The Grenville Phillips Column – The Alternative to Austerity


Grenville Phillips II, leader of Solutions Barbados

On 21 April 2017, I attended a public meeting by the Barbados Private Sector Association and was disappointed by their austerity-based solutions to Barbados’ dire economic situation.  The Government, private sector merchants, financial institutions and individual economists are warning us to brace for austerity.  Eight years ago, austerity meant forcing most Barbadians to access their savings in order to survive.  Today, it means to force most Barbadians into poverty.

Approximately 2 years ago, Solutions Barbados published a plan to bring Barbados back from the brink of economic ruin without the austerity promised by others.  The plan is based on proven solutions and is still relevant.  However, the Government continues to ignore this plan while stubbornly pursuing its strategy; while the IMF warns of devaluation.

We have shared our plan with anyone who will listen, including the NUPW and CTUSAB.  It was also published in both print and on-line news media, and also on the radio.  To-date, the responses have been overwhelmingly positive, because the plans are workable.  The published plan consists of 4 main steps – none of which require laying-off civil servants, reducing their wages, incurring additional Government spending, or begging other countries to lend us money.

Step 1 is to increase Government’s local currency revenues to run the Government and pay local currency debts.  This can be done by reducing taxes on personal and corporate revenues to 10% of gross revenues – with no deductions.  This will make taxes easier to calculate, pay and audit.  It is also fairer.

Currently, businesses pay taxes on net-profits.  Therefore, it is possible to run a successful business for decades without paying any corporate taxes.  However, since the Government must obtain revenue, the taxes that such businesses currently legally avoid paying are extracted from the rest of us.  Well, not under a Solutions Barbados administration.

To facilitate the prompt payment of all taxes, all taxes previously owed to all Government departments will be forgiven and VAT will be abolished.  Businesses are currently being forced to pay VAT when they issue an invoice, rather than when they receive payment.  This is unfair, because businesses may not get their invoices paid until months later – or never.  Taxing businesses before they receive payment is an insidious method of taxation that can both prevent businesses from growing, and reduce their competitiveness.

The forgiveness of debts to Government should have happened as part of our 50th anniversary jubilee celebrations.  However, only a few select persons benefitted financially from those celebrations.  Therefore, everyone will start with a ‘clean slate’.  In exchange, all new non-payment of taxes will attract a penalty of 10 times the value of the outstanding amount for those who blatantly refuse to pay.  Those who refuse to pay taxes under a Solutions Barbados administration will be competing unfairly in our economy, and that will not be encouraged.

Step 2 is to increase foreign currency revenues in order to pay for imports and foreign currency debts.  This can be done by temporarily reducing taxes on all foreign currency earnings to zero.

Step 3 is to increase productivity in both the public and private sectors, and reduce wastage and unnecessary costs in the public sector.  This can be done by managing all public services to the ISO 9001 Quality Management System.  Parts of the ISO 9001 system can be implemented across the entire public service immediately, to the benefit (and relief) of those who deliver and receive Government services – at no additional cost to Government.

One low hanging wastage fruit is to stop public workers from paying income taxes.  Currently, the private sector must pay additional taxes, which are then given to public sector workers, who then give it to the Government.  The accounting bureaucracy and costs required to manage the taxation of the estimated 25,000 public workers can be easily avoided.

Step 4 is to depoliticize the public service.  In a Solutions Barbados administration, public workers will be selected and promoted on merit alone.

Any of these steps taken by themselves will not pull Barbados back from the brink, because frustrated public services can frustrate the entire process.  Therefore, they must all be taken together.  We need an increase in local and foreign currency revenues, and a better managed and depoliticized public service.  The Minister of Finance is strongly advised to examine our plan before we run out of viable options.  We continue to be available to discuss it.

Grenville Phillips II is the founder of Solutions Barbados and can be reached at


  • And, yes, they seemingly did not do enough for me.


  • NorthernObserver

    the key is after paying minimal tax offshore, the resulting profits can then be repatriated via dividends ‘tax free’.
    I was once told the warranty programmes offered by many retailers (captive insurers) was their most profitable business unit. And another reason why margins, however you wish to describe them, become less relevant as the real money is being made selling warranties. Selling the product becomes a gateway to selling warranties.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Dear PLT:

    Well, you just had to follow Pach into the dark side. You just had to cross the line, my line. Once you mention my family, I have no choice and no discretion in this matter – I have to end this conversation – no exceptions – it is an unbreakable promise.

    However, before I go, let me explain that despite your experience, if you have never been a principal director of a large company, you have absolutely no idea. You should listen to BushTea, for he writes as if he has been behind the veil.

    We are on the brink of economic ruin. We have designed a 4-step plan that is designed to pull the economy back from the brink without the predicted austerity, without sending home public servants or reducing their salaries, and without having to beg other nations for money. You have chosen to turn it into an academic exercise of whether some businesses will treat it as a sales tax or corporate tax. To justify a sales tax, you somehow think that the actual profits of large companies is in the region of 5% – when I have repeatedly told you is only declared in order to pay low taxes.

    If you do not wish to learn, then fine, you win. Keep reciting your orthodoxy to your acolytes as we all go over the proverbial cliff. ‘Profits are exactly as worked out in accordance with the religion of GAAP. Actual profits are in the region of 5%. All companies will treat the 10% corporate tax like a sales tax and add it to their invoices; therefore, reject SB’s ideas – we are all better off taxing companies that way that we are currently taxing them.” Welcome to your nightmare.

    Best regards,


  • Vincent Haynes

    …..and there endeth the lessons in Solutions way forward whose leader obviously has no real interest in politics or leading the country anywhere,who after being discomfited for the last couple of days on his economic model,has taken up his ball and bat over a bogus infringement by an opposing player.

    We will watch how the other not out batsman without ball,stumps or bat will continue playing.

    Sad to say,but I told you so.


  • de pedantic Dribbler

    @Vincent, LOLL.

    But wait, if you see an approaching storm as does all others with ‘eyes wide open’ how yah cud claim title to ‘I told you so’. LOLL.

    But that being said I should also recall that the blogmaster calls folks like you or any other rational storm caller ‘armchair critics’ so all good!

    If this Bajan political scene was not so absolutely problematic we would not be trying to create political saviours where there are none.

    nextparty246 have created a Sunday school class paradigm and we have been sucked into it because frankly we all seem to seek some sort of moral comeuppance or some such.

    His response above about family is so utterly ridiculous for a politician that it actually does not deserve further commentary ( And to think PLT spoke of his family in an almost reverential way. Certainly not critical or derogatory).

    So back to the top. Phillips’ approaching weak storm front was always clear.

    The mere fact that he crafted his four points with such arrogance and apparently refused to have at the ready a detailed analysis of the tax plan was a clear indication that this storm was all appearance of huff and power but realistically signifying nothing as a serious political change entity.

    But heh, he still has time to adapt and get traction. Maybe Bajans do need Sunday School direction in our moral wasteland!


  • @ Grenville
    Did Bushie not advise you to ignore dribbles?
    Can’t you recognise hecklers when you see them..?
    Has Bushie ever been wrong in his assessment of bloggers?
    You behaving just like Caswell…

    Dribbler is an albino-centric adoptee who is living his dream off the scraps of his heroes’ tables…. It is his idea of bliss. The closest he has ever come to a Boardroom is probably when they need a black face for a photoshoot …and they bring in a few of the help to accommodate them….

    You are proposing a philosophy of enfranchisement in a complex environment dominated by black, Bajan, brow-beaten brass blows….

    Steupsss… or even the BBBBBs…?

    As you well know, Bushie has been ‘behind the veil’; front of it; ..has pissed on it; … and put has some good holes it it’s donkey….
    But this is nothing to do with wunna…. This has all been orchestrated by the Bushman’s adopted parents in order to prepare him for some shiite mission – yet to be revealed..

    …it is just that they made the mistake of putting a whacker in Bushie’s hand right now, … so look out… or perhaps THAt was the mission…
    ha ha ha
    Whaloss !!!


  • dpD

    Chuckle… will make a good diplomat…..

    We await the castigation from his cheer leader and the master.


  • dpD

    Hahaha…..wuhloss…cheerleader cussin you instead ….you who have not addressed his boss for a while….senility…..


  • de pedantic Dribbler

    @Vincent as de man said, not me and dat boozie.

    A Bajan political aspirant called my honest remarks as another Bajan about his plans ‘trolling’ from a paid attacker. I dun wid he and dat. I wish the man well.

    He obviously does not need my vote nor more relevantly my advice to my relatives and friends to sway a vote for him or others of his team to get where he wants to go.


  • peterlawrencethompson

    Dear Grenville, I was pointing out that your Dad once worked for one of the most prestigious and highly regarded global accounting firms. It was a compliment and it is public knowledge, so why you take umbrage is entirely beyond me. However I apologize without reservation for any for any hurt that I caused you.

    I have tried to point out the realities of how businesses will treat your ‘corporate’ revenue tax by pointing to credible research and reliable statistical evidence. I have calculated first order estimates of how much your tax strategies will yield in revenue. In response you have given me some small business anecdotes and appealed for protection from Bush Tea.

    I rest my case.

    Best regards,


  • peterlawrencethompson

    @Bush Tea
    Since Grenville has abandoned the field of play I will move on to other threads, but I wanted to let you know that I am looking forward with great enthusiasm to hearing more about YOUR “philosophy of enfranchisement in a complex environment dominated by black, Bajan, brow-beaten brass bowls.” I do fervently hope that that is your “shiite mission – yet to be revealed.”


  • dpD

    Chuckle……all fall down…..just so

    I honestly cannot see this party with its present leadership that sees a political assassin behind every inquiry moving forward.

    He has revealed his Achilles heal to all and sundry….does he not expect his opponents to take advantage of it?

    He has put forward a visionless management model which coupled with his thin skin will be an uphill task for his cheerleader/campaign manager to sell to the public.

    Ah well thats it…….

    Liked by 1 person

  • Oh shut up DO …Vincent!!

    Ever since you admitted on BU, that your approach to management was to tell your workers that “you expect them to steal … so please leave back some for you” Bushie dropped you down in the common sense scale to CCC-

    No wonder agriculture died….

    Shiite man… after such an admission you should claim that somebody is using your name as a pseudonym on BU and talking shiite to damage your reputation (more than it already is)…

    You are in NO position to critique Grenville’s management model.


  • Bushie

    Hahahaha………..Skippah…..ah would too love a model to critique but ah ain see one yet.

    Peter tried desperately to put together something coherent as far as economic matters were concerned for your boss to promote only to be cussed out of hand.

    As far as Agriculture which is the future of this country he talks only about a fruit tree in everyones back yard.

    Where is the developmental plan to carry the country forward over the next 20-30 years….totally visionless.

    All you can do is to prattle and wave about an ISO management model… what end…..that by itself cannot help this country to move forward……..anyhow….go back to the bush….ah wasting muh time wid yuh.


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