Barbados Economy and Covid 19 in 2021

The BU COVID 19 graphs (Thanks to Lyall Small for your sterling effort to the cause) continue to show Barbados authorities and PEOPLE doing a satisfactory job to curb the number of infections. We have to continue the trend despite the fact COVID fatigue is present. Recent ash fall from La Soufriere has has not helped.

The blogmaster takes the opportunity to caution with the opening of the country- schools and tourism industry- we need to implement conservative protocols. If there was any doubt why the country needs to find avenues to generate economic activity the Central Bank of Barbados first quarter review delivered this week by Governor Haynes is mandatory listening – see also Barbados Outlook 2021.

Attached are the usual weekly charts up to 30th April.  Barbados recorded what might be a significant spike, reported last night, that has been largely attributed to an outbreak at the Psychiatric Hospital.  The authorities have successfully managed several similar spikes this year so it is likely that we should be able manage this one.  However, they should carefully reexamine some of the details of the planned management of the disease over the next 3 weeks or so, especially as related to indoor audience sizes and traditional schools if the spike continues.  Trinidad has recorded a significant spike over the past week or so and their PM has reacted very strongly.  Jamaica has at last started to show a slight diminution of active cases.  Guyana’s cases have continued to increase – Lyall Small.

139 comments

  • Peter Lawrence Thompson’s Welcome stamp idea was put into action and may have paid dividends.

    https://barbadostoday.bb/2021/05/01/2020-was-one-of-the-best-years-for-real-estate-says-one-leading-business/

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  • I hope people take note that the cooperation tax paid nearly doubled even at the reduced rate of 5%. The lesson here for government is if you tax people at a decent rate they will pay it. Maybe they should try the same approach with land tax and get in some money instead of having massive arrears.

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  • @John A

    The Governor was quick to caution the government in his review that the way to go is not to increase taxes.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @David

    An economy in this state of recession needs the opposite to increased taxation. What government needs to do is discount its receivables like land tax arrears and get in cash. They increased land taxes I think 2 years ago based on no logic at all. What you think for example a building in town where no one goes to shop even in good times is worth today? Government needs a serious reality check in several areas.

    Look Friday I went to pay import duty at customs in the harbour. Line outside the building with one cashier working. I left there and went to pay my drivers license at Oistins. Line outside the building cross the walkway to the carpark. We got nuff post offices all over the island why the hell I can’t pay a drivers license at one of them? Then I heard a lady coming out mumbling ” after I wait so long all I get is the receipt cause they can’t give me the new plastic license cause dem ain’t got none.” I didn’t even get out the car and said to hell with that. So then I went to the governmen ezpay site and pay it there and get a receipt. Well down at the bottom dem ask me where I want to collect it from, so I tick a box near me and put in my cell number as dem is to call when it reach. When you feel I will get a call to go and collect it If they ain’t got the plastic cards? Now if that is the case dem couldn’t get a sticker to put over the old renewal date with the trident pun it so it legal? Now I got my receipt that I pay so to rass with that for here. But how if I go away I going present that to a car rental in the USA for example? We can’t get even the basics right.

    So we brek we need money but wherever you go there is nothing in place for government to collect the cash. The whole dam system is a mess. Things could be way better than they are but if you can’t even pay the money into the state due to their piss poor planning you expect different?.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @lyall
    Good work.
    I see some grey dots. Is that modeling using a simple linear regression? Scroll down to the graph
    https://stats.stackexchange.com/questions/77851/finding-optimal-cutoff-point-with-two-linear-regression-models

    flat, increase, decrease, flat may be a more accurate presentation.

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  • The BU COVID 19 graphs (Thanks to Lyall Small for your sterling effort to the cause) continue to show Barbados authorities and PEOPLE doing a (satisfactory) job
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    The word is “exceptional” under the circumstances that includes ash cleanup….

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  • A good call and one that has been made by many before.

    Symmonds wants UWI pro-MSME research to help policymakers: https://barbadostoday.bb/2021/05/01/symmonds-wants-uwi-pro-msme-research-to-help-policymakers/

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  • What does the word stimulus mean to govt consultants
    What does the word” jump starting’ in economic terms means to govt
    Asking fuh a friend

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  • NorthernObserver

    “The lesson here for government is if you tax people at a decent rate they will pay it”
    Very observant of you.
    But if you tax dem nuff, and then sumbody gives you sumting to write it off, the benefit accrues where it is wanted? No money to be had when peeple paying?

    Liked by 1 person

  • More talk, no action!!! The status quo remains…. same old, same old. If I had to vote on the performance of BRA since it was ‘formed’, I would surely vote FAIL.

    Re drivers licenses ….. no plastic card and the photo machine not working. It’s been like that for years! Renewed my vehicle insurance in Oct. 2020, finally got the sticker for 2021 in April 2021. Efficiency at work….lol.

    Government scrambling for cash but our experts/consultants only thinking about more taxes. As @John A mentioned, why not reduce taxes, allowing more money in the hands of the population? They will then spend it and government will collect the much needed cash via their indirect taxes, which is ‘compulsory’ …. can’t be with-held or hidden like income, land, and other taxes!

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  • They will spend it on imports right? We know what that will mean. There is no one size fits solution here.

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  • Lest we forget

    John A
    You are so right. You have to line up in long lines to pay government fees. You end up getting frustrated and do not pay not because of not wanting to pay. In an earlier blog it was said that government has it priorities wrong. Making payments easier should be one of them. Instead I am now seeing that the Government has set up a new body called Department of Public Affairs headed by Pat Parris as Director. We cannot have a money problem with these actions. By the way have not seen or heard about this in the mainstream press.

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  • @ Northern.

    My view is that all governments have failed miserably when it comes to taking advantage of its added value forms of taxation like Vat.

    If I import an items and government charge me an excessive duty then the item sits on my shelf agreed? But if it can be sold on at a lower cost, where after my markup government collects the valued added portion of my mark up, then we all benefit correct? Plus unlike direct taxation where only the state benefits, an increase in my ability to collect more vat means my sales have increased so I can hire more people.

    Look at most customs warrants and you will see the vat portion is more than the duty portion. So common sense would show if you allowed these to sell in a liquid economy and the business was using a 40% markup, that government would collect 40% more in vat when it sold than when it sat on the shelf.

    The problem is not the system. It is the fact that most governments do not understand the advantage of how value added works. To benefit the items and services have to sell and if you take away the people money on over taxed forms of direct taxation, you must expect vat to fall. Now you going here but if we do that reserves going fall. So wait dem ain’t fall already with no economic activity to show for it? So get up now and implement aggressive agricultural green house projects and alternative energy plans. Wunna going sit there with wunna head in the sand waiting for tourism to return and if it don’t what is plan B? This whole thing does vexify me that is the truth! In the meantime you got bajans willing to pay duties and taxes and no dam cashiers to take the money! Stupes

    I mean them got nuff big brain professors and thing in there you mean it take a shop keeper to tell dem so!

    Liked by 1 person

  • @Lest we forget

    Let me give you an example of the difference between how government think and how the private sector think.

    The management at customs in town would see a long RH line with people lining up outside in the sun to pay duty and say. ” let dem wait they ain’t got no where else to go and pay it.”

    Now I ain’t shame to say I does shop at Carlton cause I like the way I get treat in there. When you see 2 lines in there get too long in minutes you see 2 more registers open and why? Its very simple if Mr Bynoe make the people wait too long he run the risk they will shop somewhere else.

    Now watch how customs tardiness affects Bynoe. He cant get the goods clear cause he cant pay the duty, cause his broker in a line done by the port gate, so he loses the sales which he would of collected the 17.5% Vat on for Mia and paid in. Plus he ain’t get the goods clear neither so he couldn’t pay the 20% duty to Mia neither.

    That is why I say things don’t need to be as bad as they are here. We are our worst enemy
    And still operate in the dark ages. You know a few weeks ago I went to pay duty at the airport and the one cashier from customs went lunch and a whole line had to wait for her to return from lunch?

    If Mia really want to know how poor she revenue collection systems are tells she come and read this blog!

    Liked by 1 person

  • The prime minister told the country a few weeks ago fraud was discovered at the licensing authority and this has delayed a more efficient system. We wait for the changes to import the system up there.

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  • @ david

    What fraud got to do with running out of the plastic license blanks and the printer brek down?

    Liked by 1 person

  • @John A

    BRA and Licensing Authority are different departments/ministries.

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  • @David

    I understand your point, but it doesn’t change the fact that government regardless of its department, are grossly inefficient when it comes to their business practices, especially all forms if its revenue collections. Fullstop!

    If we was swimming in milk and honey like in 2007 that would be one thing, but we scrunting for revenue now as the last central bank report shows. If they can’t collect the money no problem, let us pay for our drivers licenses, land tax etc at any post office and Surepay, problem solved.

    Liked by 1 person

  • NorthernObserver

    @JohnA
    COLLECTING has been the weak link in the Barbados chain. So your argument as to at what point in the process tax is applied, while it has merit, becomes less so. And collecting is frequently the weak link for many places which employ a similar system. Hence, why governments try to extract (get paid = collect) at every opportunity. And most still come up well short.

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  • @ Northern

    My point is if you think you have problem with the people money getting “carry way” as we say then that is a simple fix. Pay you license the same place you pay your water bill and STV bill, at any post office or any Surepay. Why pray till in 2021 with so many options out there are we still practicing the archaic nonesence that we are when it comes to paying certain government bills? Wait if I could pay my water bill at surepay and the post office, what so special bout my land tax bill or drivers license that I cant pay it there too? Once it pay then let it send an electronic advise to licensing authority and let them mail the dam license to me. Lord this is 2021 not 1961!

    Liked by 1 person

  • NorthernObserver

    I was referring to VAT.
    The other issue is an entity(GOB…and the private sector isn’t much better) which is way behind in the digital world. They know this and are trying to ‘catch up’.

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  • We have to do way better if we are to stay afloat in the post covid sea of uncertainty. We must seriously restructure what we can, control both in terms of our economy and our revenue collection. Or we can bury our head in the sand and wait for the milk and honey of tourism to return, choice is ours.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @John A

    Is it the turn of Kay McConney to appear on one of these national press conferences?

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  • ” Managing Director at Preconco, Mark Maloney told residents in the area that initial construction work for the road network will commence sometime in June. Some 70 homes will be built in the new development.”

    https://barbadostoday.bb/2021/05/01/major-housing-project-for-chancery-lane/

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  • @ John A May 1, 2021 2:57 PM
    “@ david
    What fraud got to do with running out of the plastic license blanks and the printer brek down?”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    OMG!

    Like the ‘innocuous’ child you have pointed out to the ‘world’ that the Bajan emperor has no clothes on.

    Why do you “John A” have, naturally, this knack of using simple Commonsense to expose a load of bullshittery passing for the ‘proper’ management of the taxpayers’ affairs by the so-called free university-trained public sector management class?

    Now how in the world of tarnation could a suspected fraud be held responsible for the failure of the timely issuing of driver licences and registration stickers?

    It has nothing to do directly with fraud; just a mere result of piss-poor management at the top.

    In that case, those in receipt of a NIS pension ought to be similarly affected because of the failure of management to produce audited financial reports as required by Law.

    If you are to accept the PM’s explanation for the ‘gross’ inefficiency then you ought to ask whether this alleged act of fraud was part of the evidence contained in the RED bag displayed in May 2018 or is it an Act committed during the regime of the current Red administration.

    Lesson to be learned:

    “When a leader surrounds himself (herself) with “yes” men (and women), it often leads to absurd and embarrassing results. It is far better to surround oneself with honest people who are unafraid to ask questions or to point out deficiencies as they see them”.

    We know from your contributions to the Blog that you, “John A”, could never be an ass-licking” johnny like the yellow Mariposa or the red “Enuff”.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @Miller

    Thanks for the kind words. I have always called it as I see it regardless of party or person. In the end when you forgive foolishness based on political loyalty the whole country suffers both D and B.

    Also lets be honest if we don’t call it as it is who will? The chamber of commerce playing the political game too, the opposition is useless and the press ain’t worth sea crab droppings, so who will put the case for the public out there? You know the biggest thing standing in our way has always been the political football and the civil service. When you combine the 2 we have the perfect recipe for disaster. Now pre-covid we used to turn our back to all these issue and just pay lip service to them, but today in the post covid economy there is no room for the nonesence that is occurring daily on this island. Question is with elections around the corner who going bell the cat?

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  • Truth is if I was the Pm I would do what needs to be done with this mess. Yes she will probably lose 4 or 5 seats but she got too big a parliament anyhow. Point is it will put the country in a much better position for her next term when hopefully tourism will return. If there is theft get out the money collection part of the business and job it out to private entities like surepay etc. Broaden the Gov ezpay program and make it more customer friendly. You say the post office under utilised now so utilise it. Let them handle the sending out of the plastic licenses once payments are made. If they got better controls there let them handle the payments for other govemrent services like land tax etc. Utilise what you have so it is more efficient and stop wasting the tax payers time by making them spend 4 hours to pay a dam bill.

    In closing let me give you another laugh. You know for the past 2 weeks everybody could park for free in the government car park by the wharf because the people that take the money say it is too much dust so they ain’t working? Yep thats right thousands in revenue lost because nobody wasn’t there to take the money. Anyhow I was still grateful cause I get a free park Thursday gone!

    If it wasn’t so sad it would be funny. Anyhow I rest my case cause it will only vexify me this blessed Saturday evening.

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  • Johhny A

    Are you crazy people worried about their health because of tge ash and you talking about govt lost revenue
    You are one real blood sucking negro
    Hope u arent an employer
    Cause truth be told they would be treated worst than slaves
    Man have a friggin heart

    Cxxxxxx

    Johnny A
    In his own blood sucking words

    In closing let me give you another laugh. You know for the past 2 weeks everybody could park for free in the government car park by the wharf because the people that take the money say it is too much dust so they ain’t working? Yep thats right thousands in revenue lost because nobody wasn’t there to take the money. Anyhow I was still grateful cause I get a free park Thursday gone!

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  • Too late for All the long talk about collection of taxes due
    The economy is in present danger of collapse
    Needs a blood transfusion right now
    The collection of taxes now is a pipe dream as businesses have been affected by COVID and govt is in no fighting spirit to confront these people on any grounds
    Legal or otherwise
    As the gov.of the CB said govt must create a path to tackle the unemployment situation and breathe economic stimulation into the economy

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  • Mia needs to address the nation on this dread situation

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  • @ angela Cox

    Its a pity you can’t think little more and take off your petty party blinkers now and again. The solution would of been to get the the 2 booths screened for the dust as was done at massy sunset crest and many other places. It would only of cost a few dollars to do that. Also all that needed to be done is use the sea water as was done down the west coast and wash down the area.
    Instead of your usual party BS you must really try to broaden you thinking little bit. Start small by wearing a red shirt with a yellow skirt! Lol

    Just so you know the smaller privately run carpark less than 70 yds away was open for the entire period the govement one was closed. Then again the dust particles up there must be was smaller. Lol

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  • NorthernObserver

    @ac
    what are your suggestions for tackling unemployment and breathing economic stimulation?

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  • First I am not a paid million dollar consultant
    However money placed in people’s hand would stimulate the economy in more was than one and I am not speaking only about lowering of taxes which in itself would benefit mostly businesses while the spending power of people remain stagnant
    If money is the blood line of the economy then govt needs to direct its attention on the spending power of the people and not in the crumbs falling off the table policy better known as trickle down economics

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  • David
    I will reserve my comments until the national digital ID is launched. As I believe the digital ID and nrw national payment system will see these delays eliminated. Just like the police certificate of character. Hold tight!

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  • John AMay 1, 2021 7:30 PM

    @ angela Cox

    Its a pity you can’t think little more and take off your petty party blinkers now and again. The solution would of been to get the the 2 booths screened for the dust as was done at massy sunset crest and many other places. It would only of cost a few dollars to do that. Also all that needed to be done is use the sea water as was done down the west coast and wash down the area.
    Instead of your usual party BS you must really try to broaden you thinking little bit. Start small by wearing a red shirt with a yellow skirt! Lol

    Easier said than done
    BTW how do u know that govt didn’t tried just way u suggest
    But came up empty handed
    The fact of the matter that Barbados was unprepared for the ash fall and attempts by govt to those companies who were equipped to handle the ash could have been met by response that included time factors in availability
    along with having not enough man power to handle the work requested at short notice

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  • Cuhdear Bajan

    @John A May 1, 2021 7:02 PM “In closing let me give you another laugh. You know for the past 2 weeks everybody could park for free in the government car park by the wharf because the people that take the money say it is too much dust so they ain’t working? Yep thats right thousands in revenue lost because nobody wasn’t there to take the money. Anyhow I was still grateful cause I get a free park Thursday gone!

    Ya lie!

    I know how much brooms, mops and free plastic buckets cost because I acquired some of those items after the dust. $50 BDS would have bought the items, and half an hour or so would have been needed to clean the little cubicle, and you are telling me that thousands of dollars weren’t collected because nobody was willing or able to quickly swing broom and a mop?

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  • A couple of people have told me that they tried to register in BRA’s EZPay and that it is a nightmare involving providing the information online, printing a paper form [how many ordinary and elderly tax payers have printers at home?] so that means leaving home to catch one or two buses to go to a print shop, then maybe another bus to go to your bank for a signature, then maybe another bus to drop off the paper form at BRA. Now you can go home and wait for BRA’s approval.

    Somebody tell me it ain’t so. I have some property and income tax to pay and it want to pay those taxes now without having to leave home.

    John A is right. Government makes it too hard for people to pay taxes and fees even for those of us who are WILLING and able to pay. It is as though the government is too proud to take money from old people and poor people.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @John A

    Fraud shows in different ways, stolen vehicles being registered by rogue licensing officials as one example or external players exploiting holes in the system.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @enuff

    Looking forward to the rollout, long overdue by government. The previous government messed it up. A reminder a technology solution requires relevant policy and procedural changes to add value.

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  • NorthernObserver

    @ac
    “money placed in people’s hand would stimulate the economy”
    Sounds good.
    Should the GoB cut cheques for say $1000/month to every Barbadian (legal resident?) over 18?
    Or should they delve further, and only send the money to those persons who filed income tax returns in 2020? The ones they know how to get in touch with and are likely to file in 2022 when these taxable funds need to be part of a return.
    So every thousand people costs $1M If you cut it to $500/month then 2000 recipients would cost $1M.
    And how many months should this continue for?

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  • N0
    The govt consultants are the ones to give what you said much thought
    Right now the economy is in a super recession holding pattern and will continue to get worse
    Super inflation is right behind as businesses would try to find a financial way to keep head above ground and resist the urge of sending home people with an outcome of raising prices
    The economic picture is past gloomy and heading for a total collapse if nothing is done

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  • JOBLESS BLOW
    Recession hits Govt income tax revenue and NIS
    By Shawn Cumberbatch shawncumberbatch@nationnews.com
    Barbados’ recession has thousands of people still on the breadline.
    The negative ripple effect is evident in Government’s reduced tax revenue and continued demands on the National Insurance Scheme (NIS).
    Higher joblessness was singled out as one of the reasons why the Treasury received less personal income taxes (PIT) by the end of the financial year on March 31.
    Government earned $146.3 million less in PIT last financial year compared with 2019/2020, and $28.3 million less in this year’s first quarter than in 2020’s.
    Information from the Central Bank’s first-quarter economic report revealed that some Barbadians filing unemployment claims at NIS “were ineligible for unemployment payments, as they had not made enough contributions since exhausting their benefits in the previous year”.
    It added that the unemployment statistics also suggested that more people were working part-time and that “as the number of unemployed people increased in 2020, the economic conditions led to a lengthening of the time that the unemployed were in search of work”.
    The unemployment situation was highlighted when Central Bank Governor Cleviston Haynes gave the institution’s first-quarter economic review on Thursday and illustrated in recently published information by the NIS and the Barbados Statistical Service (BSS), which is responsible for gathering labour force data.
    An estimated 18 500 Barbadians were unemployed at the end of December, which meant the unemployment rate then was 13.6 per cent.
    The BSS is scheduled to release the first-quarter Continuous Household Labour
    Force Survey on May 14, but based on the most recent one for the fourth quarter of 2020, most of the unemployed – 12 500 – were aged 20 to 44 years old. In February, the NIS received 11 802 unemployment claims compared with 459 last year. This happened after the country went into lockdown from February 3. By March these claims were below 5 000.
    Most of the unemployment claims in the first quarter were from businesses and other services (37.3 per cent), followed by tourism (24.8 per cent), wholesale and retail (19.6 per cent), manufacturing (9.3 per cent), construction (6.1 per cent), transportation, storage and communications (1.6 per cent), electricity, gas and water (0.8 per cent), and agriculture (0.5 per cent).
    Haynes noted that “unemployment remained elevated during the first quarter”.
    “Spiralling unemployment claims evidenced a soft labour market in 2020, but conditions improved during the last quarter with the re-engagement of persons in the hospitality sector,” he said.
    “Government’s Barbados Employment and Sustainable Transformation programme, introduced to encourage the re-engagement of tourism workers and facilitate plant renovation and sustainable development, has led to the re-engagement of over 2 100 persons.”
    Pressure on social safety net
    The Governor said increased unemployment “reduced employment incomes and placed pressure on the social safety net”. He noted that while last year payouts on unemployment claims rose sharply, “the situation began to ease” during the last quarter of 2020.
    “With the renewed dampening of economic activity, there were over 6 000 more unemployment claims than for the first quarter of 2020, principally from business and other services, tourism and the wholesale and retail sectors,” he noted.
    The BSS said in its most recent labour force survey report that at the end of December the unemployment rate for females was 14 per cent and 13.2 per cent for males. At that time, 117 600 people were working.
    There were 81 500 individuals deemed inactive, which meant that the total labour force was an estimated 136 100 people (60 800 men and 56 800 women).
    Of those not in the labour force, the BSS said 43 600 were retired, 16 100 at school, 12 300 kept house, 5 500 were incapacitated, while 1 100 were voluntarily idle.
    The state entity also reported that most of the workforce, 19 700 people, was employed by the wholesale and retail trade followed by construction, mining and quarrying (12 500), accommodation and food services (10 600), public administration and defence (10 300), and administrative and support service (8 800).
    Construction, mining and quarrying employed the most men (11 200), while the wholesale and retail trade was the biggest employer of women (9 700).
    The BSS explained that the labour force “is defined as all persons, age 15 years and over, who live in the island and were engaged in (or willing and able to be engaged in) the production of economic goods and services”.
    To be considered unemployed, “an individual must not have worked at all during the reference period, but must have taken some steps during the preceding three-month period to find a job”.

    The graphic presented by the Central Bank on the unemployment numbers
    last week. (GP)

    Source: Nation

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  • Howard warns of harder times
    . . . But Stephen says it’s too early for that
    By Colville Mounsey colvillemounsey@nationnews.com
    Barbadians are being warned that over the next several months they will need to make some serious cutbacks as the country goes deeper into recession for the fourth straight quarter.
    This caution came from Professor Emeritus in the Department of Economics at The University of the West Indies, Michael Howard, in the wake of last Thursday’s report on the economy by Governor of the Central Bank, Cleviston Haynes, who disclosed that from January to March there was a 20 per cent decline in economic activity.
    However, former banking and finance lecturer at the same tertiary institution, Jeremy Stephen, believes it is too soon to issue such warnings as it could lead to further job losses. Instead, he said that Government’s plans to woo vaccinated tourists to the island must be first given an opportunity to see if it pays dividends.
    In an interview with the Sunday Sun, Howard said in the absence of real growth prospects, given that the breadand- butter tourism sector was not likely to see a resurgence until possibly next year, Barbadian consumers must now get used to the concept of making their dollar stretch.
    Be extremely cautious
    “People are going to have to learn to bear a little longer with the harsh conditions. We have to now be extremely cautious in the way we spend money. The consumer must now be prepared to plan the household with the little money that it has in order not to run into trouble. At the moment, Government has been doing everything it can to keep persons safe and afloat at the same time. They have been locking down, giving people money and I think they are going to have to continue in the same manner, giving social handouts to businesses and families, but this poses a problem for expenditure,” Howard said.
    The economist explained that with the disclosure that tourism had plunged by 96 per cent and even with a silver lining in terms of future outlook due to pent-up demand for travel, Barbadians needed to find creative means of surviving in the short term, as Government simply could not carry the burden alone much longer.
    “In terms of looking towards manufacturing and agriculture, those things cannot be simply reformed in a short space of time. I think that any suggestion of structural changes is going to be something that takes time, but in the meantime, we still have to concentrate on the short term in terms of protecting the vulnerable groups and try to ride out this thing. There isn’t much opportunity for a diverse set of policies at this stage,” he said.
    Stephen, on the other hand, said such a move on a large scale would likely shock the system and force the Government to do even more than what conditions permit. He argued that with the private sector holding strain through a series of prolonged lockdowns, public spend would be urgently needed to keep the economy afloat.
    Taking on more debt
    “Should Government continue to pursue a programme of propping up the economy, it ends up in a situation similar to what the Democratic Labour Party ended up with in the last three to four years of their rule. In other words, they would be taking on more debt because in addition to borrowing from the IMF [International Monetary Fund] they would have to source funds elsewhere. This would only serve to drive up public debt and then you are also pulling from the [foreign] reserves,” said Stephen.
    He added: “We have to wait and see if this vaccine passport-type arrangement actually has legs. This is a dead period now, and telling people to tighten their belt may be smart personal financial advice, but from a macroeconomic level what you do need at this point is for Barbadians to spend in order for people to have jobs because there are no tourists at this point to buffer that until possibly year-end.”
    In full agreement
    Delving deeper into his analysis of the Central Bank’s grim report, Howard said he was in full agreement with Haynes’ warning that the country could not afford further shutdowns. However, he questioned the 13.6 per cent jobless numbers, calling on the Central Bank Governor to provide the public with the methodology by which that figure was derived.
    “There is a situation where the economy is heading into an even deeper recession given the lockdowns and it is reasonable to expect that with uncertainty the economy cannot grow very much this year. I think that the unemployment rate might be a bit higher, and I would very much like to know the formula by which that rate was calculated. I also agree that Government should not levy any heavy taxes at this time, but there is a serious need to control the expenditure and target it only to the sectors that need it the most,” he said.

    Source: Nation

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  • Social Living Dub

    Q: How do you bring an economy down gracefully + how do you build it up fairly and equally again
    A: Socialism, Do you know that Social Living is the best.

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  • The economic problem is one which govt have to find quick resolution
    Barbadian household income has reached rock bottom
    Barbadianhouseholds can no longer asked to hold strain or tighten a broken belt
    Saving the economy should have been a thought out process by govt and govt consultants earlier rather than now
    It is crystal clear that govt faith of the expectations on the dependency of the tourist dollar would have been in their mind an easier remedy to keep the economy afloat hence the borders remained opened
    Now three months later the public is being told the news of 96 percent fall off in tourist arrival
    Govt already new of this grim drop hence govt could have derived policies from within to make use of stimulating the economy
    Getting the economy off the ground at this point is not going to be easy because cost wise it would be more expensive than if had done earlier
    Govt tighted fisted policy towards the blood line of the economy placed the country into a deeper hole
    Someone needs to asked govt how has the 300million to the tourism industry helped the economy and saved jobless
    As I write the jobless rate keeps climbing
    Govt can talk all they want placing blame on COVID
    However the big international countries with lockdowns and COVID numbers way larger than Barbados relied on conventional methods to keep unemployment down and drive their economies with policies founded on jumpstarting the economy
    Where there is no vision the people perish

    Like

  • Like

  • (Quote):
    Delving deeper into his analysis of the Central Bank’s grim report, Howard said he was in full agreement with Haynes’ warning that the country could not afford further shutdowns. However, he questioned the 13.6 per cent jobless numbers, calling on the Central Bank Governor to provide the public with the methodology by which that figure was derived. (Unquote).
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    How come the Guv can find an unemployment figure to fudge for this qtr’s report but could not find one for the previous one?

    How can people know if the current “13.6%” fudge is an improvement over the previous quarter given that so many of the previously unemployed are no longer in receipt of unemployment benefits from the NIS and have been ‘forced’ to join the army of the “Voluntary Idle”?

    Like

  • Why do so many people on BU expect more from this government. For the record, Barbados is a quasi apartheid state. The BDLP have never been committed to developing a country that elevates her majority black population to become self-sufficient and socially intellectually progressive.

    How can we discuss expanding our economy when the country’s infrastructure is derelict. Our sewage system is virtually defunct. I would be surprised if more then one percent of Barbadian homes contain a bio-digestive sewage system. The remaining 99% dump their raw sewage directly into the ground as they have been since Barbados became a British colony.

    The QEH’s physical condition is damning. It is a national disgrace. We can lump in our infamous national sport’s stadium. Along with our transport system. Need we be reminded that the era of the water standpipe has returned.

    What can we draw from this? Our leaders want their black population to live on their knees rather then stand on their feet. We also need to recognise that our leaders are incompetent.

    Do not expect a turn around in your economy. By the way has Barbados ever had an authentic “economy”?

    For those of you with the energy and that includes you Cudhear Bajan; it may be beneficial for all of you to abandon Barbados.

    PS. One Bajan who has done this, is Kemar Roach – the cricketer. He has just returned his best bowling figures of 8-40 whilst playing for Surrey. county cricket club.

    Like

  • @ David

    I’m seeking some clarity on certain aspects of this ‘discussion’ about government’s inefficient revenue collection systems and long queues to pay driver’s license fees, duties, etc.

    ‘Are you trying to tell me it has to take a’ Prime Minister, whether it’s Mia Mottley or Verla DePeiza, to address the issue of long queues and one cashier serving customers renewing their driver’s licenses ………

    …………. when there are employees within the BRA who hold either supervisory or management positions and roster cashiers……. that, based on their daily experiences, are fully aware of the situation and could make the necessary decisions to rectify it?

    Like

  • @Miller

    You of all people know there is a definition that informs the unemployment number and it is an indicator to be used in context.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @Artax

    The issue at BRA and Barbados Licensing Authority is structural. There are the usual management issues but it is a bigger problem. The system and procedures is horse and buggy stuff which has been and is being exploited by all and sundry.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Barbadians have lived with a false sense of security and the notion that a resilence of the people would help to weather the storms
    Maybe so however Barbados has reached a cross road where there are two forces standing in its way
    One called the Economy
    The other called Heatlh both are of real importance to the security of nation and .testing the resilence of the people and country long term survival
    Now both of these forces are testing govt internal and external fortitude
    So far govt has failed to find a balance for both
    Hence COVID still remain a champion on calling health matters as well as economic matters
    While the economy stutters and flounders with no end In sight
    In the earlier days of Covid I remember proposing govt putting a focus on redevelopment plan for Bridgetown one which would have boost outside as well as local confidence in Barbados economy exhibiting that govt is serious about creating a growth avenue
    Investors local or international always look at the starting point and how the wheel is being driven

    Like

  • I have posted on two occasions the Estonia government website where everything is carried out online. From voting, to renewing a driver’s license and everything else in between.

    Would it not be cheaper and more productive for our government to pay the government of Estonia for their I.T. template. We would have a proven system that works rather then implement a Barbados government I.T. system which is likely to fail. History should inform us that our government is incapable of running anything.

    Let’s learn to walk first before we start running.

    Like

  • Don’t expect the lines to get any shorter as govt revenue falls and govt having to find a way to save money
    Hence look forward to a shorter work week for these govt business to operate at full capacity
    The govt has used a tight fisted policies defined and designed by the IMF to which govt agreed
    Now that the revenue continues to fall the fall out would mean more strignet and stingy policies by govt to save money .
    Govt financial policy ot being tight fisted has collided with COVID tighted fisted economic malaise on the country
    Can’t blame workers for long lines workers have to do the job with the manpower given to them
    Less all forgets govt retrenchment workers across the board to save money
    Now the back lash of long lines and inefficiency raises its ugly head
    Go figure
    How about those millions spent on buses which are running on empty capacity
    Think about those things while we speak of saving money

    Like

  • @ Miller,
    I know that you enjoy some of my links. Here is one that sums up Mia’s predicament with the precarious state of the Barbados “economy”

    Substitute Mia for the legendary Michael Caine.in this British crime caper.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=HZCaSyid4m0l

    Like

  • The new Corona protocol for vaccinated people is a bad joke. With this totally nonsensical, insane discrimination against vaccinated people, the tourism sector goes down the drain.

    Our Supreme Leader should imprison and convict the medical professionals who recommended this idiotic protocol. I’m guessing the usual black racists who don’t want whites (tourists) are behind this.

    As long as Barbados continues to discriminate against vaccinated persons, the international travel warnings for Barbados must remain in effect.

    Like

  • “Would it not be cheaper and more productive for our government to pay the government of Estonia for their I.T. template. We would have a proven system that works rather then implement a Barbados government I.T. system which is likely to fail. History should inform us that our government is incapable of running anything.

    Let’s learn to walk first before we start running.”

    I happen to share some of the views of the above writer, but the prescription above is more like using a wheelchair than walking.

    We have seen that when it came to the port, our IT experts experienced a great deal of difficulty when installing the new system. However, I still support developing homegrown IT systems. We cannot just get solutions from elsewhere and find ourselves unable to fix or make patches to the system when there is a problem. Perhaps the failure may be in who gets the contracts, not the brightest and the best but an old crony.
    —-xxx————
    A ‘friend’ once said that the problem of Barbados is not corruption but incompetence. It was good analysis but it offers up the simple solution “hire competent people and the problem is solved”.

    If you keep the people who hire cronies and favorites in place then the hiring of competent people will not occur. Sometime one would think that we are fighting Medusa; ignore the thousand heads and focus on the root causes”
    Lack of effective integrity legislation
    No sunshine laws (transparency)
    An unequal justice system
    Favoritism/cronyism/who you know
    .
    .
    Root these things out and systems will start to work.

    And for some problems we can find temporary and workable fixes..
    https://barbadostoday.bb/2021/04/30/bwa-introduces-24-hour-tanker-service/

    Like

  • “In the earlier days of Covid I remember proposing govt putting a focus on redevelopment plan for Bridgetown one which would have boost outside as well as local confidence in Barbados economy exhibiting that govt is serious about creating a growth avenue.”

    “In the earlier days of COVID” Barbados was on lock-down and curfews, which held up ‘government’s’ overall redevelopment plans for Bridgetown, the completion of the new Fairchild Street Market; construction of the proposed ‘Freedom Park’ on the site where the old National insurance Building, Fire Service Headquarters and Golden Square Market were once located……. and refurbishment of old government owned buildings, for almost ONE YEAR.

    The construction of government’s new housing and private sector building projects were also affected.

    Taking these facts into consideration, please explain to BU how your “proposing govt putting a focus on redevelopment plan for Bridgetown” would have been feasible at the time?

    Like

  • angela cox May 2, 2021 8:11 AM #: “Less all forgets govt retrenchment workers across the board to save money. Now the back lash of long lines and inefficiency raises its ugly head.”

    The “long lines” were NOT a RECENT development, but EXISTED during the tenure of the former DLP administration.

    Therefore, if we were to follow your argument, then, the “tight fisted policies” of the DEMS during 2013 and 2014, which saw the “retrenchment of workers across the board to save money,” ALSO created a “back lash of long lines and inefficiency raised its ugly head.”

    As such, BOTH the BLP and DLP have to be BLAMED for those inefficiencies.

    “Think about those things” before posting shiite.

    Like

  • If Barbados harasses vaccinated people on entry, I would not be surprised if US, EU, UK and Canada soon require native Barbadian men to present an HIV test and a criminal record. After all, the risk of HIV and criminal behaviour is incomparably higher in the Caribbean than in the North.

    Like

  • I stated that Barbados should learn to walk first before it starts to run; and was shocked that my view was countered by someone who stated that Barbados should learn to use a wheelchair before learning to walk. This statement cannot be refuted! LOL. Even the good doctor would struggle to come up with such a reply.

    Like

  • Think of Barbados split in two pieces one piece Economy and the other Health
    Govt now having to find the glue to close these two gaps together
    Also think of the importance of timing and why it is necessary for govt to act sooner rather than later

    Like

  • In the earlier days of COVID
    govt boasted about small numbers
    There is absolutely no excuse why govt could not have pursued a plan of revitalizing Bridgetown a safe and confidence building step in the right direction
    A direction which send signs and positive messages to the local and foreign investors
    Also a foundation upon which jobs can be built
    The only shite being emitted is the call for the people to tighten belt and stay on a course of a deadly economic path well defined by govt stringent policies and a sure way path of increasing crime rate and suicides
    Go figure
    The givt gambled and lost
    Hint take a good look at international countries with more COVID related problems than Barbados and their quick action to steer an path towards the country and peoples economical survival
    Although Govt might not have the financial power
    A policy of stepping out of the familiar box and turning head into a direction where other countries are seeing success is better than staying into a mindset of stubborn and tight fisted policies while the country foundation falls to the ground
    Govt has been slow to move country forward only seeing policies from a political advantage
    Buying buses
    And garbage trucks with more on the way
    Oh forget tearing down buildings while replacing with empty spaces

    Like

  • listen to this logic
    But garbage trucks to.pick up tons of garbage
    Meanwhile the landfills cells are filled to capacity
    To govt and yardfowls such a reasoning makes sense so buy garbage trucks
    Never mind that if the problem of the landfill is not corrected all the garbage trucks bought would become meaningless or of little use since there would be no place to dump the tons of garbage
    Which throws my mind back to a recent scenario where a video was being circulated showing govt sanitation workers dumping bulk garbage in an area off limits to garbage disposal
    When the workers were question about the illegal dumping they said the permission to do so was given by a govt official
    But why is a question which needs to be asked
    Govt promised transparency but has yet to deliver
    A jogging of my mind on that story reminded me that land fills are over the capacity
    Hence solution for remedies are necessary
    Red flag moment if u please

    Like

  • @ Cuhdear Bajan

    Yes the registration on gov ezpay is not the most user friendly I will admit. For older persons it would be very frustrating but it is a foreign template that was adapted for us here on the island. What I am saying is with all our trained software people here a much simpler form could be used where it does not have a list of every country in the world that one must then scroll through etc.. Also they need to interface their systems better as well. For example when you renew a drivers license it gives you a receipt for the money but it doesn’t say the period of years you have paid for or when it will expire. Again that is because it is a generic system and not one tailor made for us.

    Having said that it’s a good first start just needs simplifying for us here thats all.

    Like

  • @David

    Yes I am glad to see what professor Howard has stated as many of us here have been warning of this for a while.

    Like

  • Ask Mia

    After ten years of being in the wilderness the govt dream of managing the Barbados economy became a reality with a first of ever victory of defeating the Dlp.by a whopping 30-0 victory
    More than less the people having a loud voice of asking for better
    Lo and behold Barbadians now have to awaken to a reality of no jobs
    Plunging household incomes
    Heavy taxation
    Fees upon fees
    No water
    Increasing crime
    An a health crisis with no end in sight
    Some economist are suggesting that plans for more belt tightening would come
    But what more does the bajan household have to tighten?
    Xxxxccc
    During the early periods of COVID
    suggestions made to govt were ignored
    Govt remained callous and toothless without having answers
    Now the arrogance of the blp supporters makes cause for a vicious and unwarranted reason / position to attack those who speak against govt policies
    Go figure

    Like

  • Further contraction as the professor states means that government must do everything to make it easier for us to pay them what is owed. In a case of declining incomes you don’t think common sense would dictate one must get in all you can?

    I will also like to refer to BU Hansard where I said that the first quarter was going to show us the real financial mess we are in. Well with the loss of business in April due to ash and covid restrictions, the second quarter ain’t start so good neither. We need to understand the seriousness of where we are and read the professor’s article a few times to understand what lays ahead.

    Like

  • @John A

    Until a technology (holistic) solution is implemented we should have seen a workaround by now.

    Like

  • We need to do our own due diligence holding govt feet to the fire seeking transparency and accountability
    Not awaiting for a three month period to let govt officials.to give their version of transparency wrapped into a drawf mjndset of accountability
    When last has any one heard AG speak on the matter of crime and violence
    More than that he seems to have become an expert advisor on COVID practices and lockdown
    Last night the increasing noise if gun fire and shootings made its way across Radio news paper and Television
    The increase of crime sends a stern warning to govt as to what to expect if joblessness continues to escalate
    Be warned

    Like

  • “Don’t expect the lines to get any shorter as govt revenue falls and govt having to find a way to save money. Hence look forward to a shorter work week for these govt business to operate at full capacity.”

    This is a gem! Revenue down, so leh we reduce our opportunities to collect revenue whilst paying the same salaries.The 🐈 got 🐶. 🤣🤣

    Like

  • William Skinner

    @ all
    Still trying to understand what was the big surprise of the Governor of the Central Bank review/ statement.
    We must all agree that the government cannot be blamed for COVID and the volcanic dust. Quite frankly it has handled both quite admirably.
    However, the question is whether it has clearly demonstrated how it plans to proceed with social and economic policy, in what is now accepted as the “ new norm “
    The highly regarded economists , Stevens and Howard, seem to differ substantially on this question ( Today’s Sunday Sun)
    The current state of affairs is in concord with a woman , who was told to leeave her man/ husband because of “ blows”. The new man also beats her but she is not supposed to complain because he keeps telling her , that she doesn’t get as many blows as she used to get with the previous man.
    We have reached a very sad state, when we are now finding excuses for abuse . Chances are that the woman will eventually succumb to the continuous beatings inflicted by these men.
    De blows gine kill she …………..

    Like

  • Rodney labour day message

    The government made a serious blunder when it tampered with the severance laws in June last year being the beast it is it would never admit that it was wrong
    The workers that suffered most from the blunder work in the tourism sector force to wait out 22 weeks of unemployment dependent on the unreliable NIS payments they are further punished by having to stand on the sidewalk in the sun Covid and the dust begging for severance
    The flag ship of Barbados tourism Hilton hotel should have been the leader in setting the example for the others to follow but instead this callous and uncaring government the owner of the Hilton disappointed the workers and left them holding the bag
    I spoke of a worker of one of the hotels who had serious underlying conditions but was force to go back to work in construction only to have something drop on his foot and because of his condition he died from the consequence just last month a friend of mine who worked at a hotel came to me and outline his plight of suffering waiting on his severance and the fact that he was so broke and depressed I give a little help since I am in the same boat but the fact that he couldn’t get medication or eat properly was a concern to me that gentleman died last week waiting on his money
    The trade unions just like the government have disappointed the workers and as far as I am concern have no creditability the workers are back to 1937 suffering at the hands of the elitist aide and abetted by an elitist government God lend a hand and send relief for the suffering workers

    Copied from fb

    Like

  • Mari

    You are famous for copying thing from Facebook that are beyond fake news

    My memory jog me back to the BA plane with 4 Mercedes engines in the volcanic dust etc

    Like

  • NorthernObserver

    @ac
    you are ducking the issue. We cannot blame consultants?
    They can take a page out of the DLP playbook, stop paying suppliers, including the NIS, and use that cash. THIS is what the IMF has tried to correct, so maybe they say “no”. But who cares, we have their money already!!
    They can print more money? It is OUR currency.
    I don’t know how many people filed with the BRA in 2019 or 2020. But 100,000 at $500/month will cost $50 Million/month. So a 6 month program is $300M. Is this good?
    They can place government employees on a reduced work week. Then JohnA can line up twice as long.

    Like

  • The residents say the leak near the Rock Hall Christian Mission Church started last Thursday and was still spouting water up to this morning.

    https://barbadostoday.bb/2021/05/02/rock-hall-residents-plead-with-bwa-to-fix-burst-main/

    Like

  • N0
    Without full fledged transparency nobody knows what govt is doing
    Maybe with revenue dropping like hot cakes only a matter of time before truth drop of govt tongue as to what is being done
    Presently sitting from my vantage point the ducks guts is bloated
    So the revert to old policies by past govt might already be in process
    Recently I did hear talk of govt access to funding and pay debt was to crank up the printing machine

    Like

  • “One resident, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Barbados TODAY: “The Water Authority has been called dozens of times. I’ve called this morning, I left a message on the voice system, which they have instructed you to, and no one has returned my call.”

    Two points
    (1) Do you remember when they destroyed the underground structure. You can search the stories and I doubt if you will find the name of those responsible or destroying the structure. BT has demonstrated a reluctance to call names and so I am surprised that they now want to name of the person they spoke to. For ths story the name is unimportant.

    (2) This is about reporting a water leak. Why should a citizen wish to remain anonymous? What is it that person who made the call fears?

    Trying to figure out what i the full story is difficult, but it should be clear that unless Bajans find their voices, that day of no/slow responses will be upon us for some time.

    If water scarcity is real, then, perhaps then BWA needs to create a small emergency response team team whose sole task is to fix all reported water main leaks within a 48 hour period. The call comes in, it gets logged and reported to the team whose task is to fix them as quickly as possible.

    Like

  • There appears to be numerous low hanging fruits that BWA could go after.
    Identify quick wins and pursue them.

    Like

  • @ The Ogazerts May 2, 2021 2:16 PM
    “If water scarcity is real, then, perhaps then BWA needs to create a small emergency response team team whose sole task is to fix all reported water main leaks within a 48 hour period. The call comes in, it gets logged and reported to the team whose task is to fix them as quickly as possible.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Such a ‘practical’ solution was recommended to the BWA some years ago but, presumably, fell on death ears wearing trousers with deep pockets.

    However, that proposal required the maintenance function be operated on a contracted-out basis to a firm(s) of private sector plumbers and would require the elimination of the BWA in-house unionized ‘gangs’.

    The BWA unionized staff make up a significant slice of the contributors to the revenues of the ‘BWU’ which is certainly facing serious financial challenges during these times of significant job losses in the private sector.

    The plan is to fix and upgrade the mains network (distribution infrastructure) through government-arranged financing methods and then ‘divest’ the future operations to private sector interests; possibly foreign players.

    The BWA will soon be put on the privatization block but under a different modus operandi currently at play with the Transport Board.

    Now that the IMF is a permanent resident in Barbados it clearly has been revisiting the plan to privatize that entity which is the last remaining money rabbit in the public utilities hat used by the political class to feather their nest of corruption as definitely demonstrated during the last administration’s regular raiding of that SOE through the dishing out of heavily padded contracts (as confirmed in the AG’s report) to their ‘business’ friends and political family.

    Like

  • @ Tron

    “The new Corona protocol for vaccinated people is a bad joke”

    “What is this NEW PROTOCOL of which you speak, enlighten me”

    My personal view is in the future, POST COVID or some semblance of post COVID, all international travelers will have to have 100% Verifiable PROOF of their VACCINATION STATUS with respect to COVID 19 to enter a country. This proof will have to be in someway tied to their Country Passport and ONLINE verifiable by the Immigration Control of the country their entering. I can also see numerous various country commercial establishments also requiring some verifiable proof of Vaccination to enter and use their facilities, ie: hotels, gyms, fine dining restaurants, entertainment venues etc. in a foreign or local establishment.

    Like

  • Barbados it was reported by the MoT has started a pilot with Virgin. It seems the shared vaccination database will be supported by airlines?

    Like

  • @ Wily Coyote May 2, 2021 3:48 PM

    I am talking about the new entry protocol that comes into force on 8 May. Fully vaccinated people will still be forced to take a Corona test at their own expense before entry and will be detained for another two days in a measly hotel for a second test after entry at their own expense.

    It is obvious that our government’s medical advisors adhere to the old voodoo beliefs and know nothing about modern medicine. Anyone who has been vaccinated with the elite vaccine from Biontech-Pfizer or Moderna no longer poses any danger to other people.

    Half the world is vaccinated and Barbados still hangs on to Corona tests. What madness. This protocol is the final shot in the arm for our tourism industry on the island.

    Like

  • @ Tron

    With this COVID Virus “CAUTION” is the name of the GAME. We have a proliferation of EXPERTS medical & otherwise, most genuine, some crack pots and then we have the dis-believers. The present vaccines (ALL) are not cure all vaccines but prevent severe sickness and significantly reduce deaths. They are very similar to the winter FLU vaccines presently in use, reduce effects. We are dealing in UNKNOWN territories and an abundance of CAUTION in developing future protocols are warranted. I would have to agree with Barbados planned PROTOCOLS, initial abundance of caution which can easily be adjusted in the future when more comprehensive data becomes available. Its much too risky to get to enthusiastic and have to revert to extreme restrictions in the future if you’ve GUESSED WRONG, and at the time being its’ all GUESSING as the FACTS are limited.

    Like

  • @Tron

    As a country reliant on Tourism, already significantly damaged by this VIRUS, it is best to deal with a heavy hit of FINANCIAL PAIN upfront and survive rather than jump to soon to open up only to revert to long term closures down the road when the smart protocol countries are well on their way to recovery.
    Tough LOVE up front will always win out in the long term.

    Like

  • Solar is now ‘cheapest electricity in history’, confirms IEA(International Energy Agency).

    Huge Oil Import Bill A Threat To Barbados??? Competitiveness :
    Faced with a staggering oil importation bill to the tune of $787 million, Barbados has no choice but to press ahead with energy initiatives if it is to maintain its competitive edge.

    “This expenditure has undermined our competitiveness and distorted electricity rates to an unprecedented extent.?? This situation has become the greatest challenge of our time and we cannot continue business as usual ,” Prime Minister Freundel Stuart emphasised.

    Govt phasing out gas, diesel vehicles:
    From next month, Government will be looking to phase out the importation of gasoline and diesel vehicles.

    Minister of Energy Kerrie Symmonds, speaking after a 40th anniversary service for the National Petroleum Corporation at Sanctuary Empowerment Centre, Country Road, St Michael, yesterday, said it was part of the effort to eliminate dependence on fossil fuels by 2030.

    He added Government was leading by example, with the fuel import bill ranging from $450 million to $800 million a year.

    Barbados’ fuel import bill has increased for the third year while the country continues efforts to become a renewable energy economy.

    Based on information released by the Central Bank on Wednesday, Barbados spent $728.1 million on overseas oil products last year. This is about $16 million more than the amount in 2018 and is the highest total since 2014 when the bill was $877.5 million.

    Barbados has not made any significant progress in reducing oil import despite a lot of hot air from politicians. Barbados cannot achieve 100% renewable energy by 2030(less than 10 yr) based on current trends.

    Code words from Minister of Energy Kerrie Symmonds is “phase out”.

    BLlP Manefesto 2003-2008 :ENERGY
    Safe, reliable energy products at
    the lowest possible prices
    remains the anchor of our
    energy policy. While we will
    continue to ensure the
    availability and efficient use of
    petroleum products, we will also
    vigorously pursue the
    development of renewable
    energy sources.
    Given the existence of the
    Caricom Single Market &
    Economy, our energy policy will
    be geared to regional realities
    and opportunities.
    In pursuit of this, a BLP
    Government will:
    Increase production of
    petroleum both on-shore
    and off-shore.
    Intensify the $30 million
    capital programme to double
    the number of households
    with access to natural gas
    (from the current 13, 000 to
    26, 000).

    In 2003 the BLP promised to vigously persue renewable energy.

    Barbados position in the world:
    *Costa Rica has produced 95% of its electricity from hydro, geothermal, solar and wind over the past four years.

    Uruguay is now almost 100% powered by renewables almost after less than 10 years of concerted effort. The country invested heavily in wind and solar, rising from just 40% renewables as recently as 2012.

    Health effects of all petroleum products:

    Various chemicals in petroleum products present in refineries can cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm.

    Examples of chemicals in petroleum products and the health effects they cause are included below.

    Acetaldehyde may increase the risk of cancer.
    Benzene can cause leukemia. Exposure during pregnancy may affect the development of the child. Benzene exposure may also harm the male reproductive system.
    Benzo(a)pyrene can cause lung cancer.
    1,3-Butadiene can cause blood and lymphatic cancers. Exposure during pregnancy may affect the development of the child. 1,3-Butadiene exposure may also harm the reproductive systems of both men and women.
    Carbon monoxide exposure during pregnancy can affect the child’s brain development and cause loss of pregnancy.
    Ethylbenzene may increase the risk of cancer.
    Naphthalene and other polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) exposure may increase the risk of cancer.
    Formaldehyde (gas) can cause leukemia and cancers of the nose, throat, and sinuses.
    Lead is added to some types of aviation gasoline. Lead exposure during pregnancy can affect brain development and cause learning and behavioral problems for the child. It can also harm the reproductive systems of both men and women. Exposure to lead may increase the risk of cancer.
    Nickel can cause cancers of the lung, nasal cavity, and sinuses.
    Sulfur dioxide exposure during pregnancy can affect the development of the child.

    Risk of leukemia as a result of community exposure to gasoline vapors:
    March 2011 Environmental Research 111(4):597-602.

    … Relatively low-level exposure to benzene experienced by petroleum distribution workers has also been associated with an increased risk of myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), some types of which are recognized precursors to Acute Myeloid Luekemia (AML) (Schnatter et al., 2012). Several studies have reported excess morbidity from leukemia or MDS in population groups either residentially or occupationally exposed to petroleum or its products (Schnatter et al., 2012;Barregardt et al., 2009;Talbott et al., 2011;Stenehjem et al., 2014).

    After three decades of epidemiologic research, diesel exhaust was classified as a carcinogen in humans by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in 2012 based on evidence of its carcinogenicity to the lung (1).

    Increased cancer risk for petroleum industry workers and people living near plants:People working in the petroleum industry or living near petroleum facilities are at increased risk of developing several different cancer types, according to a new report by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARCWHO)..

    Offshore petroleum work was associated with an increased risk of lung cancer and leukaemia.

    Living close to petroleum facilities was also associated with an increased risk of childhood leukaemia.

    Documents lay bare petrochemical industry’s $36 million ‘research strategy’ on carcinogen:
    1)For decades, the petrochemical industry spent millions on science seeking to minimize the dangers of benzene, a carcinogen tied to leukemia and other cancers.

    2)Our review of some 20,000 pages of internal records reveals the petrochemical industry went to great lengths to rebut studies showing harmful effects of benzene in low doses.

    Fossil Fuel Companies Distorted the Science about the Dangers of Benzene:
    To avoid regulation and protect itself from lawsuits, the fossil fuel industry funded nearly $40 million of research downplaying the link between the petrochemical benzene and cancer.

    Cleaning up Nigerian oil pollution could take 30 years, cost billions – UN NEWS.
    “In one community, Nisisioken Ogale, near a Nigerian National Petroleum Company pipeline, families are drinking water from wells contaminated with benzene, a known carcinogen, at levels over 900 times above UN World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines…”

    Nigeria: Study predicts “epidemic” of cancer in Nigeria’s oil producing region by 2025.
    ” studies published in American Journal of Environmental Sciences found that more residents of the oil-rich Niger Delta region of Nigeria are at a greater risk of developing different types of cancer due to exposure to crude oil pollutants. The studies, which predict ‘epidemic’ of cancers in oil producing areas of Nigeria by 2025, stated that more than 25 per cent of Nigerians are at an increased risk of developing cancer due to exposure to toxic chemicals from crude oil pollution, Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)…”

    Nigeria seeks EU help to counter cancer outbreak in polluted delta:
    Officials from the Federal Republic of Nigeria arrived in Brussels on Monday (26 June) to seek EU help with establishing cancer screening centres in the Niger Delta, a hugely polluted area where a large proportion of the population suffers from cancer.
    00

    SHELL Oil Spill in Barbados:
    ” multinational company, Shell had faced two lawsuits over the impact the 1995 and 2003 aviation jet A-1 fuel leaks from its Grantley Adams International Airport/Oistins Terminal pipeline had on nearly 200 acres of farmland and on the communities. The farmers had charged that oil spilling from the seven-mile pipeline wrecked crops, contaminated water supplies, reduced the fertility of the soil, caused a decline in production and earnings and forced some people out of agriculture..”

    Like

  • @John A

    A good article by Harry Russell in today’s Nation to associate with the side discussion about the NOT fit for purpose system at BRA/Licensing Authority.

    The law and us
    I HAVE FAMILY and close friends who are lawyers whose logic too often I do not follow. I believe that lawyers, with all due respect, have developed different brains. It may be a process of training so as to differentiate them from ordinary folks so that when we find ourselves in difficulties we are constrained to seek their services.
    My namesake in the SUNDAY SUN of newspaper April 25, 2021 questions “whether government can place civil servants on fixed term contracts without their agreement”. But she also states that the Crown is specifically excluded from the Employment Rights Act. Is this a legitimate loophole? However, by Common Law, she states that a contract of employment relationship is a contractual one “requiring the consent of both parties and could involve damages for wrongful dismissal”. See what I mean by twisted logic?
    As far as I know, if I engage someone to be a gardener, I include in the contract verbal or written, my right to dismiss the person on two weeks’ notice or payment in lieu of notice and the person consents to this. But I am only a layman.
    However, our civil service at this moment comprises of persons who have worked for 20 or 30 years and depend on staying on the job for another ten years, having planned the obligation and mortgages to be fulfilled by the time they are scheduled to retire and collect pension. If it is planned that a position for continuation now depends on a job assessment, then the Government will have more control in the decision for him to remain in the job. Is this control or progress? Perhaps the Government is thinking of sweetening the pot.
    Dragging us willingly
    A previous prime minister in frustration describes the civil service as an “army of occupation”. Could this be the time to put an end to the occupation? After all, we are now entering the computerising age and Government might be dragging us willingly or unwillingly into the future.
    So does the Government have a fight on its hand? Why? It must have considered the legal argument put forward by my namesake. The Government has a “woogle” of lawyers at their beck and call. Yet we see that some senior posts are already being advertised.
    One General Secretary has already voiced objection to this move and I expect much more opposition to come. But the Government has the main expected source of opposition in its bosom and only the poor Bishop on the Opposition. The Senate can talk ‘hoosey’.
    Leading the way
    Barbados intends to bring its systems in line with modern technology. If it does not, we fear that we will be left behind. That thinking may not only be evident from the actions of the Government, but banks are leading the way. I peeped into a bank and saw of the six stations, one cashier
    station in operation and at least 50 people outside in the sun – some of them older than me. Banks are relentless, and the devil takes the hindmost.
    In the line outside the old ones all have cell phones that they know how to operate, but still are resisting the obvious strategies of the banks. And to think that the banks cannot operate without the very savings of the people outside in the rain.
    I heard the minister of small businesses expatiate eloquently on the activities regarding small and medium-sized business and the struggle with finding opportunities for finance. Not once did he mention the tool of the Bill of Exchange. Not surprising, as he is not expected to know about it. This is a wasted tool, ideal for businesses without collateral especially where transactions on paper do not necessarily have to be physically moved.
    That Government will go ahead and implement contracts in the civil service is a forgone conclusion and Government can do so not discounting legislation to forward legal argument that can be passed with its majority.
    The policy of putting civil servants on a contractual basis will affect many people already in the service. It is not a decision that can be made by referendum, just like the ganja issue or the issue of becoming a republic or the issue of removing Lord Nelson. Government will not dare. Thus namesake, you must wheel and come again. Dig deep and come up with a rationale for Government’s perceived behaviour. Perhaps your theory that common law will prevail will guide the Government.
    The saying, “We expect legislation to conform to public opinion, not public opinion to yield to legislation”, will be now under scrutiny.
    Harry Russell is a banker. Email quijote70@gmail.com

    Like

  • @ Tron,
    I have to agree with Wily Coyote. The days of mass tourism may well be over. Your stubborn stance on this issue is an embarrassment.

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2021/may/03/holidays-abroad-should-be-discouraged-to-stop-covid-third-wave-say-mps

    Like

  • Whilst Tron continues to bleat about Barbados reluctance to open the doors to mass tourism; Cuba continues to be the only island within the region to take research seriously. It appears to be on the cusp of developing and manufacturing a covid-19 vaccine for its population.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/5/3/cubas-long-biotech-investments-could-pay-off-in-covid-vaccines

    Like

  • Environmental Research
    Volume 59, Issue 1, October 1992, Pages 238-249
    Dangerous and cancer-causing properties of products and chemicals in the oil refining and petrochemical industry: VIII. Health effects of motor fuels: Carcinogenicity of gasoline—Scientific update
    Summary
    1.
    Significant increases in tumors of kidney, liver, and other tissues and organs following exposure to gasoline provide sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity.

    2.
    Benzene, a significant component of gasoline, has been established without question as a human carcinogen by IARC, EPA, and WHO.

    3.
    1,3-Butadiene, a component of gasoline, is a powerful carcinogen in both animals and humans.

    4.
    Sufficient evidence for the carcinogenicity of alkyl benzenes, very significant components of gasoline, has also been established.

    5.
    Human epidemiologic studies show important increases in cancers of the kidney, stomach, brain, pancreas, prostate, lung, and skin as well as hematopoietic and lymphatic leukemias as a result of exposure to gasoline, its components, and its vapors.

    Stressing Air Pollution Kills 7 Million People Annually, Secretary-General Urges Governments to Build Green Economy, in Message for World Environment Day.
    UN News.

    A new analysis has found that exposure to toxic air, water, soil and chemicals kills 8.3 million people across the world each year. The landmark research was published by the Global Alliance on Health and Pollution on Wednesday and it warned that pollution kills three times as many people a year as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined. It is also responsible for 15 times the number of deaths caused by war and other forms of violence annually. The vast majority of deaths, more than 90%, occur in low and middle-income countries.
    Forbes (Dec, 2019).

    URGENT ACTION
    COMMUNITY IN NIGERIA DRINKING POLLUTED WATER
    There is an urgent need for the government and multinational oil company Shell to
    ensure a regular supply of safe water to people in the oil-producing Niger Delta region of
    Nigeria. Their right to water continues to be violated as they are forced to drink
    dangerously polluted water or buy water at unaffordable prices.
    The multinational oil company Shell and the government of Rivers State, in southern Nigeria, have failed to provide
    residents in Ogale, an area outside of the state capital, Port Harcourt, with a regular source of safe water. Most
    people must either buy water or drink groundwater, which a United Nations study published in 2011 found to be
    dangerously contaminated.
    The United National Environment Programme’s (UNEP) study found that residents of Ogale were drinking water
    from wells contaminated with benzene, a known carcinogen, at over 900 times above the international guideline,
    which was “certain to lead to long-term health consequences”. UNEP recommended that the Nigerian government
    take immediate action to stop people from drinking water from contaminated wells in Ogale and provide people with
    an alternative source of safe water. Despite this urgent call, people still lack access to such a source.
    Amnesty International visited Ogale and interviewed residents on 1 September 2018. Most of the residents
    interviewed are buying water for personal and domestic use such as drinking, cooking and bathing, even though
    they cannot afford to. Residents must spend money on water, which in some cases amounted to a third of their
    weekly income, and say they sometimes eat two meals a day instead of three. Those who cannot afford to buy
    water drink and use local groundwater, despite the signs warning them that it is dangerous for their health. Some
    people drink water from local wells and boreholes even if an oily sheen is visible on top. In some cases, people are
    paying for the water from boreholes. Others use rainwater that contains small black flakes. Residents have no
    other choice when they cannot afford to purchase water from private vendors and the government has not made
    safe water available for over a year. Coinciding with Amnesty International’s visit to Ogale, some of the government
    taps came back on. But residents say this is only for one hour a day in the morning or the afternoon and the
    quantity of water provided is not sufficient to meet their basic water needs. Amnesty International has reason to
    believe that the water fails to meet the World Health Organisation’s Guidelines for drinking water quality.
    Amesty International.

    A Dutch appeals court has ruled that the Nigerian branch of oil giant Shell is responsible for damage caused by leaks in the Niger Delta.
    BBC NEWS (Jan 2021).

    Chevron-Texaco’s chemical genocide in Ecuador
    (July 28, 2006).
    ” Pits the size of football fields filled with a choking sludge of oil and dead animals. Children suffering from leukemia at four times the national average. Birth defects and miscarriages soaring. Drinking and bathing water polluted by carcinogens for hundreds of square kilometers.
    The unhindered oil pollution of Ecuador’s pristine rainforest began in 1964 and lasted for almost three decades….”

    ” Texaco Oil walked out of the country with $30 billion in profits stashed in its pockets, it left a toxic legacy for 30,000 rainforest dwellers that was 30 times worse than the Exxon Valdez disaster in Alaska.
    From 1964 until 1992, the U.S. corporation dumped in excess of 18.5 billion gallons of acutely toxic “produced water” into more than 650 open and unlined pits, as well as directly into the swamps, streams and rivers that make up the Amazon rainforest of north-eastern Ecuador. The byproduct of drilling, “produced water” contains some of the most dangerous known chemicals, including benzene, toluene, and Policyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs). The result has been what environmental experts believe to be the worst case of oil pollution on the planet and, after Chernobyl, possibly the second-worst environmental catastrophe in human history..”

    Solar power is the ‘new king’ and offers the ‘cheapest electricity in history’.
    The Independent (Oct, 2020).

    ‌The government of Barbados continues to waste million in forex with its slow transition to renewable energy.

    In addition, government remains silent on health hazards associated with petroleum products.

    Like

  • Let us debate the issues fairly without the froth. Hyatt is a legacy contract.

    http://www.loopnewsbarbados.com/content/mottley-lashes-government-awarding-contracts

    Like

  • William Skinner

    @ TLSN
    “ “..Cuba continues to be the only island within the region to take research seriously”
    There was a LEADER called Fidel Castro, who actually believed in the capacity and resilience of his PEOPLE. He did not go around the place using cliches and so-called “down to earth language “to keep his followers in a state of frenzy.
    His EDUCATIONAL system was to serve the people and not be used to rip them off in law courts and the field of medicine. They were educated to give back and develop their minds in the service of the people and others in need.
    It’s leadership, sincerity and vision that develops a country. The entire region , at this moment doesn’t have any leaders in the vein of Fidel Castro.
    Until then we (the entire region)are saddled with whatever comes along pretending to be leaders.
    Even Ralphie could not make the grade. Once seen as another Castro;he flunked the test most shamefully.

    Like

  • I support having the covid-19 vaccination.

    I do not support mandatory vaccinations.

    Like

  • But to achieve these things did not Castro have to be a bit of a dictator?

    Like

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