National Meeting Hand

Submitted by Tee White

If it’s now going to be ‘national meeting hand’, then obviously the first principle would have to be that it’s voluntary. I have never heard of a meeting hand where you have to be in it even if you don’t want to. If individual public sector workers choose to accept the government bonds on that basis, then that’s their choice. If however, any individual is forced to be part of the ‘national meeting hand’, whether by the union leadership or government, then it’s not a meeting hand at all.

The government is persisting with this idea, claiming that its aim is to “carry as many Barbadians as possible”. But there’s a simpler and much fairer way to “carry as many Barbadians as possible”. That is that those who have benefited the most over the last 6 decades from turning the island from a sugar cane plantation into a one legged tourism economy must put their hands in their pockets and put some money on the table now that the wheels have come off the donkey cart that they, and the politicians they paid for, built to serve their own interests and which has now got the entire country in a predicament. They’ve become multi-millionaires and billionaires by changing agricultural land into residential land and selling it to developers, by signing lucrative contracts with the government to manage government owned hotels, by linking up with foreign tour operators and in a million other ways. They have full their belly for the last 60 years and now the bill has arrived, they want to pass it to the workers to pay. No way!

A special Covid 19 tax on those with deep pockets should provide the government with all the funds it needs. Remember if you tax a billionaire at 99% of their wealth, they would still be a multi-millionaire at the end of it. They still wouldn’t have to worry about where their next meal is coming from, how to pay their rent or  water or electricity bill.  That’s the way to “carry as many Barbadians as possible”.

https://barbadostoday.bb/2020/05/26/govt-signals-shift-from-forced-to-cooperative-savings/?unapproved=673434&moderation-hash=7f0f8d4337e5dcb6d1bf4a53d7a8055c#comment-673434

401 comments

  • @Tee White
    A special Covid 19 tax on those with deep pockets should provide the government with all the funds it needs.

    How will you decide who in Bim have deep pockets? The wealth of most people with deep pockets is tied up in corporations and will be difficult for government to tax. The workers will advise the unions leadership on what action to take, and my guess is the go ahead will be reluctantly given.
    The problem I have is the proposed 5% interest offered on the bonds in the present economic climate. It reminds me of the savings bonds Dr. Worrell sold some years ago. The economy would have to make a miraculous recovery for Mia’s government to be in a position to buy back those bonds in such a short time frame.

    Liked by 1 person

  • The correct Bajan term is “meeting turn” in other islands “box-hand” is used, but I have never heard that term used in Barbados. Other terms used regionally are “su-su” and “esu-esu”

    Like

  • The government should change the name. It does not fit the definition of a meeting turn. It comes over as garnishing wages. Tee White is correct. A Meeting Turn is a voluntary system. It also uses cash which is readily available in a matter of weeks. It is a short term loan facility for each weeks reciever. The receiver can change when he wants to receive his turn. The length of the term is finite.

    Perhaps what government means is a deferment system which should pay interest accrued on the sum of what is owed each person. No bonds are even acquired as it only complicates the matter as persons would be receiving the salary that is owed to them. They are not purchasing the bonds.

    Like

  • I remember discussing at length the foolishness done by a previous BLP government which went ahead and passed a law which said that government should never be able again to cut government worker’s salaries. I wondered out loud at the time how any government could promise any such thing. I wondered what if something really bad happened how would any government honour that promise, and I wondered why any government would have chosen to so box itself in.

    But politicians it seems are eternal optimists.

    I expect that the worker’s will reluctantly accept that half a bread is better than no loaf.

    But it is time that those who have more, in some cases a lot more, don’t we hear of millionaires, multi-millionaires,and billionaires step up and pay more, such people need to dig into their deep pockets and do more to support the civil servants who look after their security [a police vehicle passed quietly in my gap just half an hour ago while most of my neighbors sleep], who look after their sanitation, who immunize and teach their children and who deliver health care to the wealthy and who keep the employees of the wealthy in good health.

    The government has so far handled this Covid19 thing quite well. Private sector firms have not lost many employees, government did not call on private sector companies to pay for the quarantine or isolation of their employees. Surely taking such good care of the work force must be worth something to the capitalists?

    I would like to think of our wealthy as loyal sons and daughters, not as merchants who have no country, who the mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains.

    Liked by 1 person

  • The capitalists as you call them is interested in making money. Creating value for shareholders and that is all. In the covid environment there is no money to be made.

    Liked by 1 person

  • FAILED STATE continues down the FAILURE ROAD, same old same old. All we hear is TALK and NO ACTION, other than let’s RAISE TAXES and Garnishee some wages on a mythical promise.

    The sad thing is that the Government, Politicians and the majority of the populace is buying this CRAP.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @Tee White

    The size and relevance of the public sector is determined by the size and demand of the economy? If the size of the economy and demand for services/product is contracting where will the government get the money to sustain public sector workforce? Taxing the rich is not sustainable because the money some rich people may have onshore is related to a buoyant domestic economy which is non existent at this time.

    The predicament the government finds itself if it were to continue to pay salaries at the current level is similar to Fruendel Stuart printing money to do same. We know where that led.

    Like

  • @Wily Coyote May 27, 2020 5:13 AM “FAILED STATE continues down the FAILURE ROAD, same old same old. All we hear is TALK and NO ACTION, other than let’s RAISE TAXES and Garnishee some wages on a mythical promise. The sad thing is that the Government, Politicians and the majority of the populace is buying this CRAP.”

    Ok Wily. So let’s hear your bright ideas. Thanks.

    Like

  • what happened to the ‘Forced Savings’? is this new ‘National Meeting Turn’ a different animal?

    Liked by 1 person

  • what happened to the ‘Forced Savings’? is this new ‘National Meeting Turn’ a different animal?

    Not al all. Just given a different name and marketed differently (and dishonestly) with the aim of bamboozling the financially illiterate Bajan hoi polloi. By the looks of it so far, this latest gimmick seems to be gaining traction.

    Like

  • FYI: The CDC in a recently released report titled COVID-19 Pandemic Planning Scenarios indicates they believe that the WHO estimates for Covid-19 death rates were too high by a significant margin.

    The CDC confirms remarkably low coronavirus death rate. Where is the media?

    Written by Daniel Horowitz
    Sunday May 24, 2020

    The CDC just came out with a report that should be earth-shattering to the narrative of the political class, yet it will go into the thick pile of vital data and information about the virus that is not getting out to the public. For the first time, the CDC has attempted to offer a real estimate of the overall death rate for COVID-19, and under its most likely scenario, the number is 0.26 percent. Officials estimate a 0.4 percent fatality rate among those who are symptomatic and project a 35 percent rate of asymptomatic cases among those infected, which drops the overall infection fatality rate (IFR) to just 0.26 percent — almost exactly where Stanford researchers pegged it a month ago.

    (Snipped the excerpt of the report’s death rate table showing a 0.4% death rate for those who are symptomatic)

    Until now, we have been ridiculed for thinking the death rate was that low, as opposed to the 3.4 percent estimate of the World Health Organization, which helped drive the panic and the lockdowns. Now the CDC is agreeing to the lower rate in plain ink.

    More with a hyperlink to the CDC report: http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2020/may/24/the-cdc-confirms-remarkably-low-coronavirus-death-rate-where-is-the-media/?fbclid=IwAR2jBFdpuJTk0CgXeIYSYe9ozooyPy3_YJM1fU1Su4AFNCClQ8-W2g-pSFU

    Like

  • @ David May 27, 2020 5:36 AM
    “The predicament the government finds itself if it were to continue to pay salaries at the current level is similar to Fruendel Stuart printing money to do same. We know where that led.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Isn’t that option of printing Mickey mouse money being proposed by some bright sparks living in the world of academia and used to making ‘make-believe’ fiscal and financial management decisions?

    If the current administration can resuscitate Saint Christopher the leader of the economic demolition crew under the previous administration what’s wrong in recalling another blast from the past to mine the well of knowledge and experience of Delisle Worrell, a previous boss printer who turned out to be the Dems devil.

    Both you and a few enlightened bloggers know where this pay-cut matter is constitutionally headed: 1991/1992 déjà vu with IMF overseeing things.

    Like

  • @Miller

    The pragmatic position is simple, if the government is unable to pay public sector wages the next discussion will be retrenchment. We do not want to go there.

    Like

  • @ David May 27, 2020 8:03 AM

    Why ride the retrenchment horse?

    How about a meaningful across-the-board cut to achieve the fiscal objective of payroll cost reduction?

    Isn’t 70 % of loaf of pay better than no loaf at all?

    Of course there is a case to be made out for ring-fencing a basic or minimum level of income to insulate it from the pandemic reaper’s sickle and to protect the very low wage earners from the conspicuous consumption virus as prices of basic commodities are expected to rise.

    Like

  • The problem is that there’s understanding for the government (what you want them to do, print money like Freundel?), understanding for the rich (because the money some rich people may have onshore is related to a buoyant domestic economy which is non existent at this time) but no understanding for the workers. Don’t the workers rely on the same economy as the governmentt and the rich? If the government can’t afford the current situation and the rich can’t, why do you think the workers can?

    I clearly hear the government’s demand on what the public sector workers must do to “carry as many Barbadians as possible” but what I can’t hear is what the government is demanding of the millionaires, multi-millionaires and billionaires. Is that because these are the paymasters of the politicians?

    Maybe, it’s just the same old same old in Buhbadus. The minority get all the priveleges while the majority pay for them.

    Liked by 1 person

  • A rose is a rose by any other name so, let’s call this what it really is, ”Another Compulsory Loan to Government (ACLG)”.

    What are some other CL’sG? When PAYE is deducted from your salary and you file for a refund at the end of year? That’s a loan to the government until you are refunded. You’ve paid your VAT and are awaiting a refund? Government loan. Monthly NIS? ACLG!

    So, shut up and pay up as we are accostumed to doing. Just let’s make ACLG and be happy. Who knows, we may get our promised interest this time.

    Like

  • @ Tee White, I wrote a proposal for National Meeting Turn a few years ago. I am waiting to see the details of this one.

    Like

  • @Tee White May 27, 2020 8:48 AM “…what the government is demanding of the millionaires, multi-millionaires and billionaires. Is that because these are the paymasters of the politicians?”

    Let’s get real.

    It is not the millionaires, multi-millionaires and billionaires who are the paymasters.

    The labour of the tens of thousand of Bajan workers pays everybody.

    The political class

    The merchant class

    And lastly themselves.

    No workers. No money for anybody.

    That’s the reality

    Liked by 1 person

  • The politicians don’t pay us.

    WE PAY THEM.

    The merchants don’t pay us.

    We go into their factories and fields and pay them with our labor. Then we go into their shops and pay them with our money.

    WE PAY THEM.

    Liked by 1 person

  • I read Professor Howard on Sunday who penned a solid piece expounding economic theory. As we hurtle towards inevitable recession, we ought to pursue counter cyclical policy. Plainly cutting wages is quite pro cyclical. However, government revenues in this particular crisis is more or less non-existent. Therefore government faces an inevitable choice: layoffs or salary cut. Clearly layoffs which would be replicated in the private sector are far more pro cyclical. Salary cuts are the only way to go. And the National Meeting Turn represents a more humane alternative of payment in kind deferred. Legislation may have to be amended, but with regard to any constitutional ramifications, that question was settled by King v AG. A National Meeting Turn is clearly better than an across-the-board 8%. Government has no choice, barring allowing government to collapse. This is also the only way to ensure exchange rate stability.

    My only concern is that lowering salaries subtracts from the supply of money in the economy, resulting in interest rates increasing. One school of thought says that that will also negatively impact on investment. However, Keynes says that expectations, not interest rates, are the main determinant of firms’ willingness to invest. So that if they are confident enough then they will invest even if interest rates rise.

    In the short term, construction might be enough to allow us to survive hence why government must drive capital works projects. Hence they need the pecuniary latitude to so do. Additionally, if investor confidence can be stimulated to invest in these capital works as is being done presently then we can ride out the period.

    On all fronts, it’s an uncomfortable reality but one that has to be faced frontally.

    Like

  • A note about taxing the wealthy “excessively”:

    I’ve always bought into the idea of noblesse oblige, even if it has to be forced on them. So they ought to pay their “fair share” which translates to far higher rates for personal, corporate, capital gains etc. However, because the wealthy are more mobile it is rather simple for them to “avoid” or relocate etc. which results in us losing more from the tax base than we would gain by taxing them so heavily. It is a tightrope that has to be walked.

    Like

  • William Skinner

    This is what happens when we get into cliches and newspeak, political optics and needless pandering to a unpatriotic private sector.
    The PM is well intentioned but unfortunately she is making the classic mistake of trying to be all things to all people. It’s obvious that her well paid consultants have no new progressive ideas and we need basic common sense.
    Public sector wages should not increase for the next five years; outstanding taxes in any form owed to the government must be paid in full in six months or the businesses should be put on the auction block; unions should negotiate for the continued employment of its members with no salary increase for three years and a progressive form of productivity and rewards should be an act of parliament and passed immediately; employers who have not paid in deducted national insurance should be given six months to do so or face ten years imprisonment; all self employed people by law should be paying national insurance or their businesses closed down; all economic activity from construction to making and selling food including sweet bread and pudding in souse as would be registered to meet basic health standards and bd taxed.
    The days of “ just making a dollar” must now end. A new business culture must emerge. Business is business.
    All companies grossing more than five million per year must deposit two million dollar security in the treasury to protect their workers When they just close down. Re: recent sudden closure of popular restaurants.
    All tourism workers must be given at least at least a two percent share in their work places and all parliamentarian salary increases should remain at present levels for fifteen years; a stipend of forty dollars per month should replace any renumeration senators now receive.
    The PM must use her political capital and move swiftly to level the playing field. The ball is in her court. We did not elect Mascoll and Persuad to run this country.

    Like

  • @ Heather May 27, 2020 9:09 AM

    You will never see appended to that reborn NMT proposal any reference to the ‘real’ source of that idea far less a “thank you” to any ‘Heather Cole’.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Vincent Codrington

    A rose by any other name is still a rose. And a marigold is still a Stinker Missy. Changing a name or the packaging does not change the nature. I think some public relations advisers’ stipend should be cut by 50%.

    Like

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ David Bu

    In order to maintain focus, can you remind bloggers what social ,public finance or economic problem this national Sou Sou is designed to solve.

    Like

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ KK

    May I suggest that you try to deal with the issues raised in the submission. You have a tendency to introduce and discuss issues that are not on the table. I believe this moot is about a National Meeting Turn. Do you know what that is? And how it works? Will it solve the perceived problem/ non problem/ red herring?

    Like

  • In my view, nomenclature matters little at the present. Forced savings, cooperative savings, national meeting turn, garnishing wages, deferred payment, what does it matter. The central idea remains that public sector employees will take a hit and that that would be done in a graded way. No matter what you settle on calling it, the imperative remains.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ KK

    Will that hit not aggravate the problem? Surely some hits or no hit at all is less harmful and may be more curative?

    Like

  • Part of my solution would be to use the public servants salary withholdings to carve out a stake for them in the medical marijuana industry.

    Like

  • @ Khaleel Kothdiwala May 27, 2020 9:33 AM
    “A note about taxing the wealthy “excessively”:
    I’ve always bought into the idea of noblesse oblige, even if it has to be forced on them.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Isn’t that statement a contradiction of the highest order?

    ‘Noblesse oblige’ is the anthem of those altruistic members from the real aristocracy of life who subscribe to that biblical invocation of: “To whom much is given, much is expected”.

    You cannot force such a principle of ‘genuine charity’ down the financial throats people with upright moral standards.

    The problem in Bim is not one of any inappropriate tax rates or the range of taxes but in the collection of those tax debts owed to the Treasury due mainly to the incestuous interference by members of the political class from both sides of the imaginary divide.

    We are sure that large amount of VAT billed to the BWA on a VAT non-compliant invoice would go a long way in keeping on the payroll a few civil servants at the lower end of the pay scales for a longer period of time with a greater multiplier effect in the buy and sell economy.

    Liked by 2 people

  • Ha!!!

    “But there’s a simpler and much fairer way to “carry as many Barbadians as possible”. That is that those who have benefited the most over the last 6 decades from turning the island from a sugar cane plantation into a one legged tourism economy must put their hands in their pockets and put some money on the table now that the wheels have come off the donkey cart that they, and the politicians they paid for, built to serve their own interests and which has now got the entire country in a predicament.”

    Like

  • @ Khaleel Kothdiwala May 27, 2020 11:06 AM
    “The central idea remains that public sector employees will take a hit and that that would be done in a graded way. No matter what you settle on calling it, the imperative remains.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    You have now taken off your deep-red chef cap and don the ‘white’ apron of an objective cook in the BU hot kitchen.

    And by what % would this “hit” take on your payroll grading scale?

    Like

  • 1 BILLION DOLLARS written OFF for the THIEVES who stole the VAT in the last 3 or 4 decades, like if it was her and their money and another 500,000 written off for tax evading family and friends like if it was her and their money…but running off to CNN and BBC crying….failed to mention any of that to any of them though…

    and we won’t even talk about all the bad contracts over the last 40 years that RIPPED OFF both the treasury and pension fund and borrowed money….to the tune of billions of dollars NOW NEEDED…tief not, want not..

    .who else to run off crying to ABC, NBC, not many more left….Ha!!!

    “The problem in Bim is not one of any inappropriate tax rates or the range of taxes but in the collection of those tax debts owed to the Treasury due mainly to the incestuous interference by members of the political class from both sides of the imaginary divide.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ Heather

    So the managers of this Sou Sou can make better investment decisions for public servants? On what evidence have you come to this conclusion?

    Like

  • @Vincent

    We know this is not a binary problem to solve. Given your learning and experience what is anti piracy to occur if the squeeze is put on ‘rich’ people?

    Like

  • Only one thing to do – protect the workers at the bottom and everybody else take a hit according to a sliding scale, including the wealthy. Banks should refinance mortgages but we all have to give up something. This is a great opportunity to separate our wants from our needs. A small kitchen garden in pots will lower one’s grocery bill if need be. And many of us, including myself can eat less. Especially less imported junk in cans and packages. Most of us can find ways to reduce our water and electricity bills. Trim the fat! Live within one’s means. Settle into our real slot and stop trying to compete with the big guns. We are a tiny island with no real natural resources.

    That means that nobody is fighting over us. That is a good thing in my book. We could live simply and in peace if we so desired.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ David BU

    I may miss the import of your question by a wide margin. But here I go. John and OSA some time ago made the point that an entity can be asset rich but liquidity poor. I think at this point in time the GoB needs the liquidity. On the other hand, GoB has plenty of land assets that are idle. Why is it not using these lands to reduce the food import bills and solving the unemployment problem? Surely we have an oversupply of labour and are encouraging higher unemployment by layoffs and subventions to the temporarily unemployed.

    Liked by 1 person

  • in other words most of our problems are created in our own minds. Most of us can cover our needs. The problem is our wants.

    Like

  • @ VC May 27, 2020 11:17 AM

    I’ve pointed out not only why the hit is necessary but what it allows government to do in the short term to keep the country afloat.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    @ Miller May 27, 2020 11:23 AM

    For the first time probably, we agree somewhat. While persons ought to feel altruistic, the reality is that in situations such as these, government sometimes has to use its power of “sovereign authority” to “compel altruism”, which is yes deliciously paradoxical, but in our present reality the outlandish becomes the necessary.

    If I read through your lines correctly, that one VAT payment would not have the far reaching effect that you propose. However, I too would like to see it returned.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    @ Miller May 27, 2020 11:34 AM

    I’m not a financial planner and I don’t have access to the necessary data so I can’t really say the nature of the grading itself. What I think is just intuitive though is that is should be an increasing scale. Perhaps up to Z35 or maybe even 30 could be immunised (I think realistically only up to 35). And then go from there. S scales particularly 1-5 ought to feel it heavily (but that’s in my utopian world lol)
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    @ WARU May 27, 2020 11:35 AM

    Valid points, but as you mentioned all that is passed now and can’t be recouped. It’s essentially crying out about the past, which definitely ought to be done to see if there can be a way to ensure no repetition, but in times of crisis we don’t have the luxury of ruminating about things past.

    Like

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ KK at 12:03 PM

    The necessity of the hit is based on an axiom or axiomated construct that makes no contact with reality. That is the main reason I asked you to revisit the statement of your/the perceived problem. The long run is not a summation of a series of short run solutions. Your short run solution has the potential to imperil the recovery and sustainability of the Barbados economy.

    Like

  • Good job, Koochie Koo!

    Like

  • Ahahaha…. In the BLP’s most recent manifesto there is a proposal to establish “The Barbados Sovereign Wealth Fund”. In most countries the assets of these funds are made up of royalties and other earnings from the country’s natural resources but apart from “sea water and sand” Barbados’ natural resources are its people.

    A meeting turn is much too commonplace think of the forced savings from the populace (a natural resource) as a contribution to the country’s “Sovereign Wealth Fund”.

    Now all the Gov’t has to do is get competent management to manage the assets and ensure there is long term growth of this fund, is the PM/Arthur or Sinckler available?

    I hope that I have cleared up the mystery of “forced savings” and resolved the angst that many are experiencing during these times.

    Like

  • You can be forgiven for not knowing as a little Koochie Koo that those who FORGET the past are DOOMED to REPEAT IT…these have been repeating and repeating and repeating it longer than you have been alive…

    so we have to keep reminding and reminding and reminding them…because of their short memory syndrome..

    Like

  • @ Khaleel Kothdiwala May 27, 2020 12:03 PM
    “For the first time probably, we agree somewhat. While persons ought to feel altruistic, the reality is that in situations such as these, government sometimes has to use its power of “sovereign authority” to “compel altruism”, which is yes deliciously paradoxical, but in our present reality the outlandish becomes the necessary.
    If I read through your lines correctly, that one VAT payment would not have the far reaching effect that you propose. However, I too would like to see it returned.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    That’s just one of the many long outstanding VAT matter with the strong stench of evasion. Would you like to see them (those heists) return to the taxpayers’ Treasury or are the evidence surrounding them going to remain in the big red bag?

    Sorry for stepping on your little red political baby toes.

    The way to achieve your version of noblesse oblige is to ‘force’ those who owe Caesar to pay up and meet their tax obligations to Caesar.

    They are other issues which you and the miller have agreed on, even if inadvertently, but which are not relevant to this very serious blog.

    A blog which is highlighting a very serious decision to be made on whether the public sector- at its current manpower level(s)- will either swim or sink as a result of the ravaging economic effects of the current pandemic.

    PS: It’s good to see you have moved a bit further to the front of the BU classroom to allow your ‘hard’ ears to take in the lessons of life.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ Sergeant

    Have you joined up with Tron as a tag team of entertaining court jesters?
    It is not forced saving it is a reduction in the income of the public servants. It is kicking the can further down the street. This is an act,unintended,of taking expenditure out of circulation. It impacts the size of GDP. and the employed Labour Force.

    Like

  • @ Wily Coyote May 27, 2020 5:13 AM

    The native masses must finally accept that Barbados is once again bankrupt two years after the last bankruptcy. There is nothing left to “spread the wealth”.

    Since 1966 the native masses have lived at the expense of the international capital market. This has been over since 2018. No private company lends more money to a society where sleeping at work has mutated into the number one national popular sport.

    Therefore I fully support the plans of our government to cut the salaries of civil servants. This is a very patriotic act, which requires a great deal of courage in view of the financial illiteracy and lack of understanding of the masses. I would like to congratulate Mia Mottley on this matter personally.

    Once the government implements this measure, the confidence of international investors will increase considerably. Well done!

    Like

  • @VC

    Didn’t you release your inner Shakespeare by paraphrasing “A rose by any other name would smell just as sweet”? You call it a reduction in wages and I call it a contribution to the Sovereign Wealth Fund I am surprised that the deep thinkers in the BLP haven’t arrived at that conclusion yet

    Is the glass half empty or half full?

    Liked by 1 person

  • One more note for our government: Our leader Mia Mottley and her team should not constantly seek consensus with unreasonable union leaders. Unions are very selfish and not committed to the common good. They would rather destroy the whole society than accept a pay cut for their members.

    Therefore, we must curtail the power of the trade unions, for example by banning industrial action during the COVID19 crisis.

    With unemployment at around 40 percent, our government can no longer allow itself to be held hostage by ideological and selfish individuals.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ Vincent May 27, 2020 12:21 PM

    I think the necessity of some hit somewhere is indeed axiomatic and by virtue of being axiomatic is intimately related to reality. In an environment where government revenue is through the floor, the industry accounting for 40% of GDP is comatose, unemployment is through the roof, and while most will return to work, the reality is some businesses simply won’t reopen to allow those to go back to work, and the plethora of other challenges we face, it is quite clear a hit is necessary. If governments inflows are down drastically, and its outflows on health and social protection are rising dramatically, clearly a problem results. If government is facing such a problem it must cut expenditure. It cannot cut health expenditure or Welfare or NIS for example. It must cut something. And the only thing available is the wage bill. So you either layoff thousands or you cut salaries. Meeting turn or whatever you call it, is a more creative way of doing that. Rather than slashing salaries it defers payment (I think at least, the details are sketchy but come the end of June more will be known). So it’s quite clear that that is the only choice. That seeks to create BoP and thus currency stability.

    Yes it takes expenditure out of circulation at a time when theory dictates the opposite. However, this event is slightly more cataclysmic than that allows for. Government simply doesn’t have the cash. See my earlier submission on the impact on interest rates and what Keynes has to say about that. The earlier submission speaks to the short term imperative and how this strategy combined with others can work.

    Someone said earlier, I think it was Silly Woman, that people can starve in 6 weeks. We must pay attention to the long run and govern for tomorrow as Mottley told BBC yesterday. However, in times of crisis, we must be equally focussed on the short term because it is in the short term that if the whole country collapses then there will be no long term to speak about.

    Like

  • @ Miller May 27, 2020 12:32 PM

    I am becoming quite uncomfortable with agreeing with you so frequently lolol. Seriously however, I do agree that those instances need to be righted, i.e. returned to the taxpayer and maybe even a stay in St. Phillip. And in the spirit of agreement, yes that stuff ought to emerge from you all’s favourite fashion accessory. And as I always say I hope soon.

    However, I am equally aware that taking those kinds of things away from people doesn’t happen without a court fight and we all know how expeditious our courts are. As Silly Woman said, people starve in six weeks, so by all means address that and soon but right now we survive and that’s all we can do.

    Like

  • @ Vincent what the government is proposing is not a sou-sou in any form or fashion.
    I am saying that better use can be made of its initiative if government exchanges the earnings of the civil servants for investment on their behalf in the medical marijuana industry. There would be exponential earnings instead of the meagre interest earned from the bonds.
    The government already has a Cannabis Unit and it could be added to their responsibilities.

    This is not a laughing matter but I am wondering if there are last resort clauses in the Constitution regarding civil servants salaries and bond issues. We have to find other solutions for the problems of Barbados.

    Like

  • “I am saying that better use can be made of its initiative if government exchanges the earnings of the civil servants for investment on their behalf in the medical marijuana industry. There would be exponential earnings instead of the meagre interest earned from the bonds.
    The government already has a Cannabis Unit and it could be added to their responsibilities.”

    makes perfect sense to me and since they are already part of the system…should be no problem…and the CIVIL SERVANTS SHOULD DEMAND THAT. along with HUNDREDS OF ACRES OF LAND….1000 acres or more……as others have also been saying.. They can build their own wealth…

    Like

  • @ Khaleel Kothdiwala May 27, 2020 1:03 PM

    Once again a very balanced comment.

    Of course, now the union bureaucrats will again scream furiously, because they do not care about the common good, but only represent their selfish members.

    Like

  • @ Khaleel Kothdiwala May 27, 2020 1:03 PM

    “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” (this quote is attributed to Gandhi).

    You have now reached the third stage. It will only be weeks before Piece the Legend and WARU the keyboard warrior suffer a nervous breakdown. Then the common good will have won.

    Like

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ Tron

    That submission is very ungracious.

    Like

  • I’m just trying to add more oil to the already massive COVID19 fire.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ Heather May 27, 2020 1:58 PM
    “This is not a laughing matter but I am wondering if there are last resort clauses in the Constitution regarding civil servants salaries and bond issues. We have to find other solutions for the problems of Barbados…”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Your proposal is certainly the kind of ‘out-of-the-traditional box’ thinking the country needs at this time of economic crossroads.

    The Constitution, as it stands, prohibits any adjustment to the emoluments of appointed public officers to their “disadvantage”.

    What happens to salaries and allowances of those appointed officers who do not subscribe to any proposed investment opportunities in an industry which they might see as against their moral and religious principles?

    The challenge facing the government is a shortage of revenue; not investment opportunities.

    How about amending the existing draconian laws against the underground business and open the entire marijuana industry investment doors (and not only in the pseudo medical marijuana sector) to all citizens in order to put to good and profitably productive use the millions sitting around in non-interesting accounts at the commercial banks and credit unions?

    Stuffy and regularly inebriated Barbadians must change their rather brainwashed and hypocritically myopic views on cannabis sativa; a plant made by Mother Nature.

    Cannabis is not a plant created by Satan to be smoked by wild people employed in the Devil’s army of immorality.

    Its legality could plug a massive leak in the underground forex pipeline which has a large tributary to SVG.

    Like

  • Vincent,

    The economy done contract already. How can we continue to spend money we don’t have? In my opinion we all have to come down to earth and right size. I believe we can cover our basics needs. It is the luxuries that we feel entitled to that are the problem. i believe it is so for households And FOR COUNTRIES. When Little House on the Prairie stopped airing and the Bold and the Beautiful became the show to watch we imagined ourselves living like the Foresters.

    Fact – we cannot sustain that lifestyle. Opinion – to my Bajan palate, mauby tastes better than champagne. Cou cou tastes better than pizza. All these things I acquired the taste for after coming here from England. We must reclaim our Bajanness. We will be much happier if we stop fighting against our nature because we think it is inferior.

    Liked by 2 people

  • Disgusting Lies and Propaganda TV

    “I’m not a financial planner and I don’t have access to the necessary data so I can’t really say the nature of the grading itself. What I think is just intuitive though is that is should be an increasing scale. Perhaps up to Z35 or maybe even 30 could be immunised (I think realistically only up to 35). And then go from there. S scales particularly 1-5 ought to feel it heavily (but that’s in my utopian world lol)”

    @ Khaleel ironically there was grading system proposed by gov’t (as rumoured over social media)

    under $36,000.00…. exempt
    $36,000-50,000… 7%-10%
    $51,000-99,000…15%-20%
    $100,000 and above 20% to 25%.

    Salary cuts is not a politically sexy subject. Any gov’t discussing it, i automatically assume going through dire straits. I agree with “Stray Cur’s Tenantry” assertion on Brass Tacks that public workers “out to de bawla”. They went through 10 yrs of no pay raises, got a lil 5% and now looking to lose it. But there is also the real PERCEPTION that the public sector is a “bloated inefficient whale”!!!!!. Some people say “dem does go work at 9, work till 12, cock up dey foot till 3 and doan answer the phones”. Workers in the private sector, that had the unfortunate circumstance of being laid off, is going to ask the public sector “how they can defend people stanning home, doing nutting, getting full pay”!!!!!!!!!! (to paraphrase Peter on Brass Tacks).
    I frown when ANY govt bloats up the public sector to prop up their vote, with the effect of promoting its inefficiency. What i DESPISE is some people wanting to politicize this issue, not offering alternatives when the goal is to save the country. We elect a govt to steer ALL of Barbados through good and bad. I call this present circumstance an “artificial economic crisis” in that it was not caused by bad economics but a detrimental economic effect is the outcome.This crisis, and proposed solution by govt, supposed to be “SHORT-TERM” and that that is the critical phrase because the shorter this term the better the prognosis for all Barbados.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Note to everybody – a little apology is transformative. Nothing wrong with being wrong. lol Everything wrong with being wrong and strong.

    The atmosphere in here today has been largely enjoyable. Licks can be shared in an amusing but respectful Bajan way. True rum shop style. So amusing even the object of the joke has to laugh! I have been checking in all day to enjoy Bajans agreeing and disagreeing like one people, all in it together.

    Like

  • why is it then when the BLP in power they always ask others to be magnanimous when hard decisions are to be made but if the DLP was making this decision re Forced Savings AKA National Meeting Hand soon to be changed again it would have been cat piss and pepper.

    didnt the BLP polticise the purchase of the PM Mercedes Benz only for MAM to be gallivanting in it now?

    wasnt the BLP relationship with Maloney criticised only for the BLP to be deepthroating said same very Maloney now?

    when public servants salaries were cut under Sandy didnt the BLP wuk up when the unions marched?

    when the unions refused the settlement from the DLP holding out for 23% didnt the BLP get together with the unions and private sector and do the dog?

    tek wunnuh liks if that is what wunnuh call it

    Like

  • More good news, at least for me – it seems as though three of the four serious or critically ill COVID patients have recovered. I see only one person in that column on Worldometer. Deaths in the Caribbean seem to have ceased since the first wave. Maybe care has improved (Cuban expertise?) or the heat is indeed a factor. I find most respiratory complaints are worse in cold weather.

    But Ralph” Bruggadung” Johnson dead! So is Dame Patricia Symmonds. I kinda liked Bruggadung as a young person., i thought his tv ad with Alfred Pragnell was funny. I just asked some Harris paints workers this year if he was still alive. Anybody here knew him personally?

    .

    Like

  • @ Disgusting Lies and Propaganda TV May 27, 2020 5:20 PM

    A very balanced proposal! Our government is once again demonstrating great sense of judgment and realism.

    I had already propagated something similar on this platform. The IMF will also be very pleased about this, as will the international capital market.

    If 50 % of tourists should return by autumn, I will gladly retract my gloomy forecast. After all, I am only a neutral commentator and not a member of this corrosive, know-it-all opposition.

    Like

  • @Greene

    You continue to expose yourself with such nonsense and piffle as at 6.55

    Mottley when workers are being sent home in 2018: “it is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do” “we endeavour to do it in the most humane way possible”

    Stuart laying off workers in 2013: “the Oxford Dictionary says that temporary means temporary”

    Sandi: “like it or lump it”

    Dems to Maloney: take what you want as long as we get some

    This government’s relationship with Maloney: fine, you’re a big player. We can do little to change that. But you must make concessions. You can do business but you can’t have everything you want.

    That Greene is facts.

    Like

  • The blogmaster is having a tough time with the prime minister maintaining a large Cabinet and at the same time asking workers in the country to make a sacrifice. Bear in mind the middle class has already taken a haircut on bonds/debentures.

    It stinks!

    It is unreasonable.

    Liked by 2 people

  • for the last time- Aquila non capit muscas. Thank you for that Caswell.

    Like

  • @ David May 27, 2020 7:05 PM

    I assume that our ministers are also partly paid off in “patriotic” bonds. The more ministers and advisors, the more we save from a “patriotic” salary cut of 25%. If we assume that a minister earns 20000 BBD per month (of course I don’t know the exact figures as an ordinary citizen), then at 25% you save 5000 BBD. If there are about 25 ministers, make about 125000 BBD per month. With 10 ministers the saving would be only 50000 BBD per month. So the large number of ministers and advisors makes a lot of sense, especially in times of crisis.

    Besides, a mere salary cut at ministerial level would be pure populism, as it does not save enough. We must therefore involve the large masses.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @David

    Straughn, Dr Belle, and Walcott have already argued the the number of ministers, the gurus, czars and other numerous hangers on are critically necessary for this govt to deliver the kind of service to the public that they have come to expect since the Govt has come to power.

    i agree wholeheartedly. so much so that i believe they should increase the numbers and their salaries so that they could do a better job.

    let them eat cake

    Like

  • @David

    Do you want merely popular fixes or legitimate solutions that will actually save the country significant sums. Because those populist fixes will not accrue SIGNIFICANT savings. We need legitimate solutions which can accrue sufficient savings and provide exchange rate stability.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++
    @Greene
    The facts tend to have that effect in persons such as yourself.

    Like

  • Vincent Codrington

    Where ignorance is bliss,it is folly to be wise. Enough is enough.

    Like

  • Disgusting Lies and Propaganda TV

    @David BU i would EXPECT Govt would be part of this exercise because:-

    1) It would be an endorsement of their own product especially if the returns are 5%
    2) It wouldn’t be politically expedient NOT TO. cut their own wages because it would be pure unadulterated HYPOCRISY. This govt comprises economists and economic advisors so they have ready access to advice in order to manage their personal finances.

    People are asking why the Unions are relatively docile now when they asked for 23% before…People must understand the different climates the unions were operating in, which changed with a new gov’t. Before the change, the gov’t was giving the “ILLUSION” that everything was rosy, they were proposing a salary raise\restoration for MPs which was political nonsense when they sent home 3000 people from the public service a few years before. Also the gov’t was giving the rest of the social partnership the “cold shoulder”. So the gov’t actions was a signal to the unions to agitate for 23% which probably was based on not getting a pay raise for near 8 yrs. but everybody know two sides have a starting position then negotiate to a “middle ground”.

    When the gov’t changed, they went to the IMF, a different signal was sent because once unions hear IMF they know jobs cuts coming. The IMF ain’t gine allow for no bloated “public service” period so they accepted the 5% as part of a middle ground after BERT was devised and still some people were “sent home”. Also the govt wasn’t giving the social partnership the “cold shoulder”.

    Like

  • NorthernObserver

    A tough time?
    The curse of 30-0 is keeping the troops happy.
    Focus on White Oak that is where the real money and costs lie.
    The Cabinet isn’t changing, even though production from the ‘many hands’ group is nebulous. Esp given all the added ‘experts’.
    B-D same thing. The ‘hopes’ of 2018 have been dashed.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Your observation is interesting if only because the blogmaster had same last week after reading an article in the press that the forced savings (whatever it is called) was being led by Avinash, Clyde and Greenidge SUPPORTED by Straughn and Caddle.

    Liked by 1 person

  • As a “shite talking” overseas Bajan the writing was on the wall for me when the first act of the PM was the naming of her oversized cabinet despite criticizing the DLP for its number of Ministers over the years and then excusing it with trite phrase “many hands make light work”.

    The PM then then solidified my skepticism by the patronage gift of a knighthood to her father.

    I was waiting for her to justify that by saying “blood is thicker than water”.

    Like

  • @Greene

    They can argue what they want, the message rings hollow.

    Like

  • David
    May 27, 2020 11:39 PM

    It is obvious to any but a moron that the forced savings is just a salary and wages cut. It is unnecessary and silly to push any other view.

    The question should be, is it wrong? Answer is actually no. That you mention a group of senior economists are pushing this, says simply that they need to use what many around the world use, a standard tool in the economists and policy makers box, that of salary and wages cuts.

    The prior politicisation of this measure was both incorrect and deceitful. Incorrect as it is just a tool, not in of itself a policy.

    Deceitful, from the view that the inference that there was an alternative, or can be an alternative in some scenarios, is just not right. It was a flatter to deceive measure.

    What needs to be the focus is how the salary cuts are implemented and what measures can be done to ease the burden that some may feel from these cuts. Mitigating measures may include government intervention into mortgage and rental terms etc etc. That would be the mature and imaginative approach, unfortunately, many who claim to be experts think within one box, without understanding the wider implications and possible approaches. Hence their quick jump onto one idea and propagating it, without exploring alternatives.

    On the issue of productivity, that is as much about systems and work culture as any individual bias. Systems in Barbados are in desperate need of being dragged into the 21st century. Bad systems result in tiredness and dislike by both the user and the customer.

    One of the things that I would do, (free advice here, with no grandstanding or heavy title on it), is have systems specialists (and real process specialists, not those who profess to be, from certain firms ) assess all of government operations, division by division and design new systems in some cases and improvements in others.

    This will involve significant changes mainly in digital means, human resources and training.

    But it has to be done to move forward.

    Like

  • David,

    Trying to satisfy my curiosity, with respect to the blogs interesting time zone. Has me stumped. Just me being retentive here, apologies.

    Is this set up between Vancouver and Alaska?

    Like

  • @Crusoe, time zone should be UTC –4 hours

    Like

  • William Skinner

    “But our politicians know they can get away with this codswallop. Our leaders speak to many in the public who refuse to separate twaddle from red, or rubbish from yellow. And, there is never a shortage of acquiescence from individuals of letters who sing the tune of the day to secure their present and future supper or to recompense for the full diet they would have enjoyed in the past. It is a cancer in our politics that might go unnoticed in times of plenty but metastasizes in times such as what now prevails. Any notion that 25 000 lower and middle-income unemployed Barbadians are expendable in the midst of the pandemic, but the country is best able to retain its equilibrium with the current cabinet is an insult to people’s intelligence.
    Last month New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern and her government ministers agreed to a 20 per cent pay cut to show solidarity with those affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Opposition Leader Simon Bridges did likewise.
    Ardern said it was important the government’s most highly paid politicians show “leadership and solidarity” with workers on the frontline and those who had lost their livelihoods. There is sacrifice that is being made by politicians in other jurisdictions such as Bermuda to show tangible acknowledgement of the economic crisis in their respective countries.
    But in Barbados, our politicians make a case for their bloated numbers, beat their chests about their “hard work”, while their acolytes try to convince the masses that in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, that they are equally in something “together”.

    From Barbados Today Editorial 5/28/2020

    Liked by 1 person

  • “Focus on White Oak that is where the real money and costs lie.”

    The question that MUST be asked is WHY is Whitehoax still there 2 YEARS later….a 2 man company that up to early this year was NOT REGISTERED for MONEY LAUNDERING complaince in their UK domicile…a company that reportedly already got $62, 000, 000 and to date is receiving an additional $85, 000 US dollars PER MONTH from as far back as June 2018, to tell Mia and her stragglers WHAT TO DO….

    How many more years will that drain on taxpayers continue…while the island sinks daily into poverty.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Pay pitch

    Govt offering public workers bonds worth $122.5 million

    by SHAWN CUMBERBATCHshawncumberbatch@nationnews.com

    GOVERNMENT WANTS MORE than 14 000 people paid from the public purse to consider accepting a portion of the next 18 months of their pay packets in bonds worth up to $122.5 million.

    The authorities are also trying to persuade financial institutions, including credit unions, to invest in the four-year instruments which would have a five per cent annual interest rate and be “protected” from debt restructuring.

    What was first announced as “forced savings” became a “national meeting turn”, and yesterday during a meeting chaired by Minister in the Ministry of Finance Ryan Straughn, it was pitched to the credit union movement as the Barbados Optimal Savings Scheme.

    The initiative, which is still at the discussionstage, is being pushed by Government in light of what it expects to be a $500 million revenue shortfall between now and end of the current financial year on March 31, 2021.

    Based on a written proposal seen by the DAILY NATION, the Mia Amor Mottley administration wants to involve 14 437 workers employed by Central Government and state-owned enterprises.

    Exempted

    However, there was no plan to touch the salaries of 11 059 employees who earn up to $36 000 annually. This group totals 43 per cent of the 25 496 public sector workforce.

    If all of these employees were to receive their full pay in cash over the next year and a half, it would amount to $1.12 billion.

    However, in Scenario 1 of the suggestedprogramme, people paid between $36 000 and more than $100 000 would collectively take $94.2 million of their salary in the new

    bonds and $1.02 billion in cash.

    In the second scenario, cash in hand would be $997.7 million and bonds worth $122.5 million.

    In the two scenarios tabled, those earning $36 001 to $50 000, $50 001 to $100 000, and $100 001-plus, would have seven per cent or ten per cent, 12 per cent or 15 per cent, or either 15 per cent or 20 per cent of their annual earnings in bonds, respectively.

    The proposal said the money raised would create the $100 million to $110 million fiscal space Government intended to use on an expanded capital works programme.

    This would be to provide “additional jobs in areas most needed to make us fitter and stronger to fuel growth through the refurbishment of buildings, road construction, market refurbishment and a massive environmental clean-up and sanitisation programme”, the Government document said.

    Government hopes its workers will find the bond option attractive because of the following terms:

    • A four-year bond with a five

    per cent interest rate per annum. Interest payable semi-annually and principal paid four years from date of bond.

    • No withholding tax on the

    interest earned. Fully tradable.

    • As with the last restructuring

    in which savings bonds were not restructured,

    these bonds are protected from any restructuring.

    • Bonds will have an early

    redemption feature (after 24 months of date of issue) which would allow individuals who have had no success with the above options to redeem their bonds early through the Central Bank.

    Workers are being told they would not be stuck with the bonds if they needed cash because, as proposed, “workers can seamlessly convert part or all of their bond into cash each month”, and could “at the start of the process . . . indicate . . . what portion of their bond, if any, they would wish converted into cash each pay period”.

    Can benefit

    Government said financial institutions and the general public “can also benefit from the programme by purchasing bonds from

    the [Central Bank] that some workers may want to sell”.

    Yesterday, following discussions with Government, Barbados Cooperative & Credit Union League Ltd president Hally Haynes said the movement “will be in a position to articulate the details of our discussions with Minister Straughn and his team in the coming days once we have completed our in-house discussions.

    “Given the existing relationship that credit unions have with key segments of the public sector workforce . . . and the associated relationship with members represented by the [workers’ unions], the meeting discussed proposals that are of interest to the movement which will now be discussed at the level of the [League] and at the level of individual credit union boards,” Haynes said.

    Like

  • Piece the Prophet

    @the Honourable Blogmaster

    The point that you made is very important

    All around Mugabe is talking about cuts and bonds and suck sucks, sorry sou sous but she and her Regime living large and driving big rides.

    You remember this?

    Tell me, how this idea Mugabe Mottley pushing now IS ANY DIFFERENT???

    Liked by 1 person

  • Inter alia MAM and the BLP campaigned that the economy was worse than Bajans realized and they had a plan.

    The unions refused the DLP offer of a one time payment and certain concessions saying that they want 23% increase or nothing. They marched with the BLP and the private sector against the DLP and its policies

    When elected lo and behold MAM and the Bees declared the economy is worse than they thought and within a couple of months hired the two-man band White Oaks and chose to default on Bim’s debts.

    This did a number of things and begs a number of questions.

    First off, it stopped the unions in their tracks. If they entertained hope of getting any where near a 23% increase from the Bees and if promises were made, all hopes and promises were dashed. Within 5 minutes of negotiating with the Bees they settled for 5% in the face of increased taxes.

    Secondly, the redeemable date on Govt bonds was deferred.

    Thirdly, they abolished the NSRL saying the price of goods will go down- it never did. In fact goods are arguably more expensive. They abolished road taxes and implemented a tax on gasoline – a brilliant tax by the way, and increased the water bill by attaching a sewage surcharge on every household even if not connection to a sewage system.

    And the two -man band White Oaks was said to have negotiated with the IMF and got some debt knocked off if not delayed.

    The questions to be asked; what was promised to the unions that they wouldn’t accept the cash payment from the DLP and then negotiate with the Bees? What was promised to the private sector? It would appear that MAM’s intention all along was to default and hence the reason White Oaks was in place so quickly. How was White Oaks (a firm not well known in this field) hired and why?

    The BLP also complained during the election about the PM’s merc and we know that that has been sold to MAM for her personal use because she uses it daily

    They promised to examine the Dees relationship with Maloney often openly suggesting it was corrupt and will be investigated. Maloney is now deep in MAM’s bosom and Sinckler who was vilified for his alleged corrupt acts if not his incompetence chosen by MAM to be part of a COVID recovery team- his incompetence and alleged corruption forgotten.

    On the back of a bad economy the BLP then forgave certain interests on taxes for a certain period. They did not even try to collect 10cents on the dollar. Was this promised to the private sector?

    Then there was VAT. VAT is a tax paid on goods and certain services by the consumer to the retailer to pass onto Govt. It is not for the use of the retailer. It is owed to the Govt but not owned by the Govt so when Govt sought to forgive VAT it essentially intended to give taxpayers’ money to retailer for services not rendered. If they did not want the money why not return it to the taxpayers assuming they could be traced? In any case that money is not the retailers or the Govt to give away in that manner. Was this a promise made to the private sector?

    I will stop there for the moment

    Like

  • They want credit unions to invest? Oh wuhloss…. that credit union money must look sweet.

    Now the NIS was sucked dry by the last guvment, they are looking at the next treasure chest.

    No.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Then there was VAT. VAT is a tax paid on goods and certain services by the consumer to the retailer to pass onto Govt. It is not for the use of the retailer. It is owed to the Govt but not owned by the Govt so when Govt sought to forgive VAT it essentially intended to give taxpayers’ money to retailer for services not rendered. If they did not want the money why not return it to the taxpayers assuming they could be traced? In any case that money is not the retailers or the Govt to give away in that manner. Was this a promise made to the private sector?

    I will stop there for the moment

    @ Greene

    Something got me real puzzled here.

    You know the DLP would had to know that VAT arrears did outstanding? And you know DEM had ten (10) whole years to enforce the collection of them arrears, but DEM ain’t do nothing at all bout it?

    So you don’t think that when DEM din collect the VAT arrears, it is the same thing as giving taxpayers’ money to retailer for services not rendered too?

    Let me ask you another thing. What you would say if I was to tell you I think the reason why DEM ain’t collect the VAT arrears is because it was a promise DEM make to the private sector?

    And uh got one more thing to ask yuh. We done know how you feel bout the BLP writing off the arrears. But wuh it would be real interesting to know how you feel bout the DLP refusing to collect them?

    Liked by 1 person

  • I wonder if some of the commentators on BU could supply me with some of the psychedelics which they seem to regularly use so that I too could go to the delusional place where some seem to reside.

    The unions did as always and held out for a higher raise than they thought possible and negotiated down from there.

    Government implements a GSC, enabling the SSA and BWA to be partially weaned off of the Consolidated Fund and allowing Government thus some fiscal space, allowing for the purchase of garbage trucks to improve collection and important work done with respect to the various sewerage systems. Yes it is a difficult tax. I suppose persons would rather complain about sewage and garbage rather than have them fixed.

    The government took the hard decision to restructure debt. The country was being suffocated by it, and with an imminent interest payment in June 2018, the exchange rate stability was going to be affected.

    The government wants to pursue this policy called by whatever name. No one wants to do it, and that is why it isn’t done “just because”. It is the absolutely most necessary thing to do.

    But in politics one understands two things. There are some who desperately want you to fail and others who want gold, myrhh and frankincense without having to do anything. The fundamental economic problem is scarcity. There are unlimited human wants but there are only limited resources with which to satisfy those wants. That is more so when we face a crisis as we have been facing for the last two years and a fresh even worse one now.

    Give me a break people!

    Like

  • Given the desperate state of the economy and high unemployment, the savings are the least our government must do. In fact, it should be dropping about a third of all civil servants as ballast. Seen in this light, the civil servants should consider themselves lucky to be allowed to continue working at all.

    Like

  • MillerMay 27, 2020 10:16 AM

    @ Heather May 27, 2020 9:09 AM

    You will never see appended to that reborn NMT proposal any reference to the ‘real’ source of that idea far less a “thank you” to any ‘Heather Cole’.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    @ Miller, I must ‘thank’ Mr. Persaud.

    Like

  • the same question could be asked about the BLP time in power. they also had time to enforce the VAT recalcitrance unless you believe it all happened in the last 10 years. and the same goes for the other tax write offs.

    as far as i know the Dems wrote off one tax arrears and that was the Turf Club’s.

    Like

  • One has to wonder how prohibitive the administrative cost would be to pursue VAT arrears from companies over the historical period 1968-2000, from companies some of which no longer exist, are presently constituted in different forms etc. At what point must government say look we will draw a line under than and move on. Because it is not likely possible that you will get anything substantial from such an endeavour. So the costs outweigh the benefits. It makes no sense.

    Like

  • What ought to be done is a tightening of the structure at BRA to ensure the rate of arrears cannot become such as it did over that period. That is how you learn from the past. But continuing to hope for something that won’t happen is living in the past, quite distinct from learning from it.

    Like

  • Disgusting Lies and Propaganda TV

    “It is obvious to any but a moron that the forced savings is just a salary and wages cut. It is unnecessary and silly to push any other view.”
    @ Crusoe et al…. For what it is worth, with this “Force Savings Proposal” i think it would be better for GOVT to to call it a salary “deduction” than a “cut”. Both have the same immediate effect, but the idea is that it’s still the workers money but is just being diverted to “get a benefit down the road”. A cut is a permanent pay reduction with no benefit whatsoever.
    I don’t really agree with the specific terms of force savings or meeting turn being used. For one a meeting turn is voluntary and usually done by people that have enough monthly disposable income to do it.
    Also people making the argument that “the Cabinet too big, cut ministries and ministers’ pay” may sound politically sexy, but they ought to qualify it. Is the gov’t doing the work or not? Also Ms Mottley may counter with the argument “it don’t make sense having so many “idle” MPs and senators; let me spread them out to, do meaningful work for the people and get experience in governance.” Once ANY gov’t is “getting the job done” the “Cabinet too big” argument has less effect. Be that as it may since this is SUPPOSED to be a SHORT-TERM economic crisis that is causing less “work to be done”..it would be far easier to subject the MPs to the “Forced Savings” Plan. The longer this “SHORT TERM” becomes cutting ministries would have to be a real option.

    Like

  • The fact remains that most Barbadians have been living above their means for a very long time, trying to be Americans. IT IS TIME FOR US TO ADMIT THAT WE ARE BARBADIANS AND RETURN TO THE COMMON SENSE, LONG TERM VISION OF OUR GRAND PARENTS. We must protect the vulnerable and everybody else is going to have to right size. We are going to have to work harder and smarter. And businesses also have to right size their expectations with respect to profits.

    Having said that, Ryan’s Straughn’s rush to defend his and his buddies’ jobs was very distasteful and his rationale is not acceptable considering how they constantly called for a reduction in cabinet size when in opposition. Being busy does not mean being productive. One can always hold long superfluous meetings and order refreshments on the taxpayer’s dime without ever accomplishing a thing.

    We all know that Mia’s big cabinet is a political move made purely to prevent a mutiny. They cannot sell another interpretation to a single Bajan who is not wearing a red shirt. If she intends to keep her cabinet they must take a very sizeable reduction in salary, give up all perks and when she is crafting her new pension policy she HAD BETTER start with their ludicrous, disproportionate entitlements and leave out the maids who are disabled!

    Like

  • Again the country does not need vote-grabbing solutions like that, Donna. We need legitimate solution which will have real and SIGNIFICANT impact on our present problems. Discussing the Cabinet is simply a sideshow among a plethora of other, actually significant matters.

    Like

  • VAT arrears are fairly recent. VAT as a tax in Bim was started during OSA’s regime.

    the interests on income and other taxes were forgiven for the period between 1968-2000. even if certain people and companies could not be located, for those who could be, given our perilous financial position, having defaulted, 10cents on the dollar could have been asked for.

    Like

  • NorthernObserver

    @Greene
    that “March” is really stuck in the craw of some?
    WO was NOT an unknown. They may not be as well known as some competitors. You also know based on subsequent promotions and job retentions, that senior public employees were “whispering” in then Opposition’s ear.
    Hiring WO was not the issue. It was the egregious “success fees” in the contract. Success on local debt was “guaranteed”? This is the ‘smelliest’ odor thus far.
    There is a B or a D to you, but uniformly they are the ‘politicians’. They cover for each other. They talk aggressive on the election platforms, and enter complete reconciliation immediately after election day.
    You will hear every reason for ‘doing nothing’. Cahill? DI? NIS? Clearwater Bay aka 4 Seasons? Let skeletons hang, if you disturb theirs they will disturb yours.
    For budding politicians like yourself you need to appreciate the rules. In Canada we had a former AG who did not appreciate one Company was a Major party contributor. This necessitated certain privilege, without which the contributions may cease. The AG was eventually kicked out of the party. Getting elected is not cheap?

    Like

  • “So you don’t think that when DEM din collect the VAT arrears, it is the same thing as giving taxpayers’ money to retailer for services not rendered too?”

    Some nice footwork but a weak argument.

    How can you give away the same thing twice?

    Of the two give-aways which was the worse one?

    The one that left it on the books or the one that took it out of the books and remove any chance of collection?

    Like

  • Double K,

    If you haven’t yet figured this one out yet son, it means that you actually still have some books to read.

    An example must be set by our leaders that they aren’t asking others to do what they are unwilling to do themselves. That is not vote grabbing. That is called empathizing and motivating. You would be surprised at the effect that would have on the people’s psyche. And that is exactly what we need at present.

    Would you be satisfied and motivated to work harder for less food if the parents who instructed you spent all day in bed eating all their favourite expensive treats?

    Like

  • NorthernObserver

    @Donna
    Since you appreciate the potential mutiny, and, you surely remember the “leadership battle” which resulted in MAM’s victory, you also know there will be NO change. Any monetary reductions, to appease your sense of fairness, will be recompensated via a rear door. The elected 30 are not ‘ordinary’ Barbadians. Nobody appreciates “Mutiny on the Bounty(LP)” better than MAM. She will do anything to avoid it. As did Froon.

    Like

Join in the discussion, you never know how expressing your view may make a difference.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s