Hard Times, Hard Decisions

The recent revision of the Covid 19 directives saw the country receiving a cruise ship on Monday and auto mart convenience stores along with supermarkets are expected to reopen on Sundays. The entertainment group hard hit by Covid 19 directives has started a strong lobby to be able to restart some level of event promotions. The Haywire Weekend being promoted by a foreign travel travel company on the weekend of 2 July to July 6 in Barbados has given impetus to the entertainer’s lobby.

It is no secret the local economy is service based and significantly dependent on tourism. Raging Covid 19 pandemic or not, at some point- like all countries across the globe- we have to find a way to manage the risk of having to live with Covid 19. The global strategy of choice to mitigate against the rate of Covid 19 infection is to achieve ‘herd immunity’, a situation where about 70% of the population are vaccinated. There are no guarantees as the Seychelles experience has revealed. Although 60% of that country is vaccinated it has been experiencing a rise in Covid 19 infections. Seychelles is also dependent on tourism.

Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.

Reopening the country to increase economic activity is fraught with risk. Daily we observe a minority of persons in the country who carelessly or deliberately violate public health protocols established to curb the spread of the virus. With the virus continuing to mutate to more virulent forms there is a high level of responsibility required by citizens and government to make reopening the country work to locals and visitors. We have made our beds by morphing to a service based economy and have no choice but to lie in it. 

We have two significant challenges ahead of us. Ensuring the screening process at ports of entry is fit for purpose and the demand by visitors calling for workers in the hospitality sector to be fully vaccinated. There is also the scenario where vaccinated employees may employers to work in a 100% vaccinated workplace. Already a weakness in the travel protocol has been identified – unvaccinated children under 18 entering Barbados with fully vaccinated parents being allowed to adhere to fully vaccinated guidelines. And there is the challenge of employers ‘forcing’ employees to be vaccinated. 

Citizens have rights, employers have rights and there is the dictum that limits the free choice of individuals when it conflicts with the rights of the collective. Some hard decisions will have to be made and the blogmaster is fearful given the unruly mindset prevailing in the country, we do not possess the maturity to navigate this stage of the Covid 19 journey with minimum fallout. In other words the loud voice of political talking heads and egotistical social commentators will grab the opportunity to choke traditional and social media newsfeeds to push narrow interest narratives. The current debate about our social values and public morals is an example.

Those employees who prefer to exercise a personal right not to be vaccinated should be paid severance. Unvaccinated children travelling with fully vaccinated parents should have to observe the quarantine period stipulated for the unvaccinated. In the unprecedented situation we find ourselves these are hard decisions we will have to make.

108 comments

  • @ David

    The problem comes because you can not have 2 sets of globally acceptable accounting rules, one for offshore and one for onshore. So All companies must use the same practices. So knowing that the government’s then say we’ll we want the same tax structure then. That though is left to the domicile countries like here and the clients we hold to decide.

    I agree with the PM 100 PERCENT on the road she took as she can not be accused of offering any special treatment to offshore companies. Her approach is ” all of we is one ” and look at what happened, her corporation tax even at the lower rate increased.

    No government can push around companies like amazon or Google. They will simply as Tony Best implied, tell them well we will move our head office. The loss from them doing that can cripple states where they are located. The days of being able to push around companies is over and Biden and all need to learn that. All the offshore countries have to do as a group is stand united and tell the Bidens of the world as the PM did, this is our tax rate to all regardless of where they are from. Once the companies see that they will take the fight from there. You ain’t see what fellows like Tesla tell them? We can move to anywhere !

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  • Regarding the last part of your comment you know this will never happen. Bermuda, Cayman, Gurnsey and others all have their strings being pulled by the hegemonist.

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  • Water ease is on the way, says Gooding-Edghill
    MINISTER OF TRANSPORT, Works and Water Resources Ian Gooding-Edghill says Government is well on its way to bringing relief to residents who have been experiencing poor water service for several months.
    “We have a duty to ensure that this constituency and all other parts of Barbados benefit from a consistent supply of water,” he told a Barbados Labour Party’s Christ Church East meeting held at the constituency office in Hopewell Road on Sunday night. “We are establishing a containerised desalination plant at Colleton, St Lucy . . . . We are also going to establish another containerised desalination plant at the Hope Plantation in St Lucy . . . . We plan to construct two tanks at Apes Hill, St James, with an additional capacity of 1.3 gallons of water going down there,
    Additional tanks
    “The Government intends to construct an additional 600 000 gallon tank at Walkers in St Andrew and we are also going to improve the existing tank at Castle Grant, St Joseph, and we are going to build a new 1.3 million gallon tank
    there.” Gooding-Edghill added that Government also repaired more than ten reservoirs and did major upgrades to the mains and pipeline network across the island, removing the almost century-old cast iron pipes and installing PVC high-density ones.
    In doing so, he said more than 22 kilometres of piping were laid.
    The minister also spoke about Government’s $7 million investment in acquiring new water tankers.
    “We secured five new water tankers and those were delivered last Saturday and have been deployed in the north of the island up to today to elevate some of the challenges we have in the north of the island.”
    He said they had also boosted the number of water tankers.
    “You can’t service a country with 17 water tanks. The Government through the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) board, approved the procurement of 28 new water tankers in Barbados. Seven are already at the BWA. They are being sanitised, 12 tankers are expected to leave the Bridgetown Port
    tomorrow (yesterday) for delivery to the BWA, and the remaining nine tanks will be on island before the end of this month,” he said.
    (SB)

    SOURCE: NATION NEWS

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  • More essential workers for jab
    MORE FRONT-LINE WORKERS are heeding the call to get vaccinated.
    Co-coordinator of the National Vaccination Programme for COVID-19, Major David Clarke, said while a few hundred employees, particularly those in the hotel sector, did not come forward during the first phase of the campaign earlier this year, recently they indicated an interest in getting inoculated and the process was going reasonably well.
    To date, the National Vaccination Programme for COVID-19 has seen 87 382 people receiving first doses while 62 131 people got their second dose and are fully vaccinated.
    Clarke said Barbados was now on a good trajectory for herd immunity.
    (SB)

    SOURCE: NATION NEWS

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  • ‘Wake-up call’ for Barbados and the region
    by TONY BEST AS THE DEADLINE narrows for Donville Inniss, a former Government minister, to report to a United States federal prison to serve time for engaging in money laundering, a top Caribbean security expert says he hopes it will serve as a “wake-up” call for Barbadians and others in the Caribbean in the public service and the private sector who might be tempted to engage in public corruption.
    Professor Ivelaw Griffith, a former vice-chancellor of the University of Guyana who is now a senior associate of the United States Centre for Strategic and International Studies, a highly respected think tank in Washington DC, told the DAILY NATION that Inniss’ conviction for conspiracy to commit money laundering and money laundering should discourage people from engaging in corrupt activities which undermine the public’s trust.
    “Very sad. It is a wake-up call, not only to Barbados but to all the (Caribbean) region,” said Griffith, the author of several books and scholarly papers on crime, violence and overall security.
    “The wake-up call is based on a harsh reality that the attraction to [alleged] illegality because of the money [involved) is sometimes stronger than the lessons learned from a case like this [involving] a once proud and successful minister. I am hoping that the lesson learned would at least deter some people from wanting to go that route. It is a harsh reality, given the circumstances.”
    Griffith said that the “attraction, the lure” was often so strong that people holding influential positions “can’t resist the temptation”.
    The former provost of York College of the City University of New York cited the case of a senior South American diplomat who was “propositioned while on a flight” to Miami.
    The proposed corrupt deal came at a time when the man’s personal financial condition and family situation – divorce, financing his children’s university education and other commitments – were being undermined. “The pressure on his (the diplomat’s) finances was such that he almost fell for” the opportunity to use his position for personal gain, Griffith recalled.
    In the end, though, the man’s strong religious background overpowered the temptation to be corrupt, Griffith said the diplomat told him.
    However, he made it clear that there was not any suggestion that the diplomat’s situation was in any way similar to Inniss’.
    The federal charges levelled against Inniss, his conviction by a jury in January last year and the recent imposition of the prison term by federal district court judge in Brooklyn, Kiyo A. Matsumoto, involved US$36 000 “in bribes that Inniss allegedly received from high-level executives of the Insurance Corporation of Barbados Limited (ICBL)”, stated the US Department of Justice.
    “In exchange for the bribes, Inniss [reportedly] leveraged his position as the Minister of Industry to enable ICBL to obtain insurance contracts from the Barbados Government to insure over $100 million worth of Government property. To conceal the [alleged] bribes, Inniss reportedly arranged to receive them through a US bank account in the name of his friend’s dental company, which had an address in Elmont, New York.”
    In addition to the prison term, which is due to start on July 30, the former St James South Member of Parliament was ordered to pay US$36 536.75 in forfeiture.
    Nicholas McQuaid, acting Assistant US Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, said shortly after the judge imposed the prison sentence that “international corruption undermines trust in governments, threatens our (US) national security, and prevents the free market from functioning daily for law-abiding people and companies”.
    Inniss has appealed his conviction.
    Griffith said that the ‘attraction, the lure’ was often so strong that people holding influential positions ‘can’t resist the temptation’.


    SOURCE: NATION NEWS

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  • It is reported that the Barbados economy may be set back TEN to TWENTY years.

    The PM has spoken.

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  • Are there other vaccinations that are compulsory?

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