The Grenville Phillips Column – We Are Sunk

The DLP administration made itself offensive to the voting public with their arrogance and excessive taxes. They also alarmed investors by attracting downgrades due primarily to their printing of money to an unsustainable level.

The BLP administration has increased taxes far beyond what the DLP administration levied. They also brought us to the point of economic ruin by defaulting on foreign debts, which resulted in a downgrade more severe than any downgrade under the last administration.

With the International Monetary Fund (IMF) being our lender of last resort, there was an urgency in setting economic targets with which the IMF would agree. The Barbados Economic Recovery Team (BERT) developed a plan to meet these targets, but after they have offended both foreign and local lenders, if we do not meet these targets, the consequences for all of us will be dire.

BERT is trying to meet these targets through severe austerity methods, including: increasing taxes, laying off public workers, and breaking contractual agreements with local investors. However, there are proven non-austerity methods that can meet these targets, which Solutions Barbados published over 3 years ago.

At the recently held Nation Talkback event, panellist Shane Lowe of the Barbados Economics Society noted that it would be foolish not to evaluate all opportunities. In response to my question at that event, Dr Kevin Greenidge admitted that BERT did not examine any of the non-austerity economic plans when developing their plan.

I asked whether BERT will finally examine Solutions Barbados’ non-austerity plan now that the urgency in getting an IMF agreement had passed. Dr Greenidge indicated that they would not. The reason given was that he believed that all solutions must include public suffering. He is, of course, entirely wrong.

BERT refused to examine the non-austerity plans, not for reasons of urgency, but because they stubbornly embraced a questionable academic economic philosophy. They appear to be so blinded by their academic theories, that they are even willing to violate one of Prime Minister Mottley’s first post-election promises that all ideas must contend.

For the record, the non-austerity approaches of lowering taxes, effectively addressing corruption and properly managing public services are proven revenue generators. Barbados reduced taxes under the Arthur administration, Singapore properly managed their public services, and Switzerland effectively addressed corruption. All three benefitted economically without the need for austerity. Yet, because a small group of economists have tightly embraced severe austerity-based economic theories normally used by the IMF, which have failed so many countries in the past, most Barbadians are destined to needlessly suffer.

The media are unquestioningly parroting BERT’s misinformation that severe austerity is absolutely necessary and the only solution. They also appear to restrict any fair analysis of the current administration on their platforms.

The Prime Minister acknowledged the dire economic situation that she faced upon entering office. To her credit, her directive that all ideas must contend was a wise and responsible approach. With limited time available and with a general election that saw the emergence of several new ideas, it was important that all ideas be considered and rigorously scrutinised prior to their implementation – including BERT’s.

Since BERT appears to be allowed to behave restrained, and without any meaningful scrutiny from the media, then we are truly sunk. Our media need to be reminded that an unquestioning support of one political party normally facilitates the rise of dictators – who normally target a free press once they consolidate power. They should be guided by Albert Einstein’s relevant observation: “Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.”

 

Grenville Phillips II is a Chartered Structural Engineer and President of Solutions Barbados. He can be reached at NextParty246@gmail.com

58 comments

  • @Grenville

    Have you been listening to the prime minister? The cuts in jobs was based on functions not to save money. It is part of a job design for the public sector. The PM needs to have her communications team communicate in citizen language’.

    Like

  • Worrell: ‘Try my seven-point economy Rx’
    Article by
    Emmanuel Joseph
    Published on
    October 22, 2018

    A seven-point prescription for the economy is the correct one to bring about three-per cent annual growth after a stalled decade, insists former Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados Dr Delisle Worrell.

    “I maintain that my seven recommendations taken together, are the correct prescription for addressing the ills of Government obesity and poor performance,” Worrell said in his October economic letter.

    If his strategy is followed, he argued, it would unlock a potential three per cent growth rate and set the country on the path to even greater future prosperity.

    Worrell, who was fired in late February last year by then Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler, recalled that in his January economic letter, he proposed the measures to eliminate bureaucratic delays, improve public services and reduce Government’s spending, to avoid over-burdening taxpayers.

    “The cornerstone is a makeover of the public sector to be implemented over three years to eliminate Government’s operating deficit and to achieve measurable improvements in public sector productivity. In May, I suggested the first steps should be to institute a functioning system of timely publication of annual reports by every Government agency, department, ministry and state corporation,” said Worrell.

    Last month, he called for new leadership in the public sector and a massive reduction in its workforce.

    “The required makeover will eliminate numerous obsolete processes and procedures, and the personnel that are associated with them. Higher levels of skills and expertise are required. To attract people of the right calibre, better salaries must be offered. All this must be achieved within a lower overall spending limit,” the former Central Bank boss said.

    It is his view that Barbadians are already paying too much for public services that are deteriorating.

    “To achieve the necessary reduction in a way that minimizes economic difficulty, I recommended that retrenchment be planned over three years with about 1,500 separations each year. No one would be left empty-handed. Retrenchment should be funded through negotiation with the IMF [International Monetary Fund] and other international agencies,” he stressed.

    Worrell is also recommending that cash grants should be used to reward public servants who volunteered for separation. He also contended that long-serving officers should be allowed to retire early without loss of pension.

    “In addition, there should be retraining programmes, family counselling and a safety net for exceptional cases. I also recommended divestment of carefully selected assets,” he added.

    The ex-central banker also identified the Bridgetown Port and the Grantley Adams International Airport as primary candidates for privatization. He suggested that the Government could provide a significant fillip to the economy by leasing these two entities to major international operators.

    “Such companies would have the finance and expertise to upgrade our port and airport to an international standard. They would fit Barbados into their global network, attracting business far beyond the reach of the Barbados Government,” Worrell said in his October economic letter.

    Turning his attention to a restructuring programme, he noted that the Government has been trying, unsuccessfully, to reform itself for more than two decades.

    He therefore recommended that the centrepiece of a structural adjustment programme, to be negotiated with the IMF, should be conditionalities on the implementation of fiscal reform.

    “There should be an agreed list of specific actions to be undertaken by Government and state-owned enterprises. They would include targets for the reduction of subsidies to state enterprises, targets for the publication of annual reports, targets for the privitization process and targets for the delivery of public services,” Worrell stated, adding that every quarter the targets should be reviewed and disbursement of funds should be approved only if the targets had been met.

    Worrell’s focus then switched to the “healthy” private sector, whose efforts, he contended, should be giving Barbados three per cent growth.

    “To unlock this growth, action should be taken to remove bureaucratic barriers and to reduce Government to a size our taxes can support,” he insisted.

    Much of Worrell’s recommendations seem to mirror a noticeable portion of the Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) programme – except for his suggested 4,500 job cuts over three years.

    Government, in a deal with the IMF for US$290 million, has started to send home 1,500 workers this fiscal year with less than 1,000 more expected in the next financial year. It has also announced a massive retraining programme, identified several state enterprises for restructuring or divestment and initiated a programme to modernize the public sector and improve the ease of doing business.

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  • “the non-austerity approaches of lowering taxes, effectively addressing corruption and properly managing public services are proven revenue generators.”

    No time Grenville. IMF targets have to be met NOW!

    “The cuts in jobs was based on functions not to save money.”
    Don’t fall for it David!

    “The PM needs to have her communications team communicate in citizen language’.”
    I believe they are doing the job they are being paid for. Obfuscation!

    Liked by 1 person

  • @Observing

    Explain how cutting low end jobs can generate significant cost savings? The PM also stated in the conversation with UWI students yesterday that more cuts will be coming that effect other job grades. Want to understand this job cutting thing.

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  • @David
    It’s all about targets. Meet the targets, continue the IMF’s EFF. Don’t meet targets, then you’re screwed.

    The UWI student made an excellent point about dismissing persons in the midst of significant work backlog. This argument can be extended to (in)efficiencies. We’re making inefficient short staffed departments even more short staffed without the requisite push to promote productivity [NISE and Producivity Council are on the chopping block]. Technology is being heralded as the “Saviour” but when last I checked all technology needs users.

    Had we done this as a genuine attempt to modernise the public sector, we’d be ok. But its being done as a reaction to conditions in order to make the economic statistics look better.

    I’ll write a separate post on the “Obfuscation Agenda”

    Observing

    Liked by 1 person

  • @Observing

    Understand the point about meeting a target, what needs to be understood is what is the IMF target is meant to achieve? The target is tied to an objective? We cannot on the one hand welcome the oversight IMF brings to the table and in the other rubbish the tactic to retire jobs that are obsolete if the plan is to retrain the same or other employees to facilitate the digitization project?

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  • The BASIC PROBLEM within Barbados civil service, AND PRIVATE SECTOR, is the LIME ATTITUDE that is/has always been fostered by the nepotism of the GOB. This nepotism is now engrained into the culture and civil service to such an extent that jobs are viewed as an ENTITLEMENT. Correction of this attitude cannot be changed overnight by talking, societal change is required. The change will only occur with financial PAIN, JOB LOSSES, REDUCED STANDARD OF LIVING etc etc.

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  • @ Wily Coyote
    You are correct that only pain will see the needed changes.

    However this is only true because we are dealing with brass bowl jackasses.
    One HAS to beat such animals in order to get results.

    Intelligent – or even fairly reasonable -human beings could quite easily be led to change this LIME attitude in the face of the clear dangers that we now face.
    Grenville errs in that he thinks that brass bowls think like engineers.

    Our BASIC problem sir, is the dearth of such intelligent -or even just reasonable…human beings among us.

    Liked by 1 person

  • peterlawrencethompson

    @Grenville,
    I have explained to you before that the arithmetic of your “… non-austerity approaches of lowering taxes, effectively addressing corruption and properly managing public services…” just fails to add up. You will simply achieve a ballooning fiscal deficit because these approaches have been tried elsewhere and that has always been the result.

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  • @ PLT
    You would do well to either itemise your objection to Grenville’s non-austerity approach …or stop the carte blanche criticism – ‘because others who tried it have failed’.
    Grenville’s is actually the mature, intelligent approach that best suits our current crisis.

    The REASON he is wrong here – is that he is proposing (and expecting) that such a mature, smart strategy can work with mindless BB morons.
    It CANNOT.

    However, THEORETICALLY, it makes consummate sense to seek to spur INCREASED productivity and commitment across the private sector and individuals (reduce taxes while improving support services through quality standards) …rather than trying to extract blood from the brass bowl stone that we currently have.

    Your automatic put down of Grenville’s idea belies your usual broad view.
    If we can understand WHERE he is wrong, THEN we could possibly come up with a practical solution…. theoretically of course….

    Liked by 1 person

  • peterlawrencethompson

    @Bush Tea
    As you point out, any policy proposal which requires the population to act in a way that you know they will not act is useless. We know that we are working with a population of “mindless BB morons” therefore the policy MUST work within that environment or it is useless.

    Grenville’s proposal of “… lowering taxes, effectively addressing corruption and properly managing public services…” is nonsensical in our real world Barbados because after lowering taxes, which is proven by both theory and experience to reduce public revenue in both the short and medium term, there is no strategy that can effectively implement corruption reduction and properly managed public services in the short and medium term… and unless we achieve results in the short and medium term, there will be no long term; Hal Austin’s oft repeated prediction will be realized; Barbados will be a failed State… not metaphorically, but literally Mogadishu in the Caribbean: a starving population ruled by armed gangs.

    To effectively address corruption and properly manage public services you NEED to change Bajan culture. You CANNOT change Bajan culture in the short and medium term. Grenville seems to think that waving an ISO standard wand can achieve these objectives on a time scale that is shorter than generational, but he is sadly mistaken.

    I have been trying to engage Grenville in productive conversation about these factors for two years now, so I apologize for my “carte blanche criticism;” it is just a product of frustration.

    Liked by 1 person

  • peterlawrencethompson

    “… the non-austerity approaches of lowering taxes, effectively addressing corruption and properly managing public services are proven revenue generators.”
    Sadly, this is just a bare-faced falsehood. There is no jurisdiction anywhere in the world where this has worked in our low growth high debt context… not a single one…ever in the history of humanity.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Grenville presents a long term plan that requires discipline and focus to have any chance of working and it does not satisfy the accountants in the immediate. BERT as flawed as it is satisfies them.

    The example of the Arthur administration is incorrect and his continued misuse is troubling. I am certain it has been pointed out on many occasions the growth in those years was due to a construction boom and expansion of the offshore financial sector. Also Mr. Arthur began with a lean civil service.

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  • Very,very true Redguard.

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  • Wunna maguffees need to spend time in a fish market, on the beach where Bajans lime,in a rum shop or at a cricket match.

    You might learn a lot more than you do from each other at Champers.

    Liked by 1 person

  • BARBADOS FIRST/PATRIOTIC PARTY (BF/PP)

    Barbados First Virtual Political PartyXXXX (BU FALSE HEADLINE).
    Approximately one year ago, in an attempt to form another party to be prepared for the next election, another set of ideas were submitted on some points on dealing with the economic and productivity conditions at the point in time.
    it consisted of no layoffs but reducing the public service by attrition .
    The attempt to form a new and patriotic party failed. Maybe part of the reason for the failed attempt was BU headline that is was going to be the Barbados first virtual party.
    Continued checking through Barbados blogs revealed a greater call for some of the measures proposed.
    Even former PM Arthur has made the call for some privatizing with the workers made part owner.

    I am inviting to public to take another look,

    https://barbadosunderground.net/2017/10/28/the-launch-of-barbados-first-virtual-political-party/

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  • BARBADOS FIRST/PATRIOTIC PARTY (BF/PP)

    No default
    No layoffs
    Investors are paid

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  • @ PLT
    There is no jurisdiction anywhere in the world where this has worked
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Not quite true, but generally accepted.

    If however, you are restricting yourself to a ‘solution’ that will work in the contaminated and corrupt environment that is representative of ‘anywhere’ in this upside-down world of ours, then you need to join Bushie’s resignation to ending up in the grass …with plimplers.

    It should be obvious to you by now ( even if not to others) that there is a FUNDAMENTAL problem in this world that defies the achievement of long-term success. Georgie P would probably sum it up by quoting that “the wages of sin is death.” (then he would turn around and cuss Bushie for saying that a people ALWAYS get exactly what they deserve …and that Brassbowlery ALWAYS ends in grass …with plimplers.)

    Success is ONLY possible where the PEOPLE THEMSELVES change from their wicked, selfish ways and seek justice and righteousness. (done did the brass bowlery and seek to be community-centric and God focused.)
    That is an IRREFUTABLE spiritual LAW …. not one of the shiite political edicts that Jeff likes to analyse… 🙂

    Given this BASIC constraint, Grenville’s proposal DOES have some merit – since it implies an attempt to CHANGE culture (one of the key objectives of Quality Management programs) …. even if Grenville himself does not get the significance of that fact.

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  • Vincent Codrington

    @ David BU

    I will ask again:
    Why did the Electorate of Barbados go to the poll on May 24 2018?
    Did they elect a GoB to impose further austerity?
    Did they go to the polls to achieve a Debt / GDP ratio?
    Did they go to the poll to effect a default on Public debt?

    Has any one sat down and really consider what the effects the above measures will have on the Electorate and the well-being of their families?

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  • peterlawrencethompson

    @Bush Tea
    We are in substantial agreement… in order for the people of Barbados to prosper in the long term we must change Bajan culture. My disagreement with Grenville is partly that this culture change needs to be made explicit, not merely implied. The bigger disagreement, however, is that we need to survive through the short and medium term in order to reach the long term at all… and it is no use pretending that decisive action is not necessary.

    The culture change that we need is simple; we need to be more community-centric. If we are community-centric we will no longer pursue or tolerate corruption because it destroys community. If we are community-centric we achieve quality management organically because people actually care for the people that they serve, not only their own self interest.

    I don’t give a hoot who you want to pray to: Jesus, Allah, God, Buddha, Jah, Yahweh, Flying Spaghetti Monster, All of the above… as long as you respect your neighbor’s right to pray to whoever s/he wishes to as well.

    So given all of the above, it seems completely obvious to me that we need to employ our talents and efforts in building community amongst ourselves by any means possible. Yard fowl party political squabbling is all counterproductive. Solutions Barbados should set about doing whatever they can to build community… everything else is either a waste of time or worse.

    Yes Bush Tea, in the short and medium term there will be some dislocation and hardship. I not only intend to survive the grass AND the plimplers, I’m quite certain I can help a whole lot of my neighbors survive as well… and in so doing I will slowly but surely contribute to culture change.

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  • Vincent Codrington

    @ PLT at 11 :20 AM

    Very interesting inputs to this debate.
    But surely there is nothing wrong with Bajan culture. Where we are today is a result of inappropriate economic and financial policies instituted by those we elected and selected to manage the affairs of this country. Culture is what it is. It evolves. No single man or woman can change culture. He is courting hubris if he claims to know what culture is suitable for Bajans. As you admitted ,it is very difficult to change culture.

    It is more fruitful to deal with aspects of policy formation in which we are qualified. I am sure the area you are promoting will add to the total solution package.

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  • Vincent Codrington

    I notice that most analyses are using Arithmetic.
    Is that the appropriate branch of Mathematics in a complex dynamic economic system ,operating in a very complex dynamic international economic system? Should we not be viewing changes using Geometry which takes into consideration exponentials?
    Operating on one element of the economic equation can have diminishing or exponential effects on the whole.
    We need to have a systems thinking approach.

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  • peterlawrencethompson

    @Vincent Codrington
    Bajan culture is fatally dysfunctional. It is directly responsible for the disastrous economic and financial policies instituted by those we elected. Specifically our cultural expectation that “God will provide” and that the government should provide if God does not step up is so counterproductive in this day and age as to be considered poisonous. I don’t much care if you think that I’m courting hubris, but I’ve changed culture in companies and industry sectors before in my career… I have not the slightest doubt that I can be part of productive change here.

    “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
    — Margaret Mead

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  • peterlawrencethompson

    @Vincent Codrington
    “We need to have a systems thinking approach.”
    +++++++++++++
    Absolutely correct… but if the arithmetic does not work then the more complex mathematical analyses are doomed from the get go. Getting the arithmetic to work is just sets the preliminary boundary conditions for a systems thinking approach. Systems thinking is not some magical tool that can defeat arithmetic.

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  • @Vincent

    The electorate had hobson’s choice.

    The electorate in the main has no idea the state of the economy and what will be required to fix it. The issue therefore is not what the electorate voted for but what will be required to fix it.

    Like

  • Behold, this alone I found, that God made man [that is, both male and female] upright, but they have sought out many devices. (Ecclesiastes 7:29 RSV)

    HERE IS THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM WE FACE

    Solomon understood that God made man without sin, but man has – since the time of Adam – sought out many schemes of sin and rebellion against God.

    We take Solomon’s statement “God made man upright” not to refer to each individual, but to man as he was originally made, to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. “He was created neither sinful, nor neutral, but upright, a word used of the state of the heart which is disposed to faithfulness or obedience.

    The trouble of this world is not with God, but with man. Because we will not heed the wisdom of God and the word of God, we seek to find ways to circumvent what he is telling us, to find the richness of life despite, or apart from, the rules of life that he has set forth.

    It cannot be done. The inevitable discovery of an honest search is that life can never be found except where God says it is found — in a relationship with him.

    Like

  • De Ole man IS NOT AN ACCOUNTANT NOR AN ECONOMIST i am just a keen watcher of people (by trade heheheheheh)

    There is nothing that Grenville has said here OR ELSEWHERE that gives any idea as to what he will do

    But with regard to this topic, Grenville said and I quote

    “…For the record, the non-austerity approaches of lowering taxes, effectively addressing corruption and properly managing public services are proven revenue generators…”

    By the way, is not the Enabling Act of 1933 or is that not the 2018 Integrity Act not supposed to address corruption?

    Is not the BERT plan not supposed to manage central government debt?

    And is not the firing of 2500 public servants, by Xmas, by the Mia Cares government, not supposed to satisfy the IMF targets? of course we also need to mention the surreptitious rehiring of 2500 of the BLP supporters/a.ss lickers which is supposed to ammm satisfy the objectives of the BLP Party?

    De ole man, ingrunt as i am of these things financial, would wish to question those of you who are more aufait with these things about this explicit strategy

    FOR THE NEXT 3 MONTHS, which would be the period of the Winter Tourism Season, what if the BLP Mia Cares administration were to leave ALL OF THE OTHER TAXES IN PLACE, AND EXPLICITLY REDUCE VAT FROM 17.5% to say 10%!! for all local transactions?

    Now de ole man is not a financial expert but like i said before I does watch people and I was wondering if (a) the fact that this is done as a temporary measure (b) at Xmas (c) as an easement to the collective population, I was wondering IF IT WOULD CREATE A BREATHING SPACE FOR A PEOPLE UNDER SEVERE TAXATION!! like de pensioners

    I anticipate that it will boost spending in the local environment significantly because it is Xmas (of course one would have to ensure that the local parasites CALLED PRIVATE SECTOR MERCHANTS do not use the opportunity to gouge out the eques of bajans).

    In fact what consumers can do is make it their business to take pictures of product prices as the proceed to go shopping fram today AND KEEP THOSE PRICES AS RECORDS OF PRICES FROM SAY ABEDS or CAVE SHEPHERD and submit said prices to the inept FEAR TRADING COMMISSION sorry dem does doan do nuffin but get Samsung Phones for their family, submit the discrepancies to the Consumer Authority as evidence of this price gouging.

    Mia could pass a law like se does every other day of the week, fining a contravener of the law $50,000 on summary conviction of any illegal pricing practices.

    So because i is an idiot about these things I wen to a few articles and tried to see if de ole man ideas are viable and here is what I find to copy and paste…

    “… In the scenario where VAT is decreased, with no compensation – Government debt starts to increase. After a while the VAT is increased back to the original level to balance the public budget. In this case the fiscal multiplier is estimated at around 0,4. GDP initially increases, but much less than if the VAT change was believed to be permanent. When the VAT is increased back, GDP falls back to the original level…

    Bonus: distributional changes: a VAT decrease makes people on fixed income, e.g. pensioners, relatively better off compared to entrepreneurs or employees (who might face higher income taxes). Savers will be better off relative to debtors. Importers will be better off relative to exporters.

    Please advise de ole man if i am wrong and if wunna could explain why I would appreciate it very much

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  • @ the Honourable Blogmaster your assistance please with a question for the Economists here thank you

    Liked by 1 person

  • Shiite man!!!
    It that the old Georgie Porgie coming back from his lapse into Trumpism…?
    Well said…. at 1.24 pm.

    @ Vincent
    You are fatally wrong …and PLT exactly CORRECT… that culture is the net RESULT of our collective choices …AND IT CAN BE CHANGED….. often quite simply.

    Dr GP’s admonition that success CAN ONLY come from conforming to the rules laid down by the entity that CREATED the whole experience of life on Earth in the first place …is the ultimate answer.
    However it is really the IDENTICAL answer given by PLT about the need to become ‘community-centric’ in nature.

    The first bushman summarised as follows ….
    1 – Love God (who CREATED the rules and the consequences …and the rewards… ) with all your heart
    2 – Love thy neighbour as you love yourself. (become community centric)

    In another admonition, he outlined that it is IMPOSSIBLE to achieve the first one – UNLESS you can successfully achieve the second instruction. (how can you claim to love a God that you cannot see when you hate your brother…?)

    Which bring Bushie back to the point PLT made about such an approach (community-centric success) NOT having been achieved ANYWHERE….

    Would you care to refine that conclusion now PLT…?
    🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  • peterlawrencethompson

    @Bush Tea
    My conclusion stands on conclusive 😉 evidence… community-centric success has never been achieved anywhere by reducing taxes, ISO 9001, and sanctimonious edicts against corruption. (That is Grenville’s plan in a nutshell.)

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  • I had decided to no longer engage PLT because after each engagement over the past 2 years, he would act as if we had never discussed the issue.

    After he had prejudged our corruption policy an not workable, I asked him what percentage of a construction project was corruption. He stated 1%. I told him to Google it.

    Corruption worldwide is between 10% and 30%, and these are projects in the 100’s of millions of dollars. Our policy is to allow whistleblowers to get a reward of the full amount of the bribe, and for the givers and takers to pay a fine of 10 times the value. However, while we worked on the whistle-blower legislation (one month), the givers and receivers would be granted an amnesty-of-sorts where they would be required to pay a settlement of the full value of the bribe. Assuming a low 10% corruption level (ultra conservative) and a low participation rate of 8% still provides substantial revenues.

    PLT claims to have run the numbers, but clearly he forgot to “carry the 1” with each iteration, so he converged to zero. Or else, he stubbornly maintained his comical 1% based on his extensive experience in the construction industry at a senior level – when compared to my relatively insignificant experience.

    Our taxation policy taxed revenues, not profits. Almost all businesses try to avoid paying taxes (tax avoidance is legal, tax evasion is not). Taxing profits is a loophope that allows businesses to run very successful businesses for decades, while declaring very little profits. Therefore, taxing profits mainly hurts new (small) businesses who are not aware of the loopholes in the tax law. Therefore, they stay small while struggling to pay taxes that larger players have learnt to avoid.

    This would necessitate eliminating VAT. However, even doing that, and the other things in our plan, we result (ultra-conservatively in the opinion of a Fellow of ICAB) in a surplus of over $1B in our first year.

    We invited ICAB, BES, BBA, BCCI, and any other group to examine our plan, but they all appeared to be politicised. The may also have been discouraged by the extreme yardfowls who were running around the internet clucking away that our plan cannot work, rather than allowing it to be properly examined by these groups.

    Bush is correct. I expected a mature response. I was unaware of the extreme partisan yardfowl before entering politics, since I never came across one in my 30-year engineering career. I had assumed that they could be reasoned with, but it took me 3 years to realise that such an excercise is futile. They are,without doubt, the worst of us.

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  • https://www.barbadosparliament.com/uploads/document/eb2d17288e33d24ec34a90fd04dca0d0.pdf

    Grenville I refer you to pg 36 (page 2 in the Revenue section) of the Draft Estimates 2017-2018.
    The revenue from VAT is $959 million
    You posit that you can eliminate VAT and still get a surplus of 1 billion
    Can you explain for those of us who are having trouble with your conclusions

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  • Grenville Phillips II and Peter Lawrence Thompson

    Two University educated professionals who grew up in upper middle class Barbados homes.

    The two of you are making important contributions to Barbados.

    I could continue later but I am distracted at the moment.

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  • @ Grenville Phillips.

    I am smiling at this retort sorry reponse and before its counter comes let de ole man say two things Grenville.

    I admit that I am one of those who does not sing in your choir, in fact I am one who throws tomatoes at your single man orchestra often.

    Having said that I have to say that this is one of the few times that you come back to your vomit, sorry I meant to say comments, and stood in the breach AND THIS IS TO BE COMMENDED.

    Tek de liks lik a man Grenville, speak your truth faithfully and when you wrong acknowledge it, and when you are right keep to your guns.

    Running the country Barbados and implementing these oft times “hazy policies” cannot be done by a wuss. You have to stand up and show that you have a pair, that is what some of us are looking for.

    More importantly, you have to explain yourself AND NOT FEAR THESE CLOWNS cause dem cant get it done correctly. That is the unfortunate thing, dem is going ef it up, irrespective of what blueprint you give them.

    A feller cant say that you being unfaithful sleeping with man woman or child but dem does say, AND I AM ONE OF THEM, that there is no meat on the bones of your submissions.

    You have to give people MORE than fancy talk, THAT IS WHAT MIA AND HER CLOWNS ARE DOING, you cannot do that understand?

    PLT’s response is going to be an interesting one, GIVEN YOUR NUANCES AS TO HIS COMPETENCIES, some of which Bush Tea, of late, has brought to the fore.

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  • I have already spent 3 years discussing with persons about whether our tax rate should be 10% as we have proposed, or 12% or 15%. Those discussions went nowhere since persons had their own motives for starting such discussions.

    I would much prefer sitting with a group of persons and go through our plan, working whatever calculations they wish, with the understanding that they will publicly state their results, good or bad. All we wanted was fair hearing.

    Like

  • @ the Honourable Blogmaster

    Moved as I was by a comment by William Skinner about breaking the BDLP Duopoly, I submitted a blog for submission called

    “What if Rihanna Were Prime Minister?”

    I have done so to explore if our appetite for a Third Movement is fanciful or if there is a burgeoning receptiveness for Grenville’s New Solution that has the potential to shake up the applecart in 2023

    Mine is the eternal belief that bajans want change but only want leaders whose PROVEN RECORDS WILL GET US THERE.

    Here is the accompanying Stoopid Cartoon but de ole man would be most grateful if the small blog might be published here at your convenience

    I am working on a crime reduction strategy for the Royal Baygon Police Force with its impotent Commissioner and the Attorney General Dale Smiley Marshall

    THat is going to take a little longer though to write and then compress it so it does not tek up too much space

    Like

  • peterlawrencethompson

    @Grenville
    “He stated 1%.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++
    You are mistaken Grenville. I stated 10% of capital expenditures; which, if capital works amounted to 10% of annual budget would amount to 1% of total budget. I am assuming that the rate of corruption in paying teachers’ salaries is not the same as the rate of corruption in large capital projects. Furthermore I think, the larger the project, the higher the rate of corruption is likely to be. Barbados has few giant procurement contracts.

    But let us do the calculation based on the 2016 fiscal year:
    * The fiscal deficit was $517 million
    * Capital expenditure was $78 million, so if corruption was 20% and we eliminated it ALL in a single year with your brilliant whistleblower plan we save about $16 million; these are your “substantial revenues”.
    * Does a $16 million saving pay off a $517 million deficit??

    Like

  • peterlawrencethompson

    @ Grenville
    Of course capital projects are not the only place that corruption occurs, it’s just where corruption is most prevalent and where the percentages are highest.

    For normal government procurement we have some evidence of the going rate by looking at the Donville affair. In order to renew a state agency insurance at a premium of almost $1 million, he received $36,000 in a series of apparent bribe payments. This means that the going rate is 3.6%.

    Like

  • peterlawrencethompson

    @Grenville
    “… invited ICAB, BES, BBA, BCCI, and any other group to examine our plan, but they all appeared to be politicised.”
    ++++++++++++++
    This is the crux of the matter Grenville. Because I point out flaws in your arguments you make up your mind that I am “politicised” and you “no longer engage” in discussion with me. Any organization that does not toe your line you condemn as “politicised” and you ignore whatever counsel they have to give you.

    I wish you would show me where I can learn from you Grenville, because learning new things is my second favorite activity in life. I totally enjoy being proven wrong because that means that I learn something new. I have had occasion to thank a few members of this forum for teaching me something that I didn’t know: PUDRYR, Bush Tea, David and others.

    Is there any group at all of economic thinkers in Barbados that you consider not “politicised?”

    Like

  • de pedantic Dribbler

    Mr Blogmaster I am always wary of speaking on Mr Phillps’s related matters as you are wont to think I have some ‘rumble’ with the brother and he lambastes all those who simply asks him for details as “yardfowls” or other dismissive terms…it is distressing.

    Alas, governance requires the type of concrete details Phillips provides daily in his engineering roles…IT CANNOT be supported by the ‘have faith in me’ mantra by which he admirably lives his Christian life.

    In almost ever presentation he highlights that he has “…already spent 3 years discussing [our Solutions] with persons” or we have “…published our solutions for rigorous public scrutiny over 3 years ago”….HOWEVER at NO time have we EVER seen a detailed review of any of those rigorous analyses, particularly and especially the tax plan.

    I went back on the Solutions website to see if perchance a review had been updated and was pleasantly surprised to see how efficient and appealing the site jumped out to me with the full range of his essays and remarks et al…..but alas NOT a TAX PLAN!

    So to you I ask…can Mr Phillips share details with us as PLT and many others have asked ad nauseum?

    For examples…

    …He BOLDLY states that “To address the inequities in the income tax system, individuals will pay a flat tax of 10% of their gross income with no deductions…To address the inequities in the corporate tax system, all businesses competing in Barbados’ market will pay a flat tax of 10% of gross revenues in local currency received (not invoiced) with no deductions. The percentage of gross revenues received in approved foreign currency by the Central Bank, will be taxed at 0% during the first year, and 2.5% thereafter….Late payments will attract a penalty of 10% for one month. VAT and NSRL will be abolished.”

    A few days ago another leader said he would give a 10% middle class tax reduction and a whole congress of people said ‘show us how you pay for that’….this cannot be a faith based belief process…it must be detailed, added, subtracted and completed with real numbers!

    Can we see from Phillips how that 10% plan will work its way through the standard GDP of Perso Con + Bus Con + Gov Spend + Net Exports…can we also get the year one after his CBB plan and a year two? What will the revenues be after VAT removal?

    Why is a response so mystical?

    There is a very simple pricing rubric which any idiot should know: if you reduce a price by 10% you will need a compatible units sales increase (depending on your CM) of 25% +… so in rough translation any massive tax reduction will require an equally LARGER surge in consumption to compensate and then a further surge to improve the GDP…. as noted above this has basically FAILED in the long term…unless there are related big cuts in areas of government spending.

    Mr Phillips knows all this…so show us the money!!!

    WHEN will he put out his tax details…three years of rigorous debate is a long time!!!

    Like

  • LOL
    Wunna men are something else…

    The DLP was in office for over a decade and are YET to come up with a promised ITAL law, a sane solid waste plan, ….or even a budget that is in the black…

    The BLP – after being kicked out of office in 2008 for doing shiite, … after over TEN years in opposition (time to come up with a plan), …and now after five months in office … STILL have no plan for sewerage, for buses, for garbage – or even for how to deal with thieving lawyers…..

    BUT wunna pressing Grenville …an Individual who has singlehandedly put together a new party (to challenge the two shiitehound gangs that we have) in about two YEARS – FROM SCRATCH… to provide DETAILED plans for a PROPOSED new tax plan that SIMPLY seeks to be easy to apply; ..easy to monitor, ..DIFFICULT to cheat, … and to be VERY flexible as needed.

    Lord Jesus …. take the wheel…. Why not cuss him for not having a detailed IMF agreement on his site too…?

    What is hard to ACCEPT that Grenville’s plan solves a number of CRITICAL problems with the ineffectiveness of the current MESS that we have?.. a mess where many BIG players AVOID paying ANY taxes at all…?

    If 10 % does not recover enough funds, then change to 15% … or 25% ….. Shiite man!!!
    Give the man a break.

    Grenville’s ONLY real problem is that he does NOT yet grasp the level of brass bowlery and jobby that dominate our brass bowl society… When this becomes clear to him, he will VERY likely grab one of the deck chairs (and a good drink0 …and enjoy the music of the band ….as HMBS Titanic slips below the waves…..

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  • PLT, our back and forth can go to threads of 70, which I am no longer willing to do. Why? Because you once again want to start right at the beginning. And for the record, you have never pointed out a single flaw.

    The reasons why your calculations are always wrong is that you keep making the same wrong assumptions, even when I point them out to you. I know that you know that it makes absolutely no sense to just look at capital expenditure for one year to assess our plan. But you did so. The question is why? What about the other 51 years?

    Go to the Estimates and see the loans that were taken out for the procurement of goods and services. Then assume that those with oversight (CDB, IDB etc) attracted 0% corruption. Assume 10% on the remainder. We did our calculations on the previous15 years only.

    Like

  • peterlawrencethompson

    @Grenville
    “We did our calculations on the previous15 years only.“
    +++++++++
    Now we are getting somewhere… please simply show the world your calculations and you will have proven yourself right.

    Liked by 1 person

  • We recently saw the BLP win a 30-0 majority, and in umpteen pages of manifesto I cannot recall any financial projections of any kind? You rarely get anything concrete from the political class until they govern and they table a budget. Even then it is ‘iffy’ for we regularly know of expenditures and cannot locate them in the projections. The last MoF never came close to any of his annual projections, something many BU bloggers could forecast with almost certainty. And this isn’t confined to Barbados.
    They talk concepts (policy?) and words like increase or decrease etc, without specificity.
    Hence, we are seeking to hold GPII to a higher standard than his competitors. Why? Because we see him as more intelligent?
    Personally, I see some of his projections as ‘far fetched’ but as a politician he is selling a dream. It is his time, his effort, so let him use it as he sees fit.

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  • This same shite again…unless Grenville is willing to LOCK UP…name and shame the criminals who pose as leaders, ministers, lawyers, senators .., a bunch of leaches sucking on taxpayers and taking bribes, robbing the people and modeling around with titles and salaries given them by the people…no one wants to hear this crap…

    “Corruption worldwide is between 10% and 30%, and these are projects in the 100’s of millions of dollars. Our policy is to allow whistleblowers to get a reward of the full amount of the bribe, and for the givers and takers to pay a fine of 10 times the value. However, while we worked on the whistle-blower legislation (one month), the givers and receivers would be granted an amnesty-of-sorts where they would be required to pay a settlement of the full value of the bribe. Assuming a low 10% corruption level (ultra conservative) and a low participation rate of 8% still provides substantial revenues.”

    Like

  • “Ghana Offers African-Americans & Caribbean people the Right of Return & the Right of Abode in 2019.”

    People from Caribbean and US are trickling back, but as usual, African government stupidity, inertia and slothfulness reigns…hopefully they will get it right in 2019.

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  • Would love to visit Africa but am deathly afraid of mosquitos and dont relish the thought of flying 2 and 3 days to reach anywhere..5 hours flying tops is my limit….lol

    But…were I even 20 years younger, I would definitely look into it.

    /////////////////////////////////////////

    Here is the reality as written by a UT student re the still to be addressed Cannabis trade in the Caribbean, we know that attempts will be made by the greedy of the earth to treat it like the banana trade..as it relates to the Caribbean,

    It is instructive to note that the same lowlife scum senatiors, politicians, prosecutors, lawyers etc who legislated for decades to lock up people for using the plant, especially black and brown people are the same scum now sitting on the boards of marijuana companies, investing money and making billions of dollars from marijuana..

    Lewis pharmacy in Barbados showed never be allowed to import any type of Cannabis into the island to sell to the majority population.

    “We know that the Caribbean does not have the political or economic power to chart the global course on cannabis. If the region is going to benefit, it has to be done in a pragmatic and strategic manner. Recreating the historical patterns of agricultural production with cannabis won’t change things – and may just enrich a handful of politicians and well-placed friends.₩

    Instead, there should be a push to build a regional cannabis economy, with the University of the West Indies taking the lead on scientific/medicinal research and development. Grower run cooperatives can benefit from land reform policies that open up Crown Land as well as agricultural land held for speculative purposes, and government can take more of an activist role in helping to make these things happen. Canada has shown that the state can play a major role in the cannabis industry as regulator and distributor (as in Ontario for the next 6 months).

    Cannabis provides a space for this change to happen. We cannot forget that those in the Rastafari communities and long time small scale growers have a central role to play in any cannabis industry moving forward. Governments and popular movements should capitalize on the current legal gray area surrounding cannabis as well as the international hostility to free trade to create some breathing space for the cannabis economy to have a chance.

    The creative use of shielding our vulnerable economies behind international laws as a form of economic protection (that limits the importation of foreign cannabis) must be adopted as a regional strategy so that medicinal and recreational cultivation has a chance to grow. Otherwise, in the not too distant future we will be consuming Canadian cannabis and the only opportunities available to Caribbean peoples is to work as imported labour in the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Programs in the massive ganja greenhouses in Canada. If we do not want this to be the reality, we cannot divorce the issue of cannabis from calls for wider political and economic change in the region to put the plantation system to an end. “

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  • But…Babados governments are too CORRUPT and SLAVEMINDED.

    The other Caribbean islands stand a much better chance of making this really happen..

    … the clowns at the UWIs are full of shit, so I don’t know how good an idea it would be to involve them, but cooperatives controlled by the majority population would be the way to go.

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  • Did this sheep not say this days ago on another thread? Did this sheep not say that the only way we can solve our problems is to change minds, one by one? Did this sheep not say we need to get back to community- oriented activities? Did this sheep not suggest a grass roots approach with just a few workers (including the parish ambassadors) on the ground in every parish with a sustained campaign based on building relationships of trust, seeking to own our problems, connect the dots and solve them ourselves? This is what the community councils should have been doing instead of looking to give handouts. The churches collectively, parish by parish with a co-ordinated plan should be doing emergency charity work.

    I tend to look at solutions from the bottom up, block by block, day by day until the culture is changed. Top down, one day, sporadic preaching or activity (Global Extreme Weather Day, LOL) does not change minds, habits or culture.

    Sorry if I haven’t addressed the substantive issue but I am, as you know, a class idiot ( or a sheep, or whatever) or maybe just a female who shouldn’t be taken seriously.

    Like

  • Ah well, at least we are again focusing on the beginning of the problem – and the solution.

    Like

  • de pedantic Dribbler

    @BushT and Northern, quite the political reasoning you offer…essentially: let the man do his ting, after-all the others does do it too!

    Really, guys. REALLY.

    Mr Phillips by his OWN admission has placed his Solutions as being “rigorously” reviewed for over three years….by definition that means that there has been an ‘extremely thorough, exhaustive, and ideally accurate’ assessment of said solutions.

    Can either of you advise the blog therefore why he should be held to the same paltry standard of others if HE holds HIMSELF and his Nextparty to a much more ‘rigorous’ and exhaustive benchmark???

    If I follow your reasoning it’s obvious that we may as well dismiss the man to the dump heap of the future as we can simply determine that like all the others he will be unable to implement these ‘far fetched’ POLICIES….is that the intent!

    An further Mr BushT, the absolute fact that Phillips “has singlehandedly put together a new party” is awesome…incredibly awesome actually.

    So how can he act with so much detail and purpose but is given a free hand of lasissez-faire, airy puff points to completely overhaul the entire Bajan tax and revenue system to allow you and Northern to glibly opine in your different ways basically: ‘looka, If 10 % don’t work then leh we try 15% … or 25% ….. Shiite man, why make it so difficult’.

    As usual, as sweet as your best honey and just as gooey and ridiculously messy!….You want to remove the current mess with this sweet, sticky stuff which you claim “solves a number of CRITICAL problems”…whoopee.

    And for a perfect non sequitur….The WI just tied a match they likely should have won too … so outta that first match mess into another type of mess!

    Give Phillips the con – (as in control, not fake BS) – why not!

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  • @dpd
    you took too many ‘serious’ pills today?

    To add to your sporting analogy….read the Garrison programme in Bajan parlance.
    #6 Solutions Barbados…126….G.Phillips…..best left alone.

    In other jurisdictions were the handicappers are more verbose…..’SB has some past success, albeit at different distances and surfaces. The work pattern suggests much improved will be needed to threaten this field. Dismiss until more is shown’.

    Liked by 1 person

  • So Patriotic Bajans how do you like that between VAT and the many numerous taxes and add ons by the Politicians that many Bajans are losing close to 50 percent of their wages to some-else putting their hands in your pockets and stealing from you?

    Whilst the other 50 percent goes to high cost of living, expenses and food barely.

    What a way to live constantly being pillared by the ones who cares for you.

    Barbados is indeed a failed island.

    Like

  • This blog perfectly reflects the millions spent in our education approach

    Articulation = A
    Implementation = F-

    All talk and absolutely no walk

    **Failed State

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  • I have seen some make apologies for the manifestos put out by the BDLP. In fact, one wag, when no manifesto was forthcoming, took pains to point out that out that a manifesto was not much more than an election gimmick. Fifty years of manifestos, fifty years of bad planning and fifty years of failure.

    After fifty years of demonstrably bad planning, we now turn to Grenville and ask him to submit his plans? We want to give the current administration a 2- to 6-month grace period, but Grenville must produce his plans today. And then we will vet these plans as if this was 2022 and the election was just a few days away. It is obvious that the fix is already in; whatever plans Grenville produce today will be found wanting.

    The current administration was waiting in the wilderness for 10 years to seize the mantle of power. Within a few months of the seizure, it became abundantly clear that the only plan they had was how to divide the fatted calf. Smoke and mirrors when it come to fighting corruption, foxes guarding the chicken coop with “land fraud terrorists” in the Ministry of Housing and Agriculture and as AG, defaulting on payment of loans, shaving the few remaining gray hairs the elderly, an apparent inability to fix the mess left by the previous administration and the list go on.

    Before I get pecked to death, let me add, the previous administration can be described as “if it aint tied down I am tekking it”. Did they have plans? Did you vet those plans?

    But Mr GP must produce plans today. Grenville was part of the “0” in the “30-0” you all wanted. Turn to the “30”
    and ask then for their plans. On second thought, if you are afraid of bad news, don’t ask them anything.

    Like

  • Wondering aloud….I have asked a few times about references made by the PM and Dr.Greenidge re: corporate taxation.
    It “sounds” among several changes being requested by the OECD, there could be ‘harmonization’ between IBC’s and local business? I will guess this would be recouped for local business via a tax on dividends or similar.
    I wonder how the SB flat rate tax would be affected under this scenario?

    Like

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