one shred of attention to the concerns of the average Bajan. And you cannot touch them! They are there laughing their as—-s off at all of us!

    We say Hardwood, Flyovers, Jail, GEMS etc all crooked. I say tell me where Thompy or any of us can do dick to force the Government to come clean or whole an honest transparent inquiry to clear the air. Tell me what Legislation is in place that anyone can force the Government to do that? And if if it is how come the Opposition can’t or has not used it? Do you think in other Democratic Nations of the world they would accept this?

    We are being lied to, screwed without even a kiss, fed BS and have to take it other than vent on these blogs. Blogs can only do so much you need Democratic Legislation that allows Opposition Party’s to be able expose corruption. Barbados obviously has none.

    You want more because I think a lot who write on here don’t get the message because they don’t read the mainstream press and see what it is telling you.

    A few days ago the Nation News “Editorial” poked fun at what can only be best described as verbal diarrhoea coming from the mouth of Lynnette Eastmond about high food costs. And what the Government was doing including their meetings with the Social Partnership or some of them to reach a concensus. Well Lynette talked around in circles and basically said that they were dependent on the Social Partnership or some of them to agree before results could be seen. (Not exact words)

    The Editorial took a page from my book and asked as I have done on numerous occasions “who is Governing Barbados”? The BLP or Social Partnership?

    Folks I hate to say this but until Barbados truly becomes a Democracy which it is far from being. And Parlimenary decorum and Legislative guidelines are enacted that dictate the people and the Opposition Parties have a legal right to hold a Government accountable by ways of Inquiries and other forums to get to the bottom of corruption God help us!

  29. And Parlimentary decorum and Legislative guidelines are enacted that dictate the people and the Opposition Parties have a legal right to hold a Government accountable by ways of Inquiries and other forums to get to the bottom of corruption God help us!
    I am with you with the level of questionable undertaking by Government, before and now. If you are living at home and you are doing wrong and no one speak to you. Well, you will continue with your acts. I say that to get to this. We know of the various million dollar contracts in the public domain, we are being reminded only by these blogs, some might be down-packed with all the evidence that will blow the mind, others are tainted with political agendas that we must overlook or we can find ourselves angry. We can scream as hard as we can and no one listens, that is why I keep reminding the loyal oppossition that they must step up to the plate and deal with these issues, not just give the headlines and relax in their comfort zone. I must say we are seeing lots of worms coming from wood works due to the silly season. These are the same problems that the public was requesting for help for the past five years.

    We must also priortize the attack on Government especially the perceived corruption of massive magnitude like the flyovers, vecos, and now these additional Bolt arrangements. Let us forget emotions.

  30. Frankoglogy I do agree with you on one thing BL&P does rake in large profits. But you must remember BL&P is a privately owned, publically regulated utility, so share holders are not ready to lose money. They are not gaining any more than past years (from my limited investigations) but I am sure if you were a major shareholder you would not be ready out of the goodness of your heart to absorb certain costs as production costs rise. So that would definately have to be taken up with the FTC and other relevant bodies.

    As for sponsorship, BL&P does sponsor many events especially Crop Over Events they might not sponsor many sports events (only the Industrial Games to my knowledge) but most of the Calvacades and other large events the electricity charges are absorbed, including Grand and Kiddies Kadooment etc. They also sponsor studies for alternative energy production and energy efficiency, renewable energy study installations and lend expertise to those looking to invest in such free of charge etc. So though they do not find the need to broadcast it on every TV and radio station they are doing their part.

    Now as for the customer charges in terms of copper wire etc. Let me ask you one question. When last your electricity went off for 4 or 5 hours during a non-scheduled outtage? Now you go around to any other Caribbean islander and ask them the same question. I am sure their response would be quite different to yours. Do you know that as we speak many new underground cable projects are underway laying expensive high-voltage COPPER cables that are to be used for 69KV switch overs that will reduce distribution losses for even further savings and so when ‘de high wind come’ you are not left in the dark. So YES Bajans are charged every month for wiring and operating expenses!!

  31. BL&P can be a very dangerous company being “Private” and holding a monopoly over the power “heart” of Barbados. This is not a good thing and BL&P should have a regulatory body overseeing its cost structure and making sure increases in power rates are not over inflated to influence their bottom line.

    To justify the high cost by an electricity supplier in suggesting the power does not go off as it does in other islands is a nebulous argument. I recall 12 to 15 years ago power outages in Barbados were common and unpredictable. It certainly has improved that we cannot deny.

    However in spite of the new copper wires, switches, maintenances etc they did not stop a monkey a year or so ago shutting the entire system down. My point being power outages when it comes to down wires is usually caused by storms, or a tree falling on the lines or a truck or car taking out a pole. You can have all of the best lines, insulators etc they are still not going to do any good.

    In normal weather we rarely lose power even in areas where the lines might be old, but that is true anywhere. A decade or two ago when power outages were common place that was blamed on a capacity problem. Generators out of service or being repaired.

    Good maintenance is certainly a priority for any electric company that wants to give reliable service but these things somertimes can be used unneccesarily as unsupported reasons to rip consumers off. Not to mention the Monopoly factor.

  32. CORRECTION: 69kva cables are being relaid due to the highway. I am not denying the fact that we might have a better outputting of electricity to customers, but we must not cloud our feelings and accept the high prices melted out customers. Your scenario defending ‘Copper charges’ is irrelevant since these costs are embedded within monthly billings. What I am also speaking about is electricity loss of current due to the placement of generators. Please advise.

  33. No Name. Do you feel that the BL&P was over elaborating of a cost reduction with the installation of the two 30-megawatt low speed diesel generators?
    It seems that we are getting the reverse. Do you?

  34. The harsh reality which Barbadians have to deal with is the ineffectiveness of the Fair Trading Commission and the absence of a vibrant consumer body. Since the establishment of the FTC we have seen Cable & Wireless and Barbados Light & Power continue to make significant profits with high dividends being paid to shareholders. The price gap mechanism is one example which which was approved by the FTC but it has gone seriously wrong at the expense of Barbadian consumers.

    To cap it all off we heard with our own ears the head of the ‘consumer body’ – Malcom Taitt in Barbados telling the nation that getting militant is not a strategy he intends to adopt.


    On Saturday the17 th of Nov 2007 for the umpteen time this past week the ruling party has now woken up to the fact that there is a cost of living issue in barbados well done to them for having finally awoken from their slumber and finally having listened to the call by the DLP that there was an issue with regard to the cost of living.
    Once again as I type this Mottley is attempting to quell the unrest by holding another press conference ( I assume she is hoping for a front page story in tomorrow’s Nation) so far we have had Eastmond saying nothing will grip or take effect until after Christmas then Mottley jumps in and said no sooner, ASSCOLL figures he has set the world on fire by the removal of the duty on 2 yes 2 items of meat with no regards for all the other components of a meal, least of all any of items that diabetics, and high blood pressure victims need or use, but still he feels what a wonderful thing he has done.
    Last but not lease we have not heard from I am not saying a thing Owing, he has made no comment on anything in a long time is he suffering from shell shock?
    He was last seen in the House of Assembly sweating and stuttering from the verbal assult he had at the hands of Mr Thompson or outside of the house he was last seen in a drunken stupor trying to speak at Ellerslie School and how bad he looked and sounded at that event?
    This admistration is scratching the bottom of the barrel when they are patch working solutions to this countries ills, as we have seen unfold during the past few days Mr Thompson visits the markets and the next day the gov’t issues permits to vend, he mentions illegal workers at Hardwood Housing and the next two days they are fired, he suggest the cost of living needs helping and suggest removal of VAT on Elertricity bills as a start they respond by removing duty on two items of meat, wonderful setup they appear to be doing sometrhing by saying that they have removed the duty but does this really make any difference to the average consumer when the other 30 items are all excessively taxed beyond our reach?
    The lady said is so well on the call in show the other day when she said that the opposition is getting more done in opposition than the gov’t is getting done as a gov’t.
    Her comments may have been delivered in jest but
    the reality is that this is the absolute truth of the situation as it exist in Barbados on Saturday the 17th of Nov 2007.

  36. Do you know that the BL&P plants are geared to output a fixed amount of electricity although the demand is less than the output and they will be no excessive financial expense. That is to say, the more electricity the company bill us for, the more revenue they will receive, yet we must pay for any increase in cost which is passed over to the consumer.

    The price gap mechanism seems to be placed on the consumers. A cap in the amount of groceries we can buy, a cap for the amount of clothing we should buy, a cap for the amount of money we should educate our children, a cap on the amount of money we should be paid. Things now have different meetings.

  37. Frankology to be honest I cannot comment on that with any degree of substance as there could be a lot of factors at play.

    However, I do believe that BL&P is not above gouging and when you have anything operating in a Monoply situation and with the type of ineffective Government and Democracy Barbados operates under I suspect that 95% of industry is less than honest.

    Why do you think so many Foreigners are there. When I read in the remarks of people talking to the press about serious business and social issues there and and what impacts them it is always a Foreigner or Foreign Name.

    It as though the local Barbados economic culture has been replaced.

  38. I trust that the Nation will slot Mottleys press release into the For Sale in the Classified section of the daily, as this gov’t is clearly up for sale.

  39. We have to stop sole approval to certain essential services, and at least have a say within the pricing. Once a company have full monopoly, we will hear all types of costs and how we, the customers do not have to fear because we are only paying a part of the actual cost. Nonsense. Competition gives comparison, this is what is needed or we must start giving out 10 year contracts that can be renew based on performances and customer’s satisfaction. Otherwise, start taxing these utilities based on profits. This is time that consumers start reaping the benefits of their hard earned dollars.
    No consumer = no business = no profit.

  40. Frank our boys operate so much differently to other Nations and are allowed to do so with impunity that I doubt we will really see any major changes anytine soon. But here is also a depressing thought.

    In the event Thompy should win the election there is so much debt, skeletons in the closets, incompetence, etc that it would take him two if not more terms to sort it out even if he did everything 100% correct.

    Barbados I am afraid is in very serious social, economic and political decay and the tragedy of it all is, that this sad legacy is being left to an already disillusioned and defeated youth who many see drugs and crime a more viable profession if they are to survive! Sad my dear friend but true!

    Other parts of the world are fearing little better because to me it seems that today we do not learn from our mistakes!

    I am now ending the tickling of the ivories for another day as I have had enough. Go take a sea bath because if I were able that is what I would do shoot a couple of waves to clear my head of the cobwebs.

  41. November 17, 2007
    THE QUESTION OF INTEGRITY in public life assumes greater significance later this month as the no-confidence motion against Clyde Mascoll is brought by the Democratic Labour Party (DLP). There are few in Barbados who are not now familiar with the story of Harwood Housing Factory Inc.

    This is a company that, before David Thompson publicly raised the matter a month ago, no one knew was owned by the Government of Barbados. How the Government could form a company with significant public funds without the public knowing, is an indication of the arrogance and lack of transparency of this Government led by Owen Arthur. The public has a right to know when Government takes up their money and invests it in over 95 per cent of the equity of a private entity.

    The saga that continued since the company was established under the chairmanship and wise counsel of Mr Teddy Griffith, who was subsequently and mysteriously no longer on the board after March, is unbelievable.

    Poor corporate decision-making, bad management decisions and doubtful financial dealings led to it being practically insolvent by August. In other words, in less than a year, and with $2 million of taxpayers’ money at its disposal, the company could not meet its obligations.

    Furthermore, after being given $2 million, there are hardly ten houses that the company can show as having been built by it. But we, the goodly people of this country, were told that the other partner in Hardwood was a successful contractor who had successfully built over 500 houses in six months in Grenada. The truth of that assertion is yet to be established. But that was the basis on which we were led to believe the public should have its confidence in the company.

    The staff of Hardwood worked in fear of negative practices and that led to the intervention of Sir Roy Trotman, general secretary of the Barbados Workers’ Union, and he was forced to write to Mr Tony Hoyos – chairman of Hardwood, member of the board of the Enterprise Growth Fund Limited, member of the board of Barbados National Bank, member of the board of the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation and one of the owners of the new company to which the Government is giving Crop-Over. Wow!

    Mariano Browne, the chairman of Enterprise Growth Fund Limited and the defendant in a major civil action in Barbados by the former owners of Caribbean Commercial Bank Limited, is now the Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance in Trinidad and Tobago. That takes care of that.

    But there is more . . . . There is a crying need for the introduction of integrity legislation in Barbados and, were it possible, it should be back-dated to cover the establishment of the Pan African Commission and the political deal – with certain former DLP/NDP/every-other-party operatives, involved at that time. There is need for an investigation into the St Peter Development Fund as well. And the Friends of St Michael West Central. And much, much more.

  42. Where do I start? Where do I start? First of all No Name when you have an underground systems they become impervious to storms, high winds etc. Which means less/no power outages so you cannot say that these improvements would not do and have not done any good. Please do your research as well because power outages are not caused only by storms in other countries…outside can be dry as a bone with no wind and they are without electricity due to what are called system faults which come with any mechanical/electrical system. What puts Barbados on a higher level is their interconnection setup, which means that if one line drops out due to a fault or switching error there is another to pick it up while the company works on the faulty one. So please let us not become hasty to judge in that aspect.

    Responding to Frankology it violates the laws of physics that BL&P outputs more than the demand. It simply cannot. I think you are referring to the fact that it has a greater output capacity than standard demand. This is true and any electrical utility must have a surplus in order to respond to peaks and demand inflation. That said, it has brought me to yet another cost factor which I forgot to include in my last rebuttal, which you have reminded me of while you speak of output and demand. Did you know that the so-called ineffective FTC continues to enforce on BL&P what is called maximum demand matching? Which means the company must have the generating capacity to meet the maximum possible demand of Barbados at any time. BUT. BUT. BUT. At the same time many industrial enterprises are given subsidies on fuel imports, which means using less efficient personal generators they can produce their own electricity more cheaply than what they buy from the BL&P. Which in short means that BL&P must have the capacity to support their demands should they ever need them but they have no obligation to buy electricity from the company which suggests two things:

    a) Generators working at part load which reduces their efficiency and transferring more costs to the residential sector.

    b) As commercial and industrial enterprises increase their electricity use which may or may not be purchased from BL&P the company still has to have the generators to support them should they ever need it. Meaning this extra generation capacity cost is passed on to the residential sector.

    BL&P has been for a long time trying to get the diversion of those fuel subsidies towards the purchasing end for industrial and commercial customers rather than the generating end. Because the outcome would be beneficial to the nation as a whole due to the fact that there would be greater fuel economy across the board. But alas poor policy making continues to affect us all. As I said before maybe BL&Ps profits are too high, but the recent soaring increases I do not believe have been caused by price gouging per se. Look across the nations and see how the cost of petro-based electricity has increased. It is not a problem unique to us and it not only has to be combated from the output side (aka power company and policy making) but from the demand side (aka consumers).

  43. No Name though I am not 100% sure the previous point (Nov. 17) you were trying to make. I see that you have missed where I am coming from. I am not talking about supermarket sales etc. We are well aware that US stores have favourable buying rates of most goods because they are producers hence reducing transport costs and almost nullifying import costs. Barbados does have to import a major part of consumables due to agricultural constraints. What I am trying to say that instead of letting these factors spiral out of bounds, import costs should be further subsidized and price gouging addressed. This is one possibility but as you have pointed it out it brings me to the conclusion somehow, that as you said, used cars will continue flying off the lots and it will be even more ridiculous when people have even more expendable income with reduced food prices. So that is a very difficult situation to handle. All I could suggest are funds for the truly needy persons, single mothers and fathers etc. who definitely have hardships in terms of getting the absolute necessities. I would welcome anyone to try to address this cyclic problem.

    Now in terms of everyone giving their solutions I believe we need more of that. Who cares if you agree or not we all have the right of free speech and those who care to listen listen, those who don’t can turn the page. As the saying goes ‘there are many questions a fool can ask that a wise man cannot answer’, so sometimes listening to a fool can bring a whole new previous unconsidered point of view. One thing we have to understand is that we as individuals know nothing. The whole point of democracy is for everyone to have the chance to be heard. The whole God image and single rule of dictatorship was supposed to be abolished with the advent of the democratic system but it is still prominent. I would not say I know everything about politics, economics or law, they do not happen to be my fields. And just like when we started in school there were some pupils that were good at certain subjects and bad at others and a very select few that were good at everything, and as we advanced and specialized each took his course, some business, some science, some technical etc. So anyone who knows and claims to know everything is a God, a liar or plain delusional. So I cannot understand why the pressures of running a country rest on the shoulders of a select few. Barbados has many sectors which need proper management and practical integration. In my humble opinion it is time for everyone to stop blabbing about everything and form specialized committees. Everyone is ready to talk but so few are ready to listen and that is the issue at hand. Our fate is in the hands of few and it is time that a majority rules situation comes into play no matter what. All of the governmental leaders have advisors which are allegedly the top in their fields, who are supposed to give their opinions based on their experience and training, which are supposed to be used by MPs to make decisions, but they are not bound by law to follow any advice. Which means our top lawyers, engineers, political scientists, businessmen etc. can talk until they turn blue, but if the MP does not agree with them or their findings, finds that the implementation of their strategies is too time consuming, radical or would cut into too much of their leisure time, they just overlook it and do what they please. So majority-rules is not in effect, which means we as a people have essentially no say in governing ourselves. The truth is the majority may be right or may be wrong but experience has shown that two heads are more than often better than one. I am yet to encounter a civil engineer that is in agreement with the whole fly-over situation, but alas the government is going ahead with it. My field is energy so I tend to follow that a lot more closely and a lot of the figures stated by Minister Thompson and many of her plans are in my eyes virtually impossible and I am not talking about practicality I am talking about physically and thermodynamically unfeasible, and many of my colleagues agree. But it is written in the budget and plans are underway. So I am to wonder on what bases were these decisions made.

    The reality is that until myself, No Name, the professor, Frankology etc can all say let us form some sort of something and see what we can do about all of this. We will just be here writing back and forth on blogs and in newspapers while Arthur and the rest of his MPs sleep in their comfortable beds, investing their extravagant salaries that they barely have to touch for any necessities due to their large travel, food, housing and recreation allowances. You think they are really bothered about who gets into power? All the spiteful words and talk about vote casting and enjoying seeing them leave office. Jokes!! They are set for life, best-paid Barbadian politicians ever!! Dem don’ even wanna see wukk again!! I will spare everyone the whole cliché togetherness talk, but the truth is unless we take the power away from the few and spread it out a bit more evenly, poor and selfish decision making will continue and the majority will suffer.

  44. You have said exactly what I have been saying in all the fields under discussion.

    The thing you must remember is that as a country becomes wealthy more and more consumer goods, fridges, stoves etc flys off the shelves and that is a normal thing and good for the economy. But not like how it is happening in Barbados where you have about 300,000 but only 100,000 or a 150,000 being able to enjoy the prosperity if you can call it that.

    In developed countries and I am taking some of these figures off the top of my head. Suppose you have a City or Town with 300,000 people living in it which is comparable to Barbados.

    I would say you would probably have a hundred at the most being street people (destitute) but they are soup kitchens, warm shelter etc provided these people WHO WANT IT. Some bluntly refuse to take handouts and that is a fact. Most of these people are drug dependent.

    You might then say in that population level about 500 to a 1000 are poor but many because of Government pensions and other help from social Agencies survive well eating three squares having a modest roof ovcr their heads and the amenities of electricity, heat, water etc. But they are considered poor. They all get free medical care from the best doctors and hospitals. In other words the rich are not the only ones who get the best. The rich see the same doctors and specialists that the poor do and are treated at the same hospitals and at the same level.

    The rest of the population in that City live like any other City some are Big Ups living in Big Up homes and neighbourhoods but the most are midddleclass and working stiffs all have homes, cars, eat well, dress well etc.

    The point I am making is these types of numbers are reasonable and proportionate when it comes to rich, middleclass, poor and destitute. I know of few places where you have a City of 300,000 and 150,000 are close to poverty or living like how many in Barbados live! And I am not the only one saying this!

    In Barbados the problem is and I understand that they are specific reasons for it you are either rich or middleclass and the rest are all struggling or in poverty. A society cannot work like that when millions are being spent on rubbish. This is a problem that needs immediate attention and fixing.

    But here is another thing. You say big countries have more suppliers etc and that is why food is cheap. That is a very simplistic answer.

    When a buyer from Barbados goes to England or North America to buy chicken, beef, flour or whatever. The Bajan is buying from the same supplier as the North American is. He/She gets a similar and competetive wholesale price maybe not the same as someone buying 500,000 or a 1,000.000 turkeys at a time.

    Therefore my point is too much blame is being put on nebulous factors to justify high food costs that just isn’t true. But let us say you are correct then the Government and Grocery chains have to do something about it because the way it is going 100,000 Bajans could well be suffering from mal nutrition which is getting no better as prices continue to escalate.

    Take a can of corned beef. Look at how much that has gone up and most of it comes from South America for Gods sake. Are you telling me that labour costs and shipping costs in South America alone can justify the increase in this product. It is a bloodsy rip off.

    All the grocery stores in Barbados need is to maintain the present level of wealthy and middleclass customers they have and their profit level is quite healthy thank you and they are not complaining. They do not need to care about the other 150,000 who cant buy corned beef. No responsible country or Government can operate like that without eventually running into serious social problems. The important issue is the masses when they constitute almost a third or more of the population who are living in poverty many because of no fault of their own has to be addressed.

    You casnnot tell these people tariffs, freight etc etc is driving up food costs and foreigners are driving up land costs. This is not their problem. They are two and three generation Barbadians that have to be factored into the equation.

    The Government says we are a small island we have no industry to speak of that is why so many have no jobs. Well tax the foreigner and others to provide those living in poverty with basic food and shelter. If the problem is home made and outsiders and the wealthy are exacerbating it then they should fix it!

    There are answers but the Government and those in lofty positions simply do not want to fix it! Because some of the solutions are hard on those living nthe good life!

  45. Hmmmm the above is from me I am sorry I used your name.

    Interesting stuff in our Nation News this morning. All of the Big Up Grocery giants crying about price controls while saying we can work with Government on some items. Funny nuh they can work now that they are being forced to work.

    The next shoe will fall when the Supermarkets call on the Commissioned Agents to drop their greedy mark ups and then things will settle down. Or a better scenario will be the Supermarkets dropping the Commissioned Agenta all together and do their own buying direct.

    Then we have millions in Foreign Exchange leavingn the island as barrels pour in, in record numbers. Even Commercial outfits are bringing in Appliances etc.

    Look at all the business barbados stores are losing because of GREED! Even if I had to mark down my products to get a piece of this overseas shopping I would still be ahead of the game. But look at it this way. The barrels are the real competition to Bajan stores and Bajans should step up this kind of shopping!

  46. No Name sometimes I am truly left asking if you know anything or just like the feeling of keys under your fingertips. How can you say,

    “Barbados has to import most of their products and blame the high cost at the REATIL level mainly on that because of freight, duties, higher oil prices and inflationary trends. This is all relative as North America have these pressures too. And in addition pay higher labour costs, property, income taxes, Store overheads and a host of other costs that Barbados businesses do not pay or pay at lower rates.”

    That is the biggest bunch of nonsense I have ever seen next to G.W. Bush’s justifications for invasion of Iraq. America produces AND exports the majority of things they need. Even the foreign companies have manufacturing enterprises and factories there (see Toyota, Mitsubishi, Sony etc.) They have the land, they’re industrialized, they have the government grants and levies they have SO MANY MORE facilities to crush us economically yet you want to give people the impression the American manufacturers and business owners are in the same boat as the Barbadians? Sure we’re in the same ocean however, as we’re in a moses, them gine long in a speedboat.

    And on another issue, your use of derogatory terms to EVERYONE is annoying especially considering the fact that a) You’re misinformed, b)misleading and c)could really benefit from a spell checker! Try doing research on the arguments you wish to present instead of using such juvenile tactics as ‘name calling’ to get your point across. If you can’t manage that, stay out of intellectual debates.

  47. No Name sometimes I am truly left asking if you know anything or just like the feeling of keys under your fingertips. How can you say,

    “Barbados has to import most of their products and blame the high cost at the REATIL level mainly on that because of freight, duties, higher oil prices and inflationary trends. This is all relative as North America have these pressures too. And in addition pay higher labour costs, property, income taxes, Store overheads and a host of other costs that Barbados businesses do not pay or pay at lower rates.”

    That is the biggest bunch of nonsense I have ever seen next to G.W. Bush’s justifications for invasion of Iraq. America produces AND exports the majority of things they need. Even the foreign companies have manufacturing enterprises and factories there (see Toyota, Mitsubishi, Sony etc.) They have the land, they’re industrialized, they have the government grants and levies they have SO MANY MORE facilities to crush us economically yet you want to give people the impression the American manufacturers and business owners are in the same boat as the Barbadians? Sure we’re in the same ocean however, as we’re in a moses, them gine long in a speedboat.

    And on another issue, your use of derogatory terms to EVERYONE is annoying especially considering the fact that a) You’re misinformed, b)misleading and c)could really benefit from a spell checker! Try doing research on the arguments you wish to present instead of using such juvenile tactics as ‘name calling’ to get your point across. If you can’t manage that, stay out of intellectual debates.

  48. Furthermore your ‘examples’ are retarded though I am not surprised given your previous arguments all had the water retention capability of a sieve. Anyway, if a TOWN or a CITY has the same number of people as Barbados, clearly the COUNTRY that city/town is in would have to be greater! You cannot keep comparing little Barbados with larger territories in life or in example!

    FURTHERMORE you always go on about how things in Barbados (and the rest of the Caribbean) are expensive because of ‘rampant government spending, mismanagement and third world economic policies?’ While going on about how wondrous America is… 1)Do you even LIVE in Barbados? 2)America, the same country who is TRILLIONS of dollars in deficit, has no universal health care, requires drug plans which those dependent on medications have to foot part of the bill for even the subsidized medicines and has poverty like we have never seen!

    It’s people like you who are a FRUSTRATION to those who know better! READ SOMETHING OTHER THAN WHAT YOU TYPE!

    Educate yourself. Peace.

  49. Hmmmm I agree with you please do not sue me cause I ent got to money. Just cut me some slack as I am in the early stages od senility.

  50. I do not respond to UWI “Professional students” not capable of holding down a job and who are not dry behind the ears nor do they know their ass from a hole in the wall.

    I suggest you take your vendetta with life and agaibst it up with Professor Beckles as I pay no attention to the rubbish you post!

    You are the one that needs to seek Peace not me! I ignore you but you cannot take a hint!

  51. I have been taking your ‘hints’ however, as this is an open forum I am free to respond to whatever I wish given the consent of the moderator and author of this blog.

    If you think your semi-literate attacks on my character will phase me, you are beyond the initial stages on senility.

    Since you are so much woman, if you have something to say to me feel free to email me at

  52. There you go again accusing me of being a woman!

    Where did you get that information from? Because you are wrong again and I have no reason to lie.

    I try to give people like you a wide birth because you are like a bull in a china shop.

    Use the brains you claim to have and stop jumping to conclusions and showing your immaturity.

    I have nothing further to say to you go on your merry way and leave me out of it!

  53. Super1:

    Seems you should do a little more research before maligning fellow bloggers.

    You said “America produces AND exports the majority of things they need.”

    FACT in eight of the last nine years the USA has been a net importer.
    In 2005 their trade defecit was running at US$ 805 billion p.a. and rising.

    P.S. NoName lives in GTA.

  54. In addition the USA is dependent on Canada for most of its oil and much of its electricity. But why waste time talking to those that know it all!


    In particular
    “Imports increased 0.6 percent to $196.6 billion, the second highest on record. Americans bought more crude oil, automobiles and computers from companies overseas.

    The price of imported petroleum rose to a record average $68.51 a barrel in September. Still, a decline in the amount of crude purchased kept the oil-import bill little changed.”

    My point: Primary imports into America luxury versus necessity. I stated they produce most of what they NEED not ALL that they need 1, and 2 emphasis must remain on the fact that with such a great expanse of area, they can always get things cheaper in bulk because the demand is sufficient to deal with such an import. We cannot as our market is minuscule in comparison.

  56. a) Generators working at part load which reduces their efficiency and transferring more costs to the residential sector.
    Thanks for letting the public know of the RAPE OF CUSTOMERS.

    a) Generators working at part load which reduces their efficiency and transferring more costs to the residential sector.

    b) As commercial and industrial enterprises increase their electricity use which may or may not be purchased from BL&P the company still has to have the generators to support them should they ever need it. Meaning this extra generation capacity cost is passed on to the residential sector.

    Let’s look a comparable scenario. A restaurant will produce enough food to serve would-be patrons who numbered 75 daily at a cost of $20.00 each. Suppose 30 people turn up for to eat, should the restaurant pass on the loss based on reduced demand and increase the cost to $25,oo to all the other customers?

    This is what you are saying, loss in revenue caused by major users = increase to other customers to offset loss. Awaiting your reply.

  57. Here is a critical situation that might affect the BS&T buy-out.
    Customers getting a reprieve from Supermarkets
    Supermarkets hoping to get a reprieve from Supplier.
    Supplier hoping to get a reprieve from Customs.
    Customs hoping taxes would be lowered by Government.

    We are doing in the reversed.

    Government should deal with the various taxes and place price control with immediate effect. That would reduce all the long talk abour price reduction.

    Wonder if Neal & Massey will still be interested in the buy-out of BS&T with a reduction in ASSETS. Jus’ a man in the street observation.

  58. With the proposed cost reduction, here is a serious problem that might effect the BS&T/Neal & Massey merger.
    Customers getting a relieve from supermarkets
    Supermarkets expecting relieve from suppliers
    Suppliers would like relieve from Customs
    Customs will have to get relieve from taxes
    Taxes are control by Government.

    That mean Government has the instrument to relieve the High Cost of Living. Instead of all these joint meetings, reduce the various taxes, institute a Price Control mechanism and presto! with constant monitoring we will be seeing some competitive pricing and Neal & Massey will back off from this buy-out because with a reduction in revenue, you will have a reduction in value of the company.

  59. What has come of the many years the BL&P promised that they were well into exploring alternative sources of energy? Is it realistic to expect that the BL&P would push an energy program which would not rely on petro-based products?

  60. The other area of alternative energy is the Wind Turbine project at Lamberts, St. Lucy, but due to the unsightly aspect of these tall structure, environmentalist are crying out with their erection on a Barbadian Landscape. I saw in another part of the world, people came up with a creative idea to strap coconut tree look-a-likes to make it environmentally pleasing.

    At present, an Impact Study and Assessment is being formulated due to outcries from residents.

    This is the only system that would not involve green house gases.

  61. There is a school of thought that the erection of wind turbines could cause unemployment, since you do not need that amount of personnel to deal with production.

    This is the equation:
    Wind turbine = less fossil fuel = less import from Trinidad and Venezuela = less foreign exchange = savings to the consumer.

  62. Frankology a comparison between a restaurant and an electricity provider is not the same thing. Because any restaurant can say ok, we made too much of a loss yesterday, so today we gonna reduce our production just in case, if more people than expected come they may have to wait a little longer for their meal but we can cook it. This is called demand following which is simple in that sector, but a utility cannot bring out and put back in generators in such a fashion. And if you do some research, with any electricity provider anywhere in the world the industrial and commercial sector help to subsidize the production for the residential sector due to the fact that bigger turbines running at full base loads is always way more efficient than smaller generators. What would you like BL&P to do? They are bound by law to have the capacity they have right now. Unlike the restaurant they cannot decide the when and how much they will produce. Plus just like the restaurant they cannot afford to operate at a loss either. So as I said before it is policy that needs to be changed so you need to look to the FTC and the Government and stop saying BL&P doing this and doing that. The long and short of the matter is that further subsidies need to go towards the residential sector which means government funds and intervention.

    As for renewable energy sources. BL&P has been doing research into different technologies, namely wind, solar and wave technologies. Wave is too immature at this point since there have been only 2 utility scale projects to speak of to this day. The most mature renewable energy technology happens to be hydroelectric power but since Barbados has zero water resources this is not an option. Now solar is fairly mature but it is more feasible on small (individual scale) so on a utility scale they can only lobby for policies (net-metering where you buy and sell electricity that you produce via solar pv panels) which is being done. Solar can be quite helpful in bringing down energy cost provided that persons are ready to make the investment just like how many have done with solar water heaters. A few Barbadians have been producing their own electricity for a while now and it can be worth it in many cases. If you would like more info on such, costs and benefits etc. I would be glad to oblige.

    Now that brings me to wind technology. BL&P faces 3 major challenges in terms of installing wind turbines. The first which you have mentioned is environmental impact. Since it is a relatively new technology here in the Caribbean it brings many doubts where many of the analysts find it hard to make decisions and the residents not knowing much would rather avoid any potential problems. I have seen 3 wind farms in my time and I think they are quite amazing and actually bring life to the landscape, but that is my opinion and the matter is quite subjective and has a lot to do with aesthetics since there are no other major environmental impacts per se. The next major problem is space. With the rapid growth of our population space is limited and building near turbines is not recommended. This suggests that when these turbines are erected this land can be used only for agriculture or recreational facilities like parks etc. but should not be built on. These turbines must also be spread widely so that one does not affect the aerodynamic efficiency of the other. Plus due to only moderate wind speeds even more space is need to provide an appreciable amount of electrical energy. A 10 MW installation on a few square MILES (remember we only have 166) will produce about 2 MW on average or about 3% of the islands energy use, saving only a couple million in fuel per year. So job loss, less import, foreign exchange etc. will be generally insignificant. The next major challenge is that these turbines are massive, taller than the Central Bank which means serious civil works causing extremely high installation cost not including the fact that cranes and other equipment would have to be hired from other countries because there is nothing in BIM that could nearly lift something so heavy so high. Plus since all major manufacturers are European they will be serious freighting costs. On an island of this size wind technology is still prohibitive at this point so please don’t say no research has been done to ease the suffering of the working class because millions have been spent on these studies and others. Wind like solar can be more beneficial on a residential scale, depending on location and provided an investment is made, I would gladly share information on this as well. A utility can only do so much. Energy costs will continue to rise and a lot of responsibility falls on the consumer as well.

  63. I know that a power company must have a greater supply base, I just use the analogy that we must always ensure our demand do not take over our supply. Remember, the power company budget for a stipulated supply, and although a price increase might take place, no where should it increase to the magnitude of our present light bills; and any increase could be absorb by the company, because when we add up the $20.00 here and the $100.00 there, yet we might not utilising any more wattage.

    From your own submission, you said once electricity usage is decrease, consumers are responsible in offsetting the shortfall.

    By the way, are you a personnel of the BL&P. Your submission sounds like policy.

  64. I still don’t think you understand the problem in totality. Let me give you an arbitrary scenario using your same restaurant. Say you had a restaurant and 100 customers, 50 are normal individuals and 50 from a large company. Now it costs $100 a day to provide food for all 100 customers, this includes overhead charges for staff and space to house all 100 customers in your restaurant and a profit, but if you only cook half the food you lose the power of bulk purchase and size so costs are $75 a day to provide for 50 customers only. Now you being the biggest and most powerful restaurant in the land the Government tells you that you must have the facilities and resources to provide food for all 100 person no matter what. So you don’t even have the option of reducing overhead or staff etc. due to the fact that any day you could have to serve all 100 persons. But that same government turns around and provides food products at cheaper rates to the company. So the company realises that if it cooks its own food for its 50 employees it will end up cheaper and decides to make the investment to do so with no worry at all for insurance etc. because they know that should a day come that they cannot provide this food that they could always get it from you. So on a day when you are providing your optimal 100 meals each customer pays $1 for their meal. But when you company customers don’t come your 50 normal customers end up paying $1.50 for their meals which is a 50% increase on their part. Now imagine that your costs rise due to increase in food costs and renting your space, but the large company who is still getting food at good rates does not incur much of these costs which means it is even more favourable for them to cook for themselves and they tell others so a set of your normal customers who work for a smaller company of 10 realise that now stuff has increased it is more profitable for them to invest in their own kitchen and stuff so that is what they do. Which gives your remaining 40 customers yet another jolt even if they buy the exact same meal everyday. Your customers start to complain and you appeal to the government to do something and they tell you they will look into it but so far nothing concrete has come out of it. Now are you going to:

    a) run your business into the ground by working at a loss (you can do some research on the Guyana electricity company and you will see the effects of that).

    b) try your best to work with the situation the best you can.

    It might seem like a silly scenario but it is the reality of it all.

    I hear a lot of talk about absorbing costs etc. This is a business, I don’t see Cave Shepherd or Supercenter or much less Cable and Wireless (who by the way have no such laws imposed on them and have significantly reduced their staff in the past few years, are making few improvements due to the already extensive fiber-optic network they have invested in for years now and continue to increase charges on a quarterly basis with the same horrible service and blatantly disregarding interconnection laws making it difficult for competitors) or any of the others absorbing costs because shipping and fuel costs have gone up. As a business you do what you can but this is not the age of robin hood so one must be realistic. When the cost of flour went up bakeries had to pass it on because operating at a loss or near loss makes no business sense. As I said before this problem lies in the hands of two groups. The government creating policies that are actually beneficial to everyone as a whole and not a select few and the consumers in making investments on their own accord.

    And no I am not a BL&P staff member, board member or shareholder.

  65. Don’t think that I condone the practices of certain companies of passing on additional costs to the consumer. I am against such action, as a matter of fact, I must state my language circled these businesses that have sole control of essential services. In my submission, I was never dealing with reducing output, regardless if it is a restaurant or BL&P, I was dealing with maintaining an output ceiling and absorbing a percentage loss, instead of raising consumer costs due to these increases or your famous statement of passing on costs due to a shortfall from major users.

  66. Well I believe your desires are quite improbable because all of these things are highly subjective and policies need to be passed across the board and not selectively. I don’t believe in companies reaping exorbitant profits, but by law the government cannot force anyone be it my small business, your medium business or a large enterprise to absorb costs. In a democracy we cannot limit how much another person gains that is part of being a free entity. One could try to regulate through taxes etc but there are always limits. From your disposition I am almost certain that you do not own a business, because if you did I think your outlook would be a bit less idealistic.

    The long and short of the matter is that you simply cannot tell a man how much profit he can make, if so there would be no rich or poor, that is the primary disadvantage of a democratic nation, there will always be inequities. There is only regulation especially in terms of monopolies and that is where competition comes in etc. So lobbying profit-limiting regulations is pointless, one would have to change the entire constitution. What are needed are even across-the-board policies, proper enforcement of them and promotion of healthy competition. Do not forget I am affected as well by high electricity prices but I cannot expect the government to go say “BL&P we have decided that your previously decided profit margin is looking too large to us now that customers are being affected by rising fuel prices, so we command you to assimilate these costs!”

    Not going to happen.

  67. That is why I say, tax companies with excessive profits and place that money for the building of homes for Barbadians.

  68. I met a bright young man the other day who works for the BLP as an economist/researcher at a BLP meeting – it was my first meeting and possibly my last. It was empty of ideas.
    In the background one man was saying that if only he (meaning the bright young man who was once in prison) was out of prison and Mascoll was in, Barbados would be a better place!
    The BLP supporters really dont like Mascoll at all. The PM has pressed him on the party and many members hate it.

  69. Anonymous:
    You probably was listening to the wrong person. He might be one of you. Don’t you think?
    These are statements that do nothing for the education of these posts. Let’s get serious, both BLP and DLP.

  70. Anonymous on the evidence that we are seeing I agree with you that OWing has enforced his wishes on the blp regime and people such as mottley despise him and will do whatever she has to do to remove he ASSCOLL from being around meanwhile Owing is carrying out the same mission on mottley so two dogs can play at the same game lets see which one wins.

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  79. when a retail boom is expected in a region, you may determine it profitable to purchase a property that you can change
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  80. This will always happen if you put people in control of a business (Barbados/Island)
    The government who do not have the majority of members with any practical experience of running a business successfully with at lease ten to 20 years experience and have easy access to other people’s money (the people of Barbados) will fail. It will only be a matter of time, before leaving at the end of they time, very rich leaving the investor BROKE (Barbados/Island). Possibility, let all interested successful Barbadian business owners of $10,000,000 turn over or more per year submit their application for government, with 11 of them being picked out of a box to represent a parish, the parish will also be picked out of another box plus another 11 persons being picked as assistant to the minister and do this process every 4 or 5 years. Note this is only an idea rather than continuing with the old system that is NOT WORKING.

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