Adrian Loveridge Column – For the Sake of Covid 19, Waive Taxes!

Like I would imagine, along with thousands of other small businesses we have spent the last four months trying to find creative ways of meeting our financial obligations, without any source of earned income. Where possible we have deferred actual payments to essential services by using credit cards, but there eventually remains a day of reckoning

Our bank has ceased to issue and mail printed statements, while at the same time making it almost impossible without additional cost, to produce them online. From the last physical document received, it shows interest rates of 22.5 per cent annually for purchases and a staggering 25 per cent for cash advances. Under the current dire economic circumstances and considering the miserly interest paid on deposits, this appears to be an almost obscene scenario, when in many cases the banks have dramatically reduced services offered while maintaining pre-Covid-19 monthly service fees.

In some cases certain banks have also unilaterally closed branches, forcing thousands of regular customers to travel to often inconvenient locations, only to be met by staffing levels clearly unable to cope with demand.

Should we reasonably expect more?

With the majority of our banks forced into accepting substantial ‘haircuts’, perhaps the Government feels they have no moral authority to intervene?

While the financial institutes may counter by stating they have deferred loan and overdraft payments, have interest rates been reduced to allow many small enterprises to even stand a chance of survival, let alone recovery?

In our own case, we are completely up-to-date with all Government dues payable by us, but are still owed tens of thousands of Dollars in outstanding VAT refunds dating back from February 2013. To compensate for this deficit we were forced to take a short term unsecured bank loan at 12.25 per cent annual interest.  As and when and if we finally receive these monies, will the administration and its agencies add compensation to cover this added cost?

One thing for certain, is that with no immediate end in sight into anything approaching the return to normality of the restoration of airlift in terms of arrival numbers, we cannot simply rely on our overseas market to stop many small tourism players going out of business.

There still remains a substantial domestic market and while many will argue that this source is also under enormous fiscal pressure, it may currently be the only game in town. Once again, I make an passionate plea for Government to consider waiving some of the overbearing taxes levied on this industry, at least in the short term, so that when recovery is finally imaginable, we at least have sufficient players still in business.

70 comments

  • Adrian, living in a TURD WORLD COUNTRY is a bitch, suck it up and move back to one of your available first world countries. Corruption in Barbados is rappant and it trarts at the highest government levels, sets srandards with which all business operate. You seemed to florish in the semi good times, however when the going gets rough, the rough should be going. Suck up your losses and move on like many of us have had to do.

    Like

  • @Wily

    Has the government where you live issue an indefinite moratorium on paying taxes to businesses?

    Like

  • An appropriate Jamaican saying

    JAMAICANS WHO LIVE in Barbados would be familiar with the saying, “What sweeten goat mout does run im belly”.

    You would remember that when we were facing a serious inability to pay our debts, we took the decision that “sweeten goat mout”. We decided not to honour the bonds that our Government had issued to the banks that the banks had indeed been forced to support by law. The banks had used the savings of Barbadians who had trustingly invested in their banks for safekeeping. They had to replace those savings. The banks had to swallow the reversal of faith and use their investment of profits and shareholding in order to legally stay alive. But that sweetened goat mout!

    Now to the running of ‘im belly’. We desperately need the banking fraternity to get on board with our efforts to support the mostly insolvent hotel sector that has seen most of its profitable season ruined by the coronavirus and in some cases the failure of the overseas booking agents to remit payment for guests for which they had provided services.

    We now want the banks to buy into our efforts to rescue and retool the hotel sector with an ambitious $200 million package. While in the case of sweeteninggoat mout the Government held the upper hand as it was able to refuse payment for bonds already invested in by the banks,this time it has to ask the banks to invest. But as you know there is a saying, ‘Once bitten twice sh…’ Do you not think that the banks would have already seen an opportunity to lend? After all they have been in the business since before the invention of Adam. In any case the banks today have moved on and are not relyingin the same way on loans

    and investment for their profitability – just ask small depositors and small businesses that pay through their noses in sundry circumstances.

    Not only that, we are seeing people who do not understand the complexities of banking and who may be schooled in other disciplines encroaching on this specialisation. This is sad and reminds me of years ago when the Barbados National Bank was first set up. The Wild Coot remembers where bad loans were given against his advice and he was asked, “Why did you not agree to the loans in the first place so that they had to be referred to ‘higher authority’?”

    Proposed loans

    No one could understand my answer – “I had a gut feeling that the proposed loans were bad.”

    This is not the only troubling issue. You have heard me riling against the Fund Access set up. While it is a giveaway to small businesses, no problem, but as I have been saying, to continue, it is a drain on the taxpayers. My years of experience in Dominica working for USAID on a system that was proliferated throughout the Caribbean expressed the opinion that the system should only continue if continuing help was available as it necessitated continuous support. My advice was taken.

    The next worrying problem is the reluctance of small businesses to buy intosmall business loans from Government of which the head of small businessassociation Mr Willock spoke. Do you tell a man hustling to sell vegetables from a tray or lunch from the back of a van thathe has to get his TAMIS number or show that his NIS or PAYE payments are up to date for staff before

    he is eligible for a loan? If I had done that, I could not have increased my bank’s profitability.

    As long as these strictures are insisted on, there will be few approaches from the small businesses. Here again the lack of experience is showing and perhaps my recommendation to read El otro senderoby Hernando de Soto may be helpful.

    “But Wild Coot you are advocating mayhem, we are trying to bring order into doing business.” Well the belly is still running.

    It is sad about the running of the belly because there is an urgent need to support the small businesses, the small hotels and restaurants. The loss of the Barbados Development Bank that used to fill this gap is regretted. That bank had access to outside funds at concessionary rates. I signed one in Atlanta, Georgia.

    Maybe it is a good thing that we do not have a National Bank now, because there might be undue pressure on whoever is in charge for some sweetening of goat mout. But we have a Central Bank that we are asking to set charges for the commercial banks. How?

    Harry Russell is a banker.

    Source: Nation Newspaper

    Liked by 1 person

  • peterlawrencethompson

    @Adrian
    How long will it take you to recognize the obvious… tourism as you used to know it is dead. It is no more, it has has ceased to be, it is bereft of life, it is pushing up daisies, it rests in peace, it is an ex-industry.

    Instead of whining for handouts from the public purse you should be busy innovating your way into the future. I’ve already given you the road map. What more do you need?

    Like

  • @David

    “Has the government where you live issue an indefinite moratorium on paying taxes ”

    No BARBADOS HAS NOT ISSUED ANY MORATORIUM for Wily, however several other jurisdictions where Wily has residences and businesses have in fact reduced their taxes. All of these other jurisdictions do not hold back TAX repayments that are DUE.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ Wily
    Collecting taxes due is what is really called fiscal space.

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  • I copied and pasted this from a earlier post I made. Until such time as tourists have Covid test assurance that the time line of the covid tests received in their home country (in the case below Ontario Canada) , meet the Barbados time line requiremen, then tourists are going to be very reluctant to travel to Barbados. There is about a 25% chance you wont have a test result in the time line required for your arrive at BGI.

    ” I have checked out the covid19 test situation and reporting in Ontario. First, there are many sites to get a test. Many are assessment sites which means someone will make a assessment as to whether you need a test or not. So you have to be prepared to be examined and have a good reasons for requiring a test. You can also get a test by finding a walk in clinic that does travel vaccines. These are mostly by appointment. Every covid test taken in Ontario is sent to one of 6 Government approved labs. Presently the Ontario Government web site states that it will take up to 4 days (96 hours ) to get test results. Test results are published on the Government of Ontario website. From there you download the result of the test. If you get tested in perhaps the town of Parry Sound their lead time for a published result is up to 10 days.

    So what does this mean. If you need a negative test within 72 hours to get into Barbados and the test is taken within 72 hours but the results are published over 96 hours, then there is a 25% chance you will not have your test results at the time you need them to get on a flight and be able to enter Barbados. So on any given flight of 150 people about 38 people will not have test results with them, even though they took the test. Of course it could also be that a number of people did not bother to take a test at all and as well, perhaps people took a test, tested positive and decided to take the trip anyway hoping that a second test given at BGI is negative.

    Bottom line 25% chance you will need to get a test at BGI. My short research of this only dealt with the Province of Ontario.

    If anyone has any information on how to get a fairly instant covid test would love to hear from them.”

    Liked by 1 person

  • NorthernObserver

    @Traveller
    No guarantees. I was tested at Sunnybrook and got my results in <24 hrs. A family member was tested 4 days later, with a similar response time. The results are available via an online source. Hence you could arr in BGI without them, but they might be accessible by you, hours thereafter.

    Liked by 1 person

  • It doesnt matter about the testing, look at that scottish couple who had the clearances that still ended up in quarantine because the guy they were sitting near tested positive.. No sense travelling till they get this sorted out in way of vaccine.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @Adrian,

    Agreed that the local interest rates are obscene.

    Interest rates internationally are much less. And the increment us not about risk, that is laughable, as Barbados banks generally, in a normal scenario, are in a position to recoup most of the principal, because they only lend on holding a buriffle of support, they take no risk.

    David,

    While the banks may be facing issues re having prior bond write downs, we are all in the same boat.

    Are the banks to be protected while everyone else suffers?

    The banks, along with the telecom company and power company (the latter two treating minority shareholders very badly, that would have been queried in major jurisdictions) , have reaped significant profits out of Barbados since time immemorial.

    Time for all of them to chip in, for us all to survive.

    Liked by 1 person

  • One more thing. If the West does not support smaller and emerging economies through this horror, then the outcome, for economic and social reasons, will be one in which most if these countries will move into the Chinese fold.

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  • @HAL A

    “fiscal space”

    Is this similar to the dot com’s vapor-ware, logged on the books but never seen. Anyone in Barbados awaiting a VAT or INCOME TAX REFUND will be dead and long forgotten before government pays.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @Wily

    Dr Greenidge brought this fiscal space back from the IMF. Voodoo is universal. I wonder if it has ever been discussed in Cabinet?

    Liked by 2 people

  • @David/Harry Russell “Do you tell a man hustling to sell vegetables from a tray or lunch from the back of a van that he has to get his TAMIS number or show that his NIS or PAYE payments are up to date for staff before”?

    Fat chance! The cure will certainly be worst than the disease. Any small entrepreneur who is crazy enough to get a TAMIS number voluntarily will spend the rest of his useful life completing forms, keeping records, paying accountants, filing returns, and standing in lines at the BRA in order to comply with government regulations. For a small business, the additional input is not worth the investment of time and effort for the return. All of that for what? To sell a few coconuts or vegetables at the side of the road?

    Liked by 1 person

  • @FearPlay:

    The most sound & logical statement on the matter, to date!!!

    Too much red-tape and waste-of-time, simply for civil servants to have a digital database to play with……..

    If I have a Barbados I.D. Card # …. that should be enough!!! Too many dammed “numbers” to keep track….B’dos ID, NIS, TAMIS, Massy, PriceSmart, Sagicor, Landline, Cellphone, etc…. when we born, assign us a “Number”…. and that should be it!!!

    When you throw in all the various “passwords” we need to have & remember….. old seniors, like me, in “bare trouble”!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ Crusoe July 27, 2020 1:02 PM

    When the Chinese take command in the Caribbean, peace and order will finally prevail here. Very good.

    With Chinese morality, crime will drop and productivity will soar. All residents will receive their MAM app so that our government can track criminals in real time and concerned citizens can immediately contact the police if someone crosses the street at a red light.

    Like

  • It seems the Barbados ID is forgeable.

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  • This ID card is a joke.

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  • lawson says: ” No sense travelling till they get this sorted out in way of vaccine.”

    Well that is certainly what Dr. Fauci and the billionaire NON-Doctor and self appointed world Vaccinator-in-Chief Bill “Psycho” Gates wants you to believe, the only hope we have left is a vaccine. They keep browbeating us with the supposed truth that there is no treatment that works to cure Covid-19, expecting that everyone will jump to get in line for a proposed $40 US a shot of an under-tested vaccine that could perhaps alter your own DNA (depending on the type of vaccine) with no guarantees as to how how effective it will be or for long it will last before they tell us the virus has evolved and so we have to line up for another vaccine jab at whatever they can extort us into paying.

    Some doctors. Like Dr. Stella Immanuel of Houston Texas aren’t standing for it and are speaking it out – it does brings joy to my heart to see a black, African (from Nigeria) lady doctor putting a high powered boot (figuratively speaking) to the asses of Fauci, Gates and his profiteering partners in coercive vaccinology.

    twitter(DOT)com/stella_immanuel/status/1284195400547803137?lang=en

    Also check out the MATH+ protocol put out by an association of US emergency medicine and critical care specialists who have found a treatment protocol using corticosteroids as anti-inflammatories together with high dose Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) can defeat the Covid bug.

    As a working group with over 200 years of combined experience in critical care and emergency medicine, we designed the MATH+ Hospital Treatment Protocol for COVID-19 and, to date, are having remarkable success using it to treat patients in hospitals that permit its use. The treatment protocol is intended for patients who present in the emergency room or hospital with low oxygen levels and trouble breathing. We are in the process of gathering patient data to scientifically demonstrate its efficacy.

    The administration of intravenous corticosteroids and ascorbic acid, starting in the emergency room and continued every 6 hours while in the hospital, greatly reduces the mortality rate of this disease and the need for mechanical ventilation. Furthermore, because the inflammation caused by COVID-19 is causing high rates of blood clotting in multiple organs, MATH+ includes the use of blood thinners.

    covid19criticalcare(DOT)com

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  • Another video from the same press conference where Dr, Immanuel spoke (look like that one was taken down by youtube). This contains other doctors speaking out about the mishandling of the Covid-19 epidemic. Dr. Immanuel’s speech (censored by Youtube when they took down the previous video) is contained in this new video. Watch it while you can. Youtube will probably take this one down as well.
    Will look around and see if I can find these videos on any of the new sites springing up to provide and alternative to Youtube’s censorship.

    Like

  • Oh dear, Youboob has taken down the 2nd video as well. Anyhow found a video on the Brighteon site where two patriot white ladies were discussing the Washington DC press conference of America’s Frontline Doctors and showing clips from the doctors’ speeches, including the one by Dr. Stella Immanuel I referenced above.
    Dr. Immanuel’s speech starts at around the 7:36 mark. Unfortunately the video quality is a bit on the rough side, but the audio is fine.
    https://www.brighteon.com/17a574a2-c0c4-483b-be93-d4e9abd6aa4d

    You can also check out the americasfrontlinedoctors(DOT)com: On the home page there is an embedded video of the same doctors discussing the same issues as were aired in the outdoor press conference in Washington DC.

    Like

  • This piece could be a hit job on the group… so you have a choice.. the hit job or the whack job.
    https://gizmodo.com/who-are-americas-frontline-doctors-the-pro-trump-pro-1844528900

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  • Sharyl Attkisson, former CBS investigative reporter and Emmy Award winner looks at how “politics, money and medicine intersect with coronavirus”.

    Orient: I think we have to look at the money. There’s no big profits made in hydroxychloroquine. It’s very cheap, easy to manufacture, been around for 70 years. It’s generic. Remdesivir is a new drug that could be very expensive and very lucrative if it’s ever approved. So I think we really do have to consider there’s some financial interest involved here.

    Dr. Hatfill: Some of these decisions did not seem to be rational.

    And when things, in my opinion that are so clear, the right path to take aren’t taken, very often: Money is somehow involved.

    Sharyl: When it comes to money, we checked financial ties among experts on the government panel devising coronavirus treatment guidelines— which had the effect of dialing back hydroxychloroquine use and giving an edge to remdesivir.

    We found that of 11 members reporting links to a drug company, nine of them named relationships to remdesivir’s maker Gilead. Seven more, including two of the committee’s leaders, have ties to Gilead beyond the 11 months they had to disclose. Two were on Gilead’s advisory board. Others were paid consultants or received research support and honoraria. Nobody reported ties to hydroxychloroquine which is now made by numerous generic manufacturers and is so cheap, analysts say even a spike in sales would not be a financial driver for the companies..

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  • Remember the whack jobs that promised us an effective vaccine against Covid-19 within a year.

    FDA Director Peter Marks and the Ever-Shifting COVID Vaccine Narrative
    By Robert F, Kennedy, Jr., Chairman, Children’s Health Defense

    After suckering us into ruinous lockdown awaiting rescue by vaccine, the Pharma grifters are frantically dialing back the expectations they inflated. During an FDA teleconference on July 8, CBER’s Director Peter Marks said FDA is now willing to license COVID vaccines with a dismal 50%–and as low as 30%–efficacy, a humiliating retreat from the Gates/Fauci promise of a vaccine they intend to give to seven billion people in order for society to get back to “normal”. Equally deflating, NIH’s Tony Fauci conceded that vaccine immunity may only last a few months …

    https://childrenshealthdefense.org/child-health-topics/exposing-truth/fda-director-peter-marks-and-the-ever-shifting-covid-vaccine-narrative/

    Like

  • Green Monkey
    Do you think you have any credibility on the blog after promoting the quack Dr. Stella Immanuel?

    Like

  • A different pov.

    ” There’s no need to ditch the tourism industry as Barbados moves to diversify the economy, said one of the country’s leading economists on Tuesday, but he insisted the industry is in urgent need of restructuring. ”

    https://barbadostoday.bb/2020/07/29/restructure-tourism-industry-economist-urges/

    Liked by 1 person

  • Is this a serious economic proposal? No doubt we are in such a mess.

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  • Adrian Loveridge

    Hal,
    I may not agree with you on everything but certainly do on your last comment. I read it three times and thought, what is he talking about?

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  • @Adrian
    Thanks. This is what passes for serious discussion.

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  • Government will move this week to reduce travel taxes, says Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley.

    https://barbadostoday.bb/2020/07/28/government-to-reduce-travel-taxes/

    Simplistic reasoning suggest that reducing ” travel taxes ” will encourge travellers to spend more at their destination.

    Like

  • Sargeant: Green Monkey, “Do you think you have any credibility on the blog after promoting the quack Dr. Stella Immanuel?”

    Sargeant, here’s another “quack” I am now promoting as well.

    Newsweek Op-Ed, July 23rd 2020

    The Key to Defeating COVID-19 Already Exists. We Need to Start Using It

    HARVEY A. RISCH, MD, PHD , PROFESSOR OF EPIDEMIOLOGY, YALE SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH

    As professor of epidemiology at Yale School of Public Health, I have authored over 300 peer-reviewed publications and currently hold senior positions on the editorial boards of several leading journals. I am usually accustomed to advocating for positions within the mainstream of medicine, so have been flummoxed to find that, in the midst of a crisis, I am fighting for a treatment that the data fully support but which, for reasons having nothing to do with a correct understanding of the science, has been pushed to the sidelines. As a result, tens of thousands of patients with COVID-19 are dying unnecessarily. Fortunately, the situation can be reversed easily and quickly.

    I am referring, of course, to the medication hydroxychloroquine. When this inexpensive oral medication is given very early in the course of illness, before the virus has had time to multiply beyond control, it has shown to be highly effective, especially when given in combination with the antibiotics azithromycin or doxycycline and the nutritional supplement zinc.

    On May 27, I published an article in the American Journal of Epidemiology (AJE) entitled, “Early Outpatient Treatment of Symptomatic, High-Risk COVID-19 Patients that Should be Ramped-Up Immediately as Key to the Pandemic Crisis.” That article, published in the world’s leading epidemiology journal, analyzed five studies, demonstrating clear-cut and significant benefits to treated patients, plus other very large studies that showed the medication safety.
    More:
    https://www.newsweek.com/key-defeating-covid-19-already-exists-we-need-start-using-it-opinion-1519535

    Like

  • @ Hants July 29, 2020 8:32 PM

    As so often our beloved government follows the wise advice on BU. We have already alerted against this harmful tax when it was introduced in 2018.

    It is good to know that our government listens to the ordinary, common, neutral people on BU.

    Keep it up, Mia Mottley!

    Like

  • Fiscal space is merely the surplus of reserves and revenue over projected outgoings over the short and medium term.

    Nothing wrong with using the term. If it is used negatively it is merely saying that the country has liquidity issues.

    Bear in mind that this will be a changing metric, as it depends on the actual outcome of projections, which will determine if the ‘space’ or available liquidity has remained stable, increased or decreased.

    Like

  • The concept of fiscal space has no real economic meaning. It is like beauty, in the eye of the beholder. It means whatever the user wants it to mean. It is part of the Washington Consensus.

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  • Incorrect. It means what I noted above.

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  • Petra Roach reported the good news today, there has been a pleasing response to the Welcome Remote VISA initiative.

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  • Here we go again

    Fiscal space as an economic concept has no definitive meaning. It is like beauty, in the eye of the beholder. The idea came out of the Bretton Woods organisations, part of the Washington Consensus. It is an underpinning of post-Keynesian economics.
    The reason the government has not sought to explain it is because it would have exposed the weakness of their arguments. BOSS can be described as a stream in the fiscal space concept. It is bad economic policy and forms part of the snake oil salesmanship that parades as economic policy by this government. Get Dr Greenidge (or anyone he suggests) to explain how a policy such as BOSS, which expands the government’s balance sheet, can also be its economic saviour.
    Here is a challenge: get the chairman to give you space to defend the concept and I will challenge it. Or, even better, get Dr Greenidge, the man the Cabinet praises for the idea, to explain it on BU, on a Webinar or on radio and I will oppose it.
    It is waffle, bogus, magic meant to hypnotise ordinary people..

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  • What I want to know is how in hell the personnel involved in planning, supervising and running these intentionally botched hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) trials are not being charged at least with medical malpractice, if not manslaughter or murder. Check the comment of biowarfare expert Meryl Nass, MD at the bottom of the 2nd paragraph.

    Two-Tiered Medicine: Why Is Hydroxychloroquine Being Censored and Politicized?
    By the Children’s Health Defense Team

    The media’s flagrant misrepresentation of the HCQ science is bad enough, but the willingness of top-tier journals to finagle the science in an anti-HCQ direction is even more shocking. In early June, scrutiny from dozens of independent scientists forced The Lancet to retract a study it had published just 13 days previously—a “study out of thin air” that used apparently fabricated data to undermine CQ/HCQ therapy. The debacle has since become known as #LancetGate. (The same day as the Lancet retraction, the New England Journal of Medicine retracted a separate Covid-19-related study that relied on unverifiable data sourced from the same company that supplied the data for the Lancet study.) The French health minister used the Lancet study results as justification to ban HCQ’s use despite widespread public interest in and support for the drug.

    Confirming that the anti-HCQ campaign is international in scope,several large-scale, multicenter clinical trials (the WHO-led “Solidarity” trial, the UK-led “Recovery” trial and the REMAP-Covid study) that were supposed to lay questions about HCQ safety and effectiveness to rest administered non-therapeutic, toxic and potentially lethal doses of HCQ (four times higher than standard doses) to thousands of study participants. (My emphasis /GM) The trials also selected clinically inappropriate patients who either had severe late-stage illness (Solidarity and Recovery) or were near death and not even able to provide consent in some cases (REMAP). The sponsoring agencies then used the disastrously skewed results to discredit HCQ and unblushingly marshalled the bogus Lancet study (before its retraction) in support of their negative conclusions. When medical internist and biowarfare expert Meryl Nass, MD conducted a detailed analysis of the study protocols, she concluded that “WHO and other national health agencies, and charities, have designed huge clinical trials to assure that hydroxychloroquine will fail to show benefit,” and in so doing, conspired to “increase the number of deaths in these trials” and “deprive billions of people from potentially benefiting from a safe and inexpensive drug during a major pandemic.”

    https://childrenshealthdefense.org/news/two-tiered-medicine-why-is-hydroxychloroquine-being-censored-and-politicized/?itm_term=home

    Like

  • Adrian’s points and concerns are worth serious thought. The point is not only is tourism under threat but look at the impact covid has on businesses like Cave Shepherds.

    with no cheap and available soft loan fund support out there many businesses will not make it to Christmas.

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  • @John A

    Do you think Cave Shepherd principals would not have had access to soft loans?

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  • @ John A

    CoVid has simply speeded-up the decline of Cave Shepherd. It was always bad business model, more an Arab emporium than a modern department store.
    That it dominates our main thorough fare is more a reflection of bad town and country planning than anything else. Cave shepherd was always aware of the new commercial town such as Warrens and the West Coast malls, instead of improving its main store it chose to open small out of town boutique stores.
    What is now needed is close scrutiny of its finances. Here come the Trinidadians.

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  • David I think he meant really soft loans like canada you only have to pay back 75%. Does anyone know if those ghanian nurses can even look after gunshot wounds otherwise why are they here I thought covid was almost non existent.

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  • @Lawson

    A decision was made to open our borders and permit entry based on predetermined protocols. The government anticipates we will have to manage an increase in covid infections as a result, this is why the CUBAN nurses were invited. The decision to recruit Ghanaian nurses was taken if memory serves pre covid to bolster a shortage of qualified nurses in the country.

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  • NorthernObserver

    Is Fortress part of the CS reporting group? Signia and Globe which it acquired. One of the cards. The majority of its retail is extensive duty free holdings it operates through out the Caribbean as a minority partner. No tourists = No duty free.
    Is it a broadly based retail and financial operation?

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  • @Northern

    The problem our local businesses face is that they went into Covid weak after being in an economy that had 10 years of little to no growth. Financially many of the smaller companies will not have the reserves to make it to December.

    Cave Shepherds had a broad investment base in other areas, so they were able to weather the last 10 years. The problem is if you have 5 businesses holding their own and onr losing money, all it will take is Covid to force a decision on the one that is losing.

    When and in what form tourism returns is left to be seen. Lets for discussion purposes say it takes 3 years to return to the post Covid level, how many companies can weather the 36 months ahead and at what cost?

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  • @ John A July 31, 2020 12:47 PM

    Our government can hardly do anything here. We already have a very low corporate tax rate.

    Those BLM and Nelson activists who are screaming for black entrepreneurship should seriously ask themselves why the economy is almost dead and why new entrants to the market are having such a tough time. We had a global economic boom from 2010, but none of that has reached Barbados because the state and the civil servants are systematically fighting free enterprise through too much bureaucracy, corruption and excessive spending.

    I would therefore like to see more honesty here. If the BLM and Nelson activists are serious, they must finally fight the state bureaucracy. Otherwise, they too are just the usual opportunists who want a consulting job at the taxpayer’s expense.

    Our BLM and Nelson activists must finally get the message right: You can’t promote black entrepreneurs while at the same time kissing bureaucracy’s a**.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Are Barbadians happy with the management structure of Fortress? With the chairman being the father of the CEO? Look at Fortress’ investment portfolio, what does it tell you?

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  • NorthernObserver

    @HA
    Are you serious? WTF do Barbadians, as opposed to shareholders, have to be concerned about. Doesn’t the Chair, plus his two siblings, and assorted offspring own 80%+ of the outstanding shares. Why they trade publicly is a mystery.
    I thought you were going to figure out the connection between the ones who TP had the land row with in June 2020, and Fortress.

    Liked by 1 person

  • NorthernObserver

    @JohnA
    The proverbial rubber is about to hit the road for many.

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  • @Lawson July 31, 2020 8:43 AM “…I thought covid was almost non existent.”

    No. We have to look after the Covid19 patients coming in from Canada [4 last week], the United Kingdom, and the United States. We can’t let them die from neglect.

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  • https://barbadostoday.bb/2020/08/01/were-falling-behind-in-hosting-technologys-firms-expert/
    “We are in the right time zone, we’ve got the right climate, we are close in proximity to the US . . . so there are a lot of people who would be very happy to come here and to bring their business. This is something we can think about in terms of where we are going forward,” he said.

    Aren’t we going in circles? The same can be said off offshoring jobs and yet companies went to India.
    Intel was here and it ran out. Before, you run to point out the climate, sea and sand, I will tell you dozens of countries/islands can say the same.

    You just cannot run out with the same old answer for everything… And if you do find a solution, others will copy it.

    Like

  • @ Northern Observer

    Are you happy with the structure of the board at Fortress? You have not said if you do. Have a good read on corporate governance by starting with the Cadbury Report then the Hampel Report.
    There is a reason why, unlike the US the UK does not have the same person as chairman and CEO of a publicly listed company. Look at the background to these reports and tell me if the chairman and his son as CEO is fine with you.

    Like

  • NorthernObserver

    @HA
    I am not a shareholder, so I really do not care. It’s a publicly traded family business. Why?
    I know the father stepped down from the Board of BMLAS once Fortress started. Never actually looked at the Board at Fortress. Since the “family” owns most of the shares, they’ll do as they like.
    The local stock exchange has so few listings and is so expensive, how they continue is beyond me. CS should be private and GEL should be trading in a hard currency.

    Like

  • @ Northern Observer

    Forget the specificity of Fortress and your personal investments. Do you think it is good governance for a publicly listed company to have a chairman and CEO who are related? Yes or no.
    We have had this discussion on BU before and, as a result, I was accused of saying someone was not qualified for his position. I am not saying that and did not then. It is a governance issue.
    By the way, I like the idea of a publicly traded family business.

    Like

  • NorthernObserver

    It is not ideal.
    Exactly why it should go private.
    Then it would be nobody’s business?
    They have published 14 annual reports since the last from the NIS, so all isn’t wrong.

    Like

  • William Skinner

    @ John A
    Have you read or studied the profit margins of GEL , Cave Shepherd or Sagicor for the period 2008-2018 ? Do you have concrete evidence of multiple business failures during that period? Do you know that the CEO of SAGICOR earns almost 29 million BDS per year ? Do you know what directors of GEL receive per year ? Have you seen the balance sheet of Simpson Motors for the period ? Do you know anything about what Cheffete made?
    We going along with all of this nonsense about the “lost decade” and yet there is no real evidence that these high fliers in corporate Barbados suffered any great declines.
    Like Professor Howard said , we just running with crap we reading in the press without asking relevant questions. I am prepared to admit that with COVID things changed quickly and dramatically but the only people who experienced hardship in Barbados 2010 t0 2018 and since 2018 is the poor suffering black masses.

    Liked by 1 person

  • William Skinner

    @ Hal
    You are missing the real point. Here it is:
    Two generations of Caves sold us pants,shirts and shoes. The third generation selling us investments. Say what you like about business models but Cave Shepherd made millions if not billions.
    Nobody carries pretty talk to the bank !!!

    Liked by 1 person

  • Can anybody ask MIa what was her rush to get air transport into barbados from an airline that she was less than transparent to the people before she made the decision

    A read of trip advisor reviews tells a sorry tale of an airline interCARRIBBEAN who has a mirror image of LIAT

    Like

  • You are a fan of TripAdvisor now?

    Like

  • It is of my view that this gang led by PM has used the media very well to pull wool over peoples eye meanwhile using smoke and mirror tactics to shove down the people throat
    How is it once again that even when this govt is caught redhanded getting ready to implement policies that were not given due process in Parliament that govt continues on its merry way as nothing matters expect what they say or do
    Here is another case whereby transparency and accountabilty was totally avoided to make way for an airline that very few knows about its day to day involvement in aviation financially or its track record

    Like

  • NorthernObserver

    @WS
    The flip side of your point, is that many of these businesses, found new business opportunities beyond Bim’s shores. Investing elsewhere. While we cannot separate the profit margins and operating costs of the ‘Barbadian portion’ of many of the larger firms, rest assured they were not as good as you might think. And why their focus is ‘ elsewhere’.

    Like

  • @Northern,

    So, they invested elsewhere? So why can’t the average Barbadian invest overseas and also take their capital out, like these businesses that you mention, like the banks repatriating dividends etc?

    One rule for the Meades and another the Persians?

    We all lil people are supposed to keep our money on the plantation?! Disgusting.

    Like

  • Mari, that is the same TripAdvisor that you uses to buse when people use it to show criticism of Sandals?

    And a next thing. When an airline meet all the relevant requirements it is given permission is given for it to service a country. So explain to we how interCaribbean is a GOVERNMENT POLICY?

    Like

  • @ William

    I do not think I am missing the point. The Cave Shepherd retail model is flawed and has been for a long time. As to the Fortress money fund, it seems to me as if there are governance issues, which I have pointed out.
    Someone else talked about keeping money on the plantation. In the old days, particularly in the US, the company used to run the store in the town; so you got your wages in one hand and spend them in the company store.
    We still have the same approach in many ways: pension funds investing in the employer’s business; employees getting shares in the company as bonuses; etc.
    Fundamentally, the problem is one of policy failure by both DLP_ and BLP governments. I am not talking about actual policy implementation, since people will disagree on the process and the planned outcomes; what is important is starting a mature discussion and not juvenile heckling as if in a Dickensian gin parlour.
    I do not want to extend the discussion, or introduce a new argument, but for a dynamic entrepreneurial class to develop there must be innovative financial engineering, including shadow banks.
    Instead we allow foreign-owned banks to blackmail us, and the old plantocracy, including the Roebuck Street boys of old, to continue to block entrepreneurial progress.
    By the way, what has happened to the Clico-owned plantations?

    Like

  • Here they go again trying to shoot the message and the messenger in effort to defend a govt whose implementation of policies are downright frightening ..maddening and unethical
    A few days ago media reports stated that blood samples were spilled all over the streets
    The question of how this happen still remains a mistery in that what ever necessary precautions that should have been taken before the transportation of those samples obviously were not done
    Govt has now taken to itself that barbadians are fools and would accept anything hence transparency and accountability does not matter
    The safety of this aeroplane and its day to day operations are necessary and should have been told to the people with clarity and understanding
    Govt way of doing things must be scruntized especially in thoses areas where public safety and security is at risk

    Like

  • NorthernObserver

    @JW
    You will never get an argument from me that Barbadians should not be allowed to invest elsewhere.
    Wasn’t there talk about allowing them to hold foreign denominated bank accounts?
    The former GoCB has been pushing for dollarization. That would solve the issue?

    Like

  • Let’s hope that Virgin Airways do not go bust anytime soon, leaving hundreds of holidaymakers stranded on our shores, during these troubled times.

    Like

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