Barbados Underground Responds To The Barbados Labour Party Blog

The following was posted on the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) blog last night. After perusing it we doubted whether the writer was serious in expecting that the public of Barbados would believe that the diatribe would serve to debunk anything. This is the first time we will respond to a BLP organ which has accused BU of being a partisan blog, BLP blog you are entitled to your opinion!

We made a few notes in blue which we hope will evoke comments and discussion from the BU family:


Pollster Peter Wickham is clearly mistaken when he claims that Prime Minister Owen Arthur has not produced any major improvements in the quality of our governance during his thirteen years in office. Yes, Arthur does have political savvy, this I will acknowledge, but I refuse to accept the other claim. In debunking this piece of foolishness, Wickham is advised to peruse the following:

(1) Over the past 13 years the Owen Arthur’s administration has consistently received the commendations of rating agencies like Standard and Poor’s for its prudent fiscal management. The steady capital inflows is a clear indication that investors have confidence in the mangers of the local economy.

While this is true we doubt whether Prime Minister Arthur can claim that this achievement was made in a vacuum. Barbados has earned a reputation through successive governments for presiding over stable economies which have always proved attractive to foreign investment. Likewise, Barbados has never struggled to borrow in the global capital markets even at our lowest moments. The year 1991 under Sandiford’s reign was our lowest in recent years and even then we were able to borrow. The truth is Arthur built on the austere measures which Sandiford implemented, we doubt that he would ever admit this publicly.

(2) He has increased the membership of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to ensure a quorum can be formed on the basis of the presence of opposition members at meetings.

The membership of the PAC was changed but this committee has been stalled from doing its work because of procedural impediments of which Arthur is well aware. If we were to evaluate the performance of the PAC since independence in 1966 we would struggle to identify any constructive initiative which was achieved under any administration. The change to the PAC membership was a Public Relations move by Arthur, just like Public Sector Reform to muddy this issue in the eyes of the public – see a previous BU article.

(3) His government has liberalized the telecommunications sector in an attempt to lower the cost of doing business locally.

This a joke! The liberalization of the telecommunications sector was mandated under WTO directives. In a nutshell tele-communication companies operating in Barbados had to liberalize if they wanted to compete in the global market. In our case C&W had no choice because it is a global company. What the BLP blog should tell the public are the details contained in the MOU between government and C&W regarding the roll-out of Phase I through III which dealt with the liberalization of the tele-communication sector. Our sources suggest that this would make for interesting discussion!

(4) He has established the Fair Trading Commission and enact pieces of legislation to ensure that there is a level playing field in the commercial sector.

The FTC is a toothless tiger. The latest fiasco presided over by the FTC is the Price Gap Mechanism which protects C&W at the expense of the Barbadian consumer. Under Price Gap, C&W has seen their profits increased by over 60%. The frustration of senior employees/officers at the FTC has seen several resignations over the years. Most notably is the resignation of Ronald Toppin as Minister responsible for the FTC who has elected to remain on the backbench and dither instead of doing the honorable thing and resign on principle.

(5) The critical importance of law and order to economic development has been recognized with the recruitment of additional judicial officers and an increase in the number of courts. No businessman wants to invest in a country where law and order has broken down. While sister territories in the Caribbean have to wrestle with kidnappings and gun related crime, Barbados continues to be an oasis of peace.

We are not sure about this point. When last we checked the Magistrates Courts and Police Stations in Barbados were in a serious state of repair. Our courts are backlogged with cases and the Police Force has been crying out for resources, both manpower and equipment. Many of our finest have been lured to the Cayman Islands and Bahamas; our Attorney General is on record as saying that he can’t compete with those countries as far as salary offers go. We recognized that the Judicial Centre will soon be a reality but caution that it is only a piece of the puzzle when we speak of the judicial system.

(6) The Owen Arthur administration has been a major player in the establishment of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ). With the establishment of the Caricom Single Market and Economy(CSME), this court is expected to adjudicate on trade disputes in spite of opposition claims that it was a “hanging court”.

Ok, great achievement!!!

(7) The enactment of anti-money laundering legislation which stipulates that deposits of over Bds $10 000 can be questioned by bank officials.

Again this is a joke! Barbados as part of the global fight against terrorism had no choice but to enact Anti-money Laundry Legislation.

(8) The Owen Arthur administration has maintained the integrity and independence of the civil service.

What can we say to #8. Maybe we should ask the Unions to comment on the Lashley fiasco at the Port Authority and the current impasse. All of Barbados is aware of the interference on a daily basis by government Ministers in almost ALL government departments.

(9) It has enacted pieces of legislation which seek to protect the buying public from unscrupulous businessmen.

We are confused about this one. Did we not hear PM Arthur indicate at the just concluded BLP conference that his government will be pushing through anti- price gouging legislation? Does his action not have to do with the rising cost of living in Barbados?

(10) The administration has established venture capital facilities to assist small businessmen who have an idea but lack the capital.

This is good! David Thompson why are you harassing Mr. Murrell of Hardwoods Factory Housing Inc who has benefited to the tune of 2 million dollars from the venture capital fund at Enterprise Growth Fund. Leave him alone!

We welcome any member of the BLP to visit BU to engage us on the points raised. Why do you educate us and then expect us to read your weak presentation. You insult us ALL! Although you accuse BU of being partisan we could have written a better article.

36 thoughts on “Barbados Underground Responds To The Barbados Labour Party Blog

  1. BLP stooges doan PANIC !

    Peter Wickham is spot on in his analysis !

    If the BLP is so pouplar……according to BLP supporters… come the the DEMS will tie the election with you ( BASED ON THE LATEST POLL ? )

    And Peter’s analysis came before the HARDWOOD…..expose !

    For a refresher… it is………

    We wait with BATED breath to hear the Mighty Owen respond to these diclosures in his speech to the party faithful today !

    Peter Wickham knows about what he ….SPEAKS !

  2. The BLP in panic mode to write such PALAVER !

    (7) The enactment of anti-money laundering legislation which stipulates that deposits of over Bds $10 000 can be questioned by bank officials.

    ***** How did Owen Arthur’s $ 750,000.00 cheque slip through ?

    Politics of Inclusion ?

  3. I am not going to respond to this comprehensive and in the MOST part accurate rebuttal to the BLP propaganda machine.

    Instead let me ask readers to THINK about this. In support that Arthure is a reactionists. He is a man of little substance!

    Arthur and the BLP have been in Government now for over a decade. He has seen food prices increase from the day he was elected until the present. If I am not mistaken Minister Lynette Eastmond was to or did do a study on this subject matter that I never did see the outcome of.

    Arthur and Eastmond has over the past decade defended the high cost of living in Barbados as due to external forces, oil prices, overseas costs for products, currency differences etc.

    Because of the recent CADRES poll showing Barbadians disenchanted with the high cost of living (40% said this) Arthur is now doing a 360 turn and admitting duties he placed on items to allegedly protect domestic products will be removed whopee-de-doo. I wonder what domestic products they were?

    Arthur is also admitting what I have said for the past years. Merchants and Commission Agents in Barbados are not passing on savings of tax breaks and overseas discounts to consumers AND ARE PRICE GOUGING. As we recall Lynette Eastmont last February denied that there was any evidence of price “gouging” or price “fixing”. How gullible does Arthur think Barbadians to be? How can he in such a short space of time come to conclusions Barbadians have told him was the case for years? And is it not coincidental that he now admits these things on the eve of an election and the recent findings of the CADRES poll! Give me a break.

    The next point that is obvious hypocrisy and I have also said this for months as has most Bajans. Corruption is alive and well and Arthur is FINALLY admitting it is not limited to the “political” culture alone and he is right. The wealthy Barbadian and Foreigner in some cases make most Government bureaucrats look piously HONEST!

    Finally Money Laundering laws this is nothing but window dressing. I have said it before and I say it again. Money laundering is alive and well in Barbados and all eyes are closed to it.

    Barbados is now forging ties with China and other such jurisdictions so money laundering can be less detecable as is the case with UK and North American entities using their off-shore sector.

    I am not sure if BU favours the DLP or not but when the BLP cast such accusations at BU and leave BFP out does that not suggest a very obvious conclusion has to be drawn.

  4. Totally agree on the point No Name – that Arthur is finally admitting that he is also responsible for this high cost of living,when he admitted that the 60% duties he placed on imported food imports he will now remove .


    According to him to help local production.


    I thought all along according to the spin doctor we were only paying vat abd environ.levy?

  5. Did Lynette Eastmond predict some time ago that prices would fall with the removal of CESS?

    Did Mascoll predict that prices would remain the same because of the machinations of economic theories which I don’t understand well enough to explain?

  6. Anonymous and Voter.

    One last comment on this subject, because Arthur, the BLP and Uncle Tom Al Gilkes, seem to think the average Barbadian because they do not live in Mansions and gated communities are idiots. Well I have news for the BLP. Bajans and even the ones in remote areas of our beautiful island are on to what has gone on for the past ten years or more.

    How can Arthur make the kind of statements he did about duties and gouging being the cause for the high cost of living in Barbados. And on the same day he finally admitted he and the BLP has screwed the little people. We have another BLP member in the Nation News defending the high cost of living in Barbados on the price of oil? Is this not what that purveyor of propaganda CLYDE GRIFFITH not say? Who in hell can you believe in the BLP? He (Clyde Griffith) and Ezzra Alleyne should wash their mouths out with salt and then go down on their knees and ask Gods forgiveness for lying to the masses and the most vulnerable of Barbados society!

  7. ha ha ha BU you have done well. The BLP should ask the average Barbadian if they have derived any benefit from a so called liberalize telecom sector. I said quite a bit about this nonsense in a dialogue with members of the Barbados forum, even foretelling what has come to past with high price telecom services, the FTC and it’s inability to do anything about it, and the fact that it will be business as usuall for C&W. You also scored high in your assessment of the PAC. It is clear that you have read the act that gave life to the PAC and can speak with confidence about it.

    I would have made my comments in 2003. The Barbados forum is fulled with many dialogues that led to conclusions then that are occurring now in Barbados.

    The proof of that the GoB agreed to metered rates

    government had agreed to metered rates

    GoB had committments to the WTO

    The MOU is not the Law

    The FTC is nothing more than a paper tiger.

  8. barbadosunderground yall r partisan and not only that but this govererment has done barbados proud its assholes like yall who r pulling this country down this and other filthy blogs like yours and adrian lodveridge with his constant crap r the ones who r pulling this country down shut up and go to hell BU

  9. I think that Prime Minister Owen Arthur is avoiding the addressing of several important and salient points when it comes to the MANY controversial issues involving Hardwood Housing. And the resaons are obvious. This is but yet another project that stinks with suspicion of corruption and wrongdoing. And Arthur wants to cover it up until after the election.

    Very few Governments would allow themselves and one of their Ministers, especially like Clyde Mascoll considering the portfolio he is charged with to become so close to and involved in the financial support of a Government operation more suited and appropriate for the private sector to be doing.

    I am appalled that an operation like Hardwood is Government owned.

    When one reads the many allegations about the CEO of Hardwood and his past track record, the financing of the operation and the many unprofessional things supposedly going on like the hiring of illegal workers, not to mention sexual harassment and abuse of female staff. I suggest that were I Arthur I would want to get to get to the bottom of what is going on at Hardwood and clear the air and my name as Prime Minsiter rather than playing political games with the Opposition Leader David Thompson in suggesting it is his responsibility to call an “Inquiry”. No one but the BLP are to blame for this embarassing and outrageous National scandal. Therefore the initiative to clear the air is solely the responsibility of the BLP regime! It should be volunteered!

    My position would be as a Prime Minister who probably knows more about the scandal than most would want to put to rest at least the allegations of sexual abuse against female workers. Many who are alleged to be illegal workers and therefore are afraid to come forward in fear of deportation.

    This Hardwood situation is but yet another venture that is extremely prone and open to Government corruption. And Arthur has gone on the public record yesterday expressing concern that corruption is not only limited to the political culture of Barbados but beyond. And he intends fixing it if elected.

    I think that the Hardwood situation speaks to the fact that Arthur and his spin doctor Uncle Tom, Al Gilkes has absolutely no intention of addressing corruption in the Government, Private Sector, or the local and foreign wealthy society of Barbados. Just as they have no intention of addressing unnecassary duties, price fixing and gouging by the Private sector responsible for increasing the cost of living
    in Barbados. Arthur and his rogues are playing for time and are hoping to be re-elected when it will be 4-5 more years as business as usual!

    The Hardwood fiasco like the ABC, Airport, GEMS etc scandals all happened on the watch of the BLP and none so far have been addressed by the BLP Government to show the transparency
    Barbadians have called for that refutes wrongdoing. Why? That is the $64,000 Question.

  10. No Name the PM is between rock and a hard place. What should he do? He can choose to discipline Mascoll and suffer the fallout being so close to elections. He can try spin and rely on Barbadians to help him out of the jam he is in.

    Well Arthur is a past master of spin and he will go that route.

  11. We have had millions spent on one study after the other when the study does not present the position that Liz Thompson wanted she got new studies done, but quite amusingly in all the studies they all have concerns about Greenland as a suitable location for a garbage dump.
    when Mr Richard Goddar a son of the soil told them that this was a bad location for a dump he was scorned at they have wasted millions of our taxpayers dollars and what have they got to show for their indiscretion?
    Nothing, nothing, nothing this so typical of this admistration all rant and rave but no action, with Mottley being the worst in this department, how can she talk as much as she does and it says nothing of substance.
    This has the appearance of a sickly admistration on its last legs, when the Prime Minister chooses to repeat the statements of the Leader of the Opposition’s speech from Mr Thompson speech of the night before it certainly shows me how far removed from the effective day to day operations of the affairs of Barbados Owing and his gang of thieves are.
    PS Owing we are still waiting to hear you on the subject of HARDWOOD HOLDINGS !!!!

  12. The entire operation of the blp is built around flair and exciting talk, really what is needed is a good clean out of closet of the blp if they were honest with themselves Owing is the director, composer, lead singer, drum man, the piano man because he wants to have the control of the money projects to redirect funding to his St.Peters Development committee to the tune of multi million, but also to because of the limitations of his appointed ministers, look at them, Lynch, Marshall, Payne, Toppin, Lashley, Edghill, Mottley, Walcott, Eastmond they are either non functioning or stopped functioning a long time ago.
    Why would we even be so careless to elect those like Eastmond,Lashley, Toppin,Mottley, Marshall who have all been put out to pasture by Owing what are we to want them to idle for another 5 years not this time!!!
    They need to have 30 elected officials in the house that will put the peoples business ahead of their own business needs and the only method to make this a reality is to elect the DLP in large numbers, vote for the DLP from 6.00 am until 6.00 pm on the day of the election.

  13. Anon-Mouse

    Exactly but, Anon “you can fool some of the people some of the time but cannot fool ALL of the people ALL of the time”. Arthur has gone to the well too often with these tactics and broken promises over his ten or more years of reign. And the people THIS TIME is on to him and Uncle Tom, Al Gilkes trickery. I hope I am not wrong!

    You cannot get up in the public forum and talk bare crap about being cognizant that there is “corruption” in Government, the Private Sector and the wealthy Bajan and Foreign society that you will address when re-elected. Incidentally the PM did not say those exact words but he couched them in sophisticated English which had the same meaning to fool the ordinary man/woman on the street. And then call an election without first solving and/or being transparent about Hardwood, the ABC , GEMS, Airport and so many other scandals that have been unsolved and which THE BLP is responsible for. Guhdear Anon-Mouse the average Bajan cannot be that gullible?

    What is the PM saying? that all teefing in the past must be overlooked and he will see it won’t happen again if re-elected?

    This Government has faced one scandal after the other and not one has been investigated and the people whose tax dollars were wasted ever told whose pockets the money went into. Things like this is even mek God Almighty squirm with embarassment far less ordinary people like we!

    The only “Inquiry” I know about is the Glendairy Inquiry and Lord have mercy were I the Prime Minister I would have voluntarily stepped down. The incompetence, mismanagemnent, and total lack of professionalism that led to Glendairy being burnt to the ground is a National tragedy of proportions never before seen in Bimshire under ANY GOVERNMENT. It cost taxpayers $200 million and counting to fix! Look at the food that could put on the tables of the poor!

    This BLP Government has taken the average Bajan to the cleaners. Make no mistake about that. And I hate having to keep saying I said so, but look at the Editorial in to-days Nation News. They took a page from my rant on THIS BLOG OF A FEW DAYS OR SO AGO. Why did they not write it before I said the same thing?

    How can you hold seminars, conventions, teach healthy lifestyles in school curriculums which they should be doing if they are not about “eating healthy” diets when most Barbadians CANNOT AFFORD THE COST OF EATING HEALTHY. This is a bloody disgrace especially when it comes to innocent little childrens health. Don’t you think?

    This BLP Government is morally bankrupt and needs to be changed.

    Bajans ken cuss my ass as much as de like run me off the BFP Blog because of political reasons and any eh whunna can insult muh (not you) but yuh all need to get past BS and face reality. Barbados belongs to all eh we and all eh we need jobs who want to work, own a piece of de rock, a healthy diet, good schools, good healthcare, rural roads that are not falling apart, water in rural areas that work as reliably as the pipes on the West Coast etc.

    Is this asking too much? Open your eyes and demand what you are entitled to. This is not about “free” lunches but about “opportunities” that only some seem to have in Bim. It is about dreams of a brighter future for us all, our children and grand children. It is about Democracy working FOR ALL! I gone!

  14. Tell me about one single project that Mottley has been involved with that he has managed successfully?
    Have you gotten my point as yet not one ministry that she abused has she done anything uplifting for the department.
    She too must be considered a failure of major proportions having failed in every ministry she has had the misfortune to oversee.
    Next we will address the stewardship or lack thereof of other members of this sick adminstration.

  15. Anon-Mouse allow me one more comment.

    Hardwood is not about Mascoll alone this entire scandal involves far more Government bureaucrats and Ministers than Mascoll. Having Mascoll take the hit alone would be a band aid solution to getting to the bottom of this mess!

    The BLP are like pigs who were forgotten to be fed for a few days . The trough is rocking and there is a whole lot pushing, shoving, grunting and grovelling going on to get their snouts into the gravy train.

  16. Y’all should listen to the Chris Sinkler speech, detailing the attributes of the Boneparte state and how you can find very detail similarities to what pertains in Bimshire with all these companies that derived their capital, and start up from within the bowels of Government.

  17. Hardwood Holdings is about stealing taxparyers money buy this adminstration condoned by the PM as pay back for ASSCOLL for displacing Mottley as DPM.
    It is about the functioning of ASSCOLL, Murrell, TONY HOYOS, the PM, and the boards of directors of of EGFL and HARDWOOD HOLDINGS.
    It is about dishonesty in public service it is about corruption.
    It is about TONY HOYOS role as Chairman of HARDWOOD HOLDINGS and sitting on the board of EGFL the lender????
    He too ought to resign!!!!

  18. Where is the speech available from Adrian?
    Chris is a young man with an abundance of talent I really like to hear him speak.

  19. Wishing in Vain // Oct 29th 2007 at 4:39 pm

    Tell me about one single project that Mottley has been involved with that he has managed successfully?
    Have you gotten my point as yet not one ministry that she abused has she done anything uplifting for the department.
    She too must be considered a failure of major proportions having failed in every ministry she has had the misfortune to oversee.
    Next we will address the stewardship or lack thereof of other members of this sick adminstration.
    Bajans like fluff, and “purty” talk. It amazes me that people can attempt to dismiss a member of the opposition for not achieving anything after 20 or more years as the representative for a constituentcy, and have diddly squat to say about Mia Mottley’s litany of failures and stunted achievments in the various ministerial roles she has held. She has had the power, the authority, and access and cannot speak to a record of acheivement significantly above that of let say, Thompson who has not had the bag of tools she has had at her disposal.

    …….If blubber is no longer use as a significant source of food and energy what good is it? When she speaks now all i can say is “THAR SHE BLOWS” I still have an affinity for pirate speak but never did like “whale watching”

  20. Adrian

    The Mottley name is one of the biggest political names in Barbados politics and even the village idiot could ride its coattails to success on that alone.

  21. Deacons Cop if you can source Chis’s Boneparte state speech, it would be helpfull in demonstrating the historical similarities to what is takig place with Hardwood and other entities that Government has given birth, nurtured and sustains to it’s and our collective demise.

  22. Adrian, Mottley is a dismal waste of time, and this is nothing new to her and her politics if in the post of DPM and she has nothing positive to show for her period in office therefore her time has been wasted, as the position of DPM would have given her vast resources not available to other ministers instead of making her position count and used it to deliver to the people.
    In her lazy slack style she has flittered away the chance and has chosen to mismanage and screw up every single ministry she has accosted, do not take my word for it think about for yourself and see where she destroyed every ministry that she oversaw.

  23. Whenever I hear the word blubber I think of Kerry Simmons. It makes me wonder how he faces Billie, Mia and Liz. I too am on the chubby side and Liz should really pay attention to her girth and act her age. Saw her the other night pompasetting at BLP conference. It was all very unbecoming and ugly. She is better suited for a conference of clowns than a political confab. Speaking of Hardwood what became of Liz promise to build a gazillion low income affordable houses. I guess that promise has gone the way of Arthur’s referendum promise.
    Arthur, Farley and of course Mascoll have now spoken on Hardwood and all I hear are attacks on David Thompson. These persons need to come with facts and documents like Thompson did and destroy Thompson’s persuasive case. Until then its round one to Thompson. The country awaits round two of Hardwood mystery.

  24. I must say that my Prime Minister in waiting Mr David Thompson has acted very stately in all his encounters with these political animals in Owing and company.
    His delivery has been clear and direct all the way thru, his destruction of the HARDWOOD HOLDINGS issue was clinically performed, his yorker on centre stump when he delivered the one two to Owing when he exposed Owings fraud with the cheque for the $ 750,000.00 that Owing so graciously accepted and deposited to his personal bank account was done with a manner befit of a true statesman but with the punch of Joe Louis.
    Mr Thompson has matured beyond recall and his handling of the issues has been commendtable to say the least, he has shown the resolve to engage and dismantle Arthur and the blp machine in a manner that reminds me of the late great Rt Hon Sir Errol Walton Barrow.
    This is sign of the extent of his maturity and his understanding of the real issues not the hot air that is expelled by Mottley, Liz Thompson Marshall and that gang of crooks.

  25. The VAT was sold to the public as a tax to replace a range of taxes and levies but these levies and taxes such as the CESS are creeping back in thru the back door.
    The same CESS has added to our cost of living but guess what, when removed none of those prices dropped by 6 % the gov’t created an artificial level of profit for the importers of this island and that is exactly where the 6 % stayed at us the consumers of these things.
    We have a range of goods with duties as high as 60 % now you tell me if the selling of the VAT was not a nasty untruth, just another of their lies.
    Our top end on the duty scale should be 20 % import duty full stop, and then VAT at point of sale. but instead we have many goods being subjected to excessive dutiesand levies which should not be when the reason of the VAT was to tidy up the Customs and Excise dept.
    We also need to ask the gov’t what they intend to do bring our port in line with other ports in the region and not continue to have it stand out as being the most expensive port to load and offload at or to do business thru.

  26. Here is a classic example of why the cost of living in Barbados will never be reduced in any meanigful way.

    You have Prime Minister Owen Arthur and Mr. Dick Stout President of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce all telling us why most action to reduce the high cost of living “WONT WORK” and according to Stout could have the opposite effect. That is the story in Barbados.

    Sometimes I wonder why are the social, economic and political problems facing Barbados so complex and so different to the same problems faced by other Nations but which are addressed successfully or controlled. Maybe it is because Barbados is a new planet and we have not recognized this fact.

    Barbados like every Nation in the world faces outside inflationary, currency and other market forces that impacts its cost of living and economy. But this is nothing new, it has been going on now for decades yet it is only within the past decade that prices on EVERYTHING in Barbados has skyrocketed. Why? The same is not true in other Nations with far more complex and cost intensive economies.

    North America, UK, Australia in addition to rising oil prices, wages, and all of the other things Barbados uses to justify price gouging and fixing, spend billions and in the case of the USA trillions to protect the world from terrorism. Yet the peoples of these Nations are not being gouged by Industry and their Governments like they are in Barbados. Think about it!

    Over the past 30 years Barbados if you believe the reports coming from their Central Bank, Government and Private Sector suggests this small island has experienced impressive growth in Tourism, Foreign exchange, Development, their off-shore financial sector etc.

    Some Barbadians boast that their island now have has many millionaires on it as grains of sand on their beaches. Why then has this wealth and increased economic growth not had more positive results in decreaasing or at least keeping in check the rising cost of living? Instead people have to pay $20 or more for a chicken!

    The dynamics of the present health of the Barbados economy clearly shows somebody is lying or the facts about it is spurious. The island has a 4% or less unemployment rate and inflation is very low we are told. In scenarios like that in other jurisdictions cost of living is low or stable and the good times are rolling. Not so in Barbados.

    Case in point, a senior Government official albeit a purveyor of Propaganda in the BLP Government, by the name of Ezzra Alleyne let it slip in one of his weekly Nation News columns a month or so ago, that out of a population of 285,000 people 145,000 DO NOT DRAW A PAYCHECK. When caught he and his supporters said his statement was taken out of context. I don’t think so!

    Wheat went up in North America as it did in Barbados so did oil, but consumer products do not jump in prices by 30% or more to offset these increases. Overseas residents shock me with the affordable prices they pay compared to what we pay here in Barbados after considering all economic factors most not unlike what we have to deal with here in Barbados.

    Last night I also saw on TV where their Canadian Government brought down a budget that not only again reduced their GST (equivalent to our VAT) by another 1% in less than two years. But income tax on taxpayers and Industry has been reduced significantly also. The average Canadian can expect starting in 2007 having another $300 to $700 of disposable income to spend

    Look at Trinidad for God sake we have to fly there for bargains or go to Florida and fill a barrel.

    Barbados is long overdue for serious economic reform in all sectors and who don’t like it let them leave. But they won’t, because most running businesses in Barbados could not survive in a business other than in Barbados where the good old boys club and Government together rip the masses off.

    In addition to economic reform Barbadians need to make their Goverment more accountable. You cannot run a Government in the shoddy way the present Government is running Barbados. Money is being spent that the island does not have, contracts being let to shysters and financial waste and corruption abounds all over
    Barbados. Does anyone not believe all of this is costing consumers big time at the stores?

    Another factor is this. How can Barbados allow such generous tax incentives to the wealthy and foreigner and expect to keep their treasury solvent? In places like Canada where the economy is booming and they are not alone, they make EVERYONE earning from approximately $13,000 per year pay taxes including retirees!

    Barbados will never be any better off when it comes to the lot in life of the masses until they get off of their proverbial asses and deal in Global economic realities. Instead of saying one day how wealthy they are and the next claiming to be a poor third world Nation that cannot be compared to other Nations. Give me a break with the BS!

  27. We should remember that Barbados is a small economy which is currently struggling with balancing its debt burden and foreign exchange generation. What the electorate of Barbados must demand from any party courting the government what are their plans to create the capacity to generate foreign exchange. This is crucial to Barbados sustaining its accustomed lifestyle/standard of living.

    In the case of the BLP the Nation Strategic Plan should be placed under the microscope. Is it just a document on a shelf gathering dust? How is it being operationalized? Mia Mottley should be allowed to speak with her usual eloquence on this matter. Nothing can be accomplished without a clear purpose/strategy!

  28. As true as this is David and that was one of my points how can a Government like the BLP deal with balancing or keeping its debt in check when it spends money frivolously, carelessly and wastefully?

    Another thing I cannot understand about the Foreign Exchange issue is what besides Tourism and Land does Barbados have that can generate Foreign exchange in the numbers some seem to think Barbados needs to make cost of living and affordable housing and diginty within the grasp of most?.

    I agree Barbados cannot be compared to other major nations but a comparison is relevant when the Government and private sector uses the same measurements as major nations to justify economic realities.

    How can Stout, the Prime Minister and others continually defend the high cost of living on factors that ALL Nations face. Plus many of the major Nations as I said have far more and cost intensive expenses than their Bajan counterparts.

    Bajans keep suggesting freight, duties, currency etc as their downfall to keeping prices competitive.

    Well overseas nations in addition to the factors Barbadians blame spend far more in taxes, higher wages, costs of Governmental regulations and enforcement by different bureaucracies. Winters, changing weather conditions and its seasonal impact on products. To mention but a few.

    As you know Adrian Loveridge claims he cannot even get statistics from the Government Department to support the increase in tourist numbers. Therefore how can anyone believe half of the BS people are being fed about the high cost of living? Only a month ago the press said that a survey was done and tourist arrivals for the off season months was down I think it was 8% and the BHTA agreed.

    It might be intersting to look at the various financial sheets of the grocery chains, auto dealers etc to see how much profits they are making. Or what types of realistic landed costs apply to products and what mark ups are being put on them. BUT IS THIS INFORMATION AVAILABLE? AND IF IT IS NOT HOW CAN THE COST OF LIVING INDEX BE JUSTIFIED? Competition does not seem to work in Barbados in keeping prices down yet it works real good in other countries in keeping prices in check.

    Trinidad seems to be doing quite well in that regard!

    I fail to understand how with ALL OF THE TREMENDOUS Big Up Developments, Golf courses, land sales, ultra high end resorts etc that some tell me is now in the billion not billions territory the masses are still being screwed to the extent THEY CLAIM IS THE CASE NOT ME. According to CADRES 40% say the cost of living in Barbados is there main worry. And here is another consideration.

    When the Merrymen, Jolly Rogers etc were in full bloom and put Barbados on the map especially the Merrymen when they toured. Barbados was enjoying in my prejudiced opinion a far better economy than now. Plus crime was way down and people flocked to Barbados and could not get enough of it. That was in the 60,70,80’s then it all started going to hell in a tea basket and let me tell you why.

    The powers that be and Government said they were not making money from the masses of cheap tourists coming to Barbados who did not spend money and cited Canadians and many from the UK as being the main culprits.

    Instead they said they wanted to encourage the wealthy upscale tourists and make Barbados an upscale destination. Am I lying because if anyone wants to say that I can give you names of very prominent people who said this to my face in Barbados. So if I am a liar so are they!

    Well they sold Sandy Lane and hundreds of millions was spent on this facility including golf courses that was going to f—-t wonders and s—t miracles. Has it? The Crane, Westmoreland, Port St.Charles and many other upscale
    facilities are in place and many others planned like the Apes Hill facility to mention one. Yet what has this change in ultra rich Tourism done in improving the lot of life for the masses when compared to when the island was almost full back in the good old days with the cheap Canadians and UK visitors? I read every day in our local papers and on this blog that the rich has pushed land out of sight for the average Bajan. If that is true is that a positive return for having the wealthy in Barbados? I really have trouble understanding my fellow Bajans logic!

    But here is the fallacy of this elite and misguided social thinking. And time will prove me right because it is already happening. The wealthy buy and frequent destinations that generally exude a climate of prosperity throughout the social spectrum. And which is reflected in the social landscape throughout that destination.

    Look at Barbados. When you leave the compounds of Port St. Charles, Westmoreland, The Crane etc you need only drive one or two miles to be reminded that the wealth and opulence is very sparce and reserved for a fraction of the Bajan society. This is not an image that the true wealthy like to see! Plus as crime increases the wealthy tends to get tired of living in a siege mentality.

    However, I am but one voice crying in the wilderness and as you recall I had a commenter by the post of “Good Name” remind me that we are living good in Bim. What he/she left out was that only the chosen few were living good. And that is one of the major problems in Barbados the minority living good suffer from delusions of grandeur.

    However with declining tourist numbers it is obvious that the cheap Canadian and UK visitor who the elite Bajan scorned a decade or so ago claiming they did not want them in favour of the wealthy visitor would now be more than welcomed. I still find that humorous and shows me how shallow Bajans have become.

    When Tourism started in Barbados in ernest in the 60’s who was it that made the Barbados tourism industry a success? the same now scorned and rejected CHEAP CANADIAN AND UK TOURIST WHO BACK THEN HAD TO SCRAPE A FEW DOLLAR BILLS TOGETHER TO TRAVEL. That is appreciation!

    Foreign Exchange my dear friend is but a small part of the equation ailing Barbados and which unless you are blind is becoming worse with each passing day.

  29. David..

    Tell me it wasn’t so!

    Did I really the Prime Minister blame the Senate for not enacting legislation to implement/ammend integrity legislation?

    Please remind me of the composition of the Senate.

    12 members – ruling party
    2 members – opposition
    7 members – independent

    Lets go through the maths!

    7 plus 2 = ?

    Are we really that stupid?

  30. We have followed the politics of PM Arthur for years and we believe he understands the Barbadian psyche very well. He has waited and he is at a point when he must act. He has listened, read the blogs maybe and now has a sense for the issues truly troubling Barbadians. What will happen as we move closer to election time will see Arthur using the full machinery of government to address/redress many of the issues Barbadians are crying-out about.

    We suggest to all you DLP supporters who are feeling confident that the fight may have just started. We have written before that the coming election will be one of the most interesting since independence and Arthur has shown himself to date as one of the most savvy of our Prime Ministers and is without a doubt the master of spin.

  31. Two prominent BLP “reactionists” are in the Nation news this morning The Honorable Prime Minister Owen Arthur and the lady of spin Lynette Esatmond doing what they do best. Talking BS!

    And in the background is the Central Bank Governor letting her voice be heard.

    All three are talking about how best to bring down the “cost” of living in Barbados. While Owen ponders the use of price controls, Lynette and her EXPERTS are monitoring food prices and the Governor is advising against price controls.

    This scenario plays out like the childrens rhyme
    “The Three Blind mice” etc etc etc.

    Forget the obvious for a moment folks that being 40 % of Barbadians according to CADRES say their main concern is the high cost of living in Barbados.

    Now unless I am sadly mistaken Owen Arthur in the past 5 to 10 years has known about, talked about and acknowledged this serious problem in Barbados but discounted it on market forces, supply and demand etc. I also recollect Lynette Eastmond telling us back in FEBRUARY 06 that we were jumping to conclusions in believing that there was price gouging or fixing or that the role of the Commission Agents had anything to do with the high cost of living. She asked us to wait for the investigation her Ministry was doing on the matter before prematurely jumping to conclusions.

    Well the status quo remained in place until the CADRES poll. And now Owen admits there is price gouging that the cost of living in Barbados is too high and that he will remove taxes meant to protect some now obsolete domestic products and that it saddens him to see Bajans going to Trinidad for deals.

    We also have Eastmond still monitoring and the Governor having her inept voice heard on matters outside of her mandate.

    All of this is now unfolding 13 years into the reign of King Arthur. The question that begs to be asked is this. If you could not fix the problem or said there was no problem for 13 years how can you now fix it it between now and the election? But why all of a sudden is the King admitting that there is a problem?

  32. It is a growing trend in this island that these rich and famous Sandly Lane gang are buying up every piece of land on this island.
    Along with the The Sands enormous property built on the road at the Coach House are, driving a little further north as we will now see the hoarding being erected along the Sunset Crest area along a very nice of beach front property, but not only are they grabbing the beachfront properties but now they are also grabbing hold of inland properties you will see just opposite Queens Fort drive hoarding being erected this too is now the latest construction of the Sandy Lane Owners group, my point is that now the availabilty of the seaside land is drying up that this group is now prepared to move inland and to drive the price of these lands well out of the reach of regular citizens.
    The Gov’t has no land use policy and no real desire to implement any such controls because it benefits them in the private payoffs that these same politicians collect from this same gang, let us not forget the St.Peter Development committee which has millions on its account with Arthur and Julie being the only two with signatures on this very large bank account.
    If we do not address these massive land grabbing methods that is taking place it will be sooner rather than later before we fuel an uprising or revolt.

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