Barbados Government Taxing WhatsApp and Skype Usage

Submitted by Anthony Davis

OTT_Services1Barbadians will begin paying a 22 per cent tax on voice and other transmissions from their cell phones from January 1. “And Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler


said today the $14 million raised annually would be used to fund university scholarships – Barbados Today

My, my, my, Mr. tax collector!

You have really overdone yourself with this one. You are setting up the ISPs in Barbados for being hauled before the court in the USA, or the EU by taxing services that are free worldwide, because Whatsapp, Skype, etc. are not taxable anywhere in the world – not even in Russia, China, or the People’s Republic of North Korea.

Why should we pay tax on something which is free? That is why you are having a problem with the promoters of shows in this country. I deem the “soon-to-be announced university scholarship fund” to be nothing but an excuse for imposing a new willy nilly tax which will redound to the disadvantage of Barbados and doing business in Barbados.

You refused to continue funding Barbadian education at the UWI, and now want us to believe that you are putting your hands deeper into our pockets just to fund education at the said UWI? How many potential students have missed the opportunity of getting a university education in Barbados? How many belonged to the lower echelons of our society?

“All of these things were ‘certainly in in my mind” clings very hollow, seeing that you are the mastermind of putting many a fledgling business, and small- and medium-sized businesses out of business in our country as many of them rely on cell phones for keeping in contact with their employees in the field.

You are intent on destroying the above types of businesses.

You call yourselves a “people-centred Government”?

Which people are you talking about?

You already receive millions of dollars in taxes which you give away as if they were your own by handing them to companies like Cahill Energy. I am totally against paying taxes on things that are exempt tax – especially as they are US companies, which does not bode well for Barbados if this madness is carried out.

Can anyone imagine the USA wanting to tax Whatsapp, Skype, Facebook, or any of these free social media apps? I can’t!

You have also given the poor, the needy and the vulnerable a blow below the belt as they depend on these free messaging services for keeping in touch with their children when they are on the road, or with relatives overseas.

What happens if the child is attacked on his/her way home?

What if that child has to be taken to the doctor/hospital?

Then again, you were never interested in the welfare of those in the lower echelons of our society.

I believe it is also illegal to tax such services.

What about the idea of using the technology in schools?

Should teachers waste their money by showing students how to use these messaging services properly, if they have to pay for them?

I should think not, because we never know when the next willy nilly tax will appear.

On the other hand, why should any parent/guardian want to pay extra money for a service which is free all over the world?

I believe that it is also unconstitutional to tax something which is free.

You will want to tax the polluted air of Barbados next!

Tax collection and being a minister of finance are two different things.

How will the tourists be taxed?

I don’t see you doing that – especially if they are EU or USA citizens!

One minister says he would like to see Barbados become the technology hub of the Caribbean, and the other ruins the idea by taxing the very technology which is to take the island there.

This is a case of one step forward and a dozen backward!

Education is a vital part of any democratic society!

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69 Comments on “Barbados Government Taxing WhatsApp and Skype Usage”

  1. Caswell Franklyn December 19, 2015 at 8:19 AM #

    In the US we constantly hear the Republicans refer the Democrats as a tax and spend government. Ours is a tax and give away-to-their-friends Government.


  2. Well Well & Consequences December 19, 2015 at 8:40 AM #

    They will say they are taxing the data on the phone, not the app, anything to get into your pockets to give away the money.


  3. Vincent Haynes December 19, 2015 at 8:56 AM #

    Can some one tell me how this 20m loan is going to alleviate poverty and unemployment……..can it reinstate the 3000 plus workers…….what are the plans for the poor?

    Like the taxes above 14m for UWI……will all the displaced students be reinstated?

    What are the overall development plans for our country……untill they are brought to the people,all will look like ad hocism.


  4. David December 19, 2015 at 9:01 AM #


    In a word (s), ‘money grab’.


  5. Ping Pong December 19, 2015 at 9:05 AM #

    The DLP is the party that once said that the cost of living was its most important concern and more recently that it was against privatization of state enterprises. The 2008 manifesto of the DLP explicitly stated “A new DLP administration will examine the feasibility of removing VAT on utility bills for households and businesses alike.”

    The Minister of Finance was recently bemoaning the loss in Government revenue because the global price of fuel had dropped. Consequently he was now looking at ways to increase taxes to offset this loss! There was no talk about reducing expenditure.

    The Minister of Trade has been promoting the need to privatize state enterprises. In fact Owen Arthur is being recruited to their side to assist with the privatization of state entities such as the oil company, the water authority, the airport, the seaport and… surprise, surprise… the transport board!


  6. Ping Pong December 19, 2015 at 9:17 AM #

    The Government says that the money the cellphone tax will raise will be used to assist students at UWI. Sounds good except that only children from households earning less than $25 000 a year will qualify for tuition assistance. Mr Jepter Ince is on record as saying that only the children of poor people should be allowed into Government nurseries. Related to this, rumblings are being heard about the imposition of fees in sixth forms. The argument goes that since BCC students have to pay why not sixth form students!


  7. Artaxerxes December 19, 2015 at 9:51 AM #

    “In fact Owen Arthur is being recruited to their side to assist with the privatization of state entities such as the oil company, the water authority, the airport, the seaport and… surprise, surprise… the transport board!”

    If what you are saying is true, then Arthur can only be described as a “political prostitute.” I hope he had the common decency to discuss his supposed “move” with his constituents, since they voted for him being a member of the BLP.

    Additionally, during the 2013 election campaign, Arthur’s privatization policy was dismissed by the DLP, with Stuart and Sinckler being vehemently opposed to the idea.

    It is known that “Douglas Leopold Phillips” is the mouthpiece of the DLP and that “writer’s” comments can be construed as “the gospel according to the DLP,” especially since: “Douglas Leopold Phillips is a pseudonym for the Democratic Labour Party” is written at the end of every article.

    The following are excerpts from a Douglas Leopold Phillips’ article written in the October 5, 2012 edition of the Daily Nation, entitled “Arthur’s way – privatization:”

    “The Opposition Leader knows very well that the PRIVATIZATION OF ANY STATE ENTITY will LEAD to DISLOCATION as new management will bring with it new ethos. He also knows quite well that the state will have no say in how a private enterprise seeks to streamline its operations or reduce cost.”

    “Arthur’s reading of the situation smacks of SHORT SIGHTEDNESS. Barbados has not reached the stage where the level of individual wealth creation can sustain a free enterprise across the board. In times of crises, our state must come to the front to protect the poor and vulnerable. The policy agenda of sell, sell, sell must be resisted. Barbadians, we ask you to continue safeguarding your future. Let’s keep the BLP in Opposition.”

    As it relates to the Transport Board, we can all remember:


  8. Shaft December 19, 2015 at 9:59 AM #

    This is a legal message to the Barbados Government… …”WHATSAPP” is free! Please put your efforts into getting the rich to pay their taxes!


  9. de Ingrunt Word December 19, 2015 at 10:09 AM #

    @Anthony Davis, as much as you are sounding a clarion call to protest by citing a nonsensical move by Min Sinckler the fact is that he is taxing the phone plan because its impractical to manage or collect a tax on the usage of a net application….as WW&C suggested.


  10. Ping Pong December 19, 2015 at 10:24 AM #


    The DLP’s promises mean nothing. Mr Donville Inniss, a member of Cabinet, was recently promoting the need for privatization. Then there is the matter of satisfying the IMF re article 4 (?!!). The government has to close a $200 million gap in its finances. Privatization is seen as the only way.

    In Dante’s Divine Comedy the inscription over the gates to Hell is “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.” I think we can put that over the doors of the airport and the seaport.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. David December 19, 2015 at 10:32 AM #

    @Dee Word

    Which apps do you estimate are responsible for the significant data usage of the average consumer?

    Always prim and proper in your comment you cannot be faulted.


  12. Analyzer December 19, 2015 at 10:38 AM #

    They can tax the data but it is not technically feasible to tax a particular kind of protocol (type of communication). How will they do it? The writer is probably confused with the additional VAT on cellular air time. (This is what my assistant has told me so hopefully this is correct).


  13. David December 19, 2015 at 10:49 AM #


    A user with an airtime package not bolted to a data plan how will the new tax affect them?


  14. Vincent Haynes December 19, 2015 at 10:51 AM #

    We like it so……


  15. de Ingrunt Word December 19, 2015 at 10:58 AM #

    @David at 10:32 AM, actually I am trying to understand the ‘flow’ of this debate. I accept that phone/communication apps like Skype and Whatsapp “are responsible for the significant data usage of the average consumer”. Thus, I recognize the blogger using that to make his strong appeal.

    But – a big but – most folks use those apps in their ‘free service’ mode and 22% of $0.00 is zero. He got my attention when he said a tax was being placed on a free service. So job well done.

    Making the case against the tax on those grounds does get attention but fails at the practical level. So it’s still the data plan. Plain and simple.

    All smoke and mirrors of course.


  16. Well Well & Consequences December 19, 2015 at 11:00 AM #

    Bottomline, the government is telling the various companies, we are taxing you, pass it on to the customers and suck it up.


  17. Analyzer December 19, 2015 at 11:05 AM #

    @ David Don’t know the methodology they will be using but my assistant asks if you know about VPN?


  18. Atrue Freeman December 19, 2015 at 11:06 AM #

    The service providers may be unable to charge for the “free services”, but surely they know what the charge would be, so the tax may be on the imputed or deemed value of the usage.


  19. David December 19, 2015 at 11:15 AM #

    The other point to consider if we buy Senator Jepter Ince’s contribution in the Senate this week – consumers can offset the tax by adjusting their behaviour. It begs the question therefore on what basis has the government projected revenue from an obvious tax grab. Was the decision to allow cellphones by school children a forerunner to the introduction of the tax. Bear in mind the MoE has been promised 14 million from the grab. BU’s concern remains the transparency!



  20. TheGazer December 19, 2015 at 11:34 AM #

    Here is a chance to educate me and a few others.
    Let us assume that the minister is not talking out of the top of his hat and that his advisors has assured him that there is a way to collect this tax. If so,how?

    Atrue Freeman has provided one suggestion as to how this can be accomplished.
    WW&C has shown that this can be done indirectly by applying pressure on companies
    Are there other approaches for gathering this revenue?


  21. Piece Uh De Rock Yeah Right December 19, 2015 at 12:55 PM #

    @ TheGazer

    It would appear that you are not one of those who are opposed to this pernicious tax on something that is free all around the world even in countries that are purported to be tyrannies.

    Judging for your questions it would appear like you are in fact one of the very faction that “wishes to impose the tax” and are here seeking additional ideas like David Come-and-Sing-A.Song does for his political party aspirations.

    Did someone appoint you to seek ideas to ensure that the tax is collected? Are you with the Telecoms department in warrens for which your number is 310-****?

    As an observer of “gazers”, being dat de ole man gazeth far out toward the coming harbinger, I would suggest to many here who are giving you ideas that it is farcical to respond to your request for additional approaches to gather this revenue.

    Let de ole man predict whu gine happen tuh wunna doah

    Someone going start a small community of people who going install cheap $10 wifi routers at their home and name the WiFi bubble “Free Barbados”

    And like the diagram below shows, that island wide community that is slowly rebelling against all of you “22 cents per whatever” will activate this alternative free WiFi bubble

    “Using a mobile VoIP phone with WiFi hotspot access can also reduce a mobile VoIP phone user’s costs by sidestepping the carrier’s expensive DATA services altogether.”

    “For instance, with a cellular carrier’s monthly data plan, callers can easily exceed bandwidth maximums, incurring overage charges.”

    “Tapping into WiFi hotspots with mobile VoIP software reduces that risk and extends the lifespan of the monthly data allotment.” I tief dat excerpt from de internet!!

    People are going to deactivate their cellular data plans and log into the free Wi-Fi and all this “are there any other approaches for gathering the revenue” going die in the night. Mark de ole man words…

    Instead of engaging the really great minds that abound all over the island and making sure that a component of the Enhanced Grant/Loan $$ at the Central bank goes to fund something that will generate Forex you useless lot are as in keeping with the dipsh.its that you are going to an already depressed overtaxed, under employed and unemployed community and seeking to get “blood from a stone”

    …Devoid are you are of any intelligence or its underlying grey matter…


  22. de Ingrunt Word December 19, 2015 at 1:12 PM #

    @Pieces, I thought the blogger was asking a legitimate question but you have dismissed that.

    But I am still perplexed over this tax and on what exactly does the tax burden fall. There is no practical way for anyone to chase down internet calls so the only way to assess a tax would be on the identifiable service from the telcoms…what that service is used for thus becomes irrelevant.

    Your plan sounds lovely but it means that someone will have to buy the bandwidth and offer the free wi-fi accessible to all and sundry from their homes.

    A telcoms tax guru can come on and clarify – or maybe Jeff as Chairman of the FTC can provide details on what his agency sees as the gov’t intent here…not a POLITICAL statement but one providing some public transparency.

    I have not read or even see the official details re this new tax so maybe it’s all well explained there.


  23. Gabriel December 19, 2015 at 1:25 PM #

    Amen to that.
    Recall this liar sinckler said the free bus fares initiated by the lying,cheeting,steeling dead king was to avoid the trafficking in foreign places of bajan school girls.
    May the BBE deliver us soon from these barefoot,bag blind hoars and pimps.


  24. Analyzer December 19, 2015 at 1:45 PM #

    @Piece of de Rock…. This would make you more vulnerable to hackers and someone with ill intent could park outside your house and use your internet. This thing is getting serious so the government and all involved should be careful.


  25. Tron December 19, 2015 at 2:27 PM #

    The taxes will go higher up in the near future. The MoF needs to feed the many DLP bureaucrats in government, governmental entities, churches and courts.

    Barbados looks more and more like Cuba in the 1990s. Productivity of the ruling class zero, demands high up like in a developed country.


  26. TheGazer December 19, 2015 at 2:29 PM #

    I believe that your extrapolation has taken you too far off the page.
    I am outside of the island and has taken no position on the tax.
    This is the second time I felt that other have jumped to the wrong conclusion about one of my comments.


  27. TheGazer December 19, 2015 at 2:33 PM #

    If I was on the island I would be concerned. I do not believe a Minister of government would articulate a position without having the means to to implement the required action. For this reason, I was hoping we could get into a discussion of what strategy he would/could employ.


  28. David December 19, 2015 at 2:42 PM #


    Are you aware the cellphone tax was mooted since 2008. Aggressive MoF or ignorant technocrats, take your pick.


  29. Hants December 19, 2015 at 3:25 PM #

    I support PUDRYR. December 19, 2015 at 12:55 PM

    Do you all realise that for every $10 you pay an extra $2.20.

    $100 you pay $22.


  30. Well Well & Consequences December 19, 2015 at 3:47 PM #

    It will turn into the solid waste tax fiasco, the Bushman’s “shite tax”…lol.. just look how that one turned out, morphing into the land tax. De Word has cause to be concerned about implementation, given the government’s track record.

    Piece knows it never easy with that crowd, simple things always turn into a production, they do get good ideas from the blog, but then add their own twist and screw things up….right AC.


  31. Piece Uh De Rock Yeah Right December 19, 2015 at 5:14 PM #

    @ TheGazer

    Apologies, this Whatsapp Tax is robbery.

    The more i think about it, why is it that these same companies cannot do what they are doing in the United States and the UK unless they are encouraged to do it?

    @ Analyzer

    As a layman I think that people need to look at alternatives.

    I am not a cuntputer guru, in fact when de IPad first came I pressed the power button about 50 times before de granson had to tell me that it needed charging to use it

    I just did a google search for VOIP alternatives and found How to Switch to VoIP and Ditch Your Home Phone Bill Forever

    I look at things simply, if I need galvanise nails and you don’t have galvanise nails, i go to where they sell galvanise nails

    So a simple “community based?” solution that I am suggesting, in the face of anarchy perpetuated by our government against the people, may work.

    Wunna is de young minds to solve how someone in that community bubble ONLY can use VOIP and not steal my internet bandwidth which has increased since it is now coming in on fibre


  32. David December 19, 2015 at 5:35 PM #


  33. NorthernObserver December 19, 2015 at 6:10 PM #

    Bajans sweet. We had to leff it fuh a year so we could be sure wha was happening, but now it fix, and last nite and yesserday we had nuff rain, and its good. So it good now,
    Yuh tink effin dey fix the burst pipe or pipes which initially caused the erosion, and then removed the cracked surface which allowed secondary water seepage, and repaired the road foundation it might have worked? Like a year ago?


  34. watchman December 20, 2015 at 7:51 AM #

    @ David/BU

    Thanks for highlighting that sweet Bajan explanation video
    The technical people at MT W know the problems,but have to wait for years to be sure the problem is a problem


  35. David December 20, 2015 at 7:54 AM #

    One has to assume the BWA lacked the means to fix the apparent leaks? What are we missing. Is he referring to natural runoff?


  36. Well Well & Consequences December 20, 2015 at 8:07 AM #

    I like to get to the root of everything without wasting valuable time. What we are missing is the nasty, slimy politics being played by low intellect politicians…….the longer they made the poor people in St. Andrew wait and suffer for relief, the more it looks like DBLP are their saviors.

    It would never enter in this lower class of politician’s mind that those people who needlessly suffered don’t care who fixed the roads and restored basic services, as long as it was done, their concerns are for the welfare of their families, not sleazy politicians and politics.

    The people are well aware that whenever it’s done, it’s their own tax dollars doing it, regardless of what delusions the politicians are trying ti project with their sleaziness.


  37. ac December 20, 2015 at 8:19 AM #

    the article is misleading scandalous at worst and libelous at best the intent of the article is one of sending a message that govt is engaging in illegal activity befitting of criminality while benefiting off the backs of hard working tax payers for profitability which is further from the truth
    The writer of the article would do well with a serum test followed by a double dose of castor oil for deep cleansing especially when stating an untruth that the USA govt does not levy a cell phone tax on consumer for usage


  38. Artaxerxes December 20, 2015 at 9:10 AM #

    I believe the government is seeking to tax cell phone “air time” and not internet usage. It seems as though some contributors are suggesting the tax may be levied on Skype, YouTube, WhatsApp, Facebook, etc. How will the government be able to monitor usage of those services, especially taking into consideration that “Smart Televisions” also give owners the ability to access the internet and those apps, and FLOW and LIME TV are provided to subscribers via the internet as well?

    Perhaps the tax will be administered similarly to how it was done in Trinidad, whereby if a consumer purchases $20 credit, he/she may have to pay $24.40 (22% applied). But this may create some difficulties since way-side vendors and shops proprietors also sell phone credit, therefore monitoring this category of vendor will be more problematic than monitoring cell phone outlets or businesses that have registered with the VAT Division.

    Another interesting consideration is if the government is expecting VAT registrants selling phone credit to collect and remit the VAT collected.
    Recall in the last Budget, Sinckler announced that from next year (2016), the VAT threshold will be increased from $60,000 to $200,000 per annum. As a result, many of the small businesses in Barbados will no longer meet the requirements for VAT registration, thereby reducing the overall number of registrants.
    But it seems as though Sinckler FORGOT he mentioned that one of the main reasons for increasing the threshold was to make the OVERALL ADMINISTRATION of the TAX REGIME EASIER, because he has now sought to introduce a tax on cell phone usage, making the regime’s process difficult again.

    The tax cannot be applied per call, since I do not expect to receive notice from FLOW or the BRA informing me that, during January 2016, I made 40 calls for a duration of 100 minutes @ 20¢ per minute, costing $20.00 and I have to pay $4.40 tax to the BRA by the 15 day of the following month.

    On the other hand, I can assume if a consumer purchases $20 in credit, in reality he/she will have $15.60 available for usage after the VAT of $4.40 is deducted.

    However, as it pertains now, cell phone credit incurs 17.5% VAT, so it is just a matter of increasing by 4.5% to 22%.


  39. David December 20, 2015 at 10:14 AM #

    A read of the link posted by bk supports the fact that the weighted average of taxes imposed on wireless services has been trending up over the years in the US. No surprise our feckless government would have taken note.


  40. Ping Pong December 20, 2015 at 10:50 AM #

    @Artexerxes who wrote: “On the other hand, I can assume if a consumer purchases $20 in credit, in reality he/she will have $15.60 available for usage after the VAT of $4.40 is deducted.”

    Are you Chris Sinckler by any chance?

    If I purchase $20 in credit VAT EXCLUSIVE then I expect to pay $24.40 in total which still gives me $20 for usage and $4.40 for VAT. If however I pay $20 VAT INCLUSIVE then $3.61 is for VAT and $16.39 is for usage.

    Hope you are not an accountant.


  41. Bush Tea December 20, 2015 at 11:05 AM #

    @ Ping Pong
    Hope you are not an accountant.
    No … would you accept an economist?? (whatever the hell THAT is!!)


  42. Artaxerxes December 20, 2015 at 11:11 AM #

    Ping Pong December 20, 2015 at 10:50 AM #

    A simple mistake.


  43. Ping Pong December 20, 2015 at 11:18 AM #


    A little fun at your expense! Have a Merry Christmas and a healthy and productive New Year.
    You too Bush Tea. (Hope that you are wrong about Barbados’ future prospects but …sigh!)


  44. Artaxerxes December 20, 2015 at 11:25 AM #

    Bush Tea December 20, 2015 at 11:05 AM #

    @ Ping Pong: Hope you are not an accountant.

    No … would you accept an economist?? (whatever the hell THAT is!!)


    Thanks for the clarification, Bushie….


    @ Ping Pong

    Thanks for your greetings and I extend similar sentiments to you as well.


  45. NorthernObserver December 20, 2015 at 2:54 PM #

    Forget the math…..the comment concept was correct. If you try to collect VAT from the average small dealer you’ll go broke. Force it our of the larger collectors. The whole reason for these taxes is they are COLLECTIBLE, that’s the main benefit.


  46. Sargeant December 20, 2015 at 6:24 PM #

    “hollering fuh murda”

    I was hollering fuh murda midway through that explanation by the Technical Officer, then I was bursing muh belly wid laff. In techno speak that long winded discourse is termed a successful failure.

    Merry Xmas to one and all.


  47. David December 20, 2015 at 6:26 PM #

    Note the interview was conducted by Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner the 3-time beaten candidate for St. Andrew by the man of many hats and member of the Payne vs Hinkson bassa bassa.


  48. Sargeant December 20, 2015 at 6:54 PM #


    Fuh trute? And she posted dat? Dis is one time she run off de information highway betta call a tow truck.


  49. David December 20, 2015 at 6:58 PM #

    Not sure if she posted to YouTube but she did to her Facebook as a clarifying public service communication.


  50. Bush Tea December 20, 2015 at 7:14 PM #

    @ David
    Note the interview was conducted by Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner
    Yuh Lie….!!
    Say it ain’t so…. That HAD to be AC …pretending to be Irene…. 🙂


  51. Well Well & Consequences December 20, 2015 at 7:51 PM #

    How can state entities (the transport board belonging to the taxpayers) or anything else be expected to work when said state entities are tied up with the above scum and scummy politicians.


  52. islandgal December 20, 2015 at 8:40 PM #

    Chief Black foot aka Bushtea will be giving smoke signal classes at the polytechnic Jan 2016. Enroll early to secure a place.


  53. ac December 20, 2015 at 9:01 PM #

    Bush shit i have advice my attorney to send you notice of an intent to seek remedy from the court as to have a cease and desist action to be place against you referencing the “ac” moniker to other names or places or things
    Merry Xmas deputy dawg


  54. Bush Tea December 20, 2015 at 9:41 PM #

    @ AC & Islandgal
    …and a blessed and merry christmas to you two as well… 🙂

    Were it not for Donna, one o’ wunna would still be Bushie’s main squeeze…

    For the other one, it remains better to live in a desert …with snakes, than to even contemplate any kind of association with her….
    ..or to try to decipher her ramblings here on BU…


  55. Sargeant December 20, 2015 at 10:34 PM #

    Here is an example of bafflegab by a Nigeria official which was brought to my attention by a Nigerian friend.

    First a bit of background ”My Oga at the top” refers to my boss or my superior and the poor guy couldn’t give a straight answer to a simple questions. According to my friend the answer “Oga at the top” was a source of parody throughout the country and many people – even bridal parties- would take photos and adopt poses with the phrase “My Oga at the top”.


  56. LT.HORATIO CAINE. December 20, 2015 at 11:37 PM #

    More and more i am coming to realize that Chris Sinckler is at a loss as to what he is doing time to replace him Mr PM.


  57. balance December 21, 2015 at 3:26 AM #

    “The tax cannot be applied per call, since I do not expect to receive notice from FLOW or the BRA informing me that, during January 2016, I made 40 calls for a duration of 100 minutes @ 20¢ per minute, costing $20.00 and I have to pay $4.40 tax to the BRA by the 15 day of the following month”

    Notwithstanding that FLOW DOES NOT have to give customers an itemized bill, since information pertaining to call details can be accessed on line from their web-site. An itemized bill is considered a “luxury.”

    The absence of the above would add to the confusion in the collection. I recall there was an initial tax on the purchase/use of mobile instruments when they were first introduced to the public; I can state irrefutably that most of this revenue ended up in the coffers of the Barbadoss Telephone company.
    The history of the collection of revenue by private entities on behalf of Govt has always been detrimental to Govt. The airport departure tax collected by airlines and the sales tax introduced by Dr Haynes are examples where private entities have been able to profit at the expense of Government through lack of inadequate monitoring procedures.


  58. Artaxerxes December 21, 2015 at 3:41 AM #

    “……… the man of many hats and member of the Payne vs Hinkson bassa bassa.”

    Seems as though he and Michael Lashley had a little bassa bassa pun White Hill, too.


  59. Weston December 21, 2015 at 5:35 PM #

    Skype is not free for calls to landlines and cell phones around the world. For such calls you need to have credit in your Skype account, and if you use a Barbados credit card to top it up, the tax could be applied at that time by the card issuer. I believe this is how the UK government charges VAT on Skype top ups when UK credit cards are used for credit top ups. There are ways round it however, eg by using a non telecom payment intermediary.


  60. Hants December 21, 2015 at 5:57 PM #

    I have a feeling Bajans are being set up.

    One year before elections there will be a lowering of taxes to “buy votes”.


  61. Mockingjay December 21, 2015 at 8:07 PM #

    Here is the future of Barbados. High taxes, no state services, but alms at Christmas.

    Read Barbados Today: More Christmas surprises for North West.

    Sinckler will win his seat also next term.

    Will people in St. James South get a DVD for Christmas from their MP instead? 😉


  62. David December 23, 2015 at 9:46 PM #

    Here is a question posed.

    Never did check the VAT on mobile services before. The question is since government needed to make legislative changes to increase the vat… Was the vat properly being charged in the first place.

    I wasn’t aware that vat was deducted from pre-paid service until very recently.


  63. Artaxerxes December 24, 2015 at 12:59 AM #

    “The question is since government needed to make legislative changes to increase the vat… Was the vat properly being charged in the first place?”


    A very interesting question!!!


  64. Roverp December 28, 2015 at 1:07 PM #

    We have been (APP) aptly taxed!! Now apply for a DLP friendship card and get a subsidy or waiver.


  65. greenmule March 1, 2016 at 11:57 PM #

    DLP (ruling party) & the telecommunications monopolies in Barbados continue to use laws & policies that abuse the public for profit.A few examples are given below :
    1) Increase VAT on data.
    2) Some companies ( Digicel) are engaged in blocking apps like ‘Viber ‘.
    3) Increasing data charges.
    4) The placement of an short expiry date on data.
    New technology has made telecommunications significantly cheaper, however, FLOW/ LIME ,& Digicel are fighting to keep an obsolete system to exploit the public.
    The FTC is clueless to the new technology & just willing to maintain the status quo.
    All the above measure have been put in place to ensure that your phone bill is high.


  66. balance March 2, 2016 at 5:48 AM #

    “Artaxerxes December 24, 2015 at 12:59 AM #

    “The question is since government needed to make legislative changes to increase the vat… Was the vat properly being charged in the first place?”


    A very interesting question!!!”

    No big thing – We have now been conditioned to accept what ever the administration does as correct however incorrect it might be.


  67. balance March 2, 2016 at 5:50 AM #

    “said today the $14 million raised annually would be used to fund university scholarships – Barbados Today”

    and he forgot to mention The independence election anniversary celebrations


  68. Bush Tea March 2, 2016 at 8:09 AM #

    @ balance
    The biggest joke of all is that we sit back and take it all in …like true bowls…

    Imagine slimey FLOW /SLOW/ WOLF is spending huge sums of money promoting English football in a country that has a national football program….. every damn minute they are promoting english football…. in Barbados….

    Imagine the BAJAN press are so pissy and self-depreciating that people like Stetson Babb lowers himself every damn day at 12 noon to ‘interview’ some lame sounding albino from SLIME/FLOW talking shiite about some PR initiative on ‘Network News’ – while providing the WORST service imaginable to customers…
    How can anyone TAKE BABB seriously when he comes later at 12:30 with his ‘this is the latest…’ ? …damn Judas….!!

    Then we have the SPORTS reporters, who are the voices of local sport –
    … every damn minute on the radio about ‘Manchester United, ..Liverpool’ and such FOREIGN shiite – like the idiot Ronnie Clarke ALWAYS does….

    WHAT MIRROR IMAGE do these unpatriotic media bowls have….?
    What kind of journalist allows themselves AND THEIR REPUTATION to be brought for 20 pieces of shiite silver by foreign mercenaries like SLIME?

    Lotta Shiite
    …but then again did the OLYMPIC SPORTS PEOPLE not sell out their awards ceremony to SLIME too…? …and THEY are supposed to be leaders in BARBADOS sport…?
    Perhaps next year we will select an English footballer as sportsman-of-the-year for brassbados….
    …and many bowls would welcome it too…
    Just like we welcomed an international name for our UWI track…

    Brass Bowlery Inc.


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