Government Waives Land Tax For Cruising Club

Caswell Franklyn, Head of Unity Workers Union

By a notice published as S.I. 2011 No. 88 in the Official Gazette of July 28, 2011, the Minister of Finance waived the payment of LAND TAX by the Barbados Cruising Club for a nineteen-year period April 1, 1992 to March 31, 2011. The Minister forgave the payment of $125, 871.06.

I do not pretend to understand these weighty matters of state, and I am not questioning the Minister’s right to grant exemptions from the payment of land tax or any other tax. He has that right under the provisions of the Duties, Taxes and Other Payments (Exemption) Act, Chapter 67B of the Laws of Barbados. My concern is that while Government is squeezing every last cent out of the average Barbadian, why would it forgive the payment of land tax to people who can afford to own yachts and cruise as a hobby?

As I understand it, Government leased land to the Barbados Cruising Club to use for their members’ recreation. For the period of the lease the club should have been paying land tax on the property. They failed to do so. Rather than ensure compliance with the provisions of the Land Tax Act, and make sure that the country gets the much needed revenue, the Minister of Finance forgave the tax.

The Round Barbados Race took place on Errol Barrow Day, 21 January 2011

Who are these people who are so well placed that they can persuade Government to waive the payment of land tax on property that they use for recreation, while at the same time, the Commissioner of Land Tax is advertising the property, of small individuals, for sale for non payment of land tax.

This might be a very innocent transaction, but as a tax paying Barbadian, I would like to be assured that Government is not taking care of the boys at the expense of the average tax paying Barbadian.

131 thoughts on “Government Waives Land Tax For Cruising Club

  1. BAFBPF;
    The logic does’nt seem quite right in your post above. The new Cruising Club would appear to have a number of white members but probably still has a good smattering of black members. Therefore it is quite possible for a black Cabinet member to be also a member of the Cruising Club. My call was for anyone who knew Cabinet members to be also members of the Cruising club to let us know. That includes past and present members, BLP, DLP, Prime Ministers, etc.? It might also be interesting to know which Cabinet members were or are members of the Yacht Club which has a more entrenched aura as a club of the very priveleged and the Turf Club which has a similar aura.

    I made that call to see if there is any correlation, however tenuous, in putative cabinet membership of these bodies with the perception in Barbados that the DLP is a party of the small people while the BLP is the party of the big people.

    Sargeant; the above should answer your query as to where I was heading with my posts on this matter. Re. the rest of your post, if you read mine again you would see that I essentially said what you have now said but several posts ago.

    What I am trying to do is show that the BLP and the DLP are essentially the same party. No substantive differences.

  2. @BAFBFP

    You are correct to separate the issues but try and be accurate; Your assumption that the Cruising Club membership is entirely made up of white people is incorrect. There may be political members of the club but given membership was about 25 people at the time this blog is talking about I doubt any were associated with it. I can do what caswell should have done and simply ask the BCC’s management to get your answer.


    If the club is shut down by the forces that be (perhaps a fire ignited by an article like this one), I hope that when that land is sold off to some hotel or for the marina project there is an uproar about how another part of this beautiful island has been sold off to the benefit of corporate shareholders.

    Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you would do a follow up article where you spoke with the gov’t and the club to answer the questions you and others have posed?

  3. @Checkit-Out.

    I can’t fathom where you were/are heading with your comments. You seem to be saying that if someone is/was a cabinet member and is/was a member of the Cruising or Yacht Club ( which was not the subject of discussion) then that reflects on the political party in which they also hold membership? That if politicians hold membership in any of these organizations then their political Party by association would be aligned with a particular economic or societal group?

    This whole notion of Party of “big” or “little people” is a lot of political claptrap which otherwise intelligent people fall for; politicians like to pay lip service to their links to the “grass roots” particularly around elections or other convenient opportunities. Let’s judge them on their record rather than any airy fairy idea about the Party of A or B…

    Perhaps there are no differences between the BLP & the DLP but I don’t think that membership of these organizations is a “smoking gun” that confirms that assumption.

  4. Chris

    Awright awright I gotta a cousin who is a half Red who is probably on the steering committee … So before you start checking on the racial makeup of the club, man decide to accept that in my books half Red and high Brown and off White and bajan White and Italian White is all the same White … I make no differentiation.. awright..?


    Sorry but you ain’ quite in the zone … When you start zoning your answers I gun scramble to respond to you … awright ..?



  5. @Chris
    @Colonel Buggy: “The memorial refers to Errol Barrow as a Navigator and not as an RAF Pilot.His rank was that of a Pilot Officer, a designation,held by many who have not been trained to fly or even navigate planes.

    But… The man honestly stood up during the war. And served.

    Did you? Or your father? Or your grandfather?

    I am sorry if you interpreted my remarks as a put down of Mr. Barrow. It was merely to explain the difference in rank designation of the RAF. I would be the last person to berate an ex Serviceman or serving member.
    And why the personal attack on the military service of me and my forebears?

  6. The Cruising club was formed because Sports clubs in Barbados were white (back in the day) and upwardly mobile Red and Black people had no choice but to start their own clubs.

    Barbados Yacht club. (sailing)
    Carlton, Pickwick, Wanderers, (cricket)
    Summerhayes (Tennis).

    Times have changed and I hope the cruising club can be used to give young Bajans an opportunity to learn to sail.

    We cannot escape the HISTORY of racism and apartheid in Barbados.

  7. Sargeant; I’m not looking for a scientific correlation here. I’m merely seeking some data points that could marginally support my thesis that all o dem is the same, same kharkee pants. They belong to the same clubs, follow the same policies, have similar corruption issues, have the same modus operandi, etc. but that, despite this, the DLP has differentiated itself in the minds of Barbadians as the party of the disadvantaged and oppressed while the BLP is seen as the party of the privileged. I viewed this discussion as a possibly appropriate place to bring this up. and by the way, I did not start the sub-discussion about cabinet members and the Cruising Club. I merely extended it.

  8. Why isnt there a subject dealing with Race in Barbados on the School curiculum or a course at UWI dealing with the said subject matter ?
    Why dont the Clement Payne Union , PEP and David Commissiong offer some adult classes in the subject as a contribution to the upliftment of the Country, charge a nominal fee for classes and educate the people????????
    Dont you know that this is the next level of education after EWB introduced Free Education for all ??????

  9. Kris re. your post of September 10, 2011 at 12:26 PM

    I think your earlier posts on this topic have been very instructive and to the point but it seems to me that you have mashed the crease in this one.

    It seems to me that you are seriously suggesting that a discussion such as this one could lead to some sort of insurrection in which the BCC could be torched and that Caswell Franklin could have to answer for such a fanciful eventuality.

    Methinks your slip is showing.

  10. Hants | September 10, 2011 at 3:42 PM |

    Hanta NO! You are missing the ball on this one. You are going back a bit too far, and by doing so adding zero to the tit-a-tat that is taking place. Please, this time at least, sit this one out, a’ite brother ..?

  11. JUST ASKING | September 10, 2011 at 4:13 PM | Dont you know that this is the next level of education after EWB introduced Free Education for all ??????

    I always heard EWB arrived on the scene when all was in place.

    The facts ……. get the facts!!

  12. John re. your post of September 10, 2011 at 5:15 PM;

    Just Asking might be technically right in this one in that the DLP administration under EWB introduced free secondary education. I;ve heard that he was not the originator of the idea but he championed it. Other administrations later extended the concept to free education for all.

  13. DONT you know that I am quite aware of the circumstances around the whole Free education situation ?
    DO you realise that the essential thing is that Free Education is a reality and that we need to move to that next level where we lea rn to deal with such things as Race etc in a matured way ?
    DONT you know that within the Barbadian context , it must be taught and not left up to haphazardry- ??
    DO you realize that failure to deal with such issues in a learned and sophiscated way will continue to lead to myriad problems that ordinary people may not understand are connected to this unfinished imcomplete state of affairs?????????????

  14. Kris; I read your post again. My apologies for my response. The main tenor of your post was not as I characterized it.


    “TT” Lewis, a white working class Barbadian hero, emerges from this biography as a curious, irreverent and ultimately unique product of a colonial society then notorious for its stifling distinctions of colour and class. As a white man championing progressive ideas, Lewis’ views and his proclamations rocked official Barbados and cost him dearly. For a decade and half he represented the city of Bridgetown in the colonial House of Assembly first as an independent, then as a member of the Congress Party, the Barbados Labour Party, and finally the Democratic Labour Party. He is remembered as the tragic victor of the 1949 “Lewis Demonstration” and as the father of free secondary education in a country now bettered by few in the quest for empowering its citizens through learning.

  16. why when some thing is proposed , there is always some wise guy who thinks that he can score some kind of psychological point by pointing out some irrelevant point that has no real bearing on us going foward ?
    Whats the point ?

  17. Thanks John. I now remember.
    It was TT Lewis whose brainchild was Free Secondary Education in Barbados. Not EWB. TT Lewis was badly treated by both parties in not being named one of Barbados’ national heroes.

  18. Just Asking;

    Some of us view the blogs as an alternative way of carrying on a conversation as we might in a rum shop, hotel bar, living room or verandah sipping some liquors or other beverages. Such discussions are often open ended and the points are not always on topic.

    BU, is to me the ultimate Barbados e-rumshop.

  19. I know it all…….The Cruising Club is actually owned by us Zenonens..We come from the planet Zenon….We have watched and waited while purposely manipulated you lesser beings…HA! >>>HA!HA!…We secretly absconded your Leader Errol Barrow who now resides in our lovely planet Zenon……If you want him back you have to pay 9999999999999999999999
    999Zaleeniums Zograts…….We await your response…..Or else..We will….Zooooglydooogadeee Duhhh Duhhhh all Human Barbadiensa!!!!!

  20. just askin -why the haste to move on ? do you not think that since the introduction of free education has always attracted debate that in the interest of clarification, we should try as far as possible to determine the truth.

  21. Pingback: National Youth Sailing Program Launch |

  22. The club has been served an eviction notice.
    The BCC is as vibrant as ever with a record high membership, a dingy sailing school providing scholarships, it’s the home of an active aquatic children’s charity, it is providing an accessible beach water sports facility for our disabled and special needs community and hosts a number of sporting championships throughout the year and is dedicated to Barbados and Barbadians.
    It will be sold as a car park for the Radisson or a beach facility for all inclusive guests at the Island Inn. Your thoughts?

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