The Grenville Phillips Column – Fighting with Yourself

“… last week, former Prime Minister Owen Arthur scathingly criticised our plan...”

The closer we get to the date of the General Election, the more silly some politicians tend to behave.  Perhaps that is why it is called the silly season.  Last week, former Prime Minister Owen Arthur scathingly criticised our plan to improve the national economy.  I wish that he had called me first to discuss his concerns, but it seemed that his only intent was to criticise it.

Our 4 point plan comprises: lowering taxes, improving the management of government services, depoliticising the public service, and eliminating corruption.  It should be clearly stated that our plan is not some theoretical untried plan, but it is proven.

It is proven that a country takes in more revenues when it reduces its tax rates.  Mr Owen Arthur himself proved this when he was the Minister of Finance, which is why we recommended that he deserved a knighthood.  Now he seems to be rejecting his own proven plan in order to criticise us.

A Solutions Barbados administration will do the good and responsible things that Mr Arthur did, but will reject the irresponsible things.  Mr Arthur lowered tax rates and realised record amounts of revenues.  Yet despite this, he irresponsibly kept borrowing money, taking Barbados’ debt from the safety of 30% of GDP, past the 40% of GDP debt that the IMF warned us not to cross, to an unsustainable and reckless 90% of GDP debt.  He is an economist and should have known better.

It is proven that better managed public services results in less wastage and a higher level of customer satisfaction.  Mr Arthur knew this and to his credit, he did try to reform the management of the public sector.  However, he failed miserably because he rejected the ISO 9001 Quality Management System when I presented it in 2004.  I am sure that he is regretting that rash and unfortunate decision now.

It is proven that a politicised civil service can ruin a country.  When he led the country for 14 years, did he make any effort to stop the politicisation of the public service?  The Constitution of Barbados, Section 104, states that the Service Commission can recommend to the Governor General that the pension of any public servant be reduced or suspended due to being guilty of misbehaviour for which he has been removed from office.

In a Solutions Barbados administration, proven partisan political misbehaviour like approving and non-approving applications, providing and denying services, and frustrating processes, will attract immediate dismissal and suspension of the pension.

Finally, it is proven that corruption results in severe austerity for most citizens.  This is because bribes are actually added to the cost of the good or service, which means that the public overpays for these things.  Let me explain how this occurs.

If a contractor agreed to do some work for say $2M, a corrupt official will tell him: “If you want this job, then you must sign a contract to do the work for $3M, and when you get paid, then you must give me $1M.” Alternatively, a corrupt contractor will say to the official: “If you give me this job, then I will bill the Government for $3M, and I will give you $1M, because I can do the job for $2M”.

Both established parties regularly accuse each other of gross corruption.  Therefore, both established parties appear to be very aware of, and very concerned about the levels of corruption in Barbados.  Since they have both had multiple turns at the trough, then why are the accusations still being made?  In a Solutions Barbados administration, corruption will be effectively addressed.

Grenville Phillips II is a Chartered Structural Engineer and the founder of Solutions Barbados.  He can be reached at

31 thoughts on “The Grenville Phillips Column – Fighting with Yourself

  1. “Mr Owen Arthur himself proved this when he was the Minister of Finance, which is why we recommended that he deserved a knighthood.”

    Right there is when I stop taking Grenville seriously…the colonially brainwashed does not appeal to me, try being your own man, your own person for a change, instead of still be owned by some filthy, dying beast in buckingham palace..and needing fraudulent titles to prove self worth.

    Both governments have received kickbacks and bribes through overinflated contracts and cost overruns for decades, they are both corrupt, they both know it why they continually play the “you corrupt too” game for the benefit of their dumb yardfowls…

    ….there is nothing to address…all former ministers from both governments should be in prision.

    The auditor general’s report is available as evidence of bribery, corruption and thefts going back decades…actuaries are available to conduct audits of every contract ministers made with and issued to their fellow thieves in the private sector for comparison to find those thefts of taxpayer’s and pensioners money….

    …again…it is not rocket science…there is nothing to address, there should only be investigations, arrests, court cases, convictions, imprisonment for all ministers and minority business people involved in those crimes against the people and country.. …end of story.

  2. @ Solutions Barbados @ next party 246:

    “If a contractor agreed to do some work for say $2M, a corrupt official will tell him: “If you want this job, then you must sign a contract to do the work for $3M, and when you get paid, then you must give me $1M.” Alternatively, a corrupt contractor will say to the official: “If you give me this job, then I will bill the Government for $3M, and I will give you $1M, because I can do the job for $2M”.”

    We can follow your hypothetical scamming process which leads to the bilking of taxpayers’ money from the Treasury; whether through the leaking conduits of central government departments or statutory corporations and agencies.

    What we would like to hear from you is how you will go about following the corruption trail without exposing the complicity of senior public servants who according to existing laws are the accounting officers for all financial matters with the ministers and their appointed goons insulated from any criminal fallout arising financial malfeasance.

    You will need to establish a special unit in the BRA for such a hypothetical process to turn into reality using the ISO 9001 approach.

    By forensically tax auditing the recipients of all suspected contracts (over an established ‘material’ value) which were awarded to private sector players there is where the lid of corruption and money laundering could be lifted and expose the final beneficiaries of graft; political or administrative.

    You ought to consider the establishment of an Office of a Contractor General (OCC); independent of the political Executive with powers to investigate and prosecute suspected cases of corruption.

    By closing the useless non-functional offices of the Ombudsman and Public Counsel resources could be freed up to merge the Office of the Auditor General within the OCC.

    The Auditor General’s office needs a serious makeover (to restructuring and refocusing) with its primary responsibility being upgraded from checking individual receipts and payments to that of fraud detection at the macro level.

    Modern ICT-based accounting and financial reporting systems have built in checks and balances to reduce if not eliminate errors of book-keeping which have been the main objective of the government auditors.

  3. Greenville is wrong.
    Where are these people like Grenville hiding, under a rock

    It is not at all certain that in a financialized economy lowering taxes increases revenues.

    What really happens is that businesses and high net worth individuals use those additional resources to buy financial assets.

    For a man who seeks to lead this country at least he owes us current economic thinking, not the old shiiiite from a bygone era.

    David, we are unaware of what Arthur said, but Greenville is misleading this honourable house.

  4. What transpired when GP was a Director of an engineering firm? Did they receive any government contracts? Kensington Oval? Were there any kickbacks? I assume there weren’t (given his virtuous position); therefore, GP should explain why that was the case and promote it as an exemplar for government contracts.

  5. You forgot gov’t oversight Grenville.

    De-politicise the Senate by giving seats to long-standing National Institutions on a rotating basis so there is continuity and give it powers of investigation and prosecution.

    We have all had enough of politicians and cabinet members running amok.

  6. Miller, it is not that complicated. All we need is for tenders hearings to be public events that can be attended by all tenderers and aired on Parliament TV with a 7-day additional period for objections.

    Transparency solves most problems.

  7. @ Frustrated Businessman: Animal Farm sequel playing out in Bim. December 12, 2017 at 10:47 AM

    That’s a less costly option to deal with corruption; whether imaginary or real.

    There is a precedent for such public display of bringing transparency in governance.
    Remember the recent ‘airing’ of the meeting between the government and the other “partners” in the Social Partnership?

    It would have to be supported by appropriate legislation; namely FOI which facilitates Transparency in government’s decision-making.

    It can be done for the award of contracts funded from local tax dollars.
    Can’t see it working with contracts funded by international lending agencies like the IADB.

  8. Keep at it Grenville.You have support out here in this cultural wilderness known as Barbados .Refrain from eating out.

  9. @Grenville Phillips who wrote ” I wish that he had called me first to discuss his concerns, but it seemed that his only intent was to criticise it. ”

    Owen is a former Prime Minister and current member of parliament. He does not have to call you before he speaks.

    Your kinder gentler mode of politics is difficult to sell in Barbados.

    You are a Labrador in a yard of pit bulls and Alsatians.

  10. We are here “minding” Grenville and his pie in the sky ideas for a Solutions government …….and we have not focussed on the big sham unfolding before our very eyes………….that is the sale of the Hilton.

    But wait…….how could this government be selling any of this country’s assets? Did they not win on no privitisation?

    Did not the moron we have for a PM used this “no privitisation” against the BLP in 2013?

    Did not the PM say in 2013 that there will be no selling off of the family jewels under his watch?

    Now it has been revealed in Sunday’s Sun that these morons are going to sell a good asset and end up with 30 million and in so doing, will leave the NIS out to sea ……..our money invested in the Hilton it would seem is going to be lost.

    Stuart Layne is apparently to make a statement soon………..Lord help us.

    I dont trust him at all……….saw him on a flight recently in first class cosying up to the big maguffy ……….how coincidential is it that these two would be on the same flight sitting next to each other?…………probably planning on what next to sell out………..How do these so called public servants sleep at night?

    I am so sick of these dems!

  11. David
    There can be no guarding of comments.

    Phillips has a false statement.

    That statement happens to be the orthodox.

    These are the kinds of things most people in public life in Barbados still hold dear and make public from.

    Whatever Arthur said must have counter

  12. When Arthur lowered tax rates the economy was growing . This is classic procyclical fiscal policy. The framework allows for government spending on productive assets when the economy (and the GDP) is growing so that when the business cycle turns downward or there is an external shock, the economy has improvements on which to fallback. Furthermore, the expression of a country’s debt as a percentage of GDP is unreliable . . . as and economy grows healthily, the percentage to its debt falls. The objective is to move the economy upward with the prudent use of financing. This government has dropped the ball. UPP seems to want to bury it by proposing a tax cut at a time when we are going to hell in a handbasket !!

    • Lee

      Interesting comment because a few years ago Senator Darcy Boyce gave the same observation by referencing Barbados’ high HDI which served as a padding during the austere times, now protracted.

  13. What Lee is suggesting is Arthur has laid the foundation for these hard times in the economic cycle so it’s now for the Dems to sell left right and centre…..BNTCL,Hilton,SamLords,Heywoods,Casaurina and adjacent Dover properties,Fort Denmark,sections of Lancaster and Balls lands,Vaucluse land to Cahill and counting.Will the airport and seaport be next?

  14. Owen Arthur was able to cut taxes because he had the benefits of Sandiford’s IMF loan and wages cut which preceded his BLP coming to power.

  15. Grenville Phillips

    Is no more that a would-be dictator-in-wait

    We have always suspected that he, like Richie Haynes, wants the power for himself and his friends.

    But he must be made to wait forever, to no avail

    We have, for years now, drawn many deep-rooted ‘errors’ which he continues to make

    It certainly can’t help for a so-called third party to be more misguided on economic policy than an OSA.

    This obstinance, reckless defiance, in the face of overwhelming evidence should tell us all, including Bushie, that this man would be no different than the other 11-plus slave boys who run this country.

  16. .  Last week, former Prime Minister Owen Arthur scathingly criticised our plan to improve the national economy.

    Arthur had 14 years in which to implement his policies. What happened? I am still waiting for Arthur to make an ECONOMIC analysis of the state of the Barbados economy, and not a POLITICAL one.
    Arthur should get on with writing his book.

  17. @ Pacha
    Bushie, that this man would be no different than the other 11-plus slave boys who run this country.
    Boss, what the hell are you talking about?
    When did Bushie suggest that Grenville was from BBE?
    YOU name someone …..ANYONE!! – who is without sin, and who could salvage the Barbadian slide into shitdom.

    Just like the bushman does with your comments, and Gabriel’s and Artax and even (every blue moon or so) with ac’s, BUSHIE takes each comment on merit.

    When Grenville (or you) make a statement that makes MORE sense than is the norm, Bushie tends to support the position….. and vice versa (with GUSTO 🙂 )

    The FACTS are that NOT ONE OF WUNNA even understand the VERY BASIC rules of life on earth – its PURPOSE, its INTENT, its consequences ….. so how the hell can such ignoramuses be other than ’11-plus slave boys running the country’?

    If Grenville makes sense with ISO, ..and makes sense with LIMITING loan exposure, ..and makes sense with moderating TAXES…
    …what the hell do you want Bushie to say?….. that he is to dictatorial? …. unlike who..?

  18. ””The government of British Prime Minster Theresa May has suffered a fresh blow as lawmakers voted to force changes in London’s Brexit plans, giving Parliament a legal guarantee of a vote on the final Brexit deal struck with Brussels.
    May was narrowly defeated in a key vote on its Brexit bill after a rebellion by 11 Tory MPs on Wednesday. Despite a last-minute attempt to offer minor concessions in the Commons, the amendment to the bill was backed by 309 to 305 as the Conservative rebels said it was too little too late…………………………””


    Remember we told you that this Brexit irrational lurch was destined for a political failure.

    These are defeats – not too many more could be withstood.

    Notwithstanding the real reasons, hidden, for this action, British PM Theresa May is clearly out of her intellectual depth, drowning in political waters way too deep

    Expect a palace coup or another soon general election

    In Barbados, it seems that judgement day will arrive before the local dictator-in-chief would do similarly.


    Well, you are at times too supportive, he merely flatters to deceive!

    • @Pacha

      Following the matter with interest. The tory rebels are playing a dangerous game if they want to prevent Labour from getting a foothold given its tenuous grasp on government.

  19. @ Pacha
    Bushie….Well, you are at times too supportive, he merely flatters to deceive!
    Point taken.
    It will be de whacker in his donkey from now on…. LOL

  20. Extracted from Facebook:-

    Thousands made their way to Chefette to get a free piece of chicken or roti..

    Whilst others brave the heat to wait in line at the Salvation Army’s Headquarters to get a hamper.

    I saw people in the line at 6am and came back and saw them still waiting at 11am.

    And whilst everybody was studying the belly the DEMS practically gave away the Hilton at well below the market value.

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  21. Bajans are too damn licorish, when there is no need to be, the fast food dumps have their marketing strategy on how to keep their hands in the people’s pockets until the NCDs start making them too sick to buy and eat garbage.

    • @Pacha

      What is your read in lay language?

      A people hooked on a freeness?

      A people easily manipulated based on shallow mentality and poor cognitive processing?

  22. David

    We think that the people are waiting to create a constitutional crisis.

    As a first response. But that in and of itself would mean little.

    When the realization of hopelessness sets in they will be riots in the streets

    Maybe more

  23. @ David who wrote “A people hooked on a freeness?”

    Yes. That is why politicians are able to buy some votes with “corn beef and biscuits”…..and salty chicken.

  24. Caswell….could the holdup in customs be because the ministry of fine ants is not doing It’s job… kickbacks and bribes to be had from Japanese relief supplies.

    ……2 million dollars is a lot to spend in supplies for Barbados in the event of disastrous hurricanes and emergencies and just to watch it sitting there…I would be upset too at the lack of appreciation..

    “No customs clearance for Japanese relief supplies
    Added by Marlon Madden on December 13, 2017.
    Saved under Business, Local News
    A month after nearly $2 million worth of disaster relief equipment arrived here from Japan, the emergency items are still stuck up in the Bridgetown Port awaiting customs clearance.

    The revelation was made here on Tuesday night by Japanese Ambassador to Barbados Teruhiko Shinada, who said that on the heels of the recent hurricane devastation in neighbouring Caribbean island, his country was hoping to hand over the significant amount of equipment to Barbados “as soon as possible” to help with its own disaster risk management.

    The shipment includes tarpaulins, lighting fixtures and generators as well as other emergency items, and during an official reception marking the birthday of the Emperor of Japan the ambassador appeared eager to have them cleared by customs, even though he acknowledged that “it takes time” to complete such authorization.

    “The equipment arrived the beginning of November. So it is about one month,” he later explained to Barbados TODAY on the sidelines of the event attended by several other diplomats, as well as Government officials, international business representatives, academics and members of the media.

    Asked if he was confident they would be out of the port before the New Year, Shinada said “it depends on the customs”, adding “I heard the Ministry of Finance is working on that and I hope that the procedure will finish as soon as possible”.

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