BERT to the Rescue

The government has announced its decision to lead the country into an IMF program. Soon the citizenry will brace for the roll out of phase two, three and the several others that will be required – given the stasis state of recent – to kick start the economy and the social benefits that must be be sustained and improved.

The blogmaster shares the following video to support the job of continuing to create awareness about our current state, the plan and …

311 thoughts on “BERT to the Rescue

  1. @Hal Austin September 3, 2018 12:02 PM
    “Your observation about global capital markets (the only capital markets) is wide off beam.”
    Part of my day job is helping to put together internationally based investment capital funds (yeah, I know, the irony of an anti-capitalist immersed up to the eyeballs in capitalism), so I know exactly what I’m talking about in discussing whether we can access global capital markets for Bridgetown redevelopment.



  3. The major problem Barbados has, both past and present, is the lack of THINKERS WITH GLOBAL UNDERSTANDING. Barbados problem solvers are too centric in their approach to problem solving to such an extent FAILURE is almost guaranteed.

    in addition to that, there is inertia. we are afraid to try stuff unless it is not sanctioned from the guru that call George or Roebuck Streets home. The politico do not wantt an negatives attached to the pending action so we do nothing; or they are willing blame all and sundry when/if it falls but they shove “all and sundry aside” if/when it succeeds.

    We need to repurpose our political class

  4. @PLT

    I do not know anything about anything, but if you think my suggestions would not find funding in the global capital markets, then you are not as familiar with the markets as you imagine. It is the reason why the government should call in experienced consultants, and not family friends, to advise them on these big projects, or worse, try to do it themselves.

  5. @Hal Austin September 3, 2018 1:53 PM
    “if you think my suggestions would not find funding in the global capital markets, then you are not as familiar with the markets as you imagine”
    So please explain then why, since your “conversation with David Thompson [… when] he said there was a Fairchild Street development plan” it has attracted absolutely zero attention from capital markets over a period which must by now amount to at least a decade.

    • Yes indeed, some are curious how a country tagged with junk to selected default credit rating status will attract the significant investment needed for regeneration of the City as proposed. Is this not the reason Barbados has finally entered an IMF program to not only unlock cheap funds from IADB, World Bank and others but IMF acknowledgment is anticipated to encourage investors looking for the discipline an IMF program will trigger?

  6. Today the world or economies are driving/running on credit. I guess Barbados is no different; Usually local business cannot wait until a person has saved enuff to purchase a good or service therefore credit is offered and the end users borrows etc.

    There is a market for credit, buyers and sellers. The market has rules that govern it. Although they are occasions when he big players break the rules etc. Usually on rare occassion but sometimes with devastating effect. But in large the market works.

    he market tried to balance itself by moving the interest rate for the different level and type of borrowing sought and the creditworthiness of the borrower. This principal can be applied at the national and personal level.

    In theory there are few that have money to lend and many who want to borrow. But good debtors are a rare breed. They are disciplined and honourable. These traits also make them more likely to succeed with what they borrowed the money for etc, and if they succeed in doing the right thing with the money borrowed they are less likely to want to borrow again. Eg BRIC nations. they slowly become lenders and not borrowers.

    Therefore the economic model that the other lenders pursue must be tailored to keep them as borrowers for all long as possible because if the market is allowed to be in balance with more and more becoming lenders; the return on borrowing will fall and no lenders really wants that.

    Barbados is following an economic model where a precious few(nations) are allowed to prosper and the majority are kept in a state where they can repay the loan but never really escape fr0m the debt.

    We need to rethink the economic models we are pursuing; The IMF is firstly about Barbados repaying its debts to our international creditors. so we can go borrow again to supposedly get ourselves outta the now larger debt. I

    It may work but precious few manage to thread the needle, or maybe better put allowed to escape the pressure cooker.

    • The IMF was invited in because we messed up. A big part of the reason is that we engaged in fiscal indiscipline. We do not have anybody to blame but we ourselves.

  7. David September 3, 2018 2:02 PM


    Any idea how you would repurpose the political class?

    Give them a time share at the Dodds vacation spa and internment village.

    • You do appreciate the very political class you distrust has to carry out your wish?

      Looks like wishful thinking sirFuzzy. You should get on your knees and pray to Bushie’s BBE.

  8. David September 3, 2018 2:10 PM

    The IMF was invited in because we messed up. A big part of the reason is that we engaged is fiscal indiscipline. We do not have anybody to blame but we ourselves.

    This reminds me of the van stands during the peaks times a few years ago. Total chaos. But once a policeman is posted some form of orderly behaviour returns. It boggles the mind; these folks know what is required of them, but will engage in chaotic and self destructive behaviour when no authoritative figure is looking.

    I guess the same thing applies at the national level over our economic affairs?

    Maybe we need to rethink what independence means; cause we didn’t or have chosen to act like an IMMATURE PERSON unless we are policed by a foreigner?

    Can we apply or submit an application to the UK for “colony status” after al these years? lol

  9. David September 3, 2018 2:42 PM

    You do appreciate the very political class you distrust has to carry out your wish?

    Looks like wishful thinking sirFuzzy. You should get on your knees pray to Bushie’s BBE.

    You asked me a question; i give u my opinion or answer. End of transaction?

    Most things are not workable or doable in Bim cause we like it so

    • Note that is a generalization. Many do not like it so. What we are now engaged is a process of escaping from the maze by dialoguing. In some countries we would have witnessed riots. This is the Bajan way. Do not be discouraged.

  10. sirfuzzy (i was a sheep some years ago; not a sheep anymore) September 3, 2018 2:51 PM

    David September 3, 2018 2:42 PM

    You do appreciate the very political class you distrust has to carry out your wish?

    Looks like wishful thinking sirFuzzy. You should get on your knees pray to Bushie’s BBE.

    As advised by you on many occasions. “i live in hope”. I never contemplated a 30-0 whitewash in the political duopoly i inherited or only knew to exist. .

    Maybe it will happen again the electors has demonstrated that i wants results and is willing to give one party the complete parliamentary control to make such happen. if they fail maybe a third partly slate of MPs will be willing to put country before self and do what i have asked?

    I live in hope 🙂

  11. Note that is a generalization. Many do not like it so. What we are now engaged is a process of escaping from the maze by dialoguing. In some countries we would have witnessed riots. This is the Bajan way. Do not be discouraged.

    But if we talk the subject to death then i would have come to nought. But maybe death is a better place; in the after life i hope they are no bajan politicians? lol

  12. on a different note. Is the Petrotrin refinery the only refinery in CARICOM or the regional where BNOC can get its crude refined?

    WiLl this PetroTrin refinery closure result in high fuel oil prices for BL&P dues to longer shipping distances etc?

    Will BNOC be stuck with crude oil with no where to sell the crude to be refined?

    • There are our friends in Venezuela. Ambassador Comissiong should be of support in this matter we anticipate.

  13. I am told there is a refinery in Suriname. Does anyone else think that the closure of Petrotrin may have implications for the economic recovery of Barbados? Do we really want to get involved with Venezuela?

    • There is an ‘angry’ debate going on in TT which goes something like those:

      Has the government weight the opportunity cost re Petrotrin incurring marginal losses versus decommissioning costs and possibly bidding to refine Guyana’s oil when it begins to gush in the next two years.

  14. PLT,

    I am not sure if this is a serious question. But as I said, I do not want to give the impression David Thompson and I were buddies who discussed public policy. He on that one occasion mentioned a project. How would I know why it has not worked. What I can say is that the DLP under Sturt messed up in a big way. They could not sell cashews on a Saturday morning.

  15. Maybe Exxon in Guyana has no use for PetroTrin refinery in the big picture of things.
    Much of Venezuela crude oil was refined n the Gulf refineries in the recent past. Guyana’s luck in discovering oil may be another nail in Venezuela economic coffin.

    Maduro or Grainer? I think Exxon will pick Grainer

    The Mega oil companies has a good idea where they want to refine Guyana'(their) crude we on the other hand do not know what they have planned for this crud oil.

    Those in Tdad may be be blowing smoke; for i get the impression the issue lies with the falling domestic oil production.
    The refinery is better suit and more profitable if it does not have to import crude to refine. But Tdad local production is less than 30% of daily capacity that forces the refinery to import crude if it is to run at optimum throughput.

    Also the Tdad govt may be able to rid itself of a pesky fuel subsidy that was costing the Tdad treasury Billions annually. Tdad energy users(motorist) may be faced with world market liquid fuel prices for the first time in generations. Time will tell how they adjust to their new liquid fuel price reality.

  16. I agree with GP’s irreverent remarks concerning our capacity to talk and talk. Let’s recognise that the country will never progress under the BLP or the DLP. I would like to see both parties dismantled and interned. Both parties bring so much toxicity to the political landscape that it would serve the country’s interest if they were sent into permanent exile.

    The country should push for the immediate removal of MIa and her court. We cannot support another five years of mismanagement lined with utter corruption.

  17. Talking Loud Saying Nothing September 3, 2018 5:52 PM

    Is it the party or it is us the electorate that tolerate and condone the shyte they produce?

    If we started giving them term limits via the ballot box, they will change or not be elected.

    A child normally gets away with murder with an adults consent. Give she a break; cud dear etc

    We need to grow up in our expectation so that the politicos can grow up as well other wise thy will have short elective careers.

  18. Sir Fuzzy,

    “We need to rethink the economic models we are pursuing; The IMF is firstly about Barbados repaying its debts to our international creditors. so we can go borrow again to supposedly get ourselves outta the now larger debt.”

    THAT is the point, exactly. New loans to replace the old loans. All Barbados can hope is to get better conditions (interest, duration). There is no reason to believe that the international commercial creditors will give up something they had not already set the price for, eg through excessive interest rates in the past. Therefore, the new loans don´t bring in any money for investment or repair.

    Barbados is a true receptive student of the American model that debt equals growth.


  20. It is BERT von Selm, the leader of the IMF delegation.

    If we had an American leader, it was GILBERT,
    a German leader was NORBERT,
    a Greek leader VAROUBERT,
    a Japanese leader YAMABERT.

    The highway to hell has many names.

  21. There is no question that the closure of the oil refinery in Trinidad will have an effect on Barbados and the Barbados National Oil Company. Exactly what these effects will be are not clear at the moment.

    Primary question is where Barbados will import its future FUEL requirements from, and
    Where will Barbados be able to export its miniscule crude oil output to for refining, and
    What will the impacts be to BL&P, largest import user of petroleum products, and
    Fuel prices are likely to rise, and
    BL&P energy costs to consumer will likely increase, and

    The various scenarios are yet to be determined, however its added one more immediate CRITICAL item to the Barbados IMF recovery PLAN(BERT).

  22. The various scenarios are yet to be determined, however its added one more immediate CRITICAL item to the Barbados IMF recovery PLAN(BERT).

    Just when you thought could not get any worse?

  23. i dont see how anyone can question the positive impact the selling of land (our oil) and stealing other countries tax revenues (offshore canadian companies) had on our economy and by extension our roads, buses, garbage trucks etc. if you sell something for fx that costs you very little you can buy all the social mobility that you want. so what costs us nothing or very little, or is internationally competitive? maybe brain power? why have we missed the largest economic growth engine in the world over the last 20 years? why are we playing the industrial worlds game that we cannot win? why arn’t we begging google, microsoft, facebook etc to setup here are hire some bajans? why are focused on “brand name hotels” that will bring people to shower with our scarce water, consumer imported food, electricity and hired cars and what is left send back to the mother ship as profits? why not go play in a game that we can win which is brain talent, where an internet connection is all we need to get on the world stage. we cannot compete against microsoft, but the tech capitals of the world have all spawned local IT startups out of the giants that went on to create whole new IT based industries. we are stuck in the past. and BTW the more a company pays in corporate taxes the less it has to reinvest in its growth, that why we have something called an offshore sector. the more we tax local firms the more the trinis win, and eventually buy the locals out of bankruptcy. if you arn’t winning change the game! Dublin has run out of office space and housing because of the growth of it tech sector. remember Ireland circa 2008? we deserve what we are getting because we are always looking back.

  24. BA,

    The clueless masses in Barbados and their politicians only believe in tourism, an industry only creating jobs like maids and chefs. There is no way that tourism can make a country rich. There is no need for any academics in the tourism sector.

    The Barbadian business model, the social values and most other things on this island are outdated. However, it is still business as usual. We are told to borrow more money from international institutions, to drive more big SUVs and to drink more sugar drinks.

    Dinosaurs are doomed to die.

  25. @ BA
    @ TRON
    @ PLT

    I was wondering when you gentlemen would have gotten away from spinning tot in mud and talking bout problems and move to solutions.

    So for example.

    If video evidence is now allowed in courts then there is no need to deploy any of our taxed 1100 policemen in the van stands as a first resort.

    Put 4 ip cameras in the stands and have them monitored by a few retired bajans who home doing nothing and can be trained to pan a camera and zoom to a fellow face pun a day.

    And press a button to summon the police automatically when required.

    The problem with this and previous administrations (of which Wily Coyote is a well established product of) is that they know exactly what the problem is BUT ENT GOT A BADWORD CLUE ABOUT THE SOLUTION.


    You PLT said and I quote “…We cannot produce consumer goods for Barbadians that can compete with the ones imported from China and we cannot keep the ones from China out without breaking the WTO rules that we have signed on to.

    We need to produce intangible goods and services that can get to a world market with the click of a button.

    We cannot compete in producing material goods so it is a complete waste of public money to try policies based on that illusion…”

    Now let de ole man see if I can talk through this without cursing the waste foop SOE heads that are tasked to determine the efficacy of a world changing UP protected solution.

    DO NOT let de ole man call the name of the waste foops at the sludge funds of EGFL and Fund Access that after several millions of dollars HAVE YET TO BREAK EVEN IN ANYTHING.

    Nor will de ole man speak of the rampant anti Knowledge Economy that exists where the very civil servants AND STATE APPOINTED MENTORS teif de very ideas of the applicants that they are entrusted to assist and nurture and Fund.

    Nor would de ole man speak of the fact that the very ministers, nary one would never mention Heads of Government, nor substantive MPs, who under cover of IMMUNITY and waste foop court systems, do EVEN IN THE PRESENCE OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS, persist in stealing the property of the very same economy that the three of you men allude to.

    I started this submission by giving you three Knowledge Economy champions a solution to the Van Stand problem.

    But I will bet one million dollars not one of you can give me a clear and present solution to mine. Heheheheh.

    We are but ineffectual armchair warriors with time on our hands to talk jobby cause we have a mouth.

  26. @ pieceuhderockyeahright September 4, 2018 7:35 AM

    Of course there is plenty of expertise for an economic revolution. Turning the tide in such a small economy like Barbados can work with a finger snap.

    However, the Barbadian population is not ready for change. They have a certain reputation. The saying is that they are the most conservative people in the Caribbean when it come to the adoption of new ideas. Some say they are more conservative than the Saudi-Arabians or the Taliban in economic context.

    We still live in an era where sclerotic, old-school economists are at work in Bim on the basis of some textbooks from the 1980s made for big industrial countries with a different mentality and not for tiny tropical islands and microstates in the 21st century.

    We all know that won´t work. How long does it take the average Barbadian to wake up and to realize that Barbados is not one, two projects away from a second golden OSA-age with weekly shopping in Miami but just a year from a failed 3rd IMF programme with riding donkeys and oil lamps?

    • The government made the decision to SD on loan repayment in June. A balsy decision that should set the tone?

  27. That was a national necessity and an act of professionalism, indeed. These are private obligations and you don´t play with powerful foreign entities. The old gov should have declared default years ago in 2013, but some old MoF (I forgot his name) said even in April 2018 everything was OK when it was not. Five years are lost. Clearly, the old MoF did everything do delay bankruptcy. This is a criminal offence in some jurisdictions.

    However and as said before and from what I know from interviews with citizens up and down the island, the old attitude called business as usual is still the dominant mood. Surely the present gov had their survey how far they can go and it was negative.

  28. It is a national disgrace aldo an insult to the people that after 10 years of telling barbadians that on day one after the blp beomes govt they would hit the ground running and fix all that is broken in the country
    Now over 100 days nothing is fix the sewage runs in the ocean the garbage piles up and water bills are excruciating high
    But what de helll Mia got this …heee heee heee

  29. George Connolly, so-called CEO of Business Technology Solutions Firm and a former candidate of DLP, spills many articles on BB Today about the new gov´s economic policy. He issues political noise, nothing else.

    Where has George been between 2008 and 2018? Surely not in BB or just hiding in a villa in Apes Hill Plantation? Otherwise he would have named and shamed Big Sinck for his insane voodoo-policies.

  30. Tron,

    The text books are from the 1960s. In the 1980s monetarism was the rage and neo-Keynesianism. Barbadians see new ideas as an insult. They thin you are being rude.
    In 1961, the new DLP government carried out a radical programme, Keynesian, but still radical. I can still remember the opening of the Deep Water Harbour (a BLP creation, but Barrow got the kudos), the filling in of the Careenage (considered good at the time, but looking back very bad), filling in the Constitution River, inviting in such companies as Texas Instruments, at the very beginning of the technological revolution, the Harp Project, what later became thee Iraqi Super Gun, expansion to tourism with French Canadians flooding in, transformation in secondary education (St Joseph, Springer, Parkinson, Princess Margaret), etc. Barbados felt like a different place.
    As we have discussed before, the Central and Barbados Foundries were doing amazing things, Acme had embarked on making buses, it is difficult to describe how exciting things were for young people.
    I am told the same with the 1945 Clement Attlee government, the election of J.F. Kennedy and I witnessed with the 1979 Margaret Thatcher government.
    All these were defining moments in the histories of Barbados, the UK and US. The general election of May 24, 2018, should be such a defining moment, a time for renewal, when the nation looked at itself and did radical things to catapult us in to the 21st century. Instead, we are left like a damaged horse, waiting for the knacker’s yard.
    After 100 days, there is nothing about this BLP government that tells us it understands the crisis hitting Barbados. In 1963, the age of majority was reduced to 18, ahead of the UK and many leading developed nations, since then nothing. Ironically, the founding of the Transport Board created an incredible public transport system, now look at the mess.
    I can go on about the quality of our educational system, of the decay of the public sector, of the mess that is our public services (just look at the court and wider criminal justice systems). I can go on.
    We can only change our thinking if wee want to change and if we allow in new ideas. Barbadians are terrified of new ideas. Just look at the nonsense in this blog about foreign reserves, something that was discussed and relegated in the 1960s.

  31. Dear Hal,

    It is good to have you on BU! Thank you very much for your comment.

    Another topic to discuss is the relationship between taxes and work ethic. We cannot expect Barbadians to show highest motivation at work when they are overtaxed.

  32. Tron,

    Thank you. The problem is not being over-taxed, but the waste of that taxation by various governments. Scandinavia is heavily taxed, yet studies show they are the happiest people in the world. Barbadians go to Europe and north America and feel happy paying three forms of public taxation: local, regional and national (City, state and Federal; or council ta, Greater London and national). Yet in Barbados they hesitate to pay a single penny. It is more than taxation.
    I was one of those invited to a meeting at the London School of Economic when Prof Layard was about to launch his Happiness Index and was sceptical. I am now convinced.

  33. Hal,

    OK, overtaxed in relation to the delivered services.

    I would also like to point out that Sweden had to shrink the monster called social welfare in the 1990s. Norway has lots of oil and is no comparative yardstick. Besides, all Scandinavian countries share a protestant work ethic.

    In comparison, Barbados has no oil, nobody is willing to cut down social welfare and only a few want to work.

  34. Tron,

    The Swedish welfare problem is caused by New Swedes, not the natives. The Norwegians discovered their North Sea oil at the same time as the British. They invested their money for future generations, the Brits spent theirs. For a small island to develop you do not need natural resources. Guyana is bigger than England and has more natural resources, from gold to diamonds and bauxite, look at the state of the nation.
    Barbados became independent a year after Singapore, which has no natural resources and the same size population, look at how they have developed. In 1965 Singapore was a swamp; in 1966 Barbados had on of the best educated populations in the world.
    Until 2007/8, Iceland had on of the best economies in the world. The same size population as Barbados and its economic growth was not based on natural resources. It was based on financial wizardry (they over shot, but mistakes happen).
    Bajans find all kinds of excuses for their collective failure.

  35. @ Tron & Hal Austin,

    Interesting debate but let me make it real simple for the two of you; and I have said it before.

    History has shown that Barbados was at its wealthiest and most productive when the white man had dominion over her Negro slaves with the whip in his left hand and the bible in his right hand. There was a short period post-independence where a number of blacks excelled, where the economy was decent for a small developing country and where the infrastructure built on slave labour remained in a healthy state. However that euphoria did not last very long.

    Do we require the return of the overseer to whip the country into shape? If so what does it say about our leaders and those blacks who reside on the rock?

  36. @ Talking Loud Saying Nothing September 5, 2018 3:24 PM

    There is only ONE Barbadian culture. The white Barbadians are not different from the rest. When it comes to work ethic and productivity, they fit to the rest of the country due to the tropical conditions. And look at the so-called business magnates. The rest of the country consumes the fruits of the big welfare state and the magnates beg for gov contracts – both at the taxpayer´s expense. The same attitude.

    Talking, I identify other problems.

    Barbados has too many social welfare services, a bloated public sector, suffers high taxation, corruption, nepotism and relies too much on tourism. You find these problems in other parts of the world as well, for instance in Southern Europe, in countries like Spain and Italy.

    The local work ethic and productivity are to some extent climatic issues. Barbados is simply too hot and too wet.

    The problem with Barbadian independence is not some lost magical whip but wrong decisions made in the past, namely to run a microstate like a big state on a continent. Barbadians have to pay for an immense bureaucratic overhead in comparison to British overseas territories which lack many features of a state like a foreign ministry, independent trade politics and so on. However, Barbados could opt for a hybrid model between a full-scale state and overseas territory through streamlining governance.

    If we subtract the past and summarize the malaise, present Barbados faces specific challenges due to its tiny size, its location in the ocean and in the tropical zone and being exposed to hurricanes. Structural deficits as shown above increase the malaise and also culture attitudes like the habit to copy and to desire everything shown on American TV. And the latter attitude is found in many countries.

    As I told before, there is no natural law making people to fail. If there is a will there will be the wished result.

  37. @ Hal Austin September 5, 2018 1:58 PM


    Singapore has a specific advantage in comparison to Barbados, namely its position at one of the most important international trade routes, the Strait of Malacca. Barbados is situated in the nowhere of international trade. Singapore is also surrounded by global economic powerhouses whereas Barbados is next to not so successful countries like Venezuela and Brazil. And Singapore has a big Chinese community linking the microstate to the world´s new superpower.

    In order to underpin my argument I would like to point to the Bahamas which perform better than Barbados due to the proximity to the United States.

    If Barbados was situated at the Strait of Malacca and Singapore vice versa in the outer rim of the Caribbean, the situation would be very different. Therefore I would like to give Barbados some credit despite all odds.

  38. In 1965/66 the situation was different. Malaysia had dumped Singapore and all it was used fore was to train British troops in guerrilla warfare. Barbados had it all before it and dropped the baton. Even now it is not too late, but the same people are holding on to power. Just look at the BLP government and its so-called consultants. Not an original idea in their heads.

  39. Ernie got this

    “Deep job cuts and a hike in bus fares are on the cards for the beleaguered state-run public transport agency, according to Chairman of the Transport Board Gregory Nicholls, in a memo sent via email to General Manager Felicia Sue, and copied to two other company officials.”

  40. Ernie got this

    ” It’s a case of two different tales along the south coast these days, with operators between Worthing and Hastings, Christ Church reporting a major ease in the sewage crisis, while businesses along Worthing Beach are now fuming over the impact of the awful stench.”

  41. Barbados is in deep doo dont worry the IMF got this
    That 1000 number gonna get bigger and the people pockets get smaller

  42. Why is the BLP streaming a government press conference and the BGIS is not? Is the BLP now the same as the state? Is this all Chinese? This is how corruption is embedded. We must separate the ruling party from the state.

  43. @ Mariposa September 6, 2018 4:47 AM

    Declaration of default was due since 2013. The new gov is just doing what had to be done in 2013 after BB couldn´t sell gov bonds anymore.

    And the restructuring of the public service and of the many SOEs was due since 2008 when this man (I forgot his name) seized power in Bim, promising “transparency”.

    When you blame the new gov, you blame the natural laws of economic, social and political history. You cannot change them. When you blame the new gov for sending home people it is like blaming Triton for sending so many hurricanes CAT 5 last year into the Caribbean. You cannot change the Gods or the nature of things.

    The period from 1995 to 2007 was exceptional. Lots of inflowing forex which financed the excessive pay hikes in the public service without any connection to real productivity in Bim. What we face now is Barbados going the normal course – as the island did in the 1970s, 1980s, early 1990s and since 2008, namely slow growth, internal devaluation, lack of forex and lack of prosperity.

  44. Tron,

    Plse explain the natural law of economic, social and political history. And explain what was exceptional about the period 1995-2007 about the Barbados economy, including the inflow of forex?

  45. The default could have been avoided if the opposition was not gong ho in ham stringing govt projects …at least those projects going forward inclusive of the sale of poor performing entities would have given the economy breathing room in relation to jobs and improving the decline of the revenues
    Instead this govt have presented a horrendous alternative keeping barbados like beggars on the doorsteps of the IMF and poor people having to find a means to pay govt debt
    Go figure

  46. Where is rum?

    Before the end of the year, a bottle of London whisky may be sold for the first time in more than a century. Since Lea Valley distillery closed in 1903 and the capital’s whisky production dried up, not a single drop has been bottled or bought in the UK capital. But distilleries have been opening across Britain at a rapid pace in recent years, and in 2011 the London Distillery Company was founded, the first of the city’s now three whisky distilleries. 

    The growth of English whisky has come as part of the development of the “craft” drinks market for products produced by small, independent companies. It is a trend that began in the US but has been embraced by UK consumers and producers.
    Since 2010, the number of distilleries in the UK has almost trebled, from 116 to 315 according to HMRC figures. This followed a 2009 change in the law, when HMRC agreed to grant licenses to producers distilling much smaller volumes of spirits, making it significantly easier and cheaper for start-ups to get off the ground.
    .In England, there are now 21 whisky distilleries, up from only one in 2003, with the majority founded in the past five years. While Scotch whisky has “dominated the market for centuries, English whisky is a new niche companies are experimenting with,” said Thomas Falconer, analyst at IbisWorld.
    Alongside the well-documented growth of craft gins — gin sales have roughly trebled since 2009, according to the Office for National Statistics — many new distillers have been producing whisky at the same time. Most are yet to produce their first bottles, though several are close.
    By law, whisky must be aged for a minimum of three years, but gin can be distilled and bottled in a day. This quick production and healthy consumer demand have allowed many English whisky distillers to use gin “as a stopgap” while their whisky is ageing, said Amir Ali, analyst at Euromonitor.
    We need to be really inventive, we don’t want to be a Scottish distillery down south, Matt McGivern, head of operations at London Distillery Company“Gin pays the bills and keeps the lights on,” said Matt McGivern, head of distilling and operations at the London Distillery Company.
    One factor in the growth of the craft drinks market is consumer willingness to try the different twists on well-known products that producers often come up with. English whisky distillers have tapped into this: unlike their Scottish counterparts, they are not obliged to age whisky in oak, meaning they are “free to innovate,” said Chris Jaume, co-founder of Cooper King Distillery near York. “That’s what attracts the younger whisky drinker.”
    Andy Mooney, distiller at the East London Liquor Company, said English distilleries are experimenting with ageing whisky in different woods to create distinctive flavours. “We’re never going to compete with the big guys on quantity,” said Mr Mooney. “We’re here to make interesting products.”
    London Distillery Company’s Mr McGivern said: “We need to be really inventive, we don’t want to be a Scottish distillery down south.”Good after three years: an employee tastes an English Whisky Company single malt at St George’s Distillery in Norfolk © APLike craft gins, many craft whiskies focus on provenance and emphasise their use of locally and responsibly sourced ingredients, said Mr Ali of Euromonitor.
    Given the time it takes to produce whisky, attracting investors is important. This year, the East London Liquor Company raised double the £750,000 it had sought in a crowdfunding campaign that attracted more than 1,000 investors, allowing it to quadruple whisky production. The Lakes Distillery, which was founded in 2011, has just announced its intention to float on London’s junior Aim market before the end of the year, in order to raise up to £15m to expand production.
    The London Distillery Company also plans to seek further investment in the near future: “There’s a big market for investing in spirit companies now,” Mr McGivern said. Meanwhile, major producers have been “pricking their ears up”, said Mr Ali: last year Jameson created a hybrid whisky aged in beer barrels, while Diageo set up a venture capital arm Distill Ventures in 2013 to allow it to invest in new brands. “The ‘ginnaisance’ has attracted a whole new audience of people keen to try new spirit experiences, meaning investors have been more willing to invest in craft distilleries, allowing an English and Welsh whisky market to emerge,” said Miles Beale, chief executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association.
    Whether craft whisky is as well received as craft gin will become clear in the next few years, as distilleries begin producing their first bottles. As an early indication of interest, several distilleries say they have been able to start pre-selling casks. According to Andy Crossan, consumer insights director at Kantar Worldpanel, recent sales of malt whiskies have “compared very well” with gin.
    But new brands’ success will depend partly on persuading pubs and bars to take them on, which gin distillers did “particularly well”.The East London Liquor Company and the London Distillery Company have taken courage from the interest that bars and individual consumers have expressed in their initial small production runs of less than 1,000 bottles, planned for before the end of the year.“It’s not a race,” said Mr Mooney of East London Liquor Company. Mr McGivern of London Distillery Company said: “Craft whisky distillers should help each other out. We’re trying to create a new category.”


    Several tenants at Country Park Towers, Country Road, St Michael, were on Monday served their eviction notices to quit by an attorney – on behalf of the NHC.

  48. As we mark the tenth anniversary of the global financial crisis, there have been plenty of postmortems examining its causes, its consequences and whether the necessary lessons have been learnt.So it seems a pertinent moment to ask when the next recession and financial crisis will occur and why.
    The global expansion is likely to continue this year and next because the US is running large fiscal deficits, China is continuing stimulative policies and Europe remains on a recovery path. Yet by 2020, there are several reasons why conditions for a global recession and financial crisis may emerge(Quote)

  49. Have we now abandoned any rational discussion on BERT? After nearly five months, a few redundancies, a change of the constitution, the backdoor regulation of mMoney, numerous picture opportunities for the prime minister, when are we going to have a mature discussion about BERT and its proposed solution for our serious economic problems? Or is the outcome of the US mid-term elections more important?

  50. Anarchy reigns in Barbados. Why is a so-called economic consultant making government policy? The announcement below should have been made by the minster for economic affairs, or a junior minister, but certainly by a politician, not a hired hand. What is happening to our democracy?

    Small business owners are being told that they will not have to pay Value Added Tax (VAT) twice if they have already paid the tax while making an online transaction, one of the Government’s top consultants on the economy has told the small business association.
    Starting on May 1, Barbadians buying goods and services online will be required to pay VAT on any taxable items at the point of purchase, as opposed to when the items land here.
    Special Envoy to the Prime Minister on Investment and Finance, Professor Avinash Persaud, has told the SBA’s monthly information session: “The system is set up so we avoid double taxation. When you purchase a good or service that is subjected to VAT, you will pay the VAT online, you will get an electronic receipt on your phone, tablet or other devices, or you can print it if you so choose. When you go to the port to collect the item, once you show the Customs Officer your VAT receipt you are free to go. However, if there is a situation in which you have paid VAT on the product but not the shipping costs, the officer will work out the difference between what you owe and what you have already paid, and that is all you will have to pay.”
    Government has spoken to the 12 main online payment processing services including PayPal, Mastercard, Visa and American Express to advise them of the products that attracted VAT so they could apply at checkout, the economist said.
    He stressed that the VAT only applied to such products if they were going to be consumed in Barbados.
    “There are two things they check on, and that is whether the product or service is VATable in Barbados and if it is being consumed here. Now, the company would not always know that, and if it does not, then it would not charge the VAT.
    “If you book a hotel room in Barbados or rent a car you plan to drive while on the island online, you will pay the VAT for that as those services will be used in Barbados.”
    But Professor Persaud also noted that if consumers paid local suppliers directly with their credit cards they would not be subjected to the online VAT charge and that it was not an attempt by Government to trace people’s credit card purchases.
    Government was losing some $50 million in revenues as a result of not recording, or under-recording, such purchases, he declared.
    “This is not a new tax but a new way of collecting an existing tax, and we should gain $50 million from it. Now to put this into perspective, if we collect the $50 million we may be able to lower the VAT rate by at least one percentage point; $50 million is almost half what we spend on UWI, and a significant chunk of what we spend on the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, so if anyone has a better idea as to how we can raise this money, let us know and we will think about it,” he said.
    Professor Persaud also sang the virtues of the Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation Programme (BERT), which he described as “the most shared adjustment programme in world history”.
    “With this programme, we have shared the adjustments between creditors and borrowers very evenly, we have shared the adjustment between government workers and taxpayers evenly, and we have also shared it uniquely between residents and non-residents through the increased VAT and the room rate levy.
    “Barbados now has the lowest tax rate in the world for non-zero compliant countries in the OECD, and we have reduced our labour, income and corporate taxes, but increased them on land and transactions. The reasoning behind this is that when you tax land, you encourage people to use it, and this will support investment.” (DH)(Quote)

  51. Government is preparing a National Industrial Policy which will seek to revive the manufacturing sector, Minister of International Business and Industry, Ronald Toppin has said.
    Following a tour of the booths at BMEX 2019 yesterday, Toppin told reporters the first draft of the policy is expected to be ready by September, and finalised before the end of the current financial year in March 2020.
    Toppin praised the exhibits at the June 7-10 event, but he lamented the decline of the local manufacturing sector.
    “We’ve seen a significant decline in the fortunes of the sector, certainly over the last decade or so, when you look at the number of people employed in the manufacturing sector; the number of companies in the sector, the level of investment in the sector; or the contribution of the sector to our Gross Domestic Product. All of them have declined significantly over the last ten years or so,” he said.
    He added that talks are ongoing between government and local manufacturers, and there are plans for a national consultation in the coming months to hear their concerns.
    He also acknowledged there are several challenges facing manufacturers, particularly the area of access to financing.
    “Our objective in all this is to ensure we have a very highly competitive, financially strong manufacturing sector, we can move to boost our domestic exports significantly, create large numbers of employees again in the sector, earn foreign exchange, increase import substitution, put the country’s development on a more sustainable footing through our manufacturing sector’s improved performance, and of course deal with the issue of the alleviation of poverty,” Toppin said.

    He noted that government is also aiming at two new industries particularly in ICT and pharmaceuticals.
    “Pharmaceuticals also offer a wonderful opportunity for us to attract a big player. In fact, we’ve already been approached by a big pharmaceutical entity, and we expect to begin negotiations with that entity in the very, very near future,” he said.
    The minister also pointed to the significant decline in the apparel industry, which once employed an estimated 4,000 people at its peak, but as of May last year there were only 300 employees on record in that sector.
    “And that is an industry, or a subsector that employs 85 per cent women. So you can understand how single mothers and so on would have been hit with the decline of that sector. So we want to see that back again up full strength,” he told reporters.
    Toppin noted however, that despite the challenges there are ongoing projects aimed at boosting exports.
    “And the one that I find very appealing is the rolling out of the Accelerate 2020 project where the BIDC [Barbados Industrial Development Corporation] is working with 20 companies to round them up to a certain level of production where they can actually generate more than $3 million in export earnings per year.
    “There are currently 21 entities on the books of BIDC that already earn more than $3 million a year in [exports]. And there are some 20 that earn over $500,000 a year in export earnings. So the objective is to boost the ones earning over $3 million to even more, and bring some that are earning only $500,000 up to the $3 million level,” he said. (Quote)

    Let us see what this industrial strategy is going to be. Is this part of BERT?

  52. New premium rum company just launched in the UK. Blending Barbados and Jamaica rum. Where are our industrialists. I know, they are all lawyers.

  53. After the hysteria, now comes the realty. BERT is not providing the answers, nor are we all in this together. The fat cats are still picking all the meat from the bone while the majority continue to starve.
    People are now aware of this reality and not the distraction of Brexit. It will end in tears.

    For ten years between 2008 and 2018 the then ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP) reminded Barbadians ad nauseam of the obvious, that Barbados was more than an economy, it was a society. It seemed part of a lame excuse not to take decisive action on the economy for fear of inflicting further unwanted pain on the island’s lower and middle class and damaging the party’s general election prospects. The Government of the day failed to find the correct economic balance, dawdled at the wheel and a combination of astute political opposition, population disenchantment, trade union and private sector collusion, led to the DLP’s annihilation at the May 24 polls. One would be disingenuous to suggest that the self-confessed sleeping giant and his cohorts did not get what they deserved.
    Today, just over 14 months after a new administration has taken over the governance of the island and as it attempts to crunch numbers in the effort to rectify existing economic problems, one gets the impression that there is still a lack of balance in the International Monetary Fund-driven programme being administered by the Mia Mottley government. Indeed, the DLP’s vapid mantra has seemingly been switched, where Barbados is now more than a society, it’s an economy. And lower and middle-income earning Barbadians are those feeling the crippling pain.
    One anticipated that there would be a measure of economic hardship, but sacrifices are seemingly not being made across the board. And Government is facing little or no opposition irrespective of whatever it does. We apparently have a situation where once vocal social commentators have contracted collective laryngitis and a major section of the media appear compromised by circumstances best left unsaid. Two developments, in particular, cry out for ventilation.
    Three months ago hundreds of pensioners were financially bruised by a Government that reduced their monthly intake while referring to long-existent pension legislation as the basis for the decision. However, according to knowledgeable trade union experts, Government has miss-stepped on this issue where many persons are being deprived of disability allowances to which they are entitled having been discharged from Government on medical grounds. And Government seems to be at odds with itself on the issue. While Minister of Labour Colin Jordan promised almost two months ago that the situation would be rectified and these moneys returned, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance Ryan Straughn this week revealed that this would now be done in August. But the irony of this scenario is that as recent as last week there was no public indication that reimbursements had even been approved by Cabinet.
    But it does not end there. More than a decade ago, hundreds of Barbadian workers who received significant pensions, inclusive of voluntary pensions to which they would have contributed since the 1980s, invested their moneys in state debenture certificates with mutually agreed contractual terms. Some took out 15-year debenture agreements where the principal would be returned and there would also be biannual interest payments. In some cases, depending on the size of the investment, an investor could be entitled to biannual returns of approximately $6 500 and $7 000 before deduction of withholding tax. It was a vote of confidence in the Government by persons probably conscious of what befell those who had invested in entities such as Trade Confirmers, and in later years, CLICO and British American Insurance. Barbadians, mostly those close to retirement or retirees, who looked to benefit from the interest payments in terms of paying their mortgages and accessing affordable medical care, trusted their Government. But they were in for a rude awakening.
    The current administration introduced the Government’s Debt Holder (Approval of Debt Restructuring) Act, 2018, and basically threw existing arrangements through the window. The years prior to 2018 basically meant nothing. Government changed the arrangement that saw the individuals who were receiving the previously mentioned payments before withholding tax was deducted, now getting quarterly payments that totalled about $2 000. The reduction has led to many voluntarily retired persons being made to seek fresh employment or those who were contemplating early retirement being forced to continue working. Some have lost their medical insurance and life insurance or are faced with the loss of their homes because payments for these services and possessions were tied to the level of returns from their original debentures. Amortization plans have led to reduced, drawn-out returns on investments.
    When one juxtaposes the massive largesse being raked in by under-employed state MPs, or entities such as White Oak Consultancy in England, as well as other highly-paid consultants and ambassadors across the length and breadth of government, to the hardship of pensioners, would-be pensioners, and retrenched workers, the idea that BERT’s economic pain is being equally shared is drivel on stilts.
    With the cost of living rising in every sphere despite the repeal of the National Social Responsibility Levy, increased taxation, massive public sector lay-offs, not to mention significant incentives being given to big businesses, is this the type of environment to be stripping the flesh off those already emaciated? The patient suffering from brain cancer who has his head removed has not been cured. He is dead.

  54. PRIME MINISTER MIA AMOR MOTTLEY has hit back at her Government’s critics, saying she is unfazed by their “unreasonable” comments.
    And with the promise to do so again in two weeks at the party’s annual conference in Queen’s Park, she addressed criticisms on the shortage of garbage trucks and buses, as well as the amount of overseas travel, while addressing the Barbados Labour Party’s St Michael West nomination meeting at St Leonard’s Boys’ School last night.
    “This party has performed virtual wonders over the course of the last 16 months to stabilise this country; let us be clear about it. It has not been easy and those who want to talk about report cards, need first and foremost to find a card to report on themselves,” she said to cheers from party faithful. (Quote)

    Where is the evidence? Words are cheap.

  55. Hal not only are words cheap but wonders of wonders transportation system still broken
    Sewage still.pump into the sea
    Garbage not pick up
    Some parishes without water for weeks
    So what does she expect to hear
    Not everybody drinks from a bitter cup of koolaid

  56. @ Mariposa

    You are being too harsh. Maybe the president is going to make a speech – be careful of the flaring arms.

  57. I hope she gives a public opinion on what she.thinks is the state of Prescod mental health
    Many now belives he has plenty missing screws after his utterances about hiring inmates from Jenkins to pick up garbage

  58. @ Mariposa

    You are being too tough on Prescod. The president must give him the money to buy trucks and employ people, the same way she is giving White Oaks an incredible amount of money every month and make promises of Bds$25000 to illegal occupants of other people’s property. Has she prioritised the environment when she makes glowing speeches about climate change, or does climate change exclude domestic and street rubbish?

    • To clarify for you two. Seven trucks have already been delivered and 12 are to come first week in November. Making the problem worse is the breakdown of the old trucks . Bear in mind the last government did not purchase one Rh truck in 10 years.

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