Difficult Conversations – Paid in Ash

Last week, I described nine decisions that I would take during my first hour, if I was Prime Minister for one day. This week, I will share seven decisions that I would take within my second hour at the helm.

WATER RELIEF.

I would instruct Minister Edghill to provide continuous water to those who have been without water for years, within 2 weeks. This is too long overdue. Approximately 90% of the cost, effort and time to get water to the reservoir in question, is in the trenching to get the pipes in the ground. That is why it is taking years to get this done. Quick relief can be provided by running water lines temporarily on the surface, and trenching at road crossings that do not have drainage culverts.

The BWA can contract several private sector construction companies to trench across all the required intersecting roads, install pipe sleeves, and then backfill the trench. A construction crew can complete at least one intersecting road in one night – hence the need for several contractors. Once people have relief, the BWA can then resume their slow-trenching to put the mains underground.

WATER CONSERVATION.

Every household should be able to afford water for their basic needs, and have an incentive to conserve water. Therefore, I would instruct Minister Straughn to remove the Sewerage and Garbage taxes from the Basic Needs category of water use, on BWA water bills.

INNOVATION.

Barbadians should be encouraged to innovate. Therefore, I would instruct Minister Bradshaw to re-establish the national innovation competition this year – which was stopped in 2015. The prize budget for marketable prototypes, should be at least as much as that for calypsonians during the normal Crop Over competition.
I would also instruct Minister Sutherland to have the BIDC venture-partner with willing producers of marketable products from the competition, to commercialise them. This is also long overdue.

CREATIVITY.

Our artists should commercialise their work. The problem is that commercialising products is both an art and a science. Business success is measured by making money from products. If you are not making money from your products, then you are not operating a business, but a charity.

I would instruct Minister King to set up a business department in the National Cultural Foundation, within one month. The business department is to be self-funded within one year. Success is to be measured by the amount of revenue generated for artists.

It is critical that this business department is not managed by politically partisan persons, with no evidence of business success. Otherwise, the department’s mission will likely be frustrated, and failure is foreseen to be certain.

VACUUM THE ASH.

It is extremely inefficient, and unnecessarily dangerous, to have persons sweeping ash and dirt from our highways. There are road vacuum trucks that are designed for that purpose.

I would instruct Minister Edghill to find where our road vacuum truck is parked, and get it into service immediately. If it cannot be found, then order another one – which may also be used to clean ash from the airport if we get another ash-fall.

SELL THE ASH.

Volcanic ash is sold on the Internet for around BD$5 per kg. Therefore, the ash has value. But it seems that Barbadians are being tricked into giving it away for free.

The volume of ash that can be collected from our roads and roofs is approximately 50,000 cubic metres. Assuming a bulk density of 1,000 kg/cubic metres, and a cost of $5/kg, results in a value of $250 million. Collecting only 80% of the ash results in a value of $200M.

The Government receives approximately $175M in land taxes each year. The Government instructed Barbadians to collect the ash, and give it to the Government without compensation. Therefore, I would instruct Minister Straughn not to demand land taxes in 2021 – since it has already been paid in ash.

Grenville Phillips II is a Chartered Structural Engineer. He can be reached at NextParty246@gmail.com

15 comments

  • Good morning Sir, no impertinence intended on my part, but your time would be better spent, building a base to beat this woman rather than engaging in hypocritical idealism.

    Like

  • very household should be able to afford water for their basic needs, and have an incentive to conserve water. Therefore, I would instruct Minister Straughn to remove the Sewerage and Garbage taxes from the Basic Needs category of water use, on BWA water bills.

    Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    How will this lead to conserving water
    And
    How will the shortfall in BWA revenue be made up?

    Remember that what happened at the sewage plants under the dem was from the lack of funds for maintenance and preventative maintenance

    Like

  • The ash is like recyclables here
    The country collect them and make money from them but the home owners are not paid in cash – not one cent and property taxes go up every year

    If government sell the ash collected then the money should go towards SSA
    The revenue from the ash should go back towards the people

    Government at this time need all the revenue it can get – including the land tax

    Like

  • “Good morning Sir, no impertinence intended on my part, but your time would be better spent, building a base to beat this woman rather than engaging in hypocritical idealism.”

    BU is primarily a BLP site, the only known posters who differ are mariposa/ac/angela cox who is 1 person + is DLP
    and Willy Foreskin who is NDP, some others sit on the fence and are anti-government opposition to both BLP and DLP

    I predicted on BU that BLP would win 30-0, but was in the previous penultimate election when they lost to DLP,
    GP ran and lost in the last local election but was lapped by BLP and he is a bit of a rightwing nut

    If there was no BU on social media would Bajan politics be different and there world be Business As Usual corruption for richest

    Woman leaders may possibly be less criminally corrupt empaths and better at serving the people than the men with their macho egos

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  • ☎ Calling David on the red phone
    I got a ping thing in the not acknowledged messaging queues
    “Your comment is awaiting moderation.”

    Vote For Me

    Like

  • Dompey: I am no longer in elective politics.

    John2: If persons use less water, they can avoid paying the additional taxes. If they use less water, that conserves water.

    Also, if BWA do not need to pump, store, treat, and distribute additional water, then the BWA do not need the additional revenues to pay for what they are not doing.

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  • Huh???

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  • Can’t you the the additional taxes are also reasons for the conservation of water?
    In order to avoid paying too much in taxes I will reduce the amount of water I use

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  • Before the taxes were introduced BWA was alway in the red and had to be supplemented by government.

    So far I can only remember this government getting one loan to top up bwa . And SSA where most of the taxes are going is in a lot better position

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  • John2:

    That is nothing that better management cannot fix – without additional money or resources. They simply need to manage what they have a lot better.

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  • Some good ideas in there but the problem is a “deaf ears” problem and “how does it benefit me personally or my constituents” problem

    You think Donville was the only one????

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  • Presumably ash in soil would be good for the Holy Herb. Plant some ganja seeds and people can get paid in sensi.

    Like

  • MillerMay 4, 2021 7:17 PM

    @ nextparty246 May 4, 2021 4:54 PM

    Given the relatively good potable quality of the water in Barbados don’t you think that the retail price is way too ‘cheap’ to the average consumer to act as any effective deterrent to waste and hence meaningful water conservation?

    What is required is a pricing strategy which caps the price up to the ‘Basic Needs’ tier for the average household but thereafter rises steeply for those high-demand consumers; both domestic and commercial.

    Don’t be surprised if the price of water is increased in the coming months to recoup some of those high capital costs being incurred during the so-called ongoing infrastructural improvements.

    The ‘contributions’ towards the upkeep of the SSA & sewerage plants are designed to help cover the costs of those public health operations with the BWA billing system the preferred (and most efficient) vehicle of collection which should not be tampered with or manipulated for partisan political purposes.

    The BWA should have been privatized at least 15 years ago with local investors (both corporate and individual) given the opportunity to own and control this utility which is the fulcrum for the country’s future economic development.

    Now that the IMF has it in its sight set to privatize that SOE what is your view about its future ownership? Foreign or Local?

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  • Where Next Party Grenville is not innovative is that he seems to take his best ideas from BU undesirables diatribes and does not make the Grade to be a real thinker / leader / preacher / blogger / big man and gets an EPIC FAIL

    Grenville Phillips Grade – FAIL F

    Do you know Social Living is the Best
    It takes behaviour to get along
    Lots of behaviour to get along
    Burning Spear – Living Dub Volume One

    Burning Spear – Living Dub Volume Two

    Like

  • Another FAILED STATE story, country is DOOMED. MIS-MANAGEMENT RULES.

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