Notes From a Native Son: Beware of Strangers Bringing Bogus Gifts

Hal Austin

Hal Austin

As we enter the new year, already there are signs of desperations from the government, none more so than the rather strange decision to do deals with Cost-U-Less, one of those US-based cheap retail outfits. But, as the old people used to say: ‘every skin teet ain’t a laugh’. Or, more pertinently, all that glistens is not gold.

Let us look at the publicly known concessions the government has granted Cost-U-Less and how this will benefit Barbados as an economy.
First, exemptions from import duties and VAT on fittings, furniture and other construction materials, which in itself exposes the government’s lack of strategic thinking, since although exemptions could form part of strategic thinking, this is only applicable where there are obvious skills and knowledge that are transferable.

In other words, regardless of the commercial success or failure of the enterprise, they will be leaving something behind in their footprint that Barbados as an economy could continue to benefit from. But the concessions go further than this: they also apply to the personal household effects and vehicles of foreign staff, which is beyond belief.
However, the most scandalous of these exemptions is the fifteen-year break the company would have on dividend taxation. In other words, they will be free to grab their profits and run.

The principle behind offering tax incentives to multi-national corporations to set up base in developing nations is that, as has been pointed out, there will be a spin-off: of skills, knowledge, expertise, and the additional taxation will benefit the exchequer. However, if all the obvious tax gains are given away upfront as golden welcomes, then any benefits to the economy would be in the medium to long term. Therefore we have to look at the nature of the business, the quality of any job creation and the benefits to the economy of these spin-offs.

The first consideration in a fiscal strategy is the likely contribution of the policy being considered to the wider economy. If successful, would it resolve any short, medium or long-term issues, such as job creation or skills training? Do the products or services meet an immediate national need, or will they simply force out existing firms? What new skills will this company bring to Barbados: check out boys and girls? Car parking attendants? Security guards?

Cost-U-Less is a grocery warehouse-style club business based on the principle of piling stock high and selling it relatively cheaply. In other words, it is competing in an already over-crowded market place in which the main victims will be the local village shops, the very people the government should be fighting to protect. The decision to offer the firm a long-term exemption allowing it to withhold tax on dividends and interest to share holders, financial institutions and individuals making loans to the company, is preposterous.

Apart from anything, the government’s decision to allow these exemptions, effectively paying a low-cost grocery to operate in Barbados, is that it reveals an ignorance of the late pre-independence history of Barbados. Since the 1960s, Barbados had a number of foreign-owned enterprises which came to the island with the promise of shooting out the lights, when it came to new business. Most, if not all, were granted tax breaks and a number of exemptions, on the implicit promise that if they prove commercially successful Barbados would remain a base for their operations. And, as we now know, they defected from the country as soon as the tax holiday was coming to an end. This has happened under previous governments of all colours, and is something that one would have thought we had learned from. Clearly this is not the case.

The Politics of Taxation:
There is a fundamental difference between promoting enterprise and job creation and encouraging tax avoidance. In framing a public finance policy, in which the encouragement of foreign direct investment forms a central part, and firms are fiscally incentivised to locate in Barbados, it is important to understand the difference between the taxation of labour income and capital income. As things stand, certainly in the case of Cost-U-Less, the punitive labour income that most Barbadian undergo (including a 17.5 per cent sales tax), effectively subsidises the ease with which the taxation of capital incomes can become an inducement.

On the other hand, small businesses – including sole traders and the self-employed – are taxed more punitively than major companies, especially those operating under the pretext of bringing foreign direct investments to small island economies. But this becomes outright robbery when corporate tax advantages are merged with personal tax privileges, such as allowing individuals to bring in their own personal vehicles – over and above those that are brought in under the guise of corporate vehicles, which in any case will be used exclusively as private vehicles by senior executives.

These generous corporate and personal incentives are not the government’s to give; what they are in fact doing is passing on taxation that should rightly be paid by this foreign-owned businesses to the Barbados exchequer to already hard-pressed taxpayers (for Cost-U-Like read The Republic Bank). For, it is certain, that the government is not going to introduce an austerity programme this late in its rule, in order to make up for the short-fall from Cost-U-Less. The gap will almost certainly be filled by VAT, increases in road tax, PAYE, national insurance, property tax for ordinary homeowners, a further extension of the scandal of subsidising the multi-millionaires on the West Coast, and cutbacks in health and education costs.

Destructive Innovation:
A foreign-owned low-cost supermarket warehouse chain, with no tax or national obligations to Barbados, will source its goods, including agricultural produce, from favourite suppliers, with total disregard for local producers. It will also have its pricing policy decided at head office, rather than according to local conditions.

And, in a global environment with a rising population and escalating food price inflation, Barbadian consumers will find themselves faced with the pricing out of the market of local producers and businesses, and the introduction of foreign products and higher prices.

The bottom line is that the incentives offered to Cost-U-Less and others are a legally sanctioned form of tax avoidance and idiotic ideas such as that they pay national insurance and VAT are too silly to discuss with any seriousness, as firms like |Texas Instruments (remember them?) and others must be laughing their way to the bank. In any case, such interventions as Cost-U-Less in new markets means that they must start from a standing position to gain market share and the way they do this is by themselves offering incentives. In marketing theory, this new customer proposition is called disruptive innovation and some of the current players do suffer as a key part of the strategy. So, local shopkeepers are likely to suffer badly, and so do some of the village and smaller supermarkets and farmers.

Even the major supermarket groups will have to compete if only to hold on to their current market share, and so profitability. In reality, Cost-U-Less is more likely to bring destructive innovation to the Barbados retail grocery market. If you want to see what business theory has to say about this, just read Professor Clay Christiansen of Harvard University on new business models. (or better yet, send the minister of finance a copy).

Legal Structure:
Final there is the question of the legal structure of the enterprise. Will it be a subsidiary, branch or franchise. No doubt with its top legal and accounting brains coming out of the US (the locals will simply be bag carriers), this is going to present a mammoth challenge.

Will Cost-U-Like (Barbados Ltd) be paying for an intellectual property rights licence for the use of the title? Will it be free to source its products from a global market, or buy what the head office orders it to? Of course it won’t. Will the salaries paid to executives and senior managers for taxation purposes be the same as they receive in their pay packets? Like Hell.

As we have seen in the UK, with commercial giants such as Amazon, Starbuck, and other, being accused of not paying any corporation taxes, the obvious conclusion to draw is that if they can do this in a developed and highly sophisticated society such as the UK, then they will do as they please in a small island economy like Barbados. If all independent nation states in the Caribbean were to indulge in this silly gamesmanship, it will be a rush to the bottom, and not a beneficial policy initiative, as policymakers pretend.

Analysis and Conclusion:
In a low corporate taxation environment, such as Barbados, to offer a foreign firm seeking to establish a presence in the local market a package of fiscal incentives, is a double whammy: ordinary taxpayers are being penalised on the dubious grounds that the inward firm will bring jobs and, in time, add to the revenue take; yet, at the same time, the additional incentives as attractions to get the firm to locate in Barbados rather than a rival island, will bring any real benefits.

In reality, of course, as we know through experience, as soon as the tax holiday comes to an end these foreign firms usually move on to another market which no doubt will offer similar attractions. But local politicians and policymakers live in hope. They dream that this time it will be different, that these smiling businesspeople, who appear to be of the highest ethical standards, will play fair. They never do.

The world is changing at a faster pace than at anytime in human history and for some of us it looks as if Barbados is caught in a time warp, not only in terms of our collective ideas, but in our politics and policymaking.
I have called before for an overhaul of the taxation system, given that it is outdated and is not fit for purpose, but this must form part of a wider restructuring of public finance and of company law, in particular, which allows corporates to effectively rob the poor and disadvantaged through accounting practices that are clearly designed in the interest of big companies.

Under the current accounting system, firms do not have to manage their inventories in the way they claim to for tax purposes. For example, in an inflationary climate, given that costs will be much higher than a low inflation environment, the firm may adopt a last in first out accounting system, given the difference between cost and sale price, the mark up, will be relatively small. But in some tax jurisdictions, firms can use a totally different accounting method for filing tax returns and for accounting for profits.

For financial analysts, this presents a problem when valuing the company. Which figure reflects reality? Under the current accounting system, firms do not have to manage their inventories in the way they claim to for tax purposes. For example, in an inflationary climate, given that costs will be much higher than a low inflation environment, the firm may adopt a last in first out accounting system, given the difference between cost and sale price, the mark up, will be relatively small. But in some tax jurisdictions, firms can use a totally different accounting method for filing tax returns and for accounting for profits. For financial analysts, this presents a problem when valuing the company. Which figure reflects reality? Where are the voices of protest? Where is the chamber of commerce? Where are the many commercial vehicles sales teams? Where is the voice of consumers? Where is the voice of the unemployed? Where are the trade unions?

Discussing economic policy, as an avalanche of financial pressure bears down on us, can often be a luxury. In any case, those in charge just seem to be running for cover behind the intellectually anaemic fundamentalism of an outdated and simply wrong neoclassical economic policymaking.

66 thoughts on “Notes From a Native Son: Beware of Strangers Bringing Bogus Gifts

  1. Surely the reason for the tax breaks is easily identified – the DLP’s promise at the last election to reduce the cost of living. From the Manifesto:
    “A new DLP administration will use the power and patronage of the government not to disadvantage existing participants in the distribution sector, but to allow for new and efficient players to come into the sector and through increased competition contribute to the creation of a fair market structure.”
    If I was a Government Minister I would say that you voted me into power to deliver what I promised and that I have done exactly that.

  2. Brother Hap has done it yet AGAIN! Why am I not surprised.
    A question to Mr Austin; Do you have your own Blog? It would be really interesting if I could see all the other material you have covered in retrospect to Bim.

    The fact that this country had an ‘open-gate’ policy towards concessions with foreign owned businesses speaks to the level of ignorance (if not blatant stupidity) of our politicians. They have failed the Bajan people through their persistent neglect of placing an incentive on DOMESTIC companies in virtually ALL SECTORS of the Bajan economy. A massive failure indeed. The very fact that a foreign owned two-bit retailer that’s no better than Walmart is exempt from taxes for 15 YEARS speaks to the level of STUPIDITY and INEPTNESS that is currently in parliament. This is an arrant neglect to the Bajan people!! The current parliament and the nation’s Bar Association has lost virutally all legitimacy within my eyes. I call for a massive OVERHAUL of this government, for the people of Bim (and alas the greater Caribbean) are TIRED of this sickening and DISGRACEFUL SHAM of a “GOVERNMENT”.

  3. look i would have taken this article seriously if the author did not have a political agenda attached .cause for years govt in this country have given corporate giants lead way in entering the market under the disguise it would benefit employment .nothing new here except it is coming from the mouth of an author with a political axe to grind . absoulely nOTHING NEW..

  4. yuh know bruddah bim .politics like dog fleas attract all types. just follow the trail of all his previous articles.but don’t get me wrong there is a lot of truth to how corporations are treated when coming into poor countries . however

  5. @ ac | January 3, 2013 at 8:50 PM |

    Instead of blindly and foolishly attacking Hal and attaching politically partisan intent to his article why not ask if the government insisted that Cost-U-less will be integrating Renewable Energy (RE) technology in its operations?

    In that case, any concessions over above those granted to traditional investors in the retail/distribution trade could be justified.
    But being so ignorantly partisan you are unable to think outside the political box to raise such pertinent issues.

  6. miller the article speaks for itself and the author speaks for others. anyquestions i want to know. can be directed personally from me to the right offices. my question to him the author is when is he going to present an article speaking of the waste of tax payers money from the past govt, his constant undercover attacks on the govt shocks his credibilty .it is a pity!

  7. Everytime this guy writes an article he never disappoints me. He never has anything good to say about the Democratic Labour Party and is always gushing with praise for the corrupt Barbados Labour Party.

    This “article ” is just more of the same.

    Hal you are just being true to your Barbados Labour Party agenda. Nothing that you say will derail the good work that the Democratic Labour Party continues to do for this country.

  8. @ ac | January 3, 2013 at 9:28 PM |
    “…my question to him the author is when is he going to present an article speaking of the waste of tax payers money from the past govt,…”

    Poor ac just one sick psychotic person who just can’t let go of the past. You have a bad case of OCD interacting with ‘OSAITIS’.
    Sicko, this is 2013 not 2008. Why should Hal be dealing with acts done by the previous government prior to 2008? The electorate has already passed judgment and imposed punishment. The only thing Hal should be mentioning is if equivalent concessions were given to Pricemart or even Shopsmart.

    Let us hear you speak to the matter of RE in the Cost-U-Less proposed operations to bring a measure of commonsense and intellectual sanity to the thread.

  9. miller who you calling physchotic.? you political freaK! and as for renewable energy it would be interesting if hal would tell barbados what happen to 2,4million dollars the BLP spent on nigerian water heaters that was not delivered. and also the the contracts given out without tenders like Al barrack. get real maybe more like get serious if Hal wants to be taken seriously and unbaised in the barbados political arena.

  10. @ Brudda Bim re your January 3, 2013 at 8:31 PM |

    You have not seen anything yet. Wait until the Almond resort deal is sorted out and see what Bajans will be giving away for a few low paid jobs.
    I don’t know if you saw the concessions given by Grenada to that multi-millionaire Butch Stewart from Jamaica, but they are those on this blog who think it was a brilliant move. Based on nothing more than his promise of investment. Grenadians will be subsidising this man’s business enterprise for some 25 years. When he expands his resort, it will go up in value and it will still be his, all at Grenadians expense. I wish someone would do similar for me. We blogged it here last year.

    • There is merit in Hal’s query of the Cost U Less transaction. Yes this government promised to allow external players to enter the market to try to dent the cost of living. The issue therefore is whether the concessions offered to the retail outfit Cost U Less will bring commensurate benefits to the consumer. There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking question. The key to a living working democracy is eternal vigilance.

  11. I am tired of the politics that eventually run through each and every thread. Hal is speaking of now, not what happened in the past. The financial situation in Barbados is dire. It is not the time to give away bread and eat biscuits. Some on here have said they still have not received their tax refunds. Some staff have not been paid for months, allowances are not being received and they giving concessions that should be reserved for the establishment of manufacturing plants that would bring in new technologies and skills.

    It seems that all the management positions will be staffed by foreigners to boot, from the concession listed, so all the jobs few that they are will be low paid.

  12. @ David (B.U.)

    “You are correct about the political partisan nature of most debates in Barbados. BU reflects how we parse all debates in Barbados. It is why politicians are allowed to do as they like.”

    And yet Bajans do not even realize this. When will they learn..

  13. David what is the financial model that will stop the exploitation of Bajan consumers by Supermarkets in Barbados.

    There are thousands of Bajans who live pay cheque to pay cheque and if C U L can save them some money what is the problem.?

    What has the Major food importers, suppliers and Supermarkets in Barbados done to reduce the cost of food?

    Instead of a lotta long talk how about a real cost/benefit analysis with real numbers. It is not enough to say Government gave away too many concessions.

    Show the numbers.

  14. I think that this decision by Mr Freundel,is so damaging as to be cataclysmic for Barbados retailing,far from the small corner shopkeeper,this new “freeloader” will fracture the Top End market.
    The small shopkeepers I have seen over the years do business more as a make ends meet ,or a hobby,they provide goods, at times and in close proximity and get very good margins even tho they make a lot of single sales ,they have few or no overheads and really just suit themselves and people pay up because they get more than just the goods.
    You want a tin cornbeef at 9.45 pm.Aint too sensible to try to drive bout the place and then fine you missed the opening time and use a gallon of gas.
    So you pay up and are gratefull someone there with your needs..
    Whereas “Cost U your Job” which it will , will eat up what is already a very thin market.
    Supercenter a very Big employer,will get its GONADS kicked very hard and whilst trying to hold on to its aching private parts will drop a few employees,cos its suffering so bad.
    It has massive overheads,thats why it has to price as it does,they cannot run on no 20%they got to have a bigger margin or they gone and Mrs Browne and Mr Greene faithfull employees gone to.
    “Cost you less” is about the Biggest misnomer ever.Mr Freindly Fruendel has just shot a large chunk out of the foot of Barbados employment.and he going to find that Bajuns may be quiet but they “ENT STUPES”
    They get Cross and the cross they got, ENT GOING ON NO VOTING SLIP FOR FREINDLY FRUENDEL.You know that GOOD!
    How much the Goverment going to save when Supercenter start laying off big time or CLOSING DOWN.All them EX employeees NOW claiming benefit.
    Not paying Nationa;l Insurance, not havine $ to spend, so the economy shrinks,the Hawkers and vendors ,the people who dig and supply potatoes etc. NIXED OUT. NICE MOVE “FREINDLY” and “Cost you your Job” stashing it like crazy. and on countdown to 15 and LONG GAWN!!
    Leaving us with the benefit of a forward thinking decision by non other than OUR OWN “FREINDLY FRUENDEL” and of course very empty pockets.
    In a fragile small economy like that of Barbados this sort of Lunatic tinkering by Ignoramusses,(even tho dey Freindly”) well they MEAN well..
    Is dangerous, Fools rush in, which they obviousley just have done and leave WE to pick up the pieces.
    Watch and see.”Give me a lever and i will move the World!!” Cost U Less” will be the very lever to move the Barbados retail sector in to Destruct mode”
    Lota people gonna be unemployed this time next year
    .Last one out turn off the light!!

    • @Hants

      If the government would wage war on Barbados Port Authority handing costs and efficiency by the Customs and Excise Department one and all would take the effort to wage war on prices seriously. Many of our approaches to managing the economy are gimmicky.

      If we had FOI a cost analysis by others would be possible. Until then we will have to use historical positions to guide our opinions.

  15. @ Bruddah Bim

    I do blog my Notes From a Native Son (much longer and more analytical) to a small number of Barbadians, at home and overseas. If you send me your email address I will add it to the list.
    The same goes for anyone who wants to read my other stuff.

  16. i do not see what all the fuss is about but i know bajans love to know that they can shop at any store that descends from the almighty USA, just to show others that they are in the ‘do’. i have yet to patronize those establishments here from the USA, Subway and the cheap shoe store. this Cost-U-Less will be the same, cheap, poor quality items. however, of note too are some businesses in Barbados that owe government as much as 25 million dollars in VAT and they are still up and running. all these actions just shows that that whoever is running things have absolutely no interest in the damage they are causing to their future generations. when elections is called in the next 3-4 weeks i doubt it will make any difference and i doubt things will change to stop this atrocity on taxpayers pockets

  17. Let it be said from the outset that the miller has no objections, in principle, to foreign participation in any sector of the Bajan economy. Free enterprise is the preferred model over government ownership and control of commercial and other type of economic activity. That is why a call for the decriminalization of the production and commercialization of marijuana is justified as it prevails in the case of alcohol and tobacco.
    Even the decriminalization of prostitution should be considered and made a legitimate business activity like any other small business venture like hairdressing and massaging.

    What government’s role should be in this process of entrepreneurial democracy is to act as the referee and provide the legal and regulatory framework and by setting down the terms and conditions that players must follow in order to facilitate a reasonably level playing field.
    These terms and conditions should be straightforward and conducive to business enterprise and in keeping with the country’s socio-economic goals which have not been unduly influenced and fashioned by any particular interest group.

    Persistent breaches of the ground rules should incur harsh financial penalties and even expulsion from the grounds where business activity is taking place.

    The following questions/queries need to be asked or raised in relation to the “Cost-U-Less” entry to the local retail/distribution sector:

    Would this new player be sourcing food and other consumer items mainly from North America or would local / regional producers be top of the supply list?

    Can we expect this new player to be offering mainly processed packaged food from GM sources? Would this not be against the government’s often hypocritical pronouncements of fighting NCD’s and obesity?

    How would this new player stimulate the local agricultural sector especially in the production of fresh food?
    Wouldn’t the granting of concessions over and above granted to similar existing players
    put the new entrant at a significant advantage over those already in the marketplace?
    Wouldn’t this be a clear case of unfair competition? How can Barbados then take any other country to the WTO (e.g. USA with its rum subsidies)?

    Unless Cost-U-Less is prepared to contribute meaningfully to the further development of the local food industry and non-sugar agricultural sector it should not be given any special concessions not granted to or available to existing players like PriceMart and the People’s Market.

    Can we expect this new player to be at the forefront of stimulating and expanding RE
    movement in keeping with government’s avowed policy directives? If so special consideration should be given to this player as incentives to make others follow this path of economic restructuring if they want to benefit for special concessions.

    We can expect the likes of ac, CCC, and TPP to attempt to debunk everything above as anti-DLP as you did with Hal Austin’s piece. Go ahead and reveal your arrant stupidity!

  18. Absolutely nothing wrong with Cost-U-Less (CUL) investing in and operating in Barbados like any other foreign or local retailer and improving the competitive environment via lower prices. Everything wrong with the concessions given by Government for all the reasons given by Hal Austin and others. Anyone know who the local “consultants” are? You can be sure that some serious “consulting” and payment for same had to have been done.. Will CUL be making a nice donation to the DLP? Let’s do the maths. Reportedly CUL will employ 70 plus. Due to these concessions CUL will have an unfair competitive advantage. The result will be the laying off of a lot more than 70 people by local retailers and distributors. Net effect will actually be job losses, loss of tax revenue, drain on foreign exchange – triple whammy!

  19. See everyone is being their loving and understanding self as practiced pre-sunday, or was it saturday? Right now am crying for Barbados. Gotta to tell you, the tears would be greater if they ever get stupid enough to allow Walmart into the Caribbean, ask the larger countries about the fallout. In saying that, what benefits will this COST WHO??? bring to the island, and will it drive down ever spiraling food prices as so largely promised back in ’08?????? And will they up and run owing vasts amounts of taxes and NIS??? as done by foreign companies who also enjoyed generous concessions, but left the government of the day holding the bag.

  20. In case anyone thinks Cost-U-Less was a sell-out to the big bad Yankee Capitalists – it is in fact owned by North West Company of Adrian’s old home – Winterpeg, Manitoba, which acquired CUL in 2007

    Everything you ever wanted to know about North West Company and Cost-U-Less at these sites

    As can be seen in its Community Promise, Barbados has nothing to fear from CUL


    at the risk of being banned:-

    an interesting tidbit from St. Lucia

    “Better days are coming” shouted opposition leader of St. Lucia Kenny Anthony during campaigning to win the Government.

    Now he has the government, what is the reality?

    St Lucia has largest fiscal deficit in the Caribbean —PM

    CASTRIES, St. Lucia (CMC) — St Lucia Prime Minister Dr Kenny Anthony says his country has the largest fiscal deficit in the Caribbean as he prepares to address the nation on Sunday on the economic challenges facing the island.

    “Where as other Caribbean states might have a fiscal deficit of seven to eight per cent of GDP (Gross Domestic Product), we are climbing up to 10 per cent. That’s a warning sign so we have really got to ensure that we bring it under some degree of control, and resolve those differences.

    “So when you see for example I plead for understanding from our public service unions and others engaged in the negotiations, it precisely for that reason because we need to restore St Lucia’s financial standing,” Anthony told a government housing development ceremony.

    Read more:–PM#ixzz2H3NZhFov

  22. The government of Barbados has the backing of all right thinking Bajans in its concessions to Cost-u-less setting up business here in Barbados. In its continued drive to reduce prices to the consumers of this country the concessions offered are a small price to pay for relief which the consumers of this country will receive.

    Of course we dont expect hugs and kisses from the Barbados Labour Party and its supporters including the Blog owner.

    I also noticed a very critical comment by ADRIAN LOVERIDGE posting under another moniker. We dont pay you any mind ADRIAN, you and those like you will not derail the great work of this Government. So wheel and come again.

    By the way Cost-u-less will be throwing its doors open to the Bajan public in Feb. 2013. All are welcome including ADRIAN LOVERIDGE and the Blog owner. See you all there. SEETHRU and his wife can also drop in and shop and save them selves loads of money in the process.

  23. BTW, they will be no membership fee like Pricemart which the Barbados Labour Party introduced into Barbados.

  24. Important information:-


    Arthur Seat Road
    St. Thomas

    Cost-U-Less(your best Value)
    Smart shopping made fun!

    Membership is free!
    Coupons Discounts
    and much, much more

    Receive promotions,
    Special offers and
    coupons customized for you, your membership gives us the ability to serve you better.

    Shop and save BIG, BIG BIG.

  25. Even the decriminalization of prostitution should be considered and made a legitimate business activity like any other small business venture like hairdressing and massaging.


  26. If the government wanted to cut the cost of living why increase the VAT.
    If government is willing to lose millions of dollars by allowing these concessions to cost u less could they not have reduced port charges and import taxes on an improved basket of items.

  27. Hal Austin and other BU bloggers Happy New Year 2013.

    Now Hal I have one task for you now that I have read your article.

    Do some research for us and come back and tell us what did the Owen Arthur administration offer in terms of incentives to the company called Cinnamon 88 (the company behind Fourseasons) ?

    Also tell us how those incentives to Cinnamon 88 compare to those extended to Cost-U-Less ?

    Then tell us in light of your findings if the ranting and raving as demonstrated by Owen Arthur and yourself is nothing but POPPYCOCK ?

  28. Hal, i am begging fuh uh nudder break, dont get vex wid muh,


    The St. Joseph Branch
    5.00 PM


    The St. Andrew Branch
    5.00 PM

    All are welcome(including ADRIAN LOVERIDGE)

    Thanks a lot Hal.

  29. @ Fractured
    Oh dear….I thought you would have told us similar concessions were offered to Price Smart; but to seek to compare a foreign exchange earning project (that would not compete against local entities) with a supermarket is laughable. Jesus take the wheel please.

    @ Carson Cadogan
    With those concessions Cost-U-Less don’t need membership fees!!!! As for the branch openings, you already know that both of your candidates already lost especially the one that wanted to drop out of the race.

  30. Food is only one component of household expenses, unless Cost-U-Less distributing water and electricity too. Furthermore, the location and type of retail operation highlights the disconnect between the policy objective and the real outcome. I have said repeatedly that this government’s policies are disjointed, contradictory and shortsighted: refuses to subsidise fuel in spite of its impact on the cost of living and the across the board benefits, but indirectly subsidises the establishment of a food retailer that the people who most need access to cheaper food are alienated.

  31. @ Enuff | January 4, 2013 at 11:22 PM |

    You see why Bim is up a creek without a paddle? Here we have a DLP administration being advised by the likes of Fractured Brains.
    How in ‘tarnation’ can Fractured compare a forex earning project with a forex burning consumption outlet? The forex earning project is more important since it is from this source that Cost-U-Less can pay for the imported consumer items from their overseas warehouses.

    How can the importation of processed junk food help improve the health of Bajans? This kind of food should never be made cheap to Bajans. Look at the state of our people? Bloating like bull frogs in spawn.
    Instead of making processed genetically modified food cheap to Bajans it should be penalized and the tax used to offset the cost of natural healthier fresh foods.
    This government speaks about the heavy health cost incurred by the State as a result of the high incidence of NCD’s while extolling Bajans to eat healthily.
    Now how can it explain this volte-face approach in making the slow-poison food cheaper to digest?
    In any event how many poor people have private transportation for them to shop at CUL?
    Will there be a dedicated bus service or only the well-off with their SUVs will benefit from this so-called cheap food?

    What Fractured BLP should be concerned about is the restart of the same Four Seasons project and not any CUL cheap food pied piper.

  32. @ Enuff | January 5, 2013 at 12:05 AM |

    Our contributions crossed paths. But we are on the same wave length.
    This is just on fc*** king hypocritical administration destroying this country!
    And for what?

  33. Miller and Enuff,
    Where was your so called concern for the health of Barbadians when your BLP Party brought Pricesmart to Barbados ?

    We take it that according to you Pricesmart does not import anything – hence no drain on our foreign reserves nor do they sell similar products to what Cost-U-Less would sell ?

    No wonder with the idiocracy of your arguments….. the Barbadian electorate have sent your BLP party to pasture !

    Cost-U-Less is coming…….
    And so too is the Pegasus Hotel story !

    Then you would understand….the true meaning of CONCESSIONS !

    Not much longer to wait now….it is all about timing and strategy .

    Remember PM Stuart words….the BEES can keep Owen Arthur !

  34. then there are those who are critical of the cost -u- less ,but salivating at the mouth for the likes of a congalmerate like butch stewart to come in and save the tourist industry a man who is well known for his no nonsense wheeling and dealing by any means necessary at the expense of all and any.

  35. @ ac | January 5, 2013 at 7:28 AM |
    You psychotic idiot! Are you forgetting that the DLP is in charge of the administration of the affairs of this country and the one to make the decisions whether Butch Stewart can wheel and deal in Bim as he likes (according to you)?

    We are critical of the CUL involvement because it’s not a local or regional business and this strategy goes contrary to the policies and philosophy promulgated in the DLP 2008 manifesto. But then again according to you the manifesto is just a book of lies written to trick Bajans into voting for the DLP.

    BTW, what has become of the proposal to bring in fruits from Dominica? Don’t you think this would be a better strategy to improve the deteriorating health of Bajans and widen regional trade and the integration movement?

    Both you the Political Psychopath and Fractured Brains should have a read of the following extracts and tell us if CUL fits into the philosophical construct of the manifesto.


    “We have seen a gradual contraction and consolidation
    of the import, wholesale and retail distribution
    sectors in this country. The BLP administration
    sat idly by as small and medium size businesses,
    (including black businesses), were forced
    out of the sector by bigger players.”

    “A new DLP administration will review the basket
    of goods on which VAT and other impositions
    have been removed. It is obvious that that basket
    is too limited and in light of the high incidence
    of chronic non-communicable diseases and
    the need for healthier eating among the population
    something must be done to ease the cost of
    foods that fall into these categories. We commit
    to expanding that basket significantly, following
    full consultation with sector stakeholders, consumer
    bodies, and nutritional experts. Equally we
    believe that the time has come for a more comprehensive
    review of the impact of price movements
    in basic food and other items in this country”.

  36. wunna BLP members and supporters including the BLOG OWNER,desperate, desperate, desperate.

    I just cant understand how the Barbados Labour Party will face the Bajan electorate.

    Every measure that is being done to benfit the Bajan public you all criticising,and condeming, but you still want their votes.

    What a contradictory position to take and in the fullness of time you will feel the weight of your folly.

    Five more years on the opposition benches. SEETHRU is in line for his HAT TRICK of defeats at the hands of the Democratic Labour Party. We haVE defeated him once, we have defeated twice and we are now poised to defeat him three times.

  37. Can anyone tell me if SEETHRU is still driving his EXTREMELY EXPENSIVE AUDI SUV?

    Or has he sold it and given the proceeds to the poor?

  38. Carson C. Cadogan | January 5, 2013 at 8:27 AM |
    “We haVE defeated him once, we have defeated twice and we are now poised to defeat him three times.”

    “Do fuh do ent nuh obeah”!
    After all, 1994, 1999, 2003 don’t count in your estimation.
    You mean we had general elections since 2008?
    We want our fruits from Dominica, as promised. Not processed GM food in cans and boxes loaded with sugar, salt and other chemical preservatives.

  39. miller u ” political chinck” why don’t u leave my black alone after all in 2012 u and the BLP was calling for the sale of Barbados. and now asking questions about the negotiationjs between govt and cost u less. Dum go find somthing to do with your time so early in the morning u ” political chink

  40. My understanding is that SEETHRU’s family has asked him to step down from politics but his response was to cuss them stink.

    I also understand that he and Payne not speaking again. Now he has formed an alliance with mottley against Dale and gline.

    This man want POWA at any cost.

  41. @ ac | January 5, 2013 at 8:44 AM |

    The more the psychotic monkey climb the more she exposes her ‘assinine’ self.

    Why don’t you leave miller the chink alone and go and advise Fumble how to deal with the Ax stink hole. He has 48 hours before bedlam breaks out in a fast falling apart Education system much boasted about by the DLP as their political baby and brainchild.
    It’s seems EWB premonition about the demise of the sugar industry aptly applies also to the educational system.

  42. Can anyone tell me what is the latest on the court case involving former
    candidate for St. Lucy, ARTHUR?

    • More foreign investment is coming!
      Couples buying second largest hotel in BarbadosPublished: Friday | January 4, 2013 Comments 0

      Almond Casuarina Beach Resort in Barbados. Couples Resorts expects to acquire the property by January 31.
      Janet Silvera, Senior Gleaner Writer
      Couples Resorts is finalising a deal to acquire a hotel in Barbados, making it the first Jamaican resort group to venture into that market.
      It’s also Couples’ first venture outside of its home market.
      Couples chief executive officer, Glenn Lawrence, confirmed plans on Wednesday to purchase the 280-room Almond Casuarina Beach (ACB) Club in the eastern Caribbean island.
      “We are involved in firm negotiations,” said Lawrence, adding that the deal was expected to conclude on or before January 31, at which time more details would be forthcoming.

  43. David “The Almond Brand which is Bajan is no more.”

    Hopefully they will advertise it on Canadian TV. one

  44. Waiting to hear when another foreign entity will acquire Barbados Water Authority, National Insurance, Barbados Credit Union, CBC (definitely) National Housing, Ministry of Education, Internal Revenue (definitely, since everyone uses it as their personal piggy bank to steal millions) and other government ministries, as well as BLP, DLP …………………………………..all in an effort to save the people from themselves.

    • @Well Well

      It appears our rotund middleclass is satisfied that the only criteria Barbadians should accept here is that the bought out companies are well manged, it matters not if foreign or local. Maybe the PM is correct after all, forget the half billion on education and let us all go back to the cane fields.

  45. @ David | January 5, 2013 at 9:06 PM |

    Now that we are talking foreign brands what’s the hold up with Four Seasons restart. Are we still waiting to jump over the legal hurdles regarding the investment of the NIS funds, as you previously confirmed?

    Why can’t we hear from the PM as he is on the Ax matter?
    Maybe if the project is restarted he can transfer some public servants to the site with its concrete structures overgrown with bush and rusting steel instead of the dreaded canefields overgrown with cow itch and overpopulated with rats.

  46. David – We may very well stand a better chance, our future generations anyway, if foreign entities with good intentions start helping with rebuilding Bim including our sef-esteem since the present crop of politicians are too steeped in petty minded politics, self-interest and political retaliation to care about the same people who initially gave them the small island power to manage their affairs, somehow being allowed by the people who voted you in to MANAGE their affairs and who PAY you a monthly salary to do such, gets LOST while they sit in the seat of the managerial powers bestowed on them by the VOTERS.

  47. @Miller

    If any credence is to be given to the Nation’s Lick mout Lou this weekend there is a ban in place on DLP players. Interesting because the BLP was accused of the same last election.

  48. It is indeed a small world and much the same is happening everywhere.
    In the UK the big supermarkets and hypermarkets have squeezed farmers on the price of milk and all other produce.
    Meanwhile we have Pound and 99p shops selling vast quantities at those prices.
    In the case of food Lidl and Aldi have moved in in a big way making a dent in the profits of the supermarkets especially as costs are rising for everything and shoppers are foregoing some of their spend on food and so are looking to the cheaper end for their supplies of equally good produce in numbers they would not have done a few years ago.

    It’s not only food as the likes of Amazon are forcing many large wholesale goods suppliers to close up shop.

    I’m afraid that Cost-U-Less will have a similar impact even on the likes of BMC and SuperCentre. Either they compete or close as I don’t see shoppers enduring ever increasing prices or the shortages that occur as they will ensure they get stock from wherever it is produced with the object of keeping their shelves well stocked.

    Running a high priced economy is like a gambler with a losing streak.
    I think it was in 1974 when I saw a BBC Microcomputer on sale in Broad Street for the equivalent of £1000.00 UK whilst the UK price was only £300.00 including VAT at 17.5%. A local importer could have sold them at the equivalent of £400.00 and sold enough to make a healthy profit and thrive.
    High prices haven’t survived in the so-called good times never mind in times of economic stricture. Someone will move in and see to that.

    In the 1970’s a friend of my Dad’s bought up a stock of laundry equipment, shipped it to Barbados and built a thriving business by providing a collect and delivery service, something no other outfit had done.
    Likewise the smart move by supermarkets would be to expand to other parts of the island to capture the custom that is presently untapped.

    I think your analysis is, except in one instance, factually correct and begging a strategy.

    That one instance is the mention of Texas Instruments whose income dwarfs Barbados’ by many miles and as a matter of fact they would probably file for bankruptcy if their profits went as low as may be 50 times that of the worth of the total Barbados economy.

    Texas Instruments is a high technology company that depends heavily on innovation and in every venture is looking for a highly skilled workforce that delivers that innovation. That’s what they derive from their plants in places like Ireland, R&D and world class production is their core business and they have many competitors also innovating at break neck speed breathing down their necks.
    Did they find those consummate skills in Barbados? They are not known as a company that needs or seeks grants with a short term agenda expecting to bail out on a high.

    They even have University Programs in which they provide educational institutions with teaching materials – as a matter of fact these materials are free for anyone to download from the internet.

    That says they are a serious corporation even when it comes to disseminating knowledge.
    Does any of the Caribbean Universities avail themselves of these resources?

  49. Some Caribbean governments and universities do care about the progress of their local students, make sure they utilize the international programs available, make sure they have the resources to continue and more often than not these students return to GIVE back in the form of sharing that knowledge (Trinidad is one example). Now in Barbados, resources might be limited, but these resources go to who can afford them (mostly) I find gifted students have to fight for everything and if their parents are not considered (somebody) translation, tied to all the buddyism, nepotism, croneyism, all the isms and skisms or if like in one instance I know where a mother made them look like the jackasses they are so her daughter could reap the benefits of the reward she earned, you don’t get very far, because preference will be given to the “somebodies”. Now in saying that, they want to ill-treat these intelligent students, don’t have any job offerings for them when they return to Bim and literally treat them like step-children who returned to Bim to beg. Most students already knowing of the treatment don’t return to Barbados, the die hards who think these people would ever change and who return, always regret and have to run from the island. The fraternal orders already have their members and do not wish to have the order of things disrupted. People continue to wail and moan about Scholarship and Exhibition winners not returning to Barbados, to them I say, if you treat an animal badly it will run away, if you treat your own with respect, courtesy and gratefulness they will return and contribute. JUST ASK TRINIDAD.

  50. They are racist and treat their black workers like crap. Worked for them in the Caymans in 2009 and most of their leaders are white, gay and racist. Even their admin manager quit on account of racist treatment.

  51. Bajans be careful of this company. This company does not like local people – check their website Not one person of color. They have a bad record in the Virgin islands, st. Martin, caymans, etc. Their parent company in Canada has a horrendous track record of treating Eskimos badly… The CEO edward Kennedy’s house burned down in December 2011 and many saw that as retribution for his bad treatment of native people – they Do Not Like black people.

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