Notes From a Native Son: Sinckler’s August 13 Budget Proposals are Uninformed, Misleading and Displays an Embarrassing Ignorance of Monetary Policy

BU apologizes for the late update of the Hal Austin submission.

Hal Austin

Hal Austin

Barbados is in the last chance saloon. Things are much worse then they believe and the recent Budget proposals by finance minister Chris Sinckler have only added to the fog of ignorance. I have taken the liberty of a long contribution, but please forgive me as these are important issues which deserve a proper airing.

The Budget:
Minister of finance Chris Sinckler kicked off his 2013 Budget statement with a broader social philosophical statement which has wider application to what can be called the Barbados Model, and in the US the American Dream. He states: “(We are now at a historical juncture) …that presents this country with a real opportunity to choose a path of restructuring and revitalisation not just to the obvious systems that drive our economy and society, but importantly as well, to the core beliefs, values and philosophical moorings that characterise who we are as a people, what quality of life we want and imprint what we desire to leave on history’s page.”

That, I suggest, is a statement that all public intellectuals and anyone taking part in the ongoing public conversation about who we are must at some point address. Further, the minister admitted (page 5) that the government’s macroeconomic programme had gone off track and needed to be brought back in line to attain “…economic sustainability characterised by growing international reserves, exchange rate stability, sustainable and balanced economic growth and adequate yet affordable social services provision.” Of course, he does not offer an explanation as to why the macro-economic policy had gone off track, given the DLP has been in government for going six years.

Read text of Budget 2013

No sooner than Mr Sinckler made this confession, than he resorted to the fiction of the problems with the Barbados economy, blaming the 2007/8 global banking crisis and following recession, for the fundamental causes of the economic problems in Barbados. In fact, those global events exposed the problems, not created them; the fact that the public sector, households and corporates in Barbados had been living on borrowed time throughout the most remarkable historic period in global economic growth is not as global problem. The nation’s real problems have been deep structural defects – an overburden public sector payroll of about 30000 people, incompetent tax collection, etc; followed with unaffordable household debt and a badly managed private sector, especially small family-run hotels managed with the financial sophistication of old ladies selling sugar cakes and peanuts on trays. What excuses the private sector, however, is that it is their money they are wasting whereas government was spending taxpayers’ money as if there was no tomorrow.

Further, the minister’s analysis is also factually incorrect: Barbados throughout the boom years underperformed both the region and the globe, which, truthfully, was the fault of the previous administration. Then he talks about the international demand for our goods and services, without itemising these goods and services. Is he referring to tourism, or the invasion of foreigners buying over-priced properties on the West Coast in one of the most property bubbles and blatant money laundering exercises in the world, equal to Russian billionaires buying British football clubs?

The reality, of course, is that during the boom years what looked like exciting times were in fact British and Irish visitors enjoying long haul holidays on their credit cards and many of them, infected by the sunshine, releasing equity from their over-priced homes to buy properties in Barbados and the wider Caribbean. Therefore, there was nothing surprising when the Irish economy collapsed that the underbelly of so-called Irish millionaires buying up the West Coast was exposed as a sham – a massive debt mountain.

The minister then went on to claim that the global crisis hit our major trading partners, naming the US, Canada, Britain and the Caribbean. Apart from our imports, how ‘major a trading partner’ is the US to Barbados? Did the global banking crisis hit Canada in the way it did the other developed economies (see: Michael Bordo, et al “Why Didn’t Canada Have a Banking Crisis in 2008 (Or in 1930, or 1907, or…”, National Bureau of Economic Research, August 2011). This DLP administration is making it up as they go along. Further, if the Barbados economy declined by 4.5 per cent and the fiscal deficit by 10 per cent during the financial year 2009/10, why has it taken the DLP government this long to realise the economic impact of this reality? Why is he now acting in the 2013/14 financial year?

The answer is partly because during this time senior DLP ministers and advisers were too busy denying that the economy was at best flatlining and clearly in a rough and steady decline, including the self-delusion of ‘green shoots’ in 2010 and 2011. What were these green shoots? Then he adds “….the unanticipated depth and duration of the current global recession has meant that, on average, real economic activity has fallen by one per cent every year since 2008.” What is the compounded figure? In any case, the global economy is not in recession, a fact he would have been aware of from simply reading the various IMF report, including the World Economic Outlook (April 2013), and the revised paper (July 2013).

The minister went on to tell parliament that the traded sectors in particular have borne the brunt of the impact (of the global recession), as a decline in global GDP, depressed credit markets and elevated levels of unemployment in our trading partners significantly reduced demand for domestically produced goods and services. This statement is another fiction, of the minister’s fertile imagination. Global GDP has not declined, in fact it has continued to grow and there is no depressed credit market.
According to the IMF, global growth was 3.9 per cent in 2011, 3.1 per cent in 2012 and is projected to be 3.1 per cent this year and 3.8 per cent in 2014. For the US, in the same consecutive years, growth was (or projected to be): 1.7 per cent, 1.2 per cent, 1.2 per cent and 2.1 per cent; for the UK, it was: 1.0 per cent, 0.3 per cent and is projected to be 0.9 per cent and 1.5 per cent; for Canada, it was: 2.5 per cent, 1.7 per cent and is projected to be 1.7 per cent and 2.2 per cent. Not only has the global economy been growing, driven mainly by Emerging Markets, there is now a growing body of statistical evidence which shows that China has either already overtaken the US, or will sometime between 2014 and 2015 as the largest economy in the world. (see: World Bank, IMF, Penn World Tables).

As we reflect, statisticians are doing their sums to see if, for the first time in 160 years, the giant US has been removed from the top of the global economic tree. If so, this will be an historic moment of enormous proportions and will signal a far greater tectonic shift than was previously expected. Even some of the most intractable developed economies are now growing: Japan, France, Germany – growth may not be spectacular, but it is growth, with the troubled Eurozone overall having grown by 0.3 per cent over the last quarter, despite the lame duck southern economies.

The truth is that the Barbados economy has been stuck in stagnation ever since the 2007/8 crisis and, too, the economy has experienced difficulty in borrowing in the global financial markets because of its adverse credit ratings. The minister also told parliament that the tourism sector had declined by 5.5 per cent in 2012, but again attributed this to a variety of reasons, including reduced airlift and the loss of Almond Resort. Almond Resorts collapsed because of what come guests perceived as gross managerial incompetence, a reality of which I had a slight experience, and an overall lack of workable business models and managerial incompetence in the hotel sector as a whole. We only have to go back to the 2007 Cricket World Cup when hotel occupancy was only 70 per cent, at a time when the entire English-speaking world was focused on us. Manufacturing output also decreased by 12.2 per cent, according to the minister, but since there is no significant manufacturing base in Barbados, it would have helped if he had given actual numbers for this sector, rather than percentages. Then, as if to drive home the point, he said this economic slowdown was to do with an  “…entirely unfavourable international economic environment and with an economy sorely lacking sustainable economic diversification and badly in need of restructuring.”

Again, the minister was blaming exogenous events for the stagnation of the Barbados economy, when in reality the DLP government had nearly six years to restructure the economy, and in particular the public sector, and just as long to diversify the economy. This failure to implement a radical, or even defensive restructuring programme must be put fair and square on the minister and his senior policy advisers. As he said, in the first year in office tax revenue fell to about one-third of what it had been for the previous five years. This was an obvious red flag and should have been accompanied by a clear policy approach to minimise the effect of this, including, if necessary, a 33 per cent reduction in public sector spending.

Others may point out that the gross incompetence in collecting outstanding taxes, especially VAT (see previous Auditor General reports) and the poor management of the national insurance scheme, could be put down to weak administration and poor oversight by permanent secretaries and ministers. And, he intimated, revenue fell by a further ten per cent in the following tax year, 2009/10. The picture the minister paints is that things were not just as bad as government critics alleged, but far worse. Then, bizarrely, he continues: “Even in spite of all these challenges Sir, the one area in which we were able to hold together behind a robust external current account management policy was our international reserves. “Indeed, despite the lower than anticipated outturn of the traded sectors, the stock of foreign reserves increased from Bds$1359m to $1464.3m, resulting in an increase of the import cover from 16.4 weeks in 2008 to 19.5 weeks at the end of 2012.
“Even in the face of declining tourism earnings, a significant fall-off in private FDI flows and increasing energy prices, the reserves were maintained through government’s fiscal strategies.”

It is not clear if this is a statement of the government’s and central bank’s macro-economic skill or public financial madness, piling up foreign reserves while the economy was getting a battering. Such management of foreign reserves is outdated, does not reflect the post-1980s financial consensus and imposes greater burden on Barbadian corporates and households than was necessary. History will condemn this policy for what it really is.

The minister told parliament that, following the general election, government was faced with a further drain on foreign reserves. It is clear he is being disingenuous, since competent projections should have telegraphed this alleged development. But he adds: “It is why we did not believe that attempting to go to the other extreme and trying to spur growth by putting consumer spending on steroids was sustainable because in a depressed foreign exchange environment it would have placed our international reserves under tremendous pressure long before now.” Then he asks rhetorically: “…one only wonders where we could have been today had we adopted that policy wholesale.” Again, the minister is simply wrong.

There are three key drivers of a national economy: consumer spending, which can be described as the first tier, corporate spending, the second tier, and public spending, the third tier or back-up. What more rational critics have been saying is that government could have used the Bds$300-$400 million parked idly as part of foreign reserves to pump-start the economy by lending to small and medium enterprises on commercial terms and funding infrastructure projects.

Further funds could have been added to this development pot by offloading non-core government assets, such as a massive hotel portfolio, the Transport Board, and numerous others. Had the minister taken such objective advice, the Barbados economy would have been showing above trend growth and, more than that, the Barbados Growth Model would have been an outstanding example to small economies. (I am curious to know why the Bds$2320.4m revenue for the 2012/13 financial year was nearly $300m less than the amount budgeted for? Do they apply accrual accounting in the public sector? (This is reinforced by the budgeting for public sector salaries and wages: from Bds$804.3m for 2012, presumably the 2011/12 financial year, to $807.1m, “due mainly to increments.” About $818.6m was budgeted for. Why?) Parliament was told that total debt repayments for the 2012/13 financial year were Bds$1100.2m, with interest payments of $559.5m, or about 50 per cent of payments made and further amortisation payments of a further $540.7m.

Some of the foreign reserves could have been used to pay off some of these debts which, with any penalties for early repayment, would still be a much better management of finances. Such mismanagement of public finances is worse than incompetence, it is simply madness. Government mis-managed the Bds$0.5bn that could be spent on infrastructure developments and much-needed restructuring. To make matters worse, interest payments had increased by $32.3m over the previous financial year, and amortisation by a further $86m. Then the government pats itself on the shoulder by claiming the debt repayment over the period was $26.4m less than was originally budgeted. The original accrual number was as bogus as the saving, since one could budget to spend any number then claim to have made a ‘saving’. Minister Sinckler then compounds his disastrous mismanagement of the economy by informing parliament that capital expenditure was Bds$93.7m, compared with $91.9m for the previous financial year.

In fact, the numbers for capital expenditure should be rising substantially since it is this investment that will be the key driver of the economy during the slump and which would put the economy in pole position when the business and economic cycles turned. Put simply, economics 101, during the depression both household and corporates will cut back on spending and, ideally, try to reduce their debt. By spending on infrastructure developments, government would stimulate the economy, providing jobs and buying in services from the private sector, mainly construction.

So, people in work will spend, shops and stores will re-stock and employ extra staff, government would get revenue in terms of income taxes and VAT, and that virtuous circle would continue. This is the purpose of quantitative easing and asset purchasing such as that done by President Obama with General Motors; the other alternative, apart from spending a portion of foreign reserves is to print more money and manage the inflationary effects of over liquidity.

Further, out of his own mouth the minister condemned himself, when referring to the deficit of Bds$668.5m, 7.9 per cent of GDP, or higher than the 4.4 per cent of GDP originally planned for; in other words, a bogus reduction in the deficit then blaming “under-performance of revenue” for the failure. Then he added: “The deficit for the corresponding period in 2012 (again presumably the 2011/12 financial year) was $384.2m, or 4.4 per cent of GDP.” Another failure of economic planning.

There is also a suggestion that inflation is now 2.7 per cent, compared with 8.4 per cent in the same period in 2012; I am sure the people responsible for these numbers are honourable, but it is difficult to believe. It smacks of cooking the books, reducing inflation by nearly nine per cent in a single financial year. In any case, who is responsible for managing inflation, the central bank or ministry of finance? And what is the official inflation target, if any? It is not unfair to detect an element of deception in the minister’s Budget speech. On page 13, we are told that by the end of 2012, foreign reserves were Bds$1.4bn, or 19 weeks of import cover, no caveats, leaving us with the impression this was still the case at the point of reporting to parliament. But, on page 23, we are told that foreign reserves only cover 16 weeks of imports by the end of June, compared with the 19 weeks by the end of March.

The minister then makes a bold promise: “Against the backdrop of these realities Mr Speaker, and ever mindful of the fact that the global economy is unlikely, especially among our key trading partners, to rebound over the next 12 to 18 months, it is now absolutely necessary for government to intervene to procure some very specific objectives in the short to medium term”. Once more the fiction of global economies, which is part of his fertile imagination: as has been pointed out, the US economy is growing and has been for sometime; the UK is growing, the Japanese is growing, even the euro is growing, among the developed economies. And, of course, even though they have slowed down, the leading emerging markets are still growing spectacularly.

High Net-Worth:
Apart from what clearly appears to be a deliberate misrepresentation of the global economic landscape, the evidence of which is there on the IMF website, I will emphasise the wealth of the global mega-rich as individuals, rather than aggregate numbers. According to the most recent World Wealth Report, at the end of 2012, there were about 11 million high net-worth individuals in the world, with investable wealth of about US$42trillion, a fall of 1.7 per cent from the previous year. Of those, 3.37 million are based in the Asia-Pacific region, compared with 3.35 million in |North America and 3.17 in Europe. However, in terms of investable assets, high net-worth people in |North America had assets valued at US$11.4 trillion, compared with $10.7 trillion in Asia-Pacific and $10.1 trillion in Europe.

Quite clearly, Barbados as a self-described premium destination is failing to attract any perceptible number of global high net-worth investors, either as visitors or as equity investors. This, more than anything reflects the lack of confidence in the local equity and property markets, as evidenced by the collapse of the Four Seasons deal and the scramble for a purchaser for Almond Resorts. The minister, in the revised medium term strategy plan, has projected modest growth assumptions of 3.0 per cent by 2017 and 4.5 per cent by 2020 and, he points out, the key driver of that growth will be “…private-sector led, productivity-enhancing, export and investment focused, employment-generating. Socially balanced, and supportive of green growth and environmental sustainable development.” But where are the policies, monetary and fiscal, to drive these grand objectives? The private sector is under enormous pressure for funding, either to grow their businesses or to support cash flow, yet the foreign-owned banks are refusing to lend them money. In fact, the central bank has backed this by giving undue publicity to the issue of under-performing loans, the excuse given by the banks not to lend in the Barbados economy.

How does the minister hope to bypass this lending logjam? By imposing new liquidity conditions on the banks, or by incentivising the development of a non-banking sector?

He gives us four proposals for growth, what he calls ‘interventions’: increased public and private, foreign and domestic investments; better business facilitation; increased productivity; and, increased competitiveness. Again this is simplistic, rhetorical waffle, without any substance. The big question remains how is he going to achieve all this?
The minister explains: US$50m (Bds$100m) in marketing and promotional activities to drive the tourism sector, including US$13m (Bds$26m why do Barbadians talk in US currency?) to settle tourism authority debt. This is money he plans to raise through an Inter-American Development Bank loan, or in other words, deepening public sector debt. Clearly the minister has not been able to separate what is rightly government responsibility, generic promotion of Barbados as an ideal travel destination, and the promotion of hotel sector. The myth of sports tourism will be the focus, in a joint effort with the National Cultural Foundation, the ministry of culture, youth and sports, called grandly the Barbados International Culture and Sports Tourism

Promotion Initiative.
So what are going to be these popular sports which will attract new tourists: cricket, golf, what else? The reality is that for over 50 years Barbados has had a unique sport, road tennis, which has all the ingredients of being a world-class sport, yet it is either ignored by the middle class elite who run sports and policymaking, or they simply do not have the marketing skills to promote this simple, but energetic sport on to a regional or world stage. The minister gives a long list of sporting and leisure events around which this new promotion would be based, but it looks like the same old, same old.

Hotel Refurbishment:
Minister Sinckler also proposed a Bds$50 hotel refurbishment fund, previously announced, which would be funded through an Industrial Credit Fund and Credit Guarantee Schemes. This proposal is so bad it verges on corrupt financial economics. The bottom line is that the mainly private, family-owned or limited liability hotels are incompetently managed and should be allowed to drift in to the insolvency and bankruptcy. Government should not allow pressure, more properly blackmail, from a self-interested private sector to force taxpayers in to financing them, when already many of them have defaulted on income tax, national insurance payments and VAT. Of course, government should help in terms of offering advice; by reminding them that the responsibility for improving their stock is that of the equity holders of their businesses, not taxpayers. If not, government (preferably through a Sovereign Wealth Fund) should offer debt for equity by taking a proportionate share in the companies in exchange for any improvement loans. Otherwise there are a number of other financial mechanisms that the owners of these properties could use: sale and buy back, for example, selling the property on condition that the new buyer gives a lease to continue running the business for a number of years, say 30 years. The hotel and the property are two different businesses. Hotel owners can also open up new revenue streams by outsourcing their restaurants, there is no reason why a hotel should be running a restaurant, along with night time entertainment. There is also the room maid and laundry services which can be outsourced to independent companies, along with imposing direct charges on the use of towels, for example.

The bottom line, as pointed out, is that many of the hotels are badly managed and there is no compelling reason why they should continue to be managed that way just because they have always done so and there is no clear reason why government should take on this responsibility on the bogus claim that it helps the tourism industry. What the minister is proposing is worse than this. I quote: “The Industrial Credit Fund channels funds to entities through qualified financial intermediaries operating in Barbados. Potential beneficiaries first approach a financial intermediary with a project proposal. The intermediary in turn submits a proposal to the ICF for funding.” Then he adds: “The ICF may advance up to 90 per cent of the requested loan amount. The Credit Guarantee scheme provides commercial banks and other credit institutions protection against losses arising from the failure of eligible entities to repay their loans.” This proposal is a recipe for potential fraud: who are these ‘qualified financial intermediaries’? Are they going to be lawyers, accountants, insurance brokers, estate agents, Uncle Joe Cobbly, or globally recognised financial advisers? Then, why should government intervene to guarantee loans for commercial businesses rather than the banks, whose sole purpose is lending money? In fact, why should these so-called qualified financial intermediaries be the ones to approve loans rather than the banks, whose day job it is?

Of importance also is why is the minister bypassing the Small Business office in preference to these so-called qualified financial intermediaries?
In fact, this proposal is designed for those who have mastered the art of making applications, not of running businesses. The simple answer is that these hotel owners should go to their banks and obtained secured loans in the knowledge that failure means losing their property – that is the risk involved in running a business. The minister also made the rather scandalous announcement that the Industrial Credit Fund will be funned in part by the national insurance scheme, an abuse of a long-term state controlled fund that should be prohibited by law.

So, the NIS is now funding privately owned small, in the main mis-managed hotels, often owned by people who have no compunction about sending their children to private fee-paying schools in Europe and North America. To show his ignorance, the minister suggests that the NIS will ‘periodically’ deposit surplus funds in the OCF. Can some one please tell him the NIS does not have ‘surplus’ funds, that this is an actuarial assumption, no more no less, based on long-term obligations.
He continues: “This approach seeks to spur much needed financing to the sector but minimise the risk to the NIS and address a number of incentive problems.” Of course he is right – that there is a profound and urgent need for deeper financialisation – but wrong, that this should come from the over-exploited NIS.

What the minister should have proposed is the formation of at least a single balance sheet retail bank – a post office or credit union bank – with strict balance sheet lending policies, which would more than meet the needs of the troubled hotel and wider small business sector on a sound commercial basis. He did not because it is outside his and his advisers’ policy making comfort zone. He also announced proposals to buy Almond Resorts and Silver Sands Hotel using low-interest loans from the Chinese. But, there is an old Barbadian saying, what sweetens goat mouth….. Does this Chinese deal involved demolition of the existing buildings and building from scratch? Is part of it a loan in kind, in that the building work will be done by imported Chinese labourers, even the unskilled work, when Barbados has an unemployment level of over 11 per cent of the workforce? Does it involve giving permanent resident to any of the Chinese workforce? These are questions that must be answered since they form a central part of Chinese bilateral agreements.
And, is expanding the government’s hotel portfolio the best way of spending Bds$350m in much-needed funds, when in reality the minister should be auctioning off the Hilton and the other hotels it owns? In a display of generous funding of the tourism sector, he has reduced VAT on hotel accommodation to 7.5 per cent, a decision that is short of scandalous. Why is he now subsidising European and North American tourists?

Does he think a saving of a few dollars will encourage Europeans and North Americans, not so inclined, to visit Barbados? That cost, estimated at Bds$9m, could better be spent on feeding Barbadian pensioners. In fact, all this funding should be paid for by the tourist sector, and in particular the hotels, through a levy and/or visa requirement, which in reality would not impact the number of visitors.
The system is so out of control that I have even seen the Holders’ Hill Season promoted by the tourism authorities.

Analysis and Conclusion:
Barbados is living on borrowed time and, like most people who have overdosed on free food and booze, they do not know when the party is over. It is over. Already the bleeding hearts are protesting that the Budget proposals are too tough; their criticisms range from attacking the proposed introduction of tuition fees to cuts in the hospital budget to redundancies. But the minister should simply ignore them, the health cuts were not advisable, but UWI must pay its way. The Opposition BLP is simply wrong on tuition fees and its opposition is political, not economic.
The call for a referendum on the fees is just middle class whingeing because for the first time they have to pay towards the costs of education their precious little children. The referendum idea is idiotic and undemocratic.

The biggest flaw in the proposals, however, is the obvious lack of proper assumptions and analysis, which adds to the overall confusion. A central part of any restructuring is the minister’s own department, which has a number of positions which duplicate each other and a number that are wasteful, including typists, maids, messengers, nine budget analysts, nine economists, including a chief economist, and six statisticians. The important question is what do they all do?

Sometimes when mention is made of the cloud of ignorance in government and policymaking, critics regard this as a cheap shot. But here is the minister: “The ministry of finance will instruct the Inland Revenue Department to procure on a consultancy basis a local company and tax law expert to handle tax law resolution issues and provide advice to the department so that timely decisions could be handed to businesses in the sector that require them. BIBA has generously agreed to work with the ministry to put this initiative into effect ASAP.” This, I suggest, is a major admission of ignorance within government: that there is no one in the ministry, Inland Revenue, or the Attorney General’s department with expertise in taxation law and this so-called expertise has to be bought in.

So, the very people who draft the legislation seem not to know how it works, or at least this is what the minister is suggesting. And to top it all, the Barbados Insurance Brokers Association has stepped forward to offer its services. Please!

A government of lawyers, and a massive university law faculty, and a nation of people who like public discussions and a media that is one of the ‘best’ in the world, with such a blind spot is beyond comprehension. In terms of tourism alone, the policy proposal lies in the face of the urgent need to diversify the economy, the reality is that the marketing budget is badly spent, such as advertising on Los Angeles local radio. How many tourists travel from Los Angeles to Barbados per US$10000 of advertising?

The minister made the bold claim that, based on a revised Growth and Development Strategy 2013-2020, “(S)ustainability of our economic growth and development over the 2013-2020 period will be assured through this nation’s commitment to productivity, efficiency, competitiveness and service excellence.” But this is rhetorical and meaningless in policy terms since nowhere in his Budget presentation is there any policy proposal to deal substantively with any of these grand ideas. Take, for example, the 21 days uncertificated sick leave that the 30000 public sector workers can claim in any one year. That is 630000 working days or three months short of two full years in costly unproductive sick leave.

Given the low capital spending, an investment in introducing technology with comprehensive functionality across all of government would introduce such far-reaching efficiencies that the investment would likely pay for itself in three to five years. One noticeable subject not mentioned by minister Chris Sinckler, and not raised by the Opposition or the media, is youth employment, the most pressing and urgent social issue facing the nation. After nearly six years, the global economy is still generally in turmoil even if it is growing, with the fast-growing emerging markets themselves going through a shuttering slowdown.

Two important recent developments have come out of this, first there is a flight of capital from the emerging market asset class back to the developed ones, mainly to the US, on the basis that the three per cent trend growth in the US is less of a risk and may even deliver in the short term greater returns. Second, there is a fear that the sudden growth of emerging markets over the last five years or so might have been a blip, an accident of history, and things will revert to the historical trend. This is wishful thinking. This basic misunderstanding of events in the global sphere typifies what is wrong with the minister’s analysis. The truth is that the Budget proposals promised more than they have delivered. It is like buying a pig in a poke. The minister has once again let down the people of Barbados and must do much better.

220 thoughts on “Notes From a Native Son: Sinckler’s August 13 Budget Proposals are Uninformed, Misleading and Displays an Embarrassing Ignorance of Monetary Policy

  1. @ David | August 18, 2013 at 9:09 AM |
    “Why did the Opposition not frame the debate in the context that we need to make changes to the fee structure?”

    I too am somewhat disappointed in the way the Opposition framed their contribution to the debate on the introduction of tuition by students at the UWI.
    They first should have extracted heavy political capital from the DLP’s volte-face and in particular the untrustworthiness of the PM on all matters his administration committed themselves too knowing full well the fiscal position of the government.

    However, after this exposure of hypocrisy they should have promoted a sound and workable alternative that certainly will involve a greater direct contribution to the cost of university education by the recipients or their sponsors.
    This certainly could have been by reference to a private-sector managed tertiary education fund for on lending to students and concomitant tax breaks for private savers towards this new model of funding tertiary education. In addition reference should have been made to a revised framework in which the UWI itself would take some “sponsorship” responsibility for recommending those students for ‘special’ funding conditions and who have met the necessary entry requirements and nationally desirable course of study but unable to meet their own privately arranged financing of their contribution towards university education.

    A blank opposition to the cessation of State funded university education was not good enough given the circumstances. The funding of national scholarship awards should also have been brought into the debate.

    • Winston Cox interview makes interesting reading in today’s paper. Why bring the budget so late and as a consequent benefit from only six months result. Why let a budget delivery ramble on so long.

  2. The opposition was unprepared withouat constuctive answer to the fees /proposal by govt. it is/obvious from the response it was one of usual criticsm void and empty of any propsals. not even have the political will to state openly any past proposal which had benin their manifestos past or currant.

  3. @ ac | August 18, 2013 at 11:17 AM |

    It seems the Opposition is no match for the pathological liars and hypocrites making up the DLP administration who see absolutely nothing wrong in making 90 degree turns on commitments and promises made to the electorate and other aggrieved groups like the CLICO policyholders and Al Barrack himself.

    Do you agree, ac? Or would you argue that the CLICO policyholders are a bunch of idiots if they really believe they would get back their investments with the DLP backing the same way the UWI students accepted the iron clad assurance from the PM that university education will continue to be free at point of access under a DLP government?

  4. Listen miller ac not in anyway going to play political gymnastics nothing is fool prof or iron clad that cgnge cannoot be adopted .the PM in his speech quoted from statements where the RT hon Errol barrow had the vision and saw that a day would come when if any policies or proposals made by govt became a burden.whatever changes deemed necessary that should be in the countries best interest should be made

  5. Folk who have no sense of decency and who exhibit ignorance in the face of facts cannot be expected to be shame.As Aesop observed ‘we hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office’.

    • Look the issue of students paying tuition cost we know would always have been an emotive issue. Here is the reality, we can’t afford to fund the system as we have done through the years. The debate must be what changes can we make which does not compromise the social capital which we have worked hard to accrue to date. Instead we have to d Always descend into a political dribble.

  6. F*** Piss StinkLiar
    F*** Fumble FakeSpeare
    F*** The Government

    I am not going let them stop me from enjoying life

    I drinking some brandy here that pulling loud !!!

    and I will deal with them in time to come

    F**** all the yardfowls !!

  7. The Government is a BIG DISAPPOINTMENT
    who are not taking responsibility for ANYthing that they do and keeping UP fooling the people by saying THAT (you cant fix things with a magic wand.

    This statement needs analyzing . It is the most damaging statement being made in Barbados right now. Those uttering the statement should be brought onto the Parade Square and the Squad summons to do a job–BOOM !

  8. Alvin…………the below information is for you to peruse, can we truthfully say that this will ever happen in Barbados to those who believe they have a right and are entitled to do as they like without consequences because they are esteemed and trusted friends of the DLP or BLP?? I if you coerce your clients (as in the case of Clico) to purchase a product you know was just a scheme to generate a quick dollar by Clico led by Parris, you are a fraud and thief and a liar, how could you try to justify or condone the actions of such dishonest people. I am a little surprised at you.


    Canadian firm under new scrutiny at home
    By By Camille Bethel

    Story Created: Aug 17, 2013 at 9:42 PM ECT

    Story Updated: Aug 17, 2013 at 10:37 PM ECT

    As concern remains over the award of a contract to Canadian Company SNC-Lavalin Constructors Inc for the design of the Penal Hospital, a subsidiary of the foreign company was recently awarded a contract in Canada for military troop support.

    The People’s Partnership Government has been working with Canadian authorities to determine if proper procedures were followed in the granting of the contract to SNC-Lavalin to build the planned $1 billion Penal Hospital.

    While a contract was awarded to design the hospital, a final one to decide SNC-Lavalin’s eligibility to build the hospital has not yet been determined.

    The company which has been banned for ten years by the World Bank from bidding on contracts funded by the World Bank was paid $2.2 million by Government to design the Penal Hospital which Minister of Housing Dr Roodal Moonilal is looking into.

    However, on August 13, the Toronto Star reported: “A lucrative contract for Canadian troop support has been awarded to a joint venture company partly owned by a division of SNC-Lavalin Group that is banned from bidding on aid contracts by the World Bank.”

    “Last week the federal public works department awarded a valued defence contract to SNC-Lavalin PAE to provide communications, equipment, food, water supply and other military logistics for Canadian troops operating overseas. The five-year Canadian Forces Contractor Augmentation Program (CANCAP) contract can be extended to ten years.”

    The Toronto Star report pointed out that the CDN$400 million defence contract was awarded to the company although it is one of the corporations listed in the World Bank’s statement on companies “ineligible” for aid contracts.

    “Firms or individuals who have been sanctioned by a development organisation, including the World Bank, for engaging in corrupt or fraudulent practices, will be ineligible to bid on projects funded by DFATD,” Nicolas Doire said in an email, the Toronto Star reported.

    The report added: “The World Bank says the misconduct involved allegations of bribery schemes involving SNC-Lavalin Inc officials in Bangladesh. During their investigation, World Bank staff say they learned of alleged ‘misconduct’ by the company in a project in Cambodia.”

  9. I would settle for Owen Arthur and his skills any day
    Nobody is a saint in politics in Barbados
    The country benefitted under owen Arthur
    What if he cussed a few people ?
    That is we culture. Gabby said it

    Owen has the sensitivity and background to relate to the kind of problems that Barbados faces. I am sure that Owen would have handled that UWI situation with more creative imagination. If in being creatively imaginative he cussed one or two people –what the france–Bajans get too blasted soft and thin skinned. Barrow used to cuss people too.

    These men hate to see people that can do better doing shite- It is as simple as that.

    All of sudden in Barbados , you got some ignorant people in Barbados that feel a politician got to be some pure and sinless individual . When a pilot fly you from Barbados to New York, you care or know if he does curse , swear or pose in the nude ?
    Bajans getting foolish as ass and that is why the DLP is still the Govt and they crying out now !!

  10. @ ac | August 18, 2013 at 12:05 PM |
    “….. if any policies or proposals made by govt became a burden.whatever changes deemed necessary that should be in the countries best interest should be made…”

    Well said, ac! We give you high marks for that “blanket” escape clause.
    So ac you see nothing wrong with this DLP administration reneging on its commitments to the “No Layoffs, No Privatization” mantra made just a few months back?

    If the DLP comes up (as they will be forced to do in a few months when the IMF supervised restructuring programme really kicks in) with an extensive programme of privatization and outsourcing of the provision of social goods and services starting with the Transport Board would you go along with it using the same “catch-all” excuse you just alluded to?

    You see now ac the miller is not a prophet of doom and gloom but more a visionary of stark reality.

    Just remember ac, when it happens your good friend and accomplice Cassandra’s brother will be in your corner ready to wipe away your ‘disappointed’ tears like Freddy Fender.

  11. Enuff
    @ ac
    You should be shame!!!

    shame of what? reality;; No the BLP should be ashamed for not having the guts to put the policies for UWI fees which they had proposed in their manifesto for public debate but unabashedly hid them from public scrutiny .. Now that is downright shameful

    • @ac

      both sides ar not blameless here in misleading the public or showing ignorance. So what is the point? What conclusion must be obvious even to partisan supporters? Jesus we allow these politicians to make us for fools.

  12. david this is all philosophical. not a matter of any one making ac a fool. ,THE UWI can is being kicked up and down the street. the point being that some hard ass yardfowls has a needle full of political poisonous venom to inject into the debate believing that people would freely give permission for them to exercise that privilege.

    • @ac

      Again you have to understand that UWI and its people are not blameless in this affair. How can a Principal buildout a model where he expects to receive a blank cheque no questions asked. They are all a bunch of misfits and the children are the ones who have to suffer. And to those who believe that by critiquing the current system mean we are anti-UWI well as they say where ignorance is ….

  13. If they have to introduce tuition fees at UWI why not look at rather than everyone has to pay perhaps allow students in the education system i.e. primary, secondary to tertiary, that meet the required CAPE level grades i.e. 3 or above be allowed to study free of charge (will encourage students to do better). Persons who’s CAPE scores are 4 or below or that take a year out between secondary school. BCC and UWI or more and those so called mature students pay tuition fees. In theory they would have been working and should be able to contribute to the tuition cost.

    I do not think the Government should have reduced the subsidiary to the QEH at all that is crazy and to be honest I though I would have seen a greater response to this as health care is just as crucial as education. Even if you have the money to go private at QEH all you are paying for is a bed. Its the same doctors looking after you as the public ward. You still on occasions have to wait 4 hours to get admitted and there is still a shortage of nurses.

    In summary the Government need to know how they are going to carry out things and know the impact before they open their mouth. If they had proper plans in place rather than the wake up one morning and ok let me do this. without any research style. there would be greater confidence and more meaningful discussions.

  14. Corrupt politicians and other tagged on problems in Barbados are accumulative of several decades because the people there tolerates it. Prime Minister Stewart refused Raul Garcia his freedom of three years but allows Leroy Parris a free man. This is wrong but people there are tolerating it. Owen Arthur allowed massive land theft involving that old woman Violet Beckles as did Mia Mottley who served as Attorney General. Prime Minister Stewart refusing to bring this to light or even attempt to correct it is also allowing it, massive land theft. The DLP before winning the 2008 general election Barbadians promised integrity legislation and transparency in all government matters. The DLP in December 2012 threw its dog an integrity legislation bone without transparency. The people there just tolerates this.

    Nicholas Sarkozy, in 2007 became president of France. The ex-president promised the French people that his presidency would be all about them; they rapidly concluded that it was mostly about him. As the French president, one of his first actions was to give himself a pay raise. His yearly salary went from €101,000 to €240,000. He additionally was entitled to a mayoral pension as a former mayor of Neuilly-sur-Seine. Sarkozy in the April 2012 election was denied him a second term in office. The condition of France today is not good-looking and in 2007 didn’t shine like polished brass. The condition of Barbados today is not good-looking either. Barbados BEFORE and since 2008 does not shine like polished brass.

  15. David,

    You are absolutely correct in your 1:10 pm blog.

    And they are seeking to devalue their own words, with their ad nauseum ad infinitum utter ill-considered expressions.

    Rather than using the blog as a means through which many positive social political historical scientific ideas and information can be disseminated, interchanged/exchanged, or argued dialectically, and especially when it is clear that this cannot be done like how it is done on here in the traditional media, they use the blog to have these stupid senseless unproductive exchanges and to make a virtual habit trading personal insults (what is amazing is that some do not even know who some of the others are personally, as that some of them have these pseudonyms)

    Were we to have a blog (which we would never want at this stage ) we would prefer a blog where reasoned reasonable discussion can take place in a reasonable way between reasonable people.

    We would not want a blog whereby some of these persons would be devaluing the written word by their having these useless incessant verbal cockfights.

    And really out of such you can see the big extent to which some of them have not widely read and researched.

    Their written words are really and truly disgraceful to the blog!!


  16. Look govt has put a plan in place to fix the dammned thing all the blame not going to help now. those who agree will get on board ,those who don”t agree will also get on board and contine to cuss govt,cause their is no other other option right now, the opposition in their lucklustre approach as a reply had no option. the can will be kick until kingdom come but solutions is what are needed,

    • @ac

      Did you listen to Minister of Education Ronald Jones?

      What is happening here is a work in progress. The debate which is on the way is being listened to very closely by government.

      What plan what.

  17. Let’s hope they are watching the comments and learning how to make the way forward, this is a new experience, let’s hope it is seen as such.

    Look…………..i have moved on to another level, no sense going around and around.

  18. When public funds are misspent by visionless and incompetent cabinet ministers and thus institutions,poor and vulnerable people are robbed of EDUCATION,HEALTHCARE and other ESSENTIAL SERVICES.It is plain and simple that there are opportunity costs associated with key decisions made by cabinet because the taxpayers’ ability to pay is not limitless,therefore start with the high costs associated with recurring EMOLUMENTS and GIVEAWAYS and look for more humane means of relieving some of the pressure on taxpayers.

  19. We heard the constant refrain ………….we won, get over it.

    Now the damned liars telling us to suck it up and get on board. Dems, do your thing, we wish you luck, after all we are all Barbadians and if it sinks, we all sink. The nerve of Donville Inniss, as soon as people don’t speak the DLP lingo, he thinks he is the twin thug who must be derisive of anyone who deigns to be critical of the DLP. I just cannot stand him.

    What people cannot get over is the lies told to win an election just like in 1991……… out, you Dems have vexed the Knight of Harmony Hall. You never know with him.

    We need to talk about the slashing of the reverse tax credit…..that is a brutal attack on the poor of whom the Dems claim to be champions.

    We need to talk about the future pain for all Barbadians who have to use the QEH. I asked a friend who is pretty senior in the Ministry of Health where will the cuts be made………….the person did not know and said no discussions were held so they do not know. What a sad indictment on how this country is being run by the inept incompetent DLP.

    We also need to talk about the effects of the cuts to the SSA.

    miller, I am with you, the IMF will soon take up residence in Bay Street and the buffoon will have to take orders not shout orders to senior men in the Ministry who know more than the man with pea sized brain but who has an ego as big as an elephant. He will be the one who will be told…tow the line and not the other way around.

    BTW, miller do you have any info on why the Director of Finance bowed out three weeks before a budget?

    • What is the total allocation for the reverse credit?

      How do we weight the impact on the needy versus the reason for its removal?

  20. David,

    It seems to me that the DLP did not expect the blow up from the announcement of tuition fees. So they had to start making up a plan as of Tuesday night.

    Just remember the dead king and the St John Development plan which he announced at a meeting in St John…………Richie Haynes said he looked at Sandi and asked him why DT just made up that lie…..he said they went back to George Street that night and DT got cussed so badly because he had no reason to lie as the seat was sure. That night they had to put together some LIES to fool the people that there was actually a St John Development plan and all of dem had to go along with it. Just like this…….many of them may not agree with tuition fees but to save the DLP, they will go along with it.

    So this is nothing new……..standard operating procedure of the lying DLP. The short idiot from St Lucy called in Friday, Dennis Johnson asked him how would the means resting be done…..his reply ………..that’s not my ministry…..all will be revealed which tells you that they are trying to come up with a plan.

    What lying whelps! And to think that one Steve Blackett said that cutting the football tournament to honour the dead king was never an option. You think this bunch of wild boys sweet????

    People, you were warned, you “voted” dem back in, so deal with the pain.

  21. everything is a work in progress but there must be a foundation upon which to build . the govt has supply such a foundation by implying that students pay a small amount towards their tuition. so what is so wrong with that. i am waiting to hear, and don’t tell ac about shi/t talk about broken promises. that is not going to solve any problem only good enough in the rumshop parliament and their ministers. who have no solutrions

  22. @Well Well

    Search Results
    1.Persuade (an unwilling person) to do something by using force or threats.
    2.Obtain (something) by such means.
    to coerce is defined above. the ersons who purchased EFPAs with CLICO were in come cases Fund Managers who would have read the restrictions and ocnditions associated with these specific investment instruments. They would have (or should have )known, that some funds were restricted from investing in these instruments. They sould have known, or should have known that things like pension funds were restricted from such investments, thus they could not be “cooerced” into doing such things. that is why I maintain that they did it of their own free will. In a court of law the salesmen cannot be held liable for selling these instruments. They took the cahnce and must apy the price/ If I am a bank manager and I allow slick con artists from Las Vegas to entice me to Las Vegas by giving me “free” trips to gample the people’s money, when I lose it I can’t claim that I was “coerced” into gambling away the Bank’s money.

    force – compel – constrain – oblige – enforce

  23. @ Prodigal Son | August 18, 2013 at 3:37 PM |

    The current MoF and his colleagues and lackeys like Physical Deficit and Mr. Darcy B the Alpha white collar crook have not been easy to work with. They perceived GS as an OSA plant and the source of leakage of factual information on the real state of the economy. This is of course entirely false since GS is the consummate professional and career civil servant.

    The former Director of Finance, GS, just could not take it anymore to see the financial management of the country fall to such awful depth of ministerial incompetence and stark naked lying political opportunism and indescribable insensitivity to the country’s misfortunes.

    GS had put in his time and decided to call it quits not only for his own personal health and family concerns but also because he does not want to be further associated with the fiasco and pending meltdown of the country’s fiscal and economic situation created by the perfect storm that was born and currently brewing under this inept political administration and is about to be unleashed on poor Bim in the coming months.

    • @ac

      These guys are making it up as they go along. The decision to make UWI students pay tuition cost is driven by the reality the government is broke and not because of any philosophical position, BUT defend all you want, it is what party supporters do.

  24. @Alvin Cummins | August 18, 2013 at 4:15 PM |

    ” …thus they could not be “cooerced” into doing such things. that is why I maintain that they did it of their own free will. In a court of law the salesmen cannot be held liable for selling these instruments. They took the cahnce and must apy the price…”

    Alvin Dear heart, can we also apply your line of reasoning to the peddling of weed a substance naturally grown?
    And before you bring in the legality argument just remember the Supervisor of Insurance had not approved the marketing of the EFPAs as sound viable financial instruments fit for proper investment purposes.
    BTW, what are your views on the other investments at risk? You know the life insurance and pension annuities? Do you consider them to be risky transactions the policyholders should consider as gambling losses?

  25. David how does one make up “A reality” the fact is that given the real financial situation of the country finances a bold step had to be made to adress the situation at UWI. Nothing unreal or made up about that. and yes the decision as you so clearly observed was made by a reality .u know what why the discussion on how the plan is or was formulated the fact is that a decision was made and there is where we are now

    • @ac

      The point which you refuse to grasp is that as far as the mid-90s it was recommended that UWI students share cost. The politicians on both sides have treated this matter with the usual partisan BS. Because they want to win votes given the emotionalism which education is viewed by Barbadians. So here we are having to implement a drastic change (emotionally and financially on the people) when a sensible approach would have been to phase it and implement in better economic times.

  26. The government laid out a clear policy position on uwi. The question is whether they will follow through in the face of the public storm.

    • @Observer

      The government laid out a clear policy position on uwi. The question is whether they will follow through in the face of the public storm.

      If a government in the first year of a second term cannot defend its policies well what can one say.

  27. 1 Tell the truth about the land
    2 cut up 100,000 spots for who wants.
    3 500bd$ land rent a year, not land tax
    4 govt get 18% Vat from the land rent 2014
    5 2013 keep the money to pay the debt
    6 govt will then get 18% each year after that
    7 all other rents go to the owners
    8 all the Bank crooks gone no loans needed
    9 remove the VAT from the public

  28. like PM said if hinsight was foresight there would be no problems. Like ac says we are where are in the present. and time for yesterday planning has long gone..time for solutions have been laid out .if there can be improvement both sides can grapple and come up with a plan that would be a lot less painful but i don’t see how it is possiblle, i understand what you are saying david but what now standing ground, crticising the changes as broken promises or making headway out of the financial mess with the UWI. .i give up. on this issue, i think i am going to read my bible on FAITH cause this issue requires the FAITH and patience of JOB.

    • @ac

      Not so fast, it all factors into why there is a lack of confidence in Barbados at the moment. Leaders make the right decisions at the right time. This government dilly dallied for too long even when they were being told action was required. Now that they have taken the hard decisions they now have the equally hard job of convincing many it is the right decision. You see it is not only about making decisions it is communicating to the people ina way where the people are with you.

  29. @ ac
    Yes you should be shame.
    FYI a deficit is a burden and the $400m+ deficit is in year SIX mi lady i.e. the government was carrying a BURDEN for 6 years not in 2013. And mi lady you were a vociferous opponent to privatisation including education. Who determines the tuition cost at UWI by the way? Again I say, if we believe that free bus fares and a government-owned transport board is more important than education then we really should not only make Bajans pay for UWI but ALL schooling in Buhbaduss.

  30. Maybe barbados needs the Williams brotherss, the Kiffin Simpsons, and the David Seales to run this country, because the current crop of black politicans seem not able to get the job done. Give the country back to Massa. And i am a black, black Bajan

    Except for David Seale to a little extent , the persons mentioned above have not shown any real entrepreneurship skills if depending on government contracts and speculation can be considered having been possessed of the necessary requisite leadership skills to manage a small economy with little resources and a heavy reliance on limited taxpayers revenues money to spread evenly across the board.

  31. To say that the givt did not outmeasures in place in 2008 is all political banter and rhetoric. how can one forget that when l previous budgets were laid out the human cry that bellowed through the halls of BU. it is obvious that the yardfowls are not going to be happy until full blown privatisation takes effect. that seems to be the only method that would be agreed upon that makes the BLP

    AC- I do admire you and CARSON. you both have fought a good fight, you have run the course but unfortunately as MR RONALD TOPPIN pointed out the morning policies of your party which conflict with their evening policies have placed you both in a position where in your race there seems to be no end. As DAVID is trying to pint out, it is not about BEE OR DEE now at this point in time, it is about us. So HUSH.

  32. @Miller the answer is NO!
    So here we are having to implement a drastic change (emotionally and financially on the people) when a sensible approach would have been to phase it and implement in better economic times.” How long did the other Party have in power within which time and better financial conditions have to implement this policy?

    • Everyone seems to be missing the point. Government is hurting the most vulnerable in society while allowing the better off to get away. If Government had the millions in VAT, including the $25 million form Courts, that were collected and not paid in there would be no need to take these drastic steps against the poor. Why is the Government not enforcing the VAT law instead preferring to penalise the vulnerable and docile. By now street protest should have brought this incompetent and dishonourable government down.

  33. @balance
    you could fool ac not about BEE or DEE >>>LOL!HUSH DO ….

    wait the first thing out the BLP yardfowls mout was not about country ,but about broken promises . who u trying to FOOL…guh long do !! and take the HUSH brigade along wid u fuh comfort…. steupse……

  34. Caswell Franklyn @ By now we know you know the answer, Others will not face facts, and they dont know or seen to know the whys , Even if you told them the answer they may not want to hear it ,,
    Most seem to love lies better than truth , The people they trust most are crooks,, look who they want to give it a run , the some of the same people that got us in this mess. Massive cover up for the Fraud Masters , Ponzi need new money to keep it alive ,, Check you tax bill , We KNOW it went it faster than you paycheck,

  35. Former Governor of the Central Bank, Mr Winston Cox, seems to be living in the dark ages.

    This conclusion can be drawn from the Big Interview – whatever that is – in which his answers to Tony Best questions were reproduced in an edited form in today’s Sunday Sun.

    Mr. Cox still believes that the government has income and expenditure.

    What archaic and unstudied rubbish!!

    The fact that the government steals countless portions of the nominal incomes, payments and transfers of the relevant people, businesses and other entities in Barbados, means that, by this very evil wicked process, it does not have any nominal income other than from certain statutory corporations/government companies that sell commodities, or it does not have any nominal payments other than nominal payments from some of those same statutory corporations/government companies that take nominal payments from their customers that use their services.

    Since, it does not have much nominal income or payments, only negligible – it is clear that in cases where the government steals robs countless portions of the nominal income, payments and transfers of others, that it does not have any nominal expenditure to make whatsoever based on and therefore outside of those nominal incomes and payments.

    So, when the government immorally illegally TAXES (via NIS, LICENSES/FEES too) the nominal remunerations of these different entities, it sickeningly wickedly forces at the same time these individuals to hand over monies to it , or to give it access to monies – via the financial chequing system – within the core financial system, which in the end is some of the monies that would have been actually transported by vehicles to those financial institutions to add to those monies already there in the financial institutions, for those who have worked with the government, or done business with it, or those that have to get old age pensions, invalidity, maternity, unemployment, welfare, or other so-called benefits, to get some of them on the presentation of such so-called government cheques, plus IDs, to the particular tellers of financial institutions.

    In many associated cases of the latter, too, the presentation by the particular persons of these so-called government cheques, along with their IDs, are necessary for the bearers of such cheques to get monies out of the total monies that any businesses would have at anytime collected during the course of their doing business – these businesses being businesses that are authorised by the government to provide such monies to the bearers of such so-called government cheques – less the amount in numbers costed in the particular transactions against the written dollar cents numbers on the cheques – during the particular goods services money transactions involving the bearers of those government cheques.

    Such processes involve and do lead to TRANSFERS to the recipients from the relevant others.

    The government – in such cases of TAXATION ( NIS too) – wickedly evilly stealing countless portions of the nominal remunerations of the relevant others to enable the transporting of monies from some sets of people, businesses and other entities to the relevant others – is therefore providing nominal transfers to business people, pensioners, disabled and medically unfit to work people, maternity mothers, and welfare beneficiaries inside of Barbados primarily.

    The government – in such cases of the money collections of businesses ( incomes/payments) – and being so damnedly and inefficiently dependent on the nominal remunerations of others, namely some businesses, to provide monies on its behalf to the relevant people – is getting these businesses to actually provide on its behalf nominal transfers to old age pensioners, disabled and medically unfit to work people, welfare cheque and other beneficiaries inside the country primarily.

    So, Mr. Cox must be made clear that the new factual language is such that there is the recognition that the government of Barbados hardly gets nominal income and therefore hardly provides nominal expenditure anytime.



    There is empirical evidence to support this FACT /
    Somebody ! tell me uh wrong !!

  37. Clearly you have no knowledge of the history of the 4 Seasons Project.If you did you would not be making that ignorant statement.Next time you are in Bim,go see the Duke of York and go see the call centre at George Street,between the two of which,the project ground to a halt.Nothing to do with the BLP nor the private sector but a lot to do with the BWU and the rotten DEMS.

    you hit the nail on the head. there is no doubt that the daily harassment of the for seasons project on brasstacks aided and abetted by MR TONY MARSHALL and to a lesser extent MR ELLIS TOGETHER WITH MR TROTMAN’S tirade against chinese labour which obviously would have been factored into the cost of the project was a contributory factor among other things in driving the final nail in the coffin of the project.

  38. @ Observer | August 18, 2013 at 6:11 PM |
    “Do we need the austerity package or not. If we do why undermine it by griping about it being late”

    It is not a matter of griping of its timing whether now, later or never.
    We all know that Bajans must make major sacrifices in the coming months whether under local political supervision or an austerity framework imposed by outside agents.

    The question is one of confidence and trust in the local doctors administering the bitter medicine.
    How can you expect the ordinary man or woman to place confidence in a Minister of Finance who is incapable of explaining to them the stakeholders in the country ‘how, when, where and who was involved in the disappearance of $300 million of the country’s hard-earned foreign reserves especially at such a crucial time?

    Blaming the BLP for the mission hundreds of millions in such a short period will not cut it this time.

    Unless you, Observer, are prepared to proffer a possible properly convincing explanation on behalf of the MoF to this massively major faux pas in the management of the foreign reserves the very lifeblood of the country’s economy, the citizens have every right to withhold support from any policies involving austerity for the hope of a better tomorrow.
    Why should the ordinary citizens make major sacrifices to support and underwrite the wicked actions of financial criminals and lawbreakers (with the tacit acquiescence of the MoF and the Guv of the CBB) in ‘salting’ away $300 million of the country’s liquid assets to overseas bank accounts?

  39. Since taking a well-deserved weekend break, I have been following the threads various threads in this forum on the Budget proposals and, typically, they have drifted off the substantive issues and in to the intellectual ghetto of yabboo party politics.
    In principle, the BLP has very little to boast about when it comes to monetary and fiscal policy; the only fundamental difference between the two main parties is one of personality, and whose technocrats are better managers of the economy.
    Here we have a Budget speech that proposes that, in the main, the badly run family-owned hotels which are in serious trouble, should be given government loans, underwritten by the much abused national insurance; here we have a minister o finance, 47 years after constitutional independence, who in effect tells us there is no one in government who is an expert on tax law, this in a country with one lawyer to every 300 people; here is a finance minister that tells us that the BIBA – a trade union of insurance brokers, the bottom of the finance food chain – has offered its services to government as expert financial advisers. You just could not make it up.
    And, finally, here is a minister of finance with a well primed small business unit, asking the central bank to manage this special lending vehicle, rather than the government department that rightly should be managing it.
    These, I offer to you good people, are the early signs of the decline of a once great nation, of a people punch drunk with self-delusion, a collective incremental nihilism, a clear return to darkness.
    Two examples suffice: the lunatic idea that a referendum should be held over the only thing the minister did right, charging for university tuition, even if he was a bit too hasty; and the ill-advised objection from the official Opposition, which clearly cannot see anything wrong with the other badly thought out features of the other proposals.

  40. @ Hal
    “These, I offer to you good people, are the early signs of the decline of a once great nation, of a people punch drunk with self-delusion, a collective incremental nihilism, a clear return to darkness.”
    Boss Man, you need to get your facts right …else GP will cuss you bad bad!!!

    1 – These are not EARLY SIGNS. These are LATTER SYMPTOMS of decline. Early signs were when competent people like Henry Forde declined high office in favor of big payoffs in legal fees. Opening the door for pretenders….
    early signs were when it became clear that UWI was incapable of producing functional leaders….so Hillary decided on cricket instead..

    2 – what punch drunk what?!? Drunkenness goes away in the morning. These people are not drunk, they are BRASS BOWLS.

    3 – Call for referendum?… You mean Commission? GIVE US A BREAK! Nobody takes him seriously – except our courts 🙂

  41. Mr Austin I have no objection to the Government’s right to govern as they see fit even if it means imposing payment for tuition fees; my understanding of our economic model is that we pay exorbitant taxes, I believe the highest in the Caribbean to support these freenesses- free education, free health, sfree bus fares etc and to subsidise the less fortunate. So when people from abroad complain about our high taxation, I simply point them to the freenesses which we enjoy and visitors too which has to be paid for. My question to you then is this- will my taxes be reduced concomitantly to take into account my having to pay for the education of my children.

  42. @ Hal Austin | August 19, 2013 at 5:48 AM |
    “.. here is a finance minister that tells us that the BIBA – a trade union of insurance brokers, the bottom of the finance food chain – has offered its services to government as expert financial advisers. You just could not make it up.”

    We suspect the acronym BIBA may not be referring to the local clique of insurance brokers but more especially to the Barbados International Business Association.

    But we could also be creating confusion since we can never tell with this MoF who like the previous administration is just keen to find ways to feather-bed the financial nest of some of the high level DLP party members who are deeply involved in the local insurance brokerage business.

    Hal, we have not heard your views regarding the unaccounted disappearance of $300 million in foreign reserves under the watch of this Minister of Finance.
    In more “enlightened’ jurisdictions his inability to shed light on this massive fraud would be immediate grounds for dismissal or at least reallocation to a different ministerial portfolio where his ‘monkey handling gun style’ of incompetence would have little effect on the country’s economic fortunes.

    This fiasco is more than scandalously outrageous and the blasted idiot responsible for its occurrence is blissfully unaware of the ramifications his stupidly forced public admittance to such massive financial infelicities and mismanagement in the eyes of the credit rating agencies but more importantly foreign investors.

    Why should foreign financial institutions invest in a country in which its economic lifeblood is allowed to dissipate like water down a drain or more analogously like the 50% loss of potable water from the distribution system of the local BWA?
    How can they be confident their investments or bond purchases would be properly serviced and repaid at maturity?

  43. @ balance
    will my taxes be reduced concomitantly to take into account my having to pay for the education of my children.
    ….you just may not be subjected to MAJOR increases in taxes to maintain a process WHICH IS NOT WORKING.

    If the Damn university was producing at least some people capable of LEADING in difficult times; or of conceptualizing some ORIGINAL products on the country’s behalf; or of providing some kind of effective LEADERSHIP……

    THEN it would be worth the while…..

    Every shiite of worth in Barbados is OWNED, MANAGED and CONTROLLED by a foreigner……after 60 YEARS of free university education at a cost of HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS…

    ….and our current focus is on a CRICKET CENTER OF EXCELLENCE…..

    Personally, Bushie would charge Hillary with treason, dottin his tail…and refocus the university on identifying the 5% or so of REALLY TALENTED Barbadians and preparing them for CRITICAL NATIONAL ROLES…….

    …but wunna like nuff mediocracy and fluff – so continue smartly…..

  44. @ Balance

    I do not think Barbados is over taxed. Barbadians think they are, which is important. When Barbadians go overseas to a developed country, they pay city, or local authority, state or county and national or federal taxes. They do not complain.
    I think what the people in Barbados wan is transparency – to see where their money is going. That is why I have called for hypothecated taxation, with annual reports from every ministry and statutory body.
    The cult of the consolidated fund is a civil service scam – put all the money in one pot and they dip in as they like.
    There is also the scandal of the supplements, cost a project at one price, then a couple weeks later put in for supplements.
    What is more worrying is that the culprits remain in their jobs. If they cannot do proper cost/benefit analyses then they should be sacked, or at the very least, moved sideway and not promoted.,
    About BIBA – nice getting the foreign owned businesses to work out our taxation policy for us – talk of getting the foxes to guard the chickens.
    The matter with the foreign reserves is a side issue. It is incompetence, not fraud. Barbadians have no idea how incompetent their top officials can be.
    Stop obsessing about foreign reserves and think of improving efficiency and output.

  45. David. I realise that this US$500 million that was signed off at the eleventh hour after the televised budget debate has been placed on the back burner. We don’t have a clue about the following
    – What is the interest on this loan?
    – How many years we have to repay this loan?
    – We were told about closing 2 loans. How much are these loans?
    – Where will the balance of the loan be channeled?
    – Will the usage of the remaining loan be debated in parliament?
    – Will transparency be a part of this loan?
    – Can someone state if this is Barbados’ largest loan?
    – What is our largest capital loan?

    CCC, AC and ALVIN et al can confirm.

  46. @ Tell me Why
    …are they not just refinancing?
    I.e. borrowing money from new lenders to pay existing debt liabilities (mostly interest), and thus kicking the debt can further down the road?
    It is a known game where these politicians use such loans to defer problems to future leaders…..

    Apparently it is none of our business…..we are only the patsies who will pay in the end…

  47. It’s a mess down there. The S&P and Moody’s said so. Here is ironclad proof: Massive Land Theft, VECO/St. Phillips Prison, Contractor Al Barrack/Government Office Complex (St. Michael), George Payne v Edmund Kinkinson, Kerri Symmonds, Arch Cot Britton Hill and Graeme Hall Nature, Four Seasons & the Pierhead Marina, there is no economic growth and last Chris Sinckler’s August 13th Budget Proposals. The United Nations says there are lots of theft there. Violet Beckles proved this as did Owen Arthur, Mia Mottley, Dale Marshall, David Thompson and Leroy Parris.

    Detroit, Michigan (United States) alike Barbados is ill – financially stress. Alike Barbados, problems in Detroit are accumulative of several decades. Elected officials didn’t know what in the hell they were doing. Detroit, however, will survive. Barbados, probably not. Detroit has potential and possibilities, lots of it. Detroit, did you know is home of the American Auto Industry (General Motors, Ford and Chrysler). Detroit, did you know is home to the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) which it hosts each year in January and Cobo Center there, site of the annual North American International Auto Show is midst a 320 million dollar renovation, since 2011. True, the City of Detroit on July 18, 2013 filed bankruptcy. The NAIAS none the less will go on – show must go on.

    NAIAS chairman, Bob Shuman says “the 2014 show will exhibit more [automotive] world wide products and automotive technology. NAIAS 2014 will be an indicator of an increasingly confident, healthier automotive industry, and once again, all the industry news and excitement will be unveiled on the world stage right here in Detroit.”
    Detroit, even in a financial crisis refuses to pull the plug on spending $400 million for a new hockey arena for its Detroit Red Wings. Michigan Governor, Rick Snyder and Kevin Orr, appointed emergency manager agrees to stick with the plan. Detroit’s bankruptcy in process won’t halt the 2014 North American International Auto Show or building a new hockey arena. Detroit even in its current condition is breathing. Four Seasons and the Pierhead Marina project down there on that dot in the Caribbean is not even doing that, breathing

    Detroit Emergency Manager has a plan to dig Detroit out of debt. Detroit in bankruptcy will likely lose some very rare and precious gems but still live. It, Detroit likely will lose its 2.6 billion dollar art collection housed at the Detroit Institute of Arts. The Historical Museum, “owned by Detroit” celebrated a $12-million renovation late last year and exhibits some big ticket items, also owned by Detroit, notably, a collection of about 60 classic automobiles. Hagerty, a Traverse City-based company that specializes in classic car values and insurances estimates that three of them attains value of $1 million or more. Detroit, at moment owns parking garages, lots and metered parking spaces – thousands of them. The city’s parking department may then lose nearly $6 million per year.

    True, Detroit is injured, has to endure some pain. Detroit yet is producing automobiles and sales Tell me why, why are Barbados people looking at Detroit and not Barbados. Amidst its bankruptcy filing on July 18, 2013, Detroit still produces automobiles also watches and bicycles. So, Why, why are Barbados people looking at Detroit and not Barbados. Chris Sinckler’s August 13th Budget Proposal is seemingly more painful than Detroit in Bankrupcy. Tourism numbers in Barbados are continuously falling but production in Detroit stays in tact.

  48. RE These, I offer to you good people, are the early signs of the decline of a once great nation, of a people punch drunk with self-delusion, a collective incremental nihilism, a clear return to darkness.






  49. @ Bush Tea | August 19, 2013 at 9:06 AM |

    You said “If the Damn university was producing at least some people capable of LEADING in difficult times; or of conceptualizing some ORIGINAL products on the country’s behalf; or of providing some kind of effective LEADERSHIP…… THEN it (the University my insertion) would be worth the while…..”

    In the middle of all the melee and hulabaloo, there will be one or two persons who focus on what is the crux of the matter and as such relates to the UWI behemoth.

    It is a beauteous sepulchre, spanning acres of prime land overlooking the sea, replete with persons posturing as literati, producing nothing.

    The literary equivalent of the offspring of the horse and donkey – the mule – such offspring incapable of breeding again.

    Much like the impossible progeny of the mule, the legacy of the UWI is nought.

    I only disagree with Sinckliar in the way that he implemented the increase, I feel that it could have been done incrementally over a 10 year period, in weaning “the baby” of this free education nursing, it would have been a better, more caring, pill to take of this dose of cod liver oil.

    I have felt that people like Dr. Anthony Fisher while well intentioned, lack the depth of understanding that is required to position the UWI, in the IP monetization space that would permit the UWI to generate revenues.

    Couple that with the skills sets of Sonia Johnson as lead IP Development Officer and you have a recipe for disaster.

    Baffy speaks to “compensation based on deliverables” a time tested practice which successfully drives insurance agent compensation and other commission based professions

    This certainly is a time for such compensation mechanisms instead of $13,000/month salaries for people to stroke the appendages of the people of Barbados while delivering nothing.

    Given the neuter contribution of the pretty campus professors, (could that be the zero margin that Mascoll does talk bout?) I for one while disappointed when it happened.

    I beleive that this illy implemented action will put our “qualified UWI graduate pool” (the quality of which I will leave for another discussion) back 15 years.

    It had to happen since the UWI We Jonesing crew were/are producing nothing and my country Barbados cannot afford it any more.

  50. @ pieceuhderockyeahright!!! | August 19, 2013 at 4:40 PM |
    “The literary equivalent of the offspring of the horse and donkey – the mule – such offspring incapable of breeding again.
    Much like the impossible progeny of the mule, the legacy of the UWI is nought.”

    What a piece of imagery replete with redundant bestial scenes of futile copulation only to produce a cockamamie cornucopia full of belly laughs enough to make a eunuch ejaculate in jest.

    A crescendo of wit that has its apex on Mount Olympus to tickle the goddess of Truth Alethia until she seeks orgasmic emission from Eros’s manipulations.

    You are too innocuously wittingly deadly with your words reminiscent of the members of a school of literati whose only members are as rare as the descendants of Thoth.

    You can easily fill the empty boringly dry stomach of the grumpiest curmudgeon of Scrooge like personality and turn him into a work of comical beauty to elicit even a wry smile of envy from Spike Milligan.

    It a tragic comedy that most of the members of Parliament today are the barren offspring cloned in the same Petri dish ‘forged’ in the UWI breeding ground of academic masturbation.

  51. JUST ASKING | August 18, 2013 at 9:03 PM |@ Telling you wrong

    Dead wrong , this massive liars and crooks got going well with
    Sir Ham and Sir COW , then we have Ford at land TAX and Sir Forde. With CUMMINGS Town and Country , Mr Forde at Land Tax. Samantha Cummins at National Housing and Lands , Mia as AG and Owen as PM, William at Archives, UDC 1997 and VAT 1997

    All these crooks help this Ponzi fraud to move ahead ,
    The DLP got in power and did not know how to handle such a fraud and taking them a while to look to get there hands on the Money, Mr Todd was on Baxters Road today and he ran like a Bitch thinking no one will ask him about what he say he own ..More Fraud, Todd and MOF SINK_MAN@UDC lies and cover up.
    COP crook CJ Simmons as AG crook , SIr Forde as AG Crook ,
    Fraud Squad ran by Dottin and lets see who will be next to say that Lawyers and Ministers cant be charge with fraud for they past an Act to cover them self.?
    Was it EX CJ Simmons that said YOU ALL CANT DO THAT,,, So hell with you CJ Simmons they past an ACT to make what ever they want to do with Land and Deeds not a crime.

    All what we are in to now ,, Is because of the crooks from the BLP that started this PONZI on the People of Barbados,
    Blame the BLP for the mess and then the DLP for covering up the Fraud, To much fraud money in a new government hands, that ran a wild in offshore Banking.CLICO BLP and now DLP own this mess alone , Will BLP and MIA looking to get back in the driver seat .
    This is NOW the DLP show ,, MIA and Owen not off the hook ,, they are Hooked,,

  52. I do not think Barbados is over taxed. Barbadians think they are, which is important. When Barbadians go overseas to a developed country, they pay city, or local authority, state or county and national or federal taxes. They do not complain.

    I have never lived abroad so I do not know but are they not adequately remunerated even at basic levels to take into account the cost of these activities.
    our cost of high living was predicated in my view by our transformation from a village to a modern society in the sixties where in the novel budgetary presentations we bought into the idea and willingly accepted the introduction of appropriate taxation measures to cover the cost or most of it of the social benefits which the government was inflation As expected began to take its toll; the government’s response was to offer a wage increase to supposedly offset the widening inflationary gap which became wider as the value of disposable income became smaller.
    Over the years, we have continued on this outdated path with none of the administrations seemingly having the will or capacity to try something else to take account of the changing times. this is only a point of view and not a critique.

  53. @ Balance

    You are right. We inherited a public finance culture from the colonialists and, even after constitutional independence, failed to revise it.
    We have got to move to a hypothecated system, as I have said, with greater transparency. People want to know what percentage of their taxes is going where. – not just in to the Consolidated Fund.
    But the real elephant in the room is that we pay the super wealthy to live in Barbados. The owners of the multi-million dollar homes on the West Coast do not pay their fair share of taxes.
    Ordinary people pay them to stay in Barbados and both parties conspire in this. B.

  54. Some does talk real sh..t sometimes. when did it becom a conspiracy by govts to take care of its citizens Yeah ! yeah ! i can hear the right wing conservatives lashing out at ac. however govts does have a role in helping it,s people. unfortunately most of the time with the intent on doing good the principle of what is doing Right is thrown out the window and the people take on an attitude of entitlement which is the basis of resentment being dished out at govt for the reversal of free teritary edu.

  55. The PM has 3 degrees from UWI. ????
    kicks down the ladder
    vex because poor black people getting degrees
    rooted in 1900s mentality
    vex because 1 graduate per household
    wants to maintain status quo
    wants to take you back to slavery
    sending us back to the cane fields
    18 tons of sugar
    crack some heads
    we producing nothing
    whip us
    police/guns; police state
    attack vendors
    small man under attack
    will fight back
    tax-o- nine in yuh tail
    bills bills everday
    failed policies/excuses
    attacks/.education/middle class/ living off the tax-payers/got it made/ dont care bout a fella/big house/big car/money/yuh cant touch me/I dont care bout wunna/black and still poor/ I move from Marchfield to Illaro Court/ you vex ?

    • The PM was at pain to pint out in his Budgetncontributionnthat his first degree was financed by taxpayers and the others he borrowed to finance. If you guys want to serious debate the issues please do so.

  56. @ ac | August 20, 2013 at 7:50 AM |

    We note you are avoiding the “P” word. You know, the ‘Privatization’ thingy, like the ‘plague’?
    However, we are very much aware of your wedge slowly but slowly creeping in day-by- day between your previous intractable position and what the current DLP administration is being forced by foreign agents to announce (if not put in train) as practical and realistic policy proposals.

    What we would like you to do is to give us an update on your position on the “P” debate.
    Or are you waiting on the MoF’s forced large scale privatization announcements in the coming weeks to jump on the “I agree with privatization” bandwagon as you are doing with the current DLP retreat from its promises of continuing social entitlements outlined in their 2013 manifesto?

    Let us put it to you this way, ac. Now tell us how this demonstrably incompetent DLP administration- which has lost the confidence of the business community and investors both local and overseas- is going to get people with money to subscribe in any meaningfully satisfactory way to the US $500 million junk bonds to be floated on the international money markets?
    Do you think this is a realistic expectation on the part of the MoF who can’t even get local investors, awash in Bajan dollars, to fully subscribe to local bond offerings?

    What do you think is going to happen when the foreign reserves actually run out in the coming months and the banker of last resort has to be depended upon (as was the case in 1991/92) to fund this country’s conspicuous consumption lifestyle?
    Don’t you think the IMF will demand its pound of flesh in exchange for access to foreign money? Don’t you think the Transport Board, Air & Sea ports and other infrastructural assets currently in the government’s investment portfolio would be up for sale at any cost?

    Yes ac, go ahead and call the miller a prophet of doom and gloom who has no love of this DLP administration.
    But why not take a step back and realize that everything the miller has proposed as inevitable has indeed followed the trajectory initially outlined. Case in point, the funding of the UWI for which you are now a fully converted ardent proponent so evangelically caught up that even poor Paul would be envious of the fire in your belly in serving your damned lying pay master of hypocrisy and subterfuge.

  57. @ David | August 20, 2013 at 8:37 AM |

    We might be wrong but that might not be entirely true.
    He might have borrowed to go to law school to do his certificate in legal education and training at the Sir Hugh Wooding or maybe, but less probably, Norman Manley.
    But in those days of wines and roses tuition fees were not imposed (we suspect) on Bajan nationals pursuing law as a second degree in the early 1980’s. Having a first degree in a discipline from the FAGS would have entitled students to exemption from first year law and possibly a few other courses.
    But we leave it up to those who could have gone down a similar path like Hal Gollop or the other many who did additional first degrees or entered the “Masters” programme to clarify the matter.
    Payment of tuition fees for a second degree came about, so the PM confirmed, around 2003.

    But again the miller may be wrong as is always the case in the eyes of ac and Bushie once it comes to setting the record straight where this PM is concerned.

  58. Much has recently been written about the financial collapse of Detroit.

    This not to suggest that DD believes that Barbados has descended to the depths of financial collapse as has Detroit, but each time DD reads an article about Detroit, it strikes him that there are scary similarities.

    The following are from an article at:

    “Despite drastic cuts since 2000, Detroit is still one of the most overstaffed cities in the United States. As of 2011, it had one city employee for every 55 residents — by far the highest ratio in the United States. Public services remained bloated, and the bureaucracy remained clogged with useless union workers who could not be fired.”

    From 1961 onward, Detroit became the crucible into which progressives poured every utopian idea imaginable. The city spent more per capita on education, welfare and infrastructure than almost any other urban center in the country during the sixties and seventies.

    This from:

    “If there’s an iron rule in economics, it is Stein’s Law (named after Herb, former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers): “If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.”

    Detroit, for example, can no longer go on borrowing, spending, raising taxes and dangerously cutting such essential services as street lighting and police protection. So it stops. It goes bust.
    It doesn’t take a genius to see what happens when the entitlement state outgrows the economy upon which it rests. The time of Greece, Cyprus, Portugal, Spain, the rest of insolvent social-democratic Europe — and now Detroit — is the time for conservatives to raise the banner of Stein’s Law and yell “Stop.” You can kick the can down the road, but at some point it disappears over a cliff.”

    The following is from a somewhat encouraging article at:

    “This time of year, we are in such a dead-eyed panic to put down wild fires that we often forget they are vital to the rejuvenation of forests. Before man started building homes in the path of danger, we knew that the devastation of a burn prepared the soil for new growth.

    In much the same way, the city of Detroit has been razed by flames of incompetence, greed, stupidity and the global economic meltdown. But there are green shoots. I spotted one of them just the other day.”

    These and other Detroit articles should be required reading for all Cabinet members.

    It strikes DD that, when looking for solutions to Barbados’ economic problems, its leaders (Ministers and senior bureaucrats) should consider booking an AA (economy) flight to Detroit at a cost of about US$1,200.00, instead of taking junkets to Singapore, Dubai and Macau to look at casinos and convention centres.

    Due Diligence hereby undertakes to make no further posts about Detroit.

  59. Yagga Rowe this is the same government that renamed schools and would not touch the Schools name after WHITE Barbadians. The same government that Change up requirements so that HC would once again get the bulk of scholarships. This is a COCONUT government …BLACK on the Outside and wanting to be white on the inside so much so they trying always to think and do white.

  60. Man Roverup u are a classical idot. violins and all include. now do u understand the meaning of the word “budget” and the cost i takes to run a govt that has inherited past debt plus having to borrow additionally to keep the country runnuning and pay down loans with high interst l. Do u know how much it cost to finance a child over the years at university level plus pay wages . Do you not understand the ramifications and the financial stress this country has been put under bethrough out the years

  61. Is it true that UWI has given Principal Sir Hilary a chauffeur-driven seven-series BMW and that there is an official house in St George which is now dilapidated, which he does not live in. Instead, Beckles gets a housing allowance to live in his own home – so do all the other staff lecturers?
    If true this is a scandal of monumental proportions.
    What is often commented upon is that in four or five years the student numbers have grown from 5400, about 400 from overseas, to over 7000.Why are ordinary Barbadian taxpayers paying for this extravagance?
    Lecturers – not just professors – earn a six figure sum, while permanent secretaries earn Bds$150000.
    Barbados is out of control and the people do not want to know.
    It is the same with the proposal by the minister of finance to subsidise private, badly managed hotels, unwritten by national insurance. What is wrong with Barbadian people? The same with the minister admitting that we do not have any public sector-employed tax law specialist. This is a huge institutional failure.
    Why do people want to talk about party politics and not the reality of our collective failings?

  62. Hal Austin | August 21, 2013 at 3:35 AM | @ Focus is whats needed , Audit is whats needed , Truth is what is needed,
    They both give so many lies people run and talk ,, We know they are Crooks and will say so until some one stand up in the house and call the other members crooks. Those who are not crooks is learning to be crooks, All the funds spend on UWi and you mean no one up there and see what is going on? Sir Beckles is one of the biggest crooks of all , taking and taking and looking for more , He will leave that Office in shame .
    Who ever meet his ask him about the Plantations and where he get land to build all over the place ,,,
    All want to put up building and rename building with there names like head stones after death ,, Sadam got pull down and Hitler also,, Bussa , Barbados a stolen and hidden History.
    When the payment for slavery come to the front line the Plantation Deeds will kick them in the ass.We will then see when they hide the papers of the last 90 years


  64. @ Due Diligence

    Detroit “with right” could certainly say to Barbados, clean up your mess before looking at mine. Amidst bankruptcy filing, Detroit yet has clout, something to shout about. They’re doing something, producing automobiles, watches and bicycles. Detroit is not dead and buried. Barbados though is near that. Chris Sinckler’s August 13th Budget Proposal is seemingly more painful than Detroit in Bankrupcy. Tourism numbers in Barbados are continuously falling but production in Detroit stays in tact

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