A Walter Blackman Article – Q2 Unemployment Figures Released by the BSS

In an article written by Nation reporter Barry Alleyne in the Sunday Sun dated December 10, 2017 (on page 24), readers were given unemployment numbers compiled by the Barbados Statistical Service (BSS) using its continuous household survey for the period April – June 2017.

From the outset, let me state that I have no quarrel with the BSS. The department has been using its continuous household survey to produce national unemployment statistics for some time now. What I have a difficulty with is that, whereas one set of political supporters was quite happy to accept statistics produced by the BSS, and joyfully quote them when “their regime” was in power, the same set of supporters are now crying foul and questioning the credibility of the BSS-produced data now that their political leaders are on the opposition benches. In the same vein, I have no respect for those who were bellyaching ten years ago about how high unemployment in Barbados was, but who would now be gleefully prepared to accept that Barbados is experiencing full employment, even though there is no evidence to suggest that any large scale hiring has taken place.

The objective of this article is to sift through the data presented in Mr. Alleyne’s article, present the salient information in a manner that the reader can easily understand, and let the reader reach his/her own conclusions based on the facts.

The first step is to present the basic important economic data that the survey carried out by the BSS has produced:

  • Number of Barbadians of working age who are not employed = 91,900
  • Number of Barbadians of working age who are employed = 128,800
  • Number of Barbadians eligible to participate in the Labour Force = 220,700

Out of these basic economic data, to my mind, the one statistic deserving most attention is the 91,900 unemployed Barbadians. This number produces a “raw” unemployment rate of 41.6%.

Since the most important natural resource the country of Barbados possesses is its human resource, then our small island state is constantly experiencing massive opportunity costs from the under-utilization of its people. At the same time, our decision makers consistently find ways and reasons to employ foreigners! This approach simply does not make any sense.

If we do not aggressively conceptualize and pursue policies aimed at employing our young people, how will we be able to repay over $10 billion of national debt? Who will pay the NIS contributions to support our top-heavy aged population? Who will prevent the social backlash that inevitably results when the dreams and aspirations of too many of our young people are ignored or shattered?

High unemployment is one of the biggest factors that threaten the economic security and well-being of Barbados. Out of the many political parties which will be seeking our collective votes in the 2018 General Elections, and with these elections mere months away, a very important and fundamental question emerges: Which political party has so far outlined a clear credible plan to create jobs for Barbadians?

It is a worldwide practice for agencies charged with the responsibility of deriving national unemployment statistics to adjust the basic economic data in order to produce the labour force participation rate, and the “official” unemployment rate. This is achieved by making an assumption about the amount of people actively looking for work.

In Barbados, for the 2nd quarter of 2017, it has been assumed that 75,300 Barbadians have no interest in looking for, or finding work.

Therefore, using this assumption, the basic economic data have been adjusted by the BSS to read as follows:

Barbadians actively looking for work, who are not employed = 16,600

Number of Barbadians of working age, who are employed = 128,800

Total population working, or actively looking for work = 145,400

Unemployment Rate = 11.4% (i.e. 16,600/145,400)

This is the rate that is splashed all over the newspapers and recorded as the “official” unemployment rate of a country. The “raw” unemployment rate, although it gives a meaningful insight into the under-utilization of the human resource of a country, is never mentioned or highlighted.

Labour force participation rate = 65.9% (i.e. 145,400/220,700)

As to be expected, the unemployment rate of 11.4%, and the labour force participation rate of 65.9% are mentioned on page 24 of the December 10th, 2017 edition of the Sunday Sun newspaper.

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43 Comments on “A Walter Blackman Article – Q2 Unemployment Figures Released by the BSS”

  1. Tron December 10, 2017 at 6:38 PM #

    If you look around Barbados, if you look into the stores selling premium stuff like Benz, Grohe, Lexus, marble and Miele, you see expats, diplomats, bankster and those living in the privileged gated communites, but not the clueless local masses. I never ever believed in any official numbers.

    What, if not only the unemployment rate is wrong, but also the official reserves in USD? We all know that the official peg is 2:1, but the purchase power is more between 4:1 to 10:1. An illusion like the claim that Barbadians are so much better thanks to independence and the new black plantation class with its white donors.

    Like

  2. Well Well & Cut N' Paste At Your Service December 10, 2017 at 6:44 PM #

    They always lie about the true unemployment figures and believe they are fooling everyone.

    Not everyone is mathematically challenged.

    Like

  3. Hal Austin December 10, 2017 at 6:44 PM #

    is the total population? How many of those are aged under 16? How many are economically inactive ie mentally ill or pensioners?

    Like

  4. Walter Blackmanaa December 10, 2017 at 7:19 PM #

    Tron December 10, 2017 at 6:38 PM #
    “If you look around Barbados.. you see expats, diplomats, bankster and those living in the privileged gated communites, but not the clueless local masses. I never ever believed in any official numbers.”

    Tron,
    We live in an interdependent world, so expats, diplomats, and foreign investors will always be with us. The real problem comes when government and the private sector deliberately seek out foreigners and employ them (for reasons best known to themselves) when we have Barbadians who can do the work, and who the country invested millions of dollars in, education wise.
    Everyone in Barbados is advised not to accept anything at face value. There is too much being done in secrecy. Competition and transparency are the two most hated concepts on the island.
    The perennial contempt shown for the Auditor-General reports, and the fact that public sector agencies are operating year in and year out without any sense of accountability and without producing any financial reports (all dealing with taxpayers’ money, mind you), make it difficult for intelligent people to trust numbers coming from officialdom. Attitudes are being displayed to make it known that no one is allowed to guard the guards.

    Like

  5. Walter Blackmanaa December 10, 2017 at 7:37 PM #

    Well Well & Cut N’ Paste At Your Service December 10, 2017 at 6:44 PM #
    “They always lie about the true unemployment figures and believe they are fooling everyone”

    Well Well & Cut N’ Paste At Your Service,
    Truth be told, it is extremely difficult for anyone to know the “true” unemployment figure, so a technique must be utilized to estimate that number. The BSS uses the continuous household survey to do just that. However, it is up to us to ask ourselves if the numbers produced are credible.
    The Q2 survey for 2017 estimated that 75,300 Barbadians are not interested in working. Is that number credible? To answer that question, let us all rely on our collective experiences.
    Just recently, Sandals advertised for a few jobs and thousands of Barbadians turned up. Some of them even fought to get in the line to submit their application. This observation alone strikes at the heart of the “not actively looking for work” assumption made by the BSS. I would bet my last dollar that Barbadians are not looking for work because there is practically no work available to look for.

    Like

  6. Well Well & Cut N' Paste At Your Service December 10, 2017 at 7:52 PM #

    Exactly Walter..

    I have a 22 year old grandson loves to hang out on the island, from his experience, he always has to tell them that he does not have to take their minimum wage slave wages, he is dual and can return to US and quadruple his wages and actually be paid something for enduring any stupid practices.

    Many young people look for work…there are just not enough opportunities to be found, not enough medium and large size businesses on the island….the same mediocre business names for the last 30 years, the same dirty practices…and the wages are an insult to humanity and decency.

    Like

  7. Walter Blackmanaa December 10, 2017 at 8:18 PM #

    Hal Austin December 10, 2017 at 6:44 PM #
    “is the total population? How many of those are aged under 16? How many are economically inactive ie mentally ill or pensioners”

    Hal Austin,
    The definitions used by the BSS are also listed in the Sunday Sun.
    The labour force is made up of persons aged 15 and over and who were engaged in the production of economic goods and services.

    Inactive persons (those not looking for work) are those persons who may be at school, retired, or incapacitated.

    If the total population of Barbados in 2017 is roughly 285,000, and the BSS estimates the eligible workforce to be 220,700, then implicitly, the population estimated to be under age 15 is roughly 64,300.

    Like

  8. William Skinner December 10, 2017 at 10:52 PM #

    How can we have a hotel school but cannot
    fill the vacancy for a sous chef ?
    Imagine such a post was advertised and
    one had to be brought in.
    Do we have the capacity to train chefs?

    Like

  9. Artax December 11, 2017 at 12:33 AM #

    @ William Skinner

    In a contribution to an Adrian Loveridge article, I wrote that whenever Sandy Lane advertises for a MANAGEMENT POSITION, they subsequently say they did not receive any suitable applications and is applying for a work permit to bring in a non-national for the position.

    Adrian Loverigde responded by writing I was spreading “fake news” and went on to quote how many Barbadians were working at some hotel he mentioned (the name I cannot remember). He obviously missed the point………… I wrote MANAGEMENT POSITIONS.

    I know “for a fact” that Sandy Lane had a Puerto Rican engineer working there for months before advertising the position. One of the qualifying requirements was that the applicant must be able to speak Spanish fluently.

    Recently, the Hilton hotel advertised for a Sous Chef and is now seeking a non-national to fill the position. If you read at the bottom of page 6 of the December 9, 2017 Saturday Sun, you will see two “work permit notices.”

    (1) The Codrington School: “having received no suitable response to our advertisement for the positions of PYP, mathematics, history, PE, chemistry and Head of Primary teachers,” it is their intension to submit a work permit application for non-national to fill the positions.”

    Is The Codrington School’s management attempting to “fool” Barbadians that they cannot find teachers in Barbados?

    (2) Barbados Beach Club: “having received no suitable applications to our advertisement for the position of General Manager,” it is their intension to submit an application for a work permit for a non-national to fill the position.

    Or they ask for irrelevant qualifications to deter Bajans. For example, a few years ago, I saw a vacancy advertisement for an “Executive Chef/Trainer,” who must be a qualified chef, teacher and have a degree in computer science. It so happened a Barbadian who was qualified teacher and had a degree in computer science, decided to leave the teaching service to qualify as a chef and work in Bermuda and the Bahamas. He applied for the position, but the hotel issued a “work permit notice” saying they did not receive any suitable applications. The guy took his qualifications to the media to highlight the issue.

    As you correctly stated, Barbados has a hotel school and UWI has the “Centre for Hotel & Tourism Management,” which offers BSc and MSc degrees in hotel & tourism management, and these foreign owned hotels can never find “suitable responses/applications” from Barbadians.

    I have also seen work permit application notices for drivers, nannies, live-in maids, gardeners and for someone to cut down trees. It gets that ridiculous.

    Like

  10. William Skinner December 11, 2017 at 12:52 AM #

    @ Artax
    I wrote that post to tie in with the whole question of employment and the education system . We have been so-called leaders in Tourism for sixty plus years , have a hotel school and yet several vacancies , as you say in hotel management ,go to non-nationals. We are really failing to proper utilise our human resources. I totally agree with you -it is absolutely ridiculous. By now we should be filling every single hotel job vacancy in Barbados and the wider Caribbean. It is a known fact that Barbadian hotel workers who get the proper training quickly establish themselves when they go overseas. This means there are certain local forces , who are using dubious means to deny our hotel workers there rightful place .
    An example would be a guy , I think his name was George Forte, who started as a labourer at Sandy Lane and became one of its top managers and an icon in the tourist industry.

    Like

  11. NorthernObserver December 11, 2017 at 2:49 AM #

    Is the factor applied to generate the “uninterested” (and hence the interested) consistent over time?

    What is the REAL story behind all these work permit applications, meaning, it has be going on for many years now. What is the burden of proof required of the employer?

    Like

  12. Hal Austin December 11, 2017 at 4:58 AM #

    Walter Blackmanaa December 10, 2017 at 8:18 PM #
    Many thanks. You have read the Sunday Sun, however, we do not get these figures in the Overseas Edition of the Nation. All we get is crap by Hoad and others for our £1.
    You also seem to accept the BSS figures unquestionably. Did you interrogate them? Why do the working figures start from age 15? What is the statutory school leaving age? Have you cross-referenced the figures? How do we define being economically inactive? Does that include young men and women who, having failed to get a job, just stop applying routinely? Is the labour force really only made up of those economically engaged in the production of goods and services? Is that an actuarial assessment or economic one? You also assume that the school population is 64300. Is this an arithmetical calculation or the actual figure? Have you done a breakdown for the register of each individual school?

    Like

  13. David December 11, 2017 at 5:59 AM #

    More on breadline

    BARRY ALLEYNE, barryalleyne@nationnews.com

    Added 10 December 2017

    jobless

    Based on the numbers released last week by the Barbados Statistical Service (BSS) as part of its continuous household survey between April and June this year, the unemployment rate at the end of that second quarter stood at 11.4 per cent, a figure which represented an increase of just 1.3 percentage points from the rate of 10.1 per cent recorded during the second quarter of 2016.

    In fact, 1 400 more jobs were lost at the end of June this year when compared to the corresponding period last year, but a whopping 4 900 less people are now in the country’s total labour force.

    Based on the BSS’s most recent figures, the unemployment rate for males is 11.3 per cent, an increase of 1.9 percentage points from the figure of 9.4 per cent recorded during the same period last year.

    For females, the unemployment rate increased by a meagre 0.6 percentage points from a figure of 10.9 per cent in the second quarter of 2016 to 11.5 per cent for the second quarter this year.

    The number of unemployed people at the end of June total 16 600, 1 400 more than the figure of 15 200 thousand recorded during the corresponding period in 2016.

    The total number of employed people in Barbados was estimated at 128 800, 6 300 less than the figure of 135 100 recorded during the corresponding period in 2016.

    On the other hand, the total number of inactive people increased by 4 700 from 70 600 people during the same quarter in 2016, to the current total of 75 300.

    As a result of these changes, the total labour force in Barbados is now estimated to be 145 400 people, 4 900 less than the corresponding 2016 figure of 150 300.

    The labour force participation rate for April to June 2017 was estimated at 65.9 per cent, 1.9 percentage points less than the 67.8 per cent recorded for the same period in 2016.

    The unemployment rate for the 2nd quarter of 2017 was two percentage points more than the figure of 9.4 per cent recorded for the first quarter of the year. The labour force participation rate was 0.4 percentage points more than the first quarter of 2017.

    The rates in the second quarter from April to June do show a sharp increase to those from January to March. The unemployment rate was just 9.4 per cent in that first quarter.

    The number of people employed was 131 000, compared to the 128 800 with jobs after June. The number of unemployed people after the first quarter was 13 700, compared to 16 600 at June 30. (BA)

    Like

  14. Bush Tea December 11, 2017 at 8:19 AM #

    @ William
    How can we have a hotel school but cannot
    fill the vacancy for a sous chef ?
    Imagine such a post was advertised and
    one had to be brought in.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    What is the point of having a hotel school and FOREIGNERS own the hotel?
    What is the point of having university and FOREIGNERS hiring the managers, chefs, engineers etc?

    This country is ASS-BACKWARDS.

    It is by being you OWN shareholder that you can decide WHO you will employ -and hopefully select by merit.

    Only a COMPLETE jackass invests ALL his money in ‘education’ and then walk around looking for wuk from strangers ..who invested THEIR money in YOUR assets, and who therefore now do the selecting.

    There can be no better definition of a RH, brass bowl jackass…….
    …and this is what we do ROUTINELY in this shiite place called Barbados.

    Like

  15. Walter Blackman December 11, 2017 at 9:12 AM #

    William Skinner December 10, 2017 at 10:52 PM #
    “How can we have a hotel school but cannot
    fill the vacancy for a sous chef ?
    Do we have the capacity to train chefs?”

    Artax December 11, 2017 at 12:33 AM #
    “@ William Skinner
    Recently, the Hilton hotel advertised for a Sous Chef and is now seeking a non-national to fill the position. If you read at the bottom of page 6 of the December 9, 2017 Saturday Sun, you will see two “work permit notices.”
    (1) The Codrington School: “having received no suitable response to our advertisement for the positions of PYP, mathematics, history, PE, chemistry and Head of Primary teachers,” it is their intension to submit a work permit application for non-national to fill the positions.”
    Is The Codrington School’s management attempting to “fool” Barbadians that they cannot find teachers in Barbados?
    (2) Barbados Beach Club: “having received no suitable applications to our advertisement for the position of General Manager,” it is their intension to submit an application for a work permit for a non-national to fill the position.
    I have also seen work permit application notices for drivers, nannies, live-in maids, gardeners and for someone to cut down trees. It gets that ridiculous.”

    Artax & William Skinner,
    Thousands of Barbadians can easily identify with the stories you are relating and can easily add their own. The world is becoming increasingly “clannish” and every group seems to be looking out for its own – except Bajans. We seem to be hell-bent on keeping the majority of our population wallowing in pity forever.
    In this regard, Barbados has been caught in a self-destructive, downward spiral for many years now. Our politicians, institutions, and some short-sighted decision makers from the “traditional” private sector are clearly selling us out.

    Here is another simple example.
    After CLICO had been “bushwacked” in broad daylight by a pack of modern day “looters” (management, politicians, “parrisites” etc), the first step that ought to have been taken was the appointment of an independent actuarial firm to assess the damage that had been done, and to recommend the corrective steps that needed to be taken .
    Instead, we got the handpicking of a Judicial Manager, who in turn brought in a foreign actuarial firm. The Prime Minister then came out and told Barbadians that the exercise had cost “dizzying millions”. Dizzying millions that could have gone to the many Barbadian scholars who qualified as actuaries and who have been scattered and forced to seek employment in the “four corners of the globe.” Dizzying millions that depleted our foreign reserves.
    Up to this day, no one has been punished. No attempt has been made to ensure that the creation of such a shameful stain on our nation’s image is never repeated.
    Having committed hundreds of millions of hard-earned dollars belonging to present and future taxpayers in an attempt to “solve” the problem, the Minister of Finance then hinted to Barbadians that all of this could have been prevented if they had been a little more careful with their invested funds.

    To make sure that these observed national problems are never clearly understood and tackled in a unified way, attempts are constantly made to keep Barbadians “stupid and divided”. As to be expected, these attempts manifest themselves on BU also.

    Like

  16. Walter Blackman December 11, 2017 at 9:38 AM #

    NorthernObserver December 11, 2017 at 2:49 AM #
    “What is the REAL story behind all these work permit applications, meaning, it has be going on for many years now. What is the burden of proof required of the employer?”

    NorthernObserver,
    I have hypothesized for some time that Barbadians operate on the principle of “social relativity”. Here is an example: A Barbadian living in a board house with a “water toilet” perceives himself as superior to any person living in a board house with a “pit toilet”. Any attempt made by the owner of the board house with a “pit toilet” to advance himself must be blocked, because that would destroy the feeling of superiority enjoyed by the owner with a
    “water toilet”. Blocking is achieved by enriching foreigners instead, so that the situation of local social relativity remains unchanged. I might be wrong, though.

    I cannot speak to the burden of proof required of the employer. I don’t know if advertisement of the position is enough.
    However, we do know that an applicant can object to the filling of the post by making his/her “disagreement” known to the Chief Immigration Officer. That step seems to put some “burden” on the potential employee. However, no one wants to commence working for an employer under such strained circumstances. We all know that the working experience will be short-lived and nasty.
    Developed countries officially list jobs that are needed for national development but which are in short supply. The list is there for every employer to see, and any employer can then apply for a work visa/permit to bring foreign applicants into the country to perform these tasks. If the job is not on the list, no work visa/permit will be issued.
    Maybe in 2020, when Barbados becomes a first world country (based on the Owen Arthur model) we will see these practices being implemented.

    Like

  17. Walter Blackman December 11, 2017 at 9:47 AM #

    Hal Austin December 11, 2017 at 4:58 AM #
    “Walter Blackmanaa December 10, 2017 at 8:18 PM #
    Many thanks. You have read the Sunday Sun, however, we do not get these figures in the Overseas Edition of the Nation. All we get is crap by Hoad and others for our £1.
    You also seem to accept the BSS figures unquestionably. Did you interrogate them? Why do the working figures start from age 15? What is the statutory school leaving age? Have you cross-referenced the figures? How do we define being economically inactive? Does that include young men and women who, having failed to get a job, just stop applying routinely? Is the labour force really only made up of those economically engaged in the production of goods and services? Is that an actuarial assessment or economic one?”

    Hal Austin,
    Hopefully, you have seen the report in the Nation which David posted above.
    All I did was to use the data and present it in such a way that BU readers can use it as a basis for discussion. That’s all. Presumably, this practice has been going on, unquestioned, for years.

    Like

  18. Artax December 11, 2017 at 9:54 AM #

    Walter Blackman December 11, 2017 at 9:12 AM #

    “Up to this day, no one has been punished. No attempt has been made to ensure that the creation of such a shameful stain on our nation’s image is never repeated.”

    @ Walter Blackman

    Former Deputy Supervisor of Insurance Vernese Brathwaite wrote a letter, dated June 1, 2010, to the Barbados Police urging them to investigate, after Leroy Parris made public that CLICO Insurance Limited (CIL) sold over 800 life insurance policies, thereby contravening the Supervisor of Insurance’s order in August 2009, prohibiting the CLICO subsidiary from selling new business.

    It is a CRIMINAL OFFENCE to VIOLATE an order from the Supervisor of Insurance, which carries a penalty of a fine and/or a term of imprisonment for one year.

    Shortly after, Vernese Brathwaite was “PUNISHED” by being sent on “special leave” and according to media reports, she is still receiving her annual salary of $98,087 for the past 7 years she has been on leave.

    (Ms Brathwaite is not the only individual who has been sent on special leave and still receiving full salary. This inept DLP administration has also extended this courtesy to the former Commissioner of Inland Revenue, Sabina Walcott-Denny).

    Only in Barbados.

    Like

  19. millertheanunnaki December 11, 2017 at 10:20 AM #

    @Walter Blackmanaa December 10, 2017 at 7:37 PM
    “The Q2 survey for 2017 estimated that 75,300 Barbadians are not interested in working. Is that number credible? To answer that question, let us all rely on our collective experiences.”

    Yet we have ministerial jackasses responsible for planning and policy design asking Bajans to breed to further swell the ranks of these unproductive parasites.

    Barbados is woefully overpopulated given its economic performance and social and physical infrastructure.

    The excessively large population is a result of the country’s agrarian past which required a large number of unskilled hands available to grow and reap the sugarcane crop.

    Sugar is almost dead and agriculture is nothing but s hobby for those aging farmers who still have a love of the land.

    Just look around the countryside and you will observe what the future of agriculture looks like with little hope of any resuscitation under an educational system which looks down on such ‘low-class’ pursuits principally tainted with the scars of slavery.

    Wouldn’t the expansion of Sixth Forms drive another nail into the coffin of economic growth by creating, not additional young people fit for the low skill jobs available in the only remaining viable industry called tourism, but a cocoon of ego-inflated parasites who believe the world owes them a living and an entitlement to benefits with no associated costs called labour aka toil.

    Like

  20. Sargeant December 11, 2017 at 10:26 AM #

    When it comes to work permits Barbados should follow the lead of Aruba which has a vibrant tourist industry and businesses e.g. foreign run Banks that sometimes require the employment of foreigners. When a work permit is issued it is a requirement that a local be trained for the position, if there is a future request for a work permit to fill that position there had better be a very good case or the request will be declined.

    From what I have noticed in the ads for work permits something is very wrong that a country with “free” tertiary education for the last generation can’t generate people to fill certain positions. These employers treat the posting of these ads as a fait accompli and the politicians in Barbados asses should be held to the fire for allowing such an abomination to continue with such frequency.

    Like

  21. David December 11, 2017 at 10:41 AM #

    @Sargea

    Your suggestion is not new, this is the Singapore model we all like to copy or certainly discuss.

    Like

  22. Hal Austin December 11, 2017 at 10:51 AM #

    Walter Blackman December 11, 2017 at 9:47 AM #

    Thanks for replying. I can understand your trying to interpret the figures for ordinary readers like myself. But a household survey is a sample study. So we need to question the methodology and the design.
    According to the CIA, there are 26266 Barbadians aged to 14 and a further 18732 aged 15 to 24, giving a total of 44998. So making deductions for those aged under five, and those aged between 15 and 24 not in fulltime education, work or employment, the figures compaared to those of the BSS do not add up.
    The labour force is given as 145400, which is roughly the total of the unemployed and those in work. But then we have 75300 who are economically inactive (BSS). But the CIA tells us that a total of 34519 people have reached pensionable age. So, of the economically inactive there are about 40781 people of working age who are mentally ill and hospitalised, or just not interested in seeking work for whatever reason. Do you believe that?
    @Walter, I won’t go in to greater detail, but something is wrong with the numbers. Don’t forget sometime ago the central bank started publishing its own unemployment figures.

    Like

  23. Hants December 11, 2017 at 10:59 AM #

    A few years ago I read that Discovery Bay hotel had an all Bajan staff.

    I am sure that other hotels can do the same.

    Like

  24. Walter Blackman December 11, 2017 at 1:22 PM #

    Artax December 11, 2017 at 9:54 AM #
    “Walter Blackman December 11, 2017 at 9:12 AM #
    …. Vernese Brathwaite was “PUNISHED” by being sent on “special leave” and according to media reports, she is still receiving her annual salary of $98,087 for the past 7 years she has been on leave.”

    Artax,
    I worked with Vernese Brathwaite in the Ministry of Finance and she was an intelligent, diligent, conscientious worker. What has happened to her career can only be described as “tragic”.
    There is another twist to the fact that she has been receiving almost $100k in annual salary whilst being on leave: That $100k is recorded in the GDP of Barbados. This is not an isolated case. There are thousands of instances where numbers are going into our GDP figures and there is no product or productivity to show for it.
    So when we hear and see government officials puffing up their chests and talking about something being 6% of GDP, or 3% of GDP, we can dismiss them immediately.

    The GDP numbers of Barbados are not credible. They do not reflect reality.

    Like

  25. Georgie Porgie December 11, 2017 at 1:37 PM #

    Walter Blackman December 11, 2017 at 1:22 PM #
    Artax December 11, 2017 at 9:54 AM #
    “Walter Blackman December 11, 2017 at 9:12 AM #
    …. Vernese Brathwaite was “PUNISHED” by being sent on “special leave” and according to media reports, she is still receiving her annual salary of $98,087 for the past 7 years she has been on leave.”

    I WISH TO GOD THAT THEY HAD PUNISHED ME LIKE THAT IN THE MOH IN 1996

    Like

  26. David December 11, 2017 at 1:49 PM #

    @Walter

    Surely you are aware that the then deputy SOI is the fall person to bottle the Clico/Parris coverup? Our reverred civil service- the oath of secrecy notwithstanding- must shoulder some of the blame. You should deal with it on your show, we dare you!

    Like

  27. Well Well & Cut N' Paste At Your Service December 11, 2017 at 2:13 PM #

    “That $100k is recorded in the GDP of Barbados. This is not an isolated case. There are thousands of instances where numbers are going into our GDP figures and there is no product or productivity to show for it.”

    Walter…that can only happen when government ministers are using taxpayer’s money to pay off civil servants to cover up their own, their Leroy leper friends and their briber’s crimes against the people.

    It could never happen any other way and should be punished by very long prison sentences for Parris and the ministers involved in the cover up..

    ….. the only reason Vernese is on that long leave with pay is to cover up the CLICO crimes against policyholders, instead of locking up Leroy Parris, the people, the taxpayers are the ones getting soaked by Parris’ friends Sinckler, Inniss and Fruendel for that… just as the policyholders got robbed…….so that is what it must be called.

    This government should never be elected for anything again.

    Like

  28. Well Well & Cut N' Paste At Your Service December 11, 2017 at 2:20 PM #

    “I have hypothesized for some time that Barbadians operate on the principle of “social relativity”. Here is an example: A Barbadian living in a board house with a “water toilet” perceives himself as superior to any person living in a board house with a “pit toilet”. Any attempt made by the owner of the board house with a “pit toilet” to advance himself must be blocked, because that would destroy the feeling of superiority enjoyed by the owner with a “water toilet”.

    Blocking is achieved by enriching foreigners instead, so that the situation of local social relativity remains unchanged. I might be wrong, though.”

    No your not, that is the blighted, cursed mentality that keeps the majority in abject poverty.

    Like

  29. Walter Blackman December 11, 2017 at 6:18 PM #

    Hal Austin December 11, 2017 at 10:51 AM #
    “@Walter, I won’t go in to greater detail, but something is wrong with the numbers. Don’t forget sometime ago the central bank started publishing its own unemployment figures.”

    Hal,
    What could very well be happening is that the BSS or Barry Alleyne doesn’t expect anyone to be scrutinizing the numbers as closely as you are. The age groups are not clearly delineated. Are all the persons employed falling between ages15-64? Or does that group include some people in their 70’s?
    For example, If the data had showed us the total number of Barbadians age 15 – 65, then gave us the amount in that group still attending educational and training institutions, and also the amount institutionalized (hospitals, prisons etc), then we would be able to easily calculate the total amount of Barbadians aged 15-65 available to work. We could then add all workers over age 65 (once the number is provided) to arrive at our eligible work force.
    We are not able to do that given the numbers we have been fed. We also have to remember that we are dealing with estimates!

    This process goes on every year and we are not paying close attention. Sit back and listen to the parrots in all areas and sectors reciting, as if it is the gospel truth, that unemployment for the 2nd quarter of 2017 is 11.4%. No questions asked!

    Like

  30. Gabriel December 11, 2017 at 6:34 PM #

    What took place then was the work of a diehard DLP governor who gave up the governor’s big ride to drive his mini so he might identify with the window dressing Dems saving taxpayers monies by reducing operating costs only to realize that the unemployment figures were too high for his liking so he brought them down by getting on his phone and calling a few contacts and as Frank Walcott,the Heavy Roller would say ‘ispo facto’ unemployment figures were published by the mini driving governor reflective of a lesser percentage than those of the BSS,the entity lawfully charged with producing employment data.

    Like

  31. Walter Blackman December 11, 2017 at 6:39 PM #

    millertheanunnaki December 11, 2017 at 10:20 AM #
    “@Walter Blackmanaa December 10, 2017 at 7:37 PM
    Wouldn’t the expansion of Sixth Forms drive another nail into the coffin of economic growth by creating, not additional young people fit for the low skill jobs available in the only remaining viable industry called tourism, but a cocoon of ego-inflated parasites who believe the world owes them a living and an entitlement to benefits with no associated costs called labour aka toil.”

    millertheanunnaki,
    Boy, you love to spout your ejaculatory fluff, don’t yuh?

    On what basis do you conclude that the expansion of Sixth Forms will create “a cocoon of ego-inflated parasites”? We are blessed with a cadre of talented, gifted, bright young people who have the right to dream and pursue their dreams like you and I did. With progressive-minded policymakers, opportunities can be created in sports, entertainment, e-commerce, IT, financial services, risk management, village tourism, the medicinal marijuana sector, medical research, ship building……..and the list goes on…and on.

    We have a lot of “loafers” in the economy right now who are drawing paychecks without any toil. Guess what? Some of them are at the top, and Sixth Forms are not to blame!

    Like

  32. Walter Blackman December 11, 2017 at 7:18 PM #

    David December 11, 2017 at 1:49 PM #
    “@Walter
    Surely you are aware that the then deputy SOI is the fall person to bottle the Clico/Parris coverup? Our reverred civil service- the oath of secrecy notwithstanding- must shoulder some of the blame.”

    David,
    I have never argued that “our revered civil service” is blameless. In fact, if you are seriously looking to punish major Barbadian miscreants, you should get a list of top civil servants and legislators from 1980 until now, and routinely investigate each one. Start by following the money trail that the modern global banking regulations have now forced to the surface. For good measure, get hold of the many women (and some men, too) who have been the victims of unwanted sexual advances and harassment over the period. They might be willing to talk now! Finally, toss in a select few from the traditional private sector to investigate also.

    It would be extremely reckless of me to assert that any one of them is guilty. A thorough investigation will separate the innocent from the guilty. We can punish the guilty, make them an example, and then move forward as a stronger nation.

    Like

  33. David December 11, 2017 at 7:21 PM #

    @Walter

    A very nice and flowery comment. Who will bell the thing?

    Like

  34. Walter Blackman December 11, 2017 at 7:31 PM #

    David December 11, 2017 at 1:49 PM #
    “@Walter
    You should deal with it on your show, we dare you!”

    David,
    It seems to me that you are interested in all aspects of my show, except those that pertain to watching it, listening to it, or giving constructive feedback on its content.

    As far as daring me is concerned, you have only succeeded in reminding me of how the Devil dared Jesus in the wilderness to do his bidding. This is the 21st century, so I am not going to foolishly instruct you, or anybody for that matter, to “get behind me”.

    However, from here on, I am going to view you as David, the DareDevil.

    Like

  35. Walter Blackman December 11, 2017 at 7:37 PM #

    David December 11, 2017 at 7:21 PM #
    “@Walter
    A very nice and flowery comment. Who will bell the thing?”

    David,
    I have searched my mind up and down, and I keep arriving at the same answer:
    You!
    Haven’t you figured out yet that this is the reason you were born?

    LOL

    Like

  36. David December 11, 2017 at 7:41 PM #

    @Walter

    Were you on the debating team?

    Like

  37. Well Well & Cut N' Paste At Your Service December 11, 2017 at 7:48 PM #

    Abacha had to be poisoned to get rid of him. ..Nigeria is only now starting to get back some of the money he and his son stole from the Nigerian people.

    Maybe it’s time for asset recovery on the island.

    “(CNN)The Swiss government is to return $321 million to Nigeria that was seized from the family of former President Sani Abacha.

    The assets were confiscated as part of criminal proceedings against Abba Abacha, son of Sani, who ruled Nigeria for five years until his death in 1998.

    Nigerian investigators believe the former president stole more than $4 billion during his time in office.
    The Swiss government released a statement Monday announcing that agreement had been reached with officials from the Nigerian government and the World Bank on the terms of restitution.
    “The restitution of funds will take place within the framework of a project supported and overseen by the World Bank,” the statement said. “The project will strengthen social security for the poorest sections of the Nigerian population.”

    The government of Nigeria made its own statement thanking international partners and vowing to continue its anti-corruption drive, a core policy of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
    “We are grateful for the international support we’re getting in the fight against corruption. Global collaboration is critical to the success of the fight…We will continue to work to deepen mechanisms not just for asset recovery but for preventing corruption in the first place.”

    Switzerland has already recovered around $700 million of Abacha-related assets to date.
    Nigeria is also pursuing $480 million that has been seized in the US, but faces a laborious legal process to reclaim it.

    Nigeria is one of four countries being prioritized for asset recovery assistance at the inaugural Global Forum on Asset Recovery, currently being held in Washington DC.
    The country lost $400 billion to corruption between 1960 and 1999, according to estimates cited by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

    Like

  38. millertheanunnaki December 11, 2017 at 8:37 PM #

    @ Walter Blackman December 11, 2017 at 6:39 PM
    “On what basis do you conclude that the expansion of Sixth Forms will create “a cocoon of ego-inflated parasites”? We are blessed with a cadre of talented, gifted, bright young people who have the right to dream and pursue their dreams like you and I did. With progressive-minded policymakers, opportunities can be created in sports, entertainment, e-commerce, IT, financial services, risk management, village tourism, the medicinal marijuana sector, medical research, ship building……..and the list goes on…and on.
    We have a lot of “loafers” in the economy right now who are drawing paychecks without any toil. Guess what? Some of them are at the top, and Sixth Forms are not to blame!”

    Yes Wally, an ‘extra’ cocoon in the making similar to those “loafers” already milking the sore nipples of the growingly emaciated taxpayers.

    The only difference between the existing regime of “loafers” and those showing the potential to be is that those already at the udders are in possession of so-called university degrees aka paper qualifications of little internationally tradable value.

    Where would you be expecting the output from these extra sixth forms to go after two years of deferred unemployment?

    Let us say straight into vocational training to enter the ship building industry or even the IT field of Mumbai.

    Why not let them be ‘creatively imaginative’ and carve out a niche market more reflective of their Bajan-acquired skill sets honed on the blocks and be ‘stars’ in the marijuana business?

    When your so-called cadre of ‘talented, gifted, bright young people’ can demonstrate their seriousness and commitment to the national pledge and motto of “Pride & Industry” by not keeping their country like a pigpen of filth and litter and, by their example, show the way to excellence to their less ‘gifted and bright’ young brothers and sisters then and only then would your country of graying men like yourself and women (like WW&C, Cut &Paste on Your Royal Service) be considered in good young hands capable of creating a society that is, altruistically speaking, ‘economically viable, socially balanced, environmentally sound and characterized by good governance’.

    Btw, Walter, talking about “ejaculatory fluff”, what has become of your tirade and exposé on the tax evasion tactics of Leroy Greenverbs, your ex boss if not bosom buddy?

    Have you buried the hatchet without the blood stains of the leper or has a gag order been imposed on your once whistle-blowing mouth?

    Like

  39. Theophilius Gazerts 234 December 11, 2017 at 8:46 PM #

    @Walter
    It is good to see you returning to your old form and delivering contributions of high quality.
    They are food for serious thought.
    Hoping you achieve all of your goals.

    Like

  40. Walter Blackman December 11, 2017 at 9:10 PM #

    millertheanunnaki,
    I have given you a chance to get a lot off your chest. I hope that I have proven to be a good listener and a good sounding board. Now brush your teeth, take off your thongs, and have a good night’s rest.
    I will be here in the morning.

    Like

  41. Walter Blackman December 11, 2017 at 9:13 PM #

    Theophilius Gazerts 234 December 11, 2017 at 8:46 PM #
    “@Walter
    It is good to see you returning to your old form and delivering contributions of high quality.
    They are food for serious thought.
    Hoping you achieve all of your goals.”

    Theophilius Gazerts,
    Thanks. I hope you achieve all of your goals also.

    Like

  42. millertheanunnaki December 11, 2017 at 9:27 PM #

    @ Walter Blackman December 11, 2017 at 9:10 PM

    Same to you my friend! DV!

    Glad to see you are indeed the genuine Prodigal Son after being treated with such undeserving dismissal by that deceitful lying party which has disgraced not only the image and legacy of EWB but reinforces the very same reason why you left them the first time around.

    Catharsis is also good for a rejected and dejected soul.

    Bon Nuit, Monsieur Noirhomme!

    PS: Before you go to bed you too need to get that Greenverbs monkey of your back; for the Treasury is in need of its share of that $3.3 million payout even if it is ‘laundered’ scam money.

    Like

  43. Gabriel December 12, 2017 at 9:42 AM #

    Dame Rumour has it that the dead king left an estate worth 39 million.The silent representative for sinjin can afford to call it a day.

    Like

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