Fighting Corruption at the Port Authority and Grantley Adams Airport

Several times this blogmaster has listened to Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith share with the public his perspective that corruption at our ports of entry is a big reason illegal guns enter the island. Every time Griffith makes the statement, trade unionists feel compelled to defend the public workers fingered.  Griffith has been targeted in his criticism by naming the Bridgetown Port and Grantley Adams Airport.

It boggles the mind why Customs Officers and the Police appear not to have a close working relationship given a common national security mandate. To quote Commissioner Griffith :-

The reality is that where there is corruption, there will always be problems. And so, if the system is corrupt, then we are not going to get the information and support. You have to work together to break the back of those crimes. And so, even though the intelligence says that, you are not going to get that tip that breaks it…There is corruption. There must be some form…there must be corruption if you are going to have the number of firearms that are coming onto our shores illegally…then there has to be corruption

One has to give credit to Commissioner Griffith that his public criticism is based on credible  intelligence. After all, it is what he does. There comes a point when country must come first and those in charge must demonstrate the leadership required to get the job done.

Against the foregoing a recent court martial case against David Harewood of the Barbados Coast Guard amplified the concern shared by Commissioner Griffith.  Without rehashing the transcript of cellphone conversations between Harewood, a senior Coast Guard official had with some unsavoury characters- this blogmaster is satisfied those responsible for guarding national security interest have been compromised.

The BU household has been cautioning Barbados authorities for many years we are in a bad place and must change the way we have been managing our affairs. The same lack of leadership that has seen the growth of a sub culture in the transportation sector has propagated to every facet how we do business on the island.

The World Bank chronicled the “corrosive” impact corruption has on the ability to exercise good governance.

Most importantly, corruption breaks the trust between the citizens and the state that is critical for development to work. We know bad governance is one of the four major drivers of poverty, alongside conflict and violence; unchecked population growth; and the effects of climate change and natural disasters – Fighting corruption: the importance is crystal clear

The government and much of civil society seem to be consumed with confronting the unprecedented economic challenges of the times. We should not lose sight of the fact that a society is more than an economy.

The country waits on the operationalizing of anti corruption and freedom of information legislation promised top the electorate 50 years ago by a Tom Adams government.

 

 

107 comments

  • For POLO HORSES to come through any of the ports with massive amounts of COCAINE IN THEIR STOMACHS…the corruption would have to be at the HIGHEST LEVELS on the island, in government, in the ports, in the police force…in the business community.

    ….containers of drugs and guns could not enter the island at THAT LEVEL either unless they were all complicit.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Barbados is in a lost place it is over no coming back to a place where civility rules
    The horse has already bolted
    The fat lady has sung her last tune

    Like

  • Have you ever observed some of the houses some of these people(Customs and Immigration) live in? The Unions seem to be against any type of progress (Gantry Crane, CC Tv for Customs, 24-hour shifts for the polyclinics; 24-hour shift system for the port; closing of boilers on holidays at the sugar factories): The whole affair reminds one of the Luddites. I wonder what the Unions will do with the introduction of robots which replace humans? No wonder this place is so backwards. Corruption is rife at these ports of entry.

    Liked by 1 person

  • SirSimpleSimonPresidentForLife

    And the thing is Barbados is such a small place that of necessity corrupt officials and seniors in the police force live in the same communities. Don’t they see what all the neighbors see? How can officials earning $5,000 per month, constantly live a $20,000 per month lifestyle, and nobody asks any questions or does any investigations? But then again Bajans seem to think that because people go to a religious building to “worship” that that makes them a good person.

    I think that the police need not only big tough guys, but they need some really good forensic accountants, and whatever legislation is needed to “untie’ the hands of the police.

    Does the police force have even a single accountant doing police/investigative duties? And “no” I don’t mean the good employees of the force who do payroll, NIS, loans, pensions etc.

    Like

  • SirSimpleSimonPresidentForLife

    Big houses, multiple high end cars, frequent travel, elaborate parties etc. all on a very modest salary. But I don’t blame the unions for defending, unions must defend their members. But at the same time government and the police must be equally aggressive in going after the criminals, those criminals who have made and continue to make drugs and guns available to the more foolish of our sons so that they can maim and kill each other, so that they can end in in jail, the mental hospital or an early grave, leaving children behind for virtually destitute grandmothers to raise, or for the state, that is “us” to raise.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @Simple Simon

    How about flipping the script?

    The officials live in our communities and what do we do?

    Look the other way.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Piece the Legend

    @ Dr. Lucas

    You may expect NEVER TO BE ABLE TO PASS CUSTOMS AGAIN after saying “nothing to declare” WITHOUT YOUR UPPITY SELF BEING BODY CAVITY SEARCHED!!!

    Imagine how you come here early this morning AND MEKKING DESE SPURIOUS COMMENTS

    To wit, you said and I quote

    “…Have you ever observed some of the houses some of these people(Customs and Immigration) live in?…”

    My man, you see Humpty Dumpty Gboy House?

    In fact, you see all dem RH house pun dem S10 salaries?

    And the amount of apartments dem got?

    And de 4 RH vacations dem does tek every year?

    And de Overseas Universities all 4 of de children going to, AT DE SAME RH TIME!!! without dem needing to get a loan?

    And how every one of dem Mortgage RH free?

    I sorry to use the curse words but I finding dat it is only when de ole man cuss and get on bad dat people does get de pint!!!

    Needless to say the other side of the coin is that Land Tax and the IRS got to be part of the scheme CAUSE DERE IS NO WAY I CUD GOT 10 6 bedroom apartments WITHOUT DEM KNOWING and reporting my ass to the authorities for further investigations

    Liked by 1 person

  • Piece the Legend

    And there is the Minister of Disinformation with the “ flip the script” idiocy!

    Tell me what can Sir Simple Simon or any community denizen do AS A SIMPLE PERSON who is not a judge, nor a policeman nor a customs officer nor a politician…

    All we are is stupid voters who vote for them every five years AND THEN GET THROWN AWAY, like a used tampon!!!

    Or, as in the case of the Mugabe regime, the soiled tampon is put in soup, like the US $27 million recipe and Clyde Mascoll and Avanash Persaud come and tell us it is ox tail soup a la chef Boyarde Mugabe

    Liked by 1 person

  • Compliments of the CORRUPT BLP….

    Like

  • SirSimpleSimonPresidentForLife

    My Dear David:

    Please advise me as to what I should do?

    Bear in mind that these people “living large” very publicly. It is not as though they hide.

    Civil servant salaries are in the public domain. If a person is living clearly way above his or her salary, and the police can’t or won’t investigate what can I do?

    I did suggest that the Royal Barbados Police Force need to hire some really, really good forensic accountants.

    They might also use the authority they now have to get some court orders to do some wire tapping.

    I expect that the dishonest among us use their land lines, cell phones, and computers to communicate.

    The police need to use the authority which they already have, and if they need more authority to stop the bleeding then they should seek that authority from OUR Parliament or our courts.

    But maybe when others “get by” they don’t see how their “getting by” is impoverishing the rest of the community.

    Liked by 1 person

  • SirSimpleSimonPresidentForLife

    It might also help if police, customs officers, immigration officers, judges and Members of Parliament were forbidden to join lodges.

    Yes forbid them that freedom of association.

    The highest loyalty of our officials should be TO THE PEOPLE WHO PAY THEIR SALARIES AND PENSIONS.

    Liked by 1 person

  • “Needless to say the other side of the coin is that Land Tax and the IRS got to be part of the scheme CAUSE DERE IS NO WAY I CUD GOT 10 6 bedroom apartments WITHOUT DEM KNOWING and reporting my ass to the authorities for further investigations.”

    10..6 bedroom apartments you say…those must be among the poorest ones…ya way behind my friend, you will be SHOCKED to know what the REAL WEALTHY ONES GOT.

    Like

  • We have to suppress the comfort reaction to symptoms and embrace that we have a societal problem. Civil society, the citizenry must participate to demand accountability from authorities.

    Like

  • David

    Are you being lulled, unwittingly, into the acceptance, promotion of the national (international) security state apparatus.

    Remember – ‘those who give up liberty for security, will have neither’ (sic)

    Just because the CoP start talking like the Americans and says ‘intelligence’, as if only the chief cop and him alone has some special knowledge, we should not follow him blindly when there maybe something worse to be surreptitiously imposed.

    For if we do we would be in greater danger of walking into the international security state structure. Under that, we should then expect Big Brother to be watching, through your TV, cameras everywhere or cell phone, satellite, even as your wife fcuks you.

    Be careful what you wish for. There’s something coming worse than systemic corruption at the ports.

    The CoP will be the one who is to collect everybody’s finger prints, retinal scans and implant microchips in our brains.

    Some shiiiiite coming down the pike just now!

    Be careful.

    Liked by 1 person

  • living in a big house for a customs, police or civil servant does not mean they are corrupt. if it does what about the politicians?

    most civil servants operate on 2 salaries to service their mortgage, send school their children, and take the occasional trip overseas if they can afford so to do. and v few can because most live pay cheque to pay cheque.

    that is not to say that some arent corrupt. corruption in some manner is rife in Bim.

    if we are serious about corruption we would pass anti corruption acts, beef up the police, pay them well, open a dedicated anti corruption police division and most importantly make sure the civil service functions smoothly, make sure that it is easy to understand and deal with customs duties and decrease some where possible

    Like

  • @Pacha

    We have to trust those we elect to be watchdogs but the most important guard of our democracy must not fall asleep at the wheel.

    We need all members of civil society to be part of the solution instead of operating in their make believe silos. Why are the trade unions, Church, Chamber of Commerce, media not asking the right questions? Here is one – what the Rh is the Financial Intelligence Unit doing? What the Rh is the Police Complaints Authority doing?

    Liked by 1 person

  • “The highest loyalty of our officials should be TO THE PEOPLE WHO PAY THEIR SALARIES AND PENSIONS.”

    AMEN…

    The lodges are a serious problem on the island..that is where all the HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS TO BLACK BAJANS ORIGINATE…the evil oozes out of these repulsively racist apartheid swamps..

    Like

  • Police constables earn a basic Bds$2700 a month (about £900 or US$1350) a month before tax. That is where the problem is.

    Liked by 1 person

  • David

    No David, we do not trust any political personage.

    We never even accepted that somebody is to have our collective power as though we’re wards.

    It is precisely because of blind trust that we have all these problems today.

    You are free so to. But for me and my household there shall be an eternal quest for verification!

    Liked by 1 person

  • @Pacha

    It is not blind trust if civil society is eternally vigilant. We will never eradicate corruption, we have to ensure we do all to minimize so that it does not compromise the quality of society we aspire.

    Like

  • de pedantic Dribbler

    Mr Blogmaster, you write with such a tongue-in-cheek style that I don’t know if to laff at your veiled backhand slaps or amusingly ask WTF.

    Tell me bro, how does one properly interpret ur comment that: “The reality is that where there is corruption, there will always be problems. And so, if the system is corrupt, then we are not going to get the information and support..”

    This is the freaking CoP talking, right!

    Am I too presume that 50 years after that aborted Tom legislation u mentioned that this top officer is telling the public that he knows the origins of some of our drug and gun trafficking but he CANNOT direct his drug squad to investigate because of corrupt officials!

    So that’s the knowing laff!

    Or are you saying that you are deeply impressed that a man who has the Intel to know these things is talking rather than doing!

    That’s the WTF!

    Must be the latter right 😂!

    Long story short the big shot commissioner may be just like that prison officer: identifying a greivous problem but ain’t got not a jot of power to really change diddly!

    …how long ago u said legislation was in the wind, blowing off politician’s and their friends boats!

    I gone.

    Liked by 2 people

  • We must also look at the effect corruption at the ports of entry is having on the economy in general. Every time a customs official is alleged to look the other way when a shipment of taxable items sails through either the air or sea port, that is valuable money lost in vat and duty to the government in indirect taxation.

    So what happens then is the said government instead of fixing the problem, creates new forms of direct taxation like increased land taxes to make up what is stolen from them at the ports of entry.

    My point is some would say well corruption at the ports of entry don’t affect me but you all are so wrong! We are the innocent ones who are then asked to make up the shortfall when governments fail to collect the correct duty and vat.

    The problem is no one in authority seems to want to rock the boat and address it. Instead we just are told of a host of increases in direct taxation to fill back up the leaking cup, while refusing to address what we are losing in indirect taxation in the form of duty and vat due to the said corruption at the ports of entry.

    I can’t even say the system is broken as they don’t even seem to have a system of addressing this to begin with, other than let’s go back to the public and bleed them some more.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Re: WURA-War-on-U (June 11, 2019 4:40 AM )

    Why don’t the Police recruit Wura-on-U, & other, who seem to know how the illegal guns enter our island? Den get up real early in the morning.

    Like

  • Donks Gripe and Josh

    SirSimpleSimonPresidentForLife
    June 11, 2019 7:39 AM
    ==It might also help if police, customs officers, immigration officers, judges and Members of Parliament were forbidden to join lodges====

    A somewhat undercover pastime for big shots and their mimic men in society hidden from joe public spoken of in whispers.

    The late Holmes Williams no knight in shining armor for us often drew attention to agendas of secret lodges at odds with what he saw as proper governance and that escaped public scrutiny.

    There are countless stories of people getting jobs and losing jobs escaping penalties or being punished , being rewarded or unrewarded based on membership of lodges.

    Simple Simon what you recommend cannot be taken lightly the long promised but slow in coming integrity legislation must speak to lodge membership.

    Like

  • Vincent Codrington

    Legislators apparently only know and have power to legislate. The problem is not the legislation . The problem is the enforcement of legislation. Are we telling the House of BU that none of these corrupt individuals can be charged under current legislation? It is the law enforcers not the System. The System is composed of persons. Any person of average intelligence can find weak points in the system and exploit it.

    Like

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ David BU

    The truth is we like um so.

    Like

  • Dr Lucas,
    Unions must not be trusted! Unions have and could fulfill a key role BUT here are some examples of why they have to be monitored carefully:
    1 Bajan friend in TO working in a TO Hospital where an orderly raped a female patient post op, he was caught red dicked and the Union went to bat for the guy like he was innocent. My Bajan bro was disgusted.
    2 Met a Big Up Cnd Union boss when he was on holiday in the C’bean. Guy was boasting about his tricks that he perpetrated on his own members and others.

    I have more stories but these 2 should suffice!!!

    The Customs fellas must be controlled and monitored, pay them well but lock them up if they transgress!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  • Bim and much of the globe operating too looosey goosey, time for the reintroduction of discipline along with improvements to Education, Helthcare etc. Help develop the people BUT make it very lucid that they must respond positively.

    Like

  • You all do realise that there is no real rush for this or any other government to address this issue even though they are haemoraging revenue as a result of it don’t you?

    Stop and see what the last government and this one did in addressing the lost of revenue from corruption at the ports.

    All they did was raise taxes on us in direct taxation. So if you feel that you are getting back what you lost by breaking the back of the tax payer, why would you rock the boat and upset the unions in any real way?

    All you will get as a result from government is lip service on this issue. The cameras will not be installed at customs and the barrels and duffle bags will continue to sail through the airport on a weekend untaxed.

    In the meantime what ever they end up with in revenue loss will simple be collected on us with more new taxes. So yes we the village idiots will be once again taxed for inefficiencies and the fact that after all the talk, no one will touch the golden ones at the ports of entry should come as no surprise.

    Like

  • @ Piece the Legend June 11, 2019 6:36 AM

    I have no plans on going anywhere. I have done enough moving around. The only place I will be going is shuffling off this earthly orb.

    Like

  • @ SirSimpleSimonPresidentForLife June 11, 2019 7:39 AM

    Didn’t Sir David, the former attorney general keep some noise about doing something with the lodges?

    Like

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ John at 11:25 AM

    It is the captive taxpayer that foots the bill. But there is a limit since income is a flow. Lay offs reduce National Income and total expenditure . Together they reduce indirect and direct tax revenues. We will have reduced our capacity to borrow. The downward spiral will continue.

    Like

  • SirSimpleSimonPresidentForLife

    @David at 8:03

    The Church you say? The Church?

    What if the church is also a part of the problem? What if the corrupt ones ensure that first they “fix-up” the religious leaders?

    Like

  • @ Vincent

    Yes and they will only do something about it when they feel they have taxed everything they can first and are now forced to rock the boat.

    I mean when the union can block the installation of cameras in customs and government says ok, you know the message that sent?

    How many hundreds of millions you think we losing out on because of a vat system that is broken and a customs systems that dictates policy via its union?

    In the meantime we are taxed more to try and plug an ever leaking systems.

    Liked by 1 person

  • In the past retrenched public servants have started businesses to support themselves? Why do we assume that the will to survive stops because one loses an 8 to 4 job?

    Like

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ David BU

    Businesses require paying customers to survive. And who says they work from eight to four? They work until the last customer leaves . Or a task on which a decision has to be made tomorrow is completed. You need to separate fact from fiction.

    Like

  • @Vincent

    You are aware what the term 8 to 3 job means?

    Like

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ David BU at 3:20 PM

    What point are you trying to make?

    Like

  • “I mean when the union can block the installation of cameras in customs and government says ok, you know the message that sent?”

    John A

    First, allow me to congratulate you for making forthright and politically unbiased comments.

    As I have previously mentioned in this forum, paying an Immigration Officer to fast track a passport application to receive the passport on the same day the application was made; or a Customs Officer allowing his friends or friends of his colleagues, to bring items into Barbados without paying duties; or giving a Police Officer a “small fee” to have a traffic violation or criminal charges “thrown out of Court;” or paying a Testing Officer a fee so as to obtain a driver’s license without having to go through the rigorous driving test.

    I know of case of an elderly lady who lived with her mother and took care of her for several years…… up until the time of her death, without any assistance her brother. After the death of the mother, the brother, who said he did not have any money to assist with his mother’s burial, suddenly came into some secret source of wealth to hire two lawyers, one whom aided him in forging documents to claim the house, while the other lawyer paid Court Marshals to intimidate the elderly lady into moving from the house within 3 days.

    There are Police Officers and Court Marshals that provide bailiff, repossession and debt collection services……. on an unofficial basis………. for banks, other financial institutions and retail outlets in this island. They use their official certificates of appointment (ID cards) to intimidate those individual who are indebted to these companies.

    Although these acts may be regarded as simple and we often “turn a blind eye” to them, they are all examples of corruption that occurs in Barbados on a daily basis.

    And Barbadians have this penchant for also “turning a blind eye” to anything involving anyone they regard as a “hero” or their friend, which brings me back to the point you made.

    Let me give you an example. You mentioned “the union can block the installation of cameras in customs and government says ok.”

    In August 2015, “when the dispute over the placement of surveillance cameras in Customs areas at the air and sea ports was about to rear its head again”……..

    …….. “while president of the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW), Akanni McDowall, said his knowledge of the issue was hazy since it predated his leadership and declined comment until he could do research, his more combative equal at the Unity Workers’ Union, (now Senator) Caswell Franklyn, (BU’s hero and all time favourite contributor) was adamant he did not want to see cameras anywhere near Customs officers.”

    Some will try to attribute all types of motives to Akanni McDowall and Toni Moore as it relates to cameras in the Port….. but they will try to justify Caswell Franklyn’s stance on the issue, while avoiding questioning his motives.

    This is how things work in Barbados.

    Liked by 2 people

  • @Artax

    The issue with cameras was about who should be responsible for manning the surveillance equipment?

    Like

  • @Vincent

    When public workers were retrenched in the 90s many were absorbed into the informal/small business sector. They didn’t have the 8 to 4 but they found ways to survive and add to the GDP.

    Like

  • Nice Artax.

    I knew this would return to bite Caswell in the ass one day, i warned him, but men dont listen to women, so there.

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  • So over 15 years later all these highly educated at taxpayer’s expense. ajans can’t figure out who should man surveillance FOR THE SECURITY OF THE ISLAND’S PORTS.

    So happy i depend on the island for nothing

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  • Vincent Codrington

    @ David BU at 3 :46 PM

    Are you satisfied that highly educated and trained citizens should be absorbed into the informal and subsistence sectors in 2019? That is not progress. That is a race to the bottom. Is that your vision for Barbados? I put it to you that more went into the “informal “sector than into small businesses. At this stage of our development we should not be looking for ways to survive.

    Misery likes company. I pray Barbados never reaches that stage. Shame on you!

    Like

  • @Vincent

    The reality is that the country cannot continue to print money to pay salaries. If the poor economic state forces some Barbadians to be entrepreneurial to sustain themselves this may be an upside to the sorry affair.

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  • @ Artax

    You know what was even more of an eye opener to me? When Caswell and Co made their stand you realise neither the minister of finance, attorney general, minister of trade or anyone else we voted for said one word and tried to pursue it. It just died a natural death why was that?

    I wonder if some realise had the vat office collected the net amount that was owed to them and the leaks in customs at port of entry were plugged, we would of had an extremely mild austerity program if any at all.

    If we place the net owed in vat to the state after we deduct what the state owes to people and place that at say $400 million. We then add to it a yearly loss due to poor collection of duty and vat of say another $100 million minimum, you realise that’s $500 million there alone.

    So instead of bursting our tail in New taxes why the hell wunna just don’t fix the blasted collection agencies and collect in indirect taxation the half billion dollars I just outlined?

    The answer is simple, it’s so much easier to just collect and create new forms of direct taxation instead of getting up and doing wunna job and fixing a broken system that leaks indirect taxation worst than a big hole strainer.

    I done there before I go for David 2 favourite letters in the alphabet with the first one being R#.

    Liked by 1 person

  • The reality is that the country cannot continue to print money to pay salaries. If the poor economic state forces some Barbadians to be entrepreneurial to sustain themselves this may be an upside to the sorry affair.(Quote)

    What is the economic case against printing money? What price ignorance?

    Like

  • @ David

    For the private sector to absorb the retrenched workers or accommodate those who wish to open their own business, the environment economically must be in a state to support it.

    Right now after the last massacre of disposable income that was dressed up as a budget, there is little to no disposable income in the system. Just look around at the empty commercial spaces in the city and elsewhere and what we have is a contracting economy ,where even established businesses are under severe pressure. Many may not know but businesses have been laying off a worker here and 3 there for the last few months. In that environment where is the opportunity for new ventures to open, far less sustain themselves?

    When I hear people making those statements of being self employed in today’s environment if laid off, my response is ” book smart ain t street smart.” In other words people are making a statement and not taking into account the economic reality we are in and the severe shortage of disposable income out there.

    All this when we have $500 million out there in none collected taxes and a collection agency at our ports of entry that missing maybe more than they collecting.

    I tell you this really VEXIFIES me. ( yes it’s a word I say so)

    Like

  • In the gig economy, self-employment (consultants) is often a new term for unemployed.

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  • Speaking of illegal contrana d coming through barbafos ports
    Heard they were two murders in the past two days
    If yuh don’t belive with wunna eyes
    Let me repeat the horse has already bolted and Mia only interest is to be the darling of the IMF
    Meanwhile the murder rate climbs like nobody business

    Liked by 2 people

  • fortyacresandamule

    @David. International protocol and best practices in today’s border security environment, require cctv to be installed at all major port of entries. Custom is not exempt from such modality. IMO/ISPS plus USA border security container security initiative comes to mind.

    All custom officers and mgmt should be polygraphed and a lifetsye audit conducted on a regular basis.

    Like

  • Forty lord you want the unions shut down the island for 3 months now! After all it look like customs tell them what they will do and then the unions tell the government, who say YES SIR and the issue dies.

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  • @fortyacres

    It begs the question why the authority in Barbados has experienced no end of trouble to implement.

    Like

  • Added 11 June 2019

    ” Lawmen are investigating a shooting at Tweedside Road, St Michael.

    One man has been shot.”

    Like

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ David BU at 4:21 PM

    You are entitled to create your own reality. From where I stand the Barbados economy DOES NOT OPERATE that way. You need to put some distance between you and the Kool Aid dispenser. You are being misled.

    @ John A at 4:50 PM

    For some reason David is deaf to the idea that the revenue collection system has more leaks than the BWA distribution system.

    I wonder why.

    Like

  • Vincent Codrington

    David BU

    Entrepreneur is the most ab/misused word in the vocabulary of economic commentators in Barbados after productivity. Entrepreneurs are investors who take risks in launching a new product or service. The areas you suggest public workers should seek employment are not only overcrowded but are as old as Adam. There is nothing enterprising in them.

    Central Banks are created to regulate the money supply. When illiquidity constrains economic growth their job is to create money. When there is too much money in the economy to the extent where inflation is rampant or there is an outfow of money, it reduces the money supply.

    What caused the large outfow of money/ foreign currency 3 years ago? If you can answer that half of the puzzle is solved.

    David BU
    It is time for me to catch the ZR Van. Too much BS in town.

    Like

  • @ Vincent

    Patience my friend patience……

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  • fortyacresandamule

    @John A . The GOB should never compromised the security of this country to any self-serving interest groups.

    Liked by 1 person

  • fortyacresandamule

    @John. Let the union stike all it want. The GOB has to stand firm and grow some balls on this issue, even If it means firing all those people. The collective security of the nation trumped the self-serving interest of any group called unions or whatever ACROYN they go by.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ FortyAcres

    I agree with you 100% without a doubt. The Thing is it came across as if because the unions were told by customs no it was left there. Which leads me to ask why the minister of finance, the attorney general or security officials did not override if and say ” sorry fellows it’s about state security and it must happen.”

    Fellows need to take a page out of Ronald Reagan’s book!

    Liked by 1 person

  • fortyacresandamule

    @David. Sometimes I wished our political system was built upon a benevolent dictatorship model like Singapore. Nothing gets implemented on time in this country. Even simple basic task becomes rocket science to the political directorate. Too much of anything is never good . And democracy is no exception.

    Liked by 1 person

  • “Many may not know but businesses have been laying off a worker here and 3 there for the last few months. In that environment where is the opportunity for new ventures to open, far less sustain themselves?”

    John A

    You above comment is true.

    Even the hotels are “laying off” employees or have them working “short hours” per week. JADA recently “laid off” some employees, while offering an option to those who were willing to be severed. However, there was some wrangling between the workers, their union and the company as it relates to severance payments and conditions under which they were to be severed.

    I often hear the politicians and others talking about entrepreneurship and encouraging people to establish their own businesses. The reality is that Barbados is a small society with even smaller demographics and target markets, especially for certain businesses. Some people are of the opinion there are too many individuals graduating from university each year as doctors, lawyers and other so called professionals.

    The market for lawyers, for example, has become “oversaturated.” So too as the market for “nail technicians,” beauticians, hairdressers, barbers, vendors, freighters, taxi and other PSV operators. The car rental industry has grown tremendously over the past few years, with permit numbers in excess of H4000. Some people have been forced to rent their vehicles for as low as $400 per week because of the competition.

    Another reality is that many owners of small to medium businesses do not file or pay value added or income taxes. This is an area where much needed revenue is lost. Yet these entrepreneurs are the first ones to “cry foul” when, for example, there is an increase in bus fare. And they are the first ones that insist they benefit from tax funded health care and their children with education, health care, as well as subsidized school meals and bus fare……. without contributing to the tax system.

    Yet another reality are the scores of non-nationals who have been entering Barbados to engage in prostitution, illegal vending and being hired “off the books” by several janitorial (cleaning) firms, shops, bars, restaurants, supermarkets, stores and other retail outlets.

    Take a drive any night along Jemmotts Lane and Bay Street and you would see the side walks lined with scantily dressed Jamaicans and Guyanese prostitutes. Go to the environs of the old Fairchild Street market to see that area has been overtaken by several Guyanese who build and operate illegal bars, selling food and beverages WITHOUT the required liquor licenses and health certificates. That area has been earmarked for redevelopment, and I’m sure that those illegal non-nationals will be the first appealing to the government to give them market space. Non-nationals are also squatting indiscriminately on lands owned privately or by the state….. and are securing “house spots” for their relatives and friends.

    These people don’t pay income taxes or contribute to the National Insurance Scheme……. nor do they make any meaningful contribution to the Barbados economy. These are FACTS we often “turn a blind eye” to.

    Now this Mottley administration has allowed all and sundry to enter Barbados, with their spouses or girl/boyfriends, who will also be eligible to work without work permits and their children will have the same privileges as Barbadian children relative to tax-funded health care, day care and education from nursery level to tertiary level (which, in MY opinion, should be reserved for Barbadians).

    The NEW EXCUSE is that Barbadians are not having children, hence Barbados is under-populated.

    However, when one mentions these things, they are accused of being xenophobic or they oppose regional integration……. or told in the past, Barbadians migrated to Guyana…….and have been migrating to the UK, USA and Canada for several years.

    Liked by 1 person

  • ” The GOB should never compromised the security of this country to any self-serving interest groups.”

    As long as those BRIBES ARE PAID..GOB could give SQUAT about the island’s security, it’s all about the million dollar bribes and the big houses and big rides…to themselves.,showing off about how much better they are than those who elected them..that is what shallow, trifling, uppity negros do.

    And as we clearly saw from president Mia’s UK cockup..it’s all about WHO GOB CAN ROB…AND since they ran out of people on the island to rob, they are now forced to MOVE THEIR THIEVING WAYS OFFSHORE….but it was a COLOSSAL EMBARRASSMENT…and FAILURE.

    Like

  • @Artax
    I could not have written a better response . You have documented some of the social and economic ills plaguing this country and they give me angst. My question is : what can be done about this degradation when the political machine and others turn a blind eye for the sake of the “almighty” dollar and so-called inclusiveness. SMH.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @John A

    You are absolutely right. Government should force through its plans, and if union members do not like it, then they can voluntarily remove themselves from work. Two, three, four months without pay would soon clear minds.
    By the way, if government is sending home workers, and the private sector is, where is the much talked about economic growth going to come from? We deserve answers, apart from the hocus pocus voodoo of foreign reserves.
    President Mottley told the London audience that there was need for moral and ethical politics in Barbados. Is this going to be a topic on BU?

    Liked by 1 person

  • Why Cameras Should NOT be Focused on Customs Officers
    Posted on August 28, 2015 by David 95 comments

    The Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite is on public record agreeing to the installation of cameras in areas ‘worked’ by Customs Officers. As the minister responsible for advising the government on legal matters it is noteworthy laws do not currently […]exist to support the use of recordings in our Courts.
    This is called politicians blowing hot air through the nether regions.
    On the face of the issue commonsense suggest the deployment of CCTV to monitor the interactions of Customs Officers with the public is the correct approach. However, there is the other view to support why cameras should not be focussed on Customs Officers when conducting business with the public, especially importers. Here is an extract from the Agreement on Implementation of Article VII of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 (Article 1 — 24).

    Article 10
    All information which is by nature confidential or which is provided on a confidential basis for the purposes of customs valuation shall be treated as strictly confidential by the authorities concerned who shall not disclose it without the specific permission of the person or government providing such information, except to the extent that it may be required to be disclosed in the context of judicial proceedings.

    The admission just this week by the Attorney General runs counter to the above, a perspective worthy of consideration at a time when subversive elements have taken deep root in our small country.

    Like

  • @ David

    The cameras need only to be placed in the customs area at the airport, the shed that handles the barrels and the warehouse that handles LLC or what is described as consolidated cargo.

    Those steps and the scanning of containers leaving the port will go a long way in collecting much needed revenue and hopefully improving our national security.

    My question though is who will man the cameras? Will it be a case where those manning them will be independent of customs?

    In other words if the person on the camera noticed for example a person sailing through customs at the airport with 5 man sized duffle bags, what power will they have to ask the customs officer why wasn’t she or he checked?

    Not that I ever expect to see one camera installed but just curious.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ Hal

    I see nothing so far introduced that will encourage economic growth. Regardless of the hocus pocus of moving around a few tax bands and then taking the saving from it and more back in New forms of direct taxation, like the 61% increase in Land tax on some home owners, there is no growth plan.

    My view is based on simple maths. Any time a budget takes more out of an economy post budget than pre budget, that said budget will end up dampening growth.

    We imposed say $200 million more in direct taxes on bajans yet we do nothing about collecting the $500 million owed to the state through unpaid VAT and other forms of indirect taxation.

    There will be no growth in this economy until government and business stop fighting over every available dollar in liquidity, especially if government insist on taking it at source as opposed to allowing it to filter through the economy and then take it in indirect forms of taxation like VAT

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ John A

    But the prime minister and her advisers tell us that their austerity policies, BERT, will lead eventually to economic growth. Can they plse tell us how? Unless David BU has the answers?

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ Hal

    I would love to hear too because if after removing more out the economy in New taxes than was circulating before leads to economic growth, then I congratulate government for defying every rule of economic theory and coming to a different conclusion.

    I do not support direct taxation because all it does is stagnate growth. With indirect taxation like VAT the money is allowed to circulate through the economy and then taken at the end. Not only that but by its very nature VAT benefits from being a compound tax. So the item that came in the port legally and paid vat on entry, if it passes through 3 businesses before the final consumer, contributes to the state on 3 more occasions.

    Instead however of addressing our broken system of indirect taxation, we instead look at new direct taxes which in turn will remove liquidity at source and cause the economy to stagnate further.

    Of course all are welcome to defy what I just said but those that try need to know they would be saying that the rules governing economic activity are all wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ Hal

    When the government says ” Bert will mead to growth in the end” I feel this is what it means.

    ” look wunna stop asking questions, don’t worry it going all be fine down the road, trust us.”

    Liked by 1 person

  • Meant will lead to not mead. Lol

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ John A June 12, 2019 7:53 AM
    “I do not support direct taxation because all it does is stagnate growth. With indirect taxation like VAT the money is allowed to circulate through the economy and then taken at the end. Not only that but by its very nature VAT benefits from being a compound tax. So the item that came in the port legally and paid vat on entry, if it passes through 3 businesses before the final consumer, contributes to the state on 3 more occasions.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    You cannot ‘totally’ get rid of all forms of direct taxation.
    How else would you get the rich to contribute a ‘fairer’ share to the national pie since the incidence of indirect taxation falls more heavily on the low-income earners?

    Would you get rid of property (land) taxes? What would replace it? VAT on water as it is on other utilities?

    If you see VAT as the most sophisticatedly effective tax regime why then does Dr. Worrell think otherwise?

    Don’t forget the goodly doctor- according his most ardent fan on BU William Skinner- is the doyen of the academic world of Economics.

    What Worrell ought to be ‘advising’ on is the ‘economic’ impact of that $300 million in foreign reserves which disappeared (miraculously so) just after the February 2013 general elections.

    VAT is the preferred option for indirect taxation for an economy like Barbados which is primarily consumption driven based on its wide-ranging network of importation, storage, distribution and retailing of finished goods.

    The problem with the local VAT regime is that it is afflicted with too many zero-rated and exempt goods and services and constantly undermined by widespread political interference in its operational efficiency and tax collection efforts.

    Like

  • @ Miller

    No one is saying to get rid of direct taxation what I am saying is there must be a balance between the tax forms. Right not that is not the case as it appears because we can not get Vat and other indirect systems fixed we have decided to instead go behind direct taxation mainly.

    As for the rich not paying taxes, aren’t they by your own admission in a position to consume more than the poor and hence contribute more In vat to the system?

    I am having trouble following the argument based on the above

    Like

  • @ Miller

    Also the problem with the vat system is not so much the zero rated goods but the ineffective system of collections. How else could the VAT office be owed in excess of $500 million in receivable with little being done to collect it?

    Liked by 1 person

  • @John A

    Who owe this 500 million? Is the net of monies owed?

    Who would government allow VAT monies owed to be outstanding for so long? What is missing from the analysis?

    Like

  • wait…wuh happen..all the BU yardfowls DIED …since the UK FIASCO last Saturday..lol

    they giving BU a break..

    or they too ASHAMED…lol

    Like

  • @ David

    I can only qoute the information we were given. No where in the Central Bank figures or The Auditor General’s report was a list of the receivables or payables published. I do remember though a sizeable amount was in fact owed by government entities who collect vat, but somehow forgot to pay it over to the vat office.

    Like

  • @John A

    This is the point . What is the net owed to government. We must work with the material number to have a proper analysis.

    Like

  • “President Mottley told the London audience that there was need for moral and ethical politics in Barbados. Is this going to be a topic on BU?”

    you do know that president Mia was BULLSHITTING the audience in UK to TIEF THEIR MONEY …right?

    don’t get as deluded as she is..

    since she returned from HER UK cockup..have you seen:

    the racism and apartheid dismantled..

    the corruption addressed

    the thieves who robbed the treasury and pension fund ..locked up

    the people who lost their properties and money to her two wicked ministers returned to the elderly and their beneficiaries

    she went to the UK for one thing only…TO ROB..any black bajan or bajan descendant to put the money in stinking cow bizzy and all the other minority thieves hands..that is all she knows.

    that is all she WILL EVER DO..

    Like

  • We have adequate systems here in terms of vat and duty collection. The problem is like everything else we leave them when broken and try to create new ones.

    I think it is fairer to have a system that allows those that can afford to consume and pay more to do so, while not penalizing the poorer who can’t as in the case with the increases on the water bill for example.

    That way the man who buys a Suzuki pays less Vat and duty on it than the man that buys a BMW. If we used the direct tax logic the same duty would be placed on both cars, hence one consumer would be subsidising the other.

    Like

  • @ David

    From memory more than half of the net owed to the vat office is in fact owed by government entities. The amount government owed the private sector In vat refunds was a bit less than what the private sector owed government. In other words while the net owed by the private sector is there, the biggest chunk owed would therefore be made up of government entities collecting vat and not paying it over to the vat office as they would be collectors only.

    Like

  • So if we must blame vat and indirect taxes for failing us one of the biggest causes of the failure is the said government we elected to ensure the system worked.

    When I say government I mean all both past and present.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ John A June 12, 2019 9:07 AM
    “As for the rich not paying taxes, aren’t they by your own admission in a position to consume more than the poor and hence contribute more In vat to the system?”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    John A, we are referring to the ‘incidence’ of the VAT.

    It falls much more heavily on the low-income earners than on the “well-off’ and better-up” financially speaking.

    In other words, the low income earners pay a much bigger share of the incomes in VAT than the so-called rich.

    How do we narrow that massive gap to ensure the effective delivery of public goods to all and sundry, rich and poor, employed and unemployed, healthy and sick?

    Barbados has one of the most comprehensive and indeed sophisticated taxation system in the world.

    The problem is Not with the legislative framework but the widespread political interference in its operational network and bungling incompetent operators called civil servants trained at the school of subservience and corruption.

    Like

  • BBs are a bunch of sheep.

    Here we have a Blogmaster arguing the case for displaced workers to take the plunge into ‘entreneurship’ knowing full well that entrepreneurship for the majority population is a byword for gigs like roadside vending, lawn cutting, cleaning, etc.

    Vincent Codrington is 100% spot on in stating that this is disgraceful given the $Billions pumped into education.

    Artax also makes very valid points. People from everywhere come to Bdos and do as they like with little consequence but, let a local try the same thing and it is brimstone and fire.

    The hierarchy is beginning to crystallize and in a few years will look something like this:

    Bajan White
    Foreign White
    Local Indian, Syrian, Chinese, Other
    Any other foreigner
    Bajan Black

    BBs have to be amongst the silliest on this planet. How can a group of people so consistently and vigorously act against their own best interests?

    …But we are world class and punching above our weight !!

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ David.

    David the last figure I can remember that was owed the vat office by government was confirmed by Sinkler In the final days of his reign.

    He said then ” government entities owed the vat office in excess of $200 million and it is a matter I will be looking in to.”

    I don’t know if he meant $201 million or $400 million, nor do I know what looking in to it meant.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ Miller

    But that is why the vat is fairer to the poor because it gives them the right to choose how they consume. They can decide if the want to buy whisky or rum. The rich will buy the whisky and pay accordingly and the less wealthy can decide their move.

    Surely a system of tax that gives the tax payer a choice has to be better than one that is rammed down their throat?

    Let’s us agree to disagree on it but what we can both admit is that it is badly managed and abused by no one more so than the said governments both past and present that we elected. When government is by far the single biggest receivable owed to the vat office what more proof you want on that?

    Liked by 1 person

  • just as the CORRUPT BLP GOVERNMENT WANT IT..

    “Bajan White
    Foreign White
    Local Indian, Syrian, Chinese, Other
    Any other foreigner
    Bajan Black”

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ Dullard

    President Mottley told the London audience at the weekend that the population of Barbados is already too small. She quoted bogus figures about Surinam, Singapore and Guyana as evidence of this fantasy analysis.
    The president is not details person, and I am sure her so-called economic consultants/advisers have convinced her that she needs a growth in population to get productivity growth. Nonsense.
    Look out for demographic changes in Barbados. Your figures may be more accurate than you think.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @Hal

    It doesn’t take a prophet to see the long term fate of the traditional Bajan.

    Have a look at the Edutech project for evidence of the president’s capabilities.

    Like

  • Have you heard Sagicor advertising their residential homes? Where is the regulator?

    Like

  • @ John A June 12, 2019 10:00 AM
    “But that is why the vat is fairer to the poor because it gives them the right to choose how they consume. They can decide if the want to buy whisky or rum. The rich will buy the whisky and pay accordingly and the less wealthy can decide their move…”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    So should the GoB impose VAT on water to help reduce wastage and excessive domestic consumption?

    Don’t get me wrong. I am all for VAT. It is the most sophisticated and reliably effective tax once managed properly and fairly without partisan political interference.

    Like

  • @ Miller that is a good point for discussion so let’s explore it.

    The old pensioner living alone in his little house would of paid roughly $40 a month on the old base rate. He now pays roughly $80 as a result of the sewage tax being added to it.

    The wealthy man living in Royal Westmoreland with a pool who had a $400 a month bill, saw his go to $440 when the sewage tax was added. Where is the equity in that.
    Had Vat been added instead to the water bill below are what each would of paid .

    Pensioner from $40 to $47
    Millionaire from $400 to $470

    Which way sound more fair and equitable to you?

    Don’t worry you slowly coming around to the side of indirect taxation vs direct!

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ John A June 12, 2019 12:41 PM

    You seem to carry a rather ‘pointed’ in your ‘intelligence’ sheath.

    So let’s explore this direct vs. indirect tax duel a bit further.

    What are your views on the imposition of withholding taxes on dividends, interest and other investment-type incomes?

    Should VAT be levied on the settlement of insurance contracts?

    Remember every little bit helps!

    Like

  • Miller June 12, 2019 4:18 PM

    You seem to carry a rather ‘pointed’[dagger] in your ‘intelligence’ sheath.

    Like

  • I don’t believe I’m withholding tax on dividends at all as in my view it is a form of dual taxation especially to the owners of companies when it comes to dividends.

    Why should an owner of a company pay tax on a dividend when the company already paid tax on the profit?

    On insurance claims they should be settled In full inclusive of vat. Again double taxation as when the claim is paid to me I then have to go out and replace the item and in so doing I must pay vat. I should therefore be given the vat in my settlement as I will pay the vat when I purchase the replacement items

    They are some areas that need a bit of cleaning up I would admit but we need to address them and ensure that both the state and tax payer get a fair deal.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Tax revenue and not profits.

    Like

  • fortyacresandamule

    @JohnA. The poor will still pay a larger proportion of their income on even basic food stuff vs the rich who indulged on caviar and champagne because of the large income gap between both groups.

    Wealthy people in today’s capitalistic system hardly pay their fair share of tax. They have exploited all manner of loop hole in the system hence the proliferation of tax havens. I am for capital gain tax and any form of other taxes on the weathy to level the playing field.

    Liked by 1 person

  • SirSimpleSimonPresidentForLife

    @Artax at 2:01

    If there were no Bajan men willing to buy risky sex from strange Jamaican and Guyanese women there would be no Jamaican or Guyanese prostitutes on Jemmott’s Lane.

    The Bajan men should go home and get free clean sex from their Bajan wives, but they need to use condoms until such time as they test negative for all sexually transmitted diseases.

    If the Bajan men don’t have wives, then they should find themselves one each.

    Like

  • @Simple Simon

    Have you factored the 3 month incubation period? They should wear condoms for about 3 months after the negative test.

    Like

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