Review of Barbados Economy January to March 2022

Central Bank of Barbados Governor Cleviston Haynes delivers the Bank’s review of Barbados’ economic performance in the first quarter of 2022 and takes questions from the media and online audience.

Review of the Economy January to March 2022 (Text Version)

93 thoughts on “Review of Barbados Economy January to March 2022

  1. Recession over Central Bank governor cautiously optimistic

    BY DEFINITION Barbados is now out of a recession, but Central Bank Governor Cleviston Haynes is in no mood to celebrate.
    Not when the economy still has not returned to its pre-COVID-19 levels, and the war in Ukraine is a major threat to future growth and threatens to increase the cost of living in Barbados.
    Haynes was therefore cautiously optimistic yesterday while reporting first quarter economic growth of 11.8 per cent and predicting doubledigit growth for 2022.
    “The definition of a recession is after two consecutive quarters of economic fallout. Our economy has been now growing for the last four quarters, but the truth is that we are not where we were at the end of 2019,” the economist said.
    Picked up
    “So I try to avoid labels, because yes the economy has picked back up – for the last four quarters we have grown – but I think we will only begin to feel comfortable once we at least get back to where we were in 2019 and then start to grow.”
    Haynes told his first quarter press conference at the Courtney Blackman Grande Salle that the 11.8 per cent economic growth
    recorded between January and March was in line with the bank’s forecast, and he was comforted by the fact that the predicted tourist arrivals “were just about exactly as we had forecast”.
    “The positive signs of a robust economic recovery, as witnessed during the last nine months of 2021, were sustained into the first quarter of the year. A re-emerging tourism sector helped to propel the growth momentum and to stabilise the labour market which registered a low level of jobless claims. However, despite the gains, activity is not yet at pre-COVID levels,” he said.
    “The recovery was driven by the vibrant revival of the tourism sector, which helped to bolster private sector spending. In addition, there were also encouraging signs of an upturn in the production of goods for export markets.”
    The governor said tourism, the country’s main money earner, “built on the performance of the last quarter of 2021, as pent-up demand for travel translated into the highest level of long-stay arrivals since the onset of the pandemic”.
    Additionally, agricultural production increased in the first quarter despite the increased cost of feeds and fertilisers, and manufacturing output increased by 5.4 per cent in the same period.
    This was attributed to “the boost in domestic demand created by the relaxation of COVID-19 health protocols, the impact of improved tourism on demand for locally-produced beverages, and the partial recovery of exports”.
    Despite the economy having grown for the fourth consecutive quarter, Haynes said that “it’s really the uncertainty that pervades at this point in time that is our concern”.
    This was especially in relation to price increases associated with the war in Ukraine.
    The governor said that “during the quarter, food prices rose by four per cent but, over the preceding nine months, significant increases for vegetables, meats, oils and fats, and seafood led to the acceleration of prices over the 12-month period”.
    “The longer the conflict and the more severe the sanctions, etcetera, on Russia, the more likely it is that prices, whether for oil or for international foods, could increase,” he said.
    “And if that happens, that obviously has a domestic impact because [as] a small open economy that imports a lot of what we consume, we will then be importing those elevated prices and therefore that would have an impact on the domestic cost of living.”
    There could also be negative impacts for tourism, he explained.
    “It could be that persons decide, well, they are not going other places and they are going to look for warm destinations such as in the Caribbean and we could benefit in that context. But there is also the risk that persons decide to stay closer to home because of the uncertainty and therefore not travel,” Haynes said. ( SC)

    Source: Nation

  2. Haynes: Pay rise a trade-off
    CENTRAL BANK GOVERNOR Cleviston Haynes is not ruling out a salary increase for public sector workers, but he says it must be based on Government’s ability to pay and its financial priorities.
    Haynes also believes that given the possibility that a Government pay hike could influence wage demands in the private sector, Barbados’ competitiveness against other countries was another factor to consider.
    He was speaking to the media yesterday after his first quarter press conference at the Courtney Blackman Grande Salle.
    “In the context of Government, and in businesses generally, pay increases are related to the ability to pay, and therefore if you have a wage increase, it also means that you have to make a judgement as to what you are going to forego,” Haynes said.
    “It’s not a free good, so there are choices that would have to be made.
    “I think right now the Government is trying to place emphasis on accelerating its capital works programme and the whole purpose of that is to generate more economic activity and in so doing to create jobs, get more people involved.
    “So if you take your decision to increase wages, you do run the risk that you have to postpone something else, and obviously that’s a judgement which a Minister of Finance has to make. We central bankers don’t make those judgements,” he said.
    Haynes also pointed to the “broader issue that one has to look at in terms of what is happening with your competitors, because when you obviously raise the cost of wages, does that spill over into the private sector?”
    “Does it make them less
    competitive with the countries against which they are competing? You are not in a country by yourself but you are competing with the rest of the world, so the whole question of competitiveness is the other issue that one will have to look at,” he said.
    “But I think the fundamental issue is going to be one of choice, as to if this is what persons are asking for, then you need to identify where you are going to find the savings to be able to effect it.”
    The governor cautioned against creating a situation where “our expenditures are such that we are not able to honour our obligations because we have spent too much and then you don’t have the funding. So it’s a balancing act”.
    Haynes acknowledged that cost of living increases had reduced the spending power of workers, adding: “I am sure that everybody would want to see some relief if prices are rising but I think one has to look at the big picture and make that determination.” (SC)

    Source: Nation

  3. Barbados to start repaying IMF in September
    WITH ITS International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme expiring at the end of September, Government is expected to start repaying the $850 million it borrowed from the financial institution from next year.
    However, while he declined to say if he thought Barbados should remain in an IMF programme, Central Bank Governor Cleviston Haynes said Government would have to keep focused on a disciplined approach to its financial management, including debt.
    In December, the IMF’s executive board approved an immediate $48 million disbursement to Barbados after directors approved its staff’s sixth review of the External Fund Facility Barbados entered in October 2018. This brought to $850 million the amount of IMF funding Government received since then.
    Speaking yesterday during his first quarter press conference at the Courtney Blackman Grande Salle, Haynes said repayment of the loans was likely to start in 2023.
    “I think it’s after the first four and a half years when the first payment becomes due and that’s the sort of standard thing because all of the payments are not drawn down at once. So it is from four and a half years from the time of the draw down, so I think . . . 2023 is when the first payment probably starts,” he said.
    Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Mia Amor Mottley said during her March 14 Budget speech that her administration was undecided about remaining in an IMF programme, and would determine if it would after consultation.
    Haynes said the Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation programme, which the IMF EFF supported,
    made early progress before the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in 2020 and the authorities were now trying to build on the previous successes.
    “What you see Government doing is trying to accelerate its capital expenditure programme, which together with the recovery in tourism is pointing us towards the increased economic activity which we know,” he said.
    “The work that we have started was somewhat incomplete, what we have been able to do, however, is we have been able to build our reserves, and . . . we have gone from four or five weeks in 2018 to over 36 weeks as we speak at the end of March.”
    The governor was, however, not prepared to declare his hand on if Barbados should continue under the IMF’s supervision.
    “As the Prime Minister indicated during her Budgetary Statement, this is really a decision for the Prime Minister, I wouldn’t want to usurp her authority in terms of whether we go back into a Fund programme. I believe that she will consider all of the advice in relation to that and make a determination as to whether or not we need to go,” he said.
    “The issue for me is not about whether you go into a Fund programme, the issue is about . . . the policies that you are going to implement, whether you are in a Fund programme or whether you are not in a Fund programme. And, from my perspective, we cannot go back to a scenario of large fiscal balances that we are unable to support.”
    Haynes also said that “at some point we have to be able to demonstrate that we are able to manage our own affairs without having to be in [an IMF] programme”. (SC)

    Source: Nation

  4. Barbados and Ghana sign air services MOU
    THE SIGNING OF an Air Services confidential memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Barbados and the Republic of Ghana has been described as “strengthening historical ties”.
    The virtual signing occurred yesterday between Barbados’ Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Senator Lisa Cummins, and Ghana’s Minister of Transport and Aviation, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah.
    The air services MOU between the two countries will promote bilateral aviation relations and expand economic opportunities for their designated airlines, and the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. will be working to ensure that it becomes a commercially viable venture.
    Minister Cummins, before the signing of the MOU, emphasised: “We are serious about building the strong relationship that already exists between our two countries, as seen between our two respective leaders.”
    She added that the signing of the MOU is also part of the “process of working towards building stronger collaborative links between Barbados and Ghana, specifically in the areas of tourism cooperation, cultural travel, and heritage tourism”.
    Minister Asiamah concurred, stating: “I think that it is well overdue that Ghana and Barbados should begin to strengthen the historical ties, and I think the relationship that was built by our president Addo and your Prime Minister is something worth recognition….
    “And I’m hoping that this relationship will not end at the signing of this MOU but rather guide all of us to make sure that we need to work together so that our nations can strengthen our relationship through trade, through whatever means possible, because history tells us that there’s no difference between the people of Barbados and people of this country.”
    Barbados’ Chargé d’affaires at the High Commission in Accra, Ghana, Juliette Babb-Riley, accepted the physically signed MOU from Minister Asiamah on behalf of the Government of Barbados. (BGIS)

    Source: Nation

  5. Caricom debt too high, says Barnett
    THE CARIBBEAN’S public sector’s financing gap and its external debt are continuing to grow beyond unsustainable levels.
    The warning came from Secretary General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat Dr Carla Barnett in delivering an online lecture Tuesday on the topic Sustained Economic Recovery Post-Pandemic: The Lewis Model.
    In presenting the
    Sir Arthur Lewis Distinguished Lecture, Dr Barnett said CARICOM states experienced significant GDP (gross domestic product) losses in 2020 and 2021 associated with COVID-19.
    “The public sector financing gap, estimated at around US$5 billion in early 2021, and the external debt are therefore continuing to grow beyond unsustainable levels,” she said.
    “By the end of 2020, six CARICOM states had reported a debt-to-GDP ratio above 100, as compared to one member state in 2019.”
    The Caribbean experienced higher levels of unemployment than other regions, with women the hardest hit by job cuts and bearing an even heavier burden of care work at home and in the health system, the secretary general stated.
    “Private capital flows to most CARICOM states have also declined considerably since 2019,” the economist added.
    Barnett said CARICOM governments would continue to spend to manage COVID amid new strains that have emerged.
    “I submit we can draw
    from the Lewis model insights that are relevant to the CARICOM development process . . ..”
    At the top of her list was “ the proactive role of regional integration in building self-sufficiency and resilience”.
    Second was “the importance of harnessing technology to modernise the agriculture sector and scaling up of agri-food production to ensure food security”.
    Third was “the critical role of capital, both foreign and domestic in driving growthenhancing structural transformation”.
    Fourth was “the importance of increasing domestic savings to finance investment and by extension the importance of enhanced regional resource mobilisation”.
    Fifth was “the status of direct participant in economic activity and as a facilitator. That is the importance of state capacity”. And sixth was “creating a highlyskilled labour force to drive productivity”.
    Sir Arthur Lewis, a Nobel Prize winner in economics, was the first vice chancellor of the University of the West Indies and first president of the Caribbean Development Bank. (HH)

    Source: Nation

  6. If an economy “ grew “by 11% and still has not returned to 2019 levels, what does it really mean ?
    So are you telling me that a person who was four feet tall in 2019 and in 2022 grew to be six feet but is still not four feet tall , Interesting : talk about the use and abuse of statistics………………..
    And foolish me always thought that growth meant it is actually more than it was before but ………………..

  7. Mr Skinnerif the economy grew by 11 percent would that not be in comparison to the previous year? The previous year cannot be 2019.You should know better but you overseas gloom and doomerd just looking for any negativity to nitpick on.It seems any goog news in Barbados angers you.Your party lost two electioms 30 to 0 and are vurrently struggling to even elect s president.Grow up and deal with that reality.The majority of bajans here on the ground has congidence in the current government to pull this country around despite you overseas daily nitpicking.I gone.

  8. Steupsss
    From back in Arthur’s time, we knew (because Owen told us in one of his sober moments) that we were headed up shit street.
    He warned about the NEED to live within our means..
    He also warned us about the Supreme Leader…

    Then came..
    Volcano ash
    inter alia.
    ..but Haynes is ‘cautiously optimistic’….

    Can anyone point to any economic predictions made by the Governor in the past that actually turned into reality?
    Asking for a friend, but Bushie smells BS strongly…

    Clearly the post holder has been instructed to ‘sound positive’, least the Brass Bowls realize their imminent fate…
    What point is there after all, in explaining to black belly sheep (BBS) the true purpose behind the ‘field trip’ to the Abattoir?

    • @Bush Tea

      Sadly our economic fundamentals are flawed. It does not take much acumen to workout our level of consumption behaviour is unsustainable based on the economic model we have relied on over the years with little change by present day decision makers.

  9. TRUE!
    But David, that is NOT the elephant in the room.

    Can you explain how it can POSSIBLY be, that our economic fundamentals are so CLEARLY flawed, and yet these ‘educated’ officials can CONSTANTLY be standing up on TV with straight faces talking a lotta shiite about our great ‘prospects’ …?
    What does THAT say about their CONTEMPT for the intelligence of Bajans?

    Bushie STRONGLY feels that these people get together privately after these ‘presentations’ and roll all over the floor ‘laffing their asses off’ at how gullible Bajan brass bowls ACTUALLY are….

    In a TRULY educated society, Haynes would be FORCED to come with PRACTICAL assessments of our current REALITY, and to then prescribe SENSIBLE proposals to reverse the trend towards damnation….

    The ONLY explanation (that makes any sense to Bushie) to how a whole country could be so damn foolish, is the ‘CURSE’….
    Bushie told wunna to dig up that shiite monument that Froon planted at the Garrison…. The Alter to Satan, with the black pitch fork coming out of the earth….

    Leff unm dey and see how things will work out…..

    • @Bush Tea

      It takes courage (will power) to decouple from a comfortable way of thinking. In our system the citizenry as a key stakeholder in civil society have ceded its important role to the First Estate.

  10. LOL @ David
    Boss, it takes WISDOM to decouple from comfort towards PRACTICALITY…
    What takes ‘courage’ is to continue along a path that CLEARLY leads to chaos, crises and destruction….
    Or at least it takes idiotic bravado

  11. William Skinner April 28, 2022 6:51 AM #: “So are you telling me that a person who was four feet tall in 2019 and in 2022 grew to be six feet but is still not four feet tall…..”

    Mr. Skinner

    Your above example is flawed. You cannot in all seriousness compare economic growth with growth in “a person.”

    In simple terms, an economy can grow positively or negatively……. not a human being.
    An individual continues to grow during a recession, an economy does not.

    The economy could have grown by 11% when compared to the same period in 2021, but not to the level it was in 2019 or pre COVID-19.

    This is something John A has been discussing on BU for several months.

    • Will leave this link for Vincent and Artax to explain if we should worry about lag factors effecting Barbados economy.

    • The final paragraph from the link posted. The national conversation needs to be boated about what has become boring routinely politically flavored discussions.

      “Market behavior—including its failure to include the indirect costs of goods and services, to value nature’s services, and to respect sustainable-yield thresholds—is leading to the destruction of the economy’s natural support systems, our own version of a Ponzi scheme. At some point the deteriorating relationship between the economy and its natural supports begins to take a political toll, contributing to state failure.”

  12. @ Artax
    It’s a matter of interpretation. The bench mark was introduced by the Governor of the Central Bank. Not me. He referenced 2019 not me. Growth means growth whether you are talking about a person or a tree.
    This is the same crap for which the former Governor of the Central Bank was viciously attacked on this same BU.
    Haynes is twisting the truth. This economy is not improving and the prospects of any improvement is being seriously affected by inferior political gymnastics and propaganda being engineered by the Minister of Finance, who has no time to address the country about her administration’s plan for the economy.
    What goes around comes around. I was the only person on BU who said that Worrell ,was like Blackman posited , a creature of the Minister of Finance.
    We are now trying to paint Haynes with a different brush because it is politically expedient .
    This economy is heading toward the shambles whether we want to admit it or not. The Minister of Finance is sending out handpicked consultants to cover her backside.
    At least Sinckler took the lashes upfront.
    And now his mismanagement of the economy is being embraced and validated by the same politician ( Mottley) who called him the worst finance minister we ever had.
    More to come bro’

    • @wargeneral

      The US maybe tottering on the brink of a recession, the outlook appears to be challenging if not bleak. Again a national discussion and fit for purpose strategic approach is a must even at this late stage.

  13. David, the US Federal Reserve has been printing money at break neck speed for the last 13 years which kept interest rates very low. What has enabled them to do this with little damage is the fact that people and central banks around the world have held the U.S dollar as the main reserve currency. This has now been undermined by the recent Russia sanctions, sanctions on Venezuela, Iran and Afghanistan (the U.S seized or stole Afghanistans foreign reserves earlier this year. The over use of sanctions coupled with excessive money printing may leave the U.S vulnerable some day, its simply an issue of supply and demand.

    • @wargeneral

      This is the tenor of conversation local taking heads in the media should be depositing in public space. We have to ‘retrofit’ how we manage our affairs with the urgency of now. We have an obligation to future generations.

    • The President of the World Bank recently explained that the strategy by G20 is to boost global supply and recommend member countries ring fenced the vulnerable in society to respond to challenge posed by Russia Ukraine conflict. What is sobering about his intervention is that it is predicated on shoring up the existing financial model.

  14. @David, I think the solution lies in looking East. I feel that Barbados and Caricom needs to furthur deepen trade ties with Africa, partner more with China, which is already happening, I think Mia signed on to belt and road in 2019, and deepen trade ties with India and the Middle East. Come up with a national and regional strategy to ensure food security, and come up with equity financing options for risk takers in society so they can take more risks in areas like Fintech, The Ocean economy and Renewable energy for example.
    I also think that the Central Bank of Barbados need to start shifting some of its reserves from the U.S dollar to Gold.

    • @wargeneral

      Shifting to gold will come with repercussions given PM Mottley’s alliance with so-called western establishment. What about the parity of the BB dollar?

  15. A question asked of the governor asked the question if Barbados was out of a recession
    The governor instead of coming clean with a yes or no response put on a political hat stating he does not like labels being put on the economy
    Now a reading absent of a direct answer from the governor one political investigator writes an article with a defining and a definite Yes about the recession
    Recessions are tantamount and derived and activated in many variables of an economy would be far fetched and some what devious for any economist looking at the state of small islands economies to espoused a smoke and mirror statement.that Barbados recession is over especially when the negative effects of the global economy impact small.island economies and ongoing
    Govt still has to find ways of generating faster revenue outside of borrowing and tourist spend
    BTW it would be of interest to know how much tourist spend was applied to govt revenue
    Unfortunately absent of an opposition govt can say anything which pleases the ears

  16. …and there is no opposition precisely because your above RAMBLING mumbo jumbo is typical of the DLP jackasses who presented themselves as potential representatives…. after demonstrating a decade of incompetence despite their ‘certificates’…

    Now if CXC had done its job, you and your ilk would be working on ZRs on the Airport route instead of confusing the damn blog with mumbo jumbo…

    …and perhaps some REALLY intelligent (but currently relegated to the block) gem would have been identified by the system to represent the people.

    We made a shiite bed, now we have to lay down somewhere….

  17. William Skinner April 28, 2022 8:49 AM #: “Growth means growth whether you are talking about a person or a tree.”

    @ Mr. Skinner

    Who “introduced the benchmark” or “referenced 2019” is irrelevant.

    The fact remains your comparison of economic growth with growth in human beings is flawed.
    Whereas growth in a human is consistent until he/she ‘stops growing,’ economic growth fluctuates.

    And, as far as I can recall, ALL Governors of the Central Bank have been ACCUSED of LYING or INCOMPETENCE.
    From Dr. Kurleigh King, Calvin Springer, Winston Cox, Dr. Marion Williams to Dr. DeLisle Worrell.
    Do you recall when former PM fired Mr. Cox?

    However, I believe Cleviston Hanyes is given a ‘free pass’ by the independent economists, Barbados Economic Society and the media.

  18. angela cox April 28 2022 10:20 AM #: “Recessions are tantamount and derived and activated in many variables of an economy….”

    @ ac

    A recession is simply a period of negative economic growth for two consecutive quarters.

    • Interesting news item petrol dealers have not seen a decrease in sales since hike in rates. Here it is the blogmaster expected differently with increase sales in bicycles and businesses aggressively adopting remote working born out of pandemic experience.

  19. Bush Tea the only mumbojumbo here is u yuh ole goat with yuh repetitive mumbo jumbo brass bowl insulting tripe

    • @lawson

      As Artax commented ‘out of recession’ is a sterile economic measure. An intelligent person must sensible translation to what it means. What is does not mean is that the economy has recovered from the abyss where it has been lodged for a couple decades.

  20. Your right David it is not a barometer of how people are feeling about their overall life style Just a definition

  21. @ William
    @ Artax

    Guys lets look at it another way then. Let’s say you had a shop that sold $10000 a day in 2019. Then in 2020 sales fell to $7000, they then recovered in 2021 to $8000 a day, what would be the reality we could argue in 2022?

    William is say we ain’t saying nothing as we still have not recovered to 2019 sales which is true.

    Artax is also correct in that the economy has recovered steadily from 2020 levels in 2021, even though it has not gotten back to 2019 levels yet.

    So we are showing economic recovery but how relevant is it should be our argument. To answer that we can only compare it to other economies. May of the world economies have recovered to pre covid levels, yet may of the smaller ones are still lagging behind. We will lag behind because we are basically dependant on tourism. So while many of our source markets may have recovered that doesn’t mean mass travel to us will occur at the same time. It will lag behind as travel can not take precident over catching up on mortgage payments and car loans by potential tourist.

    2022 however is a year if all goes well, that we should get closer to 2019 levels. Providing of course covid doesn’t blow up again or the war intensify. Personally I am what you would call cautiously optimistic and that is the best I can be.

    The question will remain however is this. Is the glass half empty or half full? That can only be answered by the person viewing the glass.

  22. There is a recession looming on the US economy. There was economic decline in the first quarter of this year. We must watch this. The indication from the governor or the Central Bank
    may be be short lived in terms of Barbados getting out of the woods if the US economy falters.

    • @Heather

      The Governor couched his language by saying the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine if protracted will derail current growth trajectory. Please refer to an earlier point made to @lawson. For the sake of a more relevant discussion we need to improve our economic fundamentals; we need to urgently shift our over reliance on the hospitality sector.

  23. Heather that is true but we had a good winter season this year compared to 2021 so with that in the bag we have a shot at getting closer to pre covid economic levels. I agree with you though as the next few months could go either way.

  24. Mr Skinner where is your evidence that the economy is not improving or in shambles?You are an economist now?I know this is what you overseas bajans wish to happen but it will not.Who cares about what happen to former governors if it wss warranted especially the last one.Lastly if i had to trust the word of the current govenor of the central bank and a knowall like you guess which one i will believe.I gone.

  25. If the economy was worth x in 2019 before COVID and during COVID fell to 25% of x by year end 2021 then if it grew by 11% of the 25% of x then compared with 2019 the economy must be worth 1.11×0.25 of x …

    …. or it is worth 27.75 of what it was worth in 2019.

    Is my math right?

    Once we opened for business in the Tourist sector the economy would grow but clearly it did not grow by that much and remains way below what it was in 2019, pre Covid.

  26. Artax

    A recession is simply a period of negative economic growth for two consecutive quarters

    Tell that to the Governor who placed political economic politics against the back drop of reality what he did not say was the 11percent increase was and addition added to a cumulative amount brought forward from last year creeping growth totals
    Hence in reality the Jan to March growth was one percent which included last year total

  27. @Skinner, of course “It’s a matter of interpretation” economic reviews always are. Why is the matter of growing 11% over the previous year but NOT reaching the levels of output for a prior year a matter of contention???

    That’s simply understandable in any business and should need no deep explanation beyond the obvious so the governor can’t be accused of “twisting the truth” on that statement alone🤣. How so brother! … maybe he is indeed painting as rosy a picture as is possible but then again which government official in his role would NOT be expected to do exactly that !

    Barbados suffered like all other nations and our GDP took a shellacking over last two years … thanks to some innovative ‘Welcoming Stamping’ and with other business slowly coming back we recaptured some revenue which got us that 11% uptick over the previous year but which was well below the revenues pre-Covid … why is that propaganda and why are you suggesting that the govt is masking real downturns in the economy when you say “the economy is not improving and the prospects of any improvement is being seriously affected by inferior political gymnastics“?

    You may be right as I have not studied any of the reports but please clarify why you are so confident that this is all a sham. Is there no real growth as suggested by the officials? Are the ridiculously large cabinet salaries, supa-sized consultancies, administrative travel etc too big a drag?

    Why so pessimistic!

  28. @ John April 28, 2022 3:22 PM

    Sir John, please ease up on ‘poor’ Cleviston and about his ‘looks’.

    He is just a spitting product of the father of the Miller clan of the supermarket business.

    What you should be querying is the ‘current’ status of those private sector ‘investment’ projects which the same guv has been promising since his appointment.

    Why has he stopped shining that light in the investment pipeline so that Bajans can see the end of the 5-year long tunnel?

    Where is the mention of the likes of the Four Seasons restart or even the Hyatt soon-coming erection?

    Maybe your friends “Enuff, John2, & Lorenzo” can shed some light on those missing in action (MIA) projects promoted as the SOS to the Bajan economy which have now morphed into mere mirages in the eyes of the previous Guv called De-liar.

    Based on his pronounced prognostications on the economy, as reproduced below, can we conclude that- as a result of pending rises in sea levels- he has switched his Hobson’s choice hobby horse from the DLP conceived hotel investment projects to that of the more realistic BDLP-owned renewable energy investment sector to save Barbados from inundation; both economic and geophysical?

    Continued investment in renewable energy will help to address the negative effects of volatile oil prices and to improve competitiveness. Accelerating implementation, is now crucial, taking advantage of the liquidity in the banking system. In addition, we must bolster our competitiveness by lowering the cost of doing business, increasing our output and improving our turnaround times. The path towards sustained growth requires a strong partnership with all stakeholders, a commitment to innovate and improved performance by everyone. Both public and private sectors, including small and medium-sized enterprises, will need the support of money and capital markets to support this innovation. This path is quite attainable if we continue to pull together in the country’s interest.

  29. Dpd i guess by now you have figured out that Mr Skinner is anti Ms Mottley snd anti BLP..If these predictions had come from Dr Worrell, Mr Stuart or Mr Sinckler you would not heard a peep out of him., mark my words.However the proof is in the eating we shall see what happens going forward.I gone.

  30. (Quote):
    With its International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme expiring at the end of September, Government is expected to start repaying the $850 million it borrowed from the financial institution from next year.

    And where is this money foreign money going to come from?

    The sale of the AIR and SEA ports to the Chinese or the Arabs or even the Russian oligarchs with dirty money looking for a laundry in the Caribbean?

    Imagine that! Having to borrow from the same IMF to repay the same IMF.

    Isn’t that like taking a 5 dollar bill from your left pocket and putting it in your empty right pocket just to pretend you have $10.00?

    Now this is the perfect alibi for the new republic to bite the bullet of pride but with the shame of no industry and ‘demand’ from Britain Barbados’s share of reparations for almost 400 years of chattel slavery, colonial economic exploitation and blatant cultural indoctrination.

    Why not let Britain payback the IMF along with the other foreign debts due to the international loansharks as a final divorce settlement?

    Maybe the local Anglican Church can impress upon its dying Mother back home to support its boastful Bajan government’s financial claim of righting the moral wrongs committed by their slave-owning ancestors including those of our own John the Quaker.

    Maybe then our Vince Codrington the BU economics guru would feel comfortable in changing his name to Kunta Kinte.

  31. angela cox April 28, 2022 3:20 PM

    RE: “Tell that to the Governor who placed political economic politics against the back drop of reality……

    Don’t have to tell him anything.

    Please explain what is “political economic politics.”

    RE: “……..what he did not say was the 11percent increase was and addition added to a cumulative amount brought forward from last year creeping growth totals.
    Hence in reality the Jan to March growth was one percent which included last year total.”

    Please explain in simple English.

  32. Re “Dpd i guess by now you have figured out that Mr Skinner is anti Ms Mottley snd anti BLP..”

    @Lorenzo leff me out of the political circus. I have figured out no such thing. The brother is an equal opportunity pessimist and lambastes both parties for all to read!

    I am simply kerfuffled by the distress and ole talk on basic year-over-year growth stats and wondered what analysis caused those remarks.

  33. “Now if CXC had done its job, you and your ilk would be working on ZRs on the Airport route instead of confusing the damn blog with mumbo jumbo…”

    I did minding my business and drinking water byt this mek me spit out all!!🤣🤣🤣🤣

  34. This made me smile
    “@Lorenzo leff me out of the political circus. I have figured out no such thing.”

    Will smile even broader when Lorenzo returns and bags and tags DpD as a D.

  35. @ DPD
    Realism is often branded Pessimism . The economy is growing how? We are out of a recession yet 50 000 are unemployed. What is the true unemployment rate? What sectors are performing any better than they were before?
    All government issued bonds are underperforming.
    The cost of living is higher now than it ever was before.,We are paying more for bus fare , water and electricity than before.
    Where is this 11% growth in real terms?
    The old way of measuring economic growth bears no match to our socio economic reality.
    We can talk about growth forever but poverty throughout the region is rising and has risen to astronomical levels and no fancy reports can gloss over the fact that we are seeing an increase in BIm.
    Branding glaring facts and realism as pessimism , gloom and doom and other tired adjectives does not eliminate the facts.
    There is no way that we are better off today than we are economically better off than we were in 2018.
    And it’s not Mottley’s fault. It’s the reality of COVID, a vicious downturn in tourism, along with hurricanes, volcanic ash, a lazy retail oriented private sector and now the war in Ukraine.
    How the hell can we be better off when these circumstances and others have us in more real debt than we actually were before.
    We are witnessing a historically high level of economic decline.
    We are waiting for a new, promised economic model and there is none . Worrell, Haynes , Blackman , Cox and all the others have given us the same damn message for fifty years and the results have not significantly changed our economic decline with or without COVID, hurricanes, volcanic ash, and the howling of the Bees or Dees.
    That is why Mottley has validated Sinckler’s failures and that is why he has embraced and validated Mottley’s leadership.
    Same shit, different day.
    Call it what you may. But look at the evidence.
    @ Lorenzo
    You are rapidly becoming a lost cause. You can’t be saved : just make sure your garbage is collected and you can catch a bus. And enjoy your heavenly stay on whatever Barbados you live in. Take the garbage and the bus ride to the supermarket and pay fir your groceries and other essentials. And continue to wish the man you claimed supervised the “ lost decade “ well. Follow your leader at all cost.

  36. @Skinner, ok thank you for your clearly defined analysis on that basic 11% growth comment from the Gov. Understand you perfectly. Now sir, that being clarified we can agreeably part ways on the perspectives re Bdos and regional economic forecasts.

    Your view is indeed pessimistic although very evidentiary strong. Economic progression is almost exactly as you described the scenarios and that’s why we HAVE to look at numbers in relative and not simply in absolute terms.

    Absolutely we still see folks in poverty here and across the region but relatively that does NOT invalidate the fact many more have been pulled from the pain of impoverishment into meaningful and sustainable life.

    Undoubtedly, engines of the economy are down and unemployment and underemployment are high but realism tells us that it’s quite improbable and well nigh impossible to consistently have any ‘full employment’ level in Bim … our economy does not have the infrastructure to achieve that (except of course for smoke and mirrors programs to employ thousands on beautification Urban Dev. jobs or some such).

    So I accept your realism and still label in pessimism !

    Unless bus fares are massively subsidized we will always have to pay MORE and more as all other costs increase for operating such a transport system … can we get Bajans to become a society of EV bikes and scooters or economy size cars to better buttress our transportation . Hardly!

    Utilities need to be managed very efficiently clearly but they too have increased costs year over year over year so comparatively (another relative measure) they MUST be higher. Are current economic costs at NPV higher or lower than 10 -15 years ago? I have NO idea … and I am not going to complain now about Canadian ownership and I certainly can’t opine on whether BL&P is gouging consumers.

    Is the 11% growth real? Well, as a basic comparative measurement it describes an increase surely but does it mean that our economy is in BETTER shape than five years ago… ABSOLUTELY not. Do we have the plans in place to get us into a better space? We have ideas and pretty policy proposals but as you suggest the realisms from the past does not fill us with confidence about success.

    So again I get your realistic view and the “historically high level of economic decline” but again in the face of historically high levels of world-wide economic upheaval, political populism and all that has transpired in Bim in last 10 years I see NO upside in looking at all that via a ‘doom and gloom’ lens … there have been TOO MANY other positives for Bajans for us to retain such an outlook!

    Peace, brother.

  37. All the long talk that we are not better off than we were in 2018. Does not take away from the fact that we are better off than we were in q1 of 2021 unemployment etc are all better

    Who expect us to be back to 2018 level already?

  38. Those that have ears to hear would hear with understanding
    The use of technology by this administration would guide people’s interest into what govt wants people to hear think and belive
    There is a new standard being set by govt one of delivering and not asking to be questioned
    Any one with an iota of economic understanding would know that for growth in amounts governor stated during a pandemic and a country borrowing instead of producing cannot in any way deliver growth rate numbers in 3 mths which were handed to the people by the governor
    Where is the high level of productivity to produce such numbers in a country where the economic wheels are all but fallen to the ground
    Why did governor simply ignore the question asked
    IS Barbados out of a Recession?

  39. In the body of the very first comment after the article – posted by the blogmaster
    Quoted from Dr Haynes

    “The definition of a recession is after two consecutive quarters of economic fallout. Our economy has been now growing for the last four quarters, but the truth is that we are not where we were at the end of 2019,” the economist said.
    Picked up
    “So I try to avoid labels, because yes the economy has picked back up – for the last four quarters we have grown – but I think we will only begin to feel comfortable once we at least get back to where we were in 2019 and then start to grow.”

  40. Middle class under pressure?

    “To be fair, the pandemic has had a devastating impact on all people, regardless of the level they are at, whether the upper, middle or lower classes.”
    By Tony Best The fortunes of Barbados’ middle class may be at the crossroads, facing either decline or acceleration, but the solution could depend on a mix of the new republic’s health and economic conditions.
    Interestingly, that quandary may be answered if society decides whether the middle class glass was half-full or half-empty.
    That, in essence, summarised the conclusions of two key Bajan academics in North America, Dr Andy Knight, a Fulbright Scholar at Yale University in Connecticut and the University of Alberta in Edmonton, and Dr Rinaldo Walcott, an associate professor at the University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.
    Both scholars articulated their forecasts in reaction to speculation voiced by Professor Don Marshall, head of the University of the West Indies’ (UWI) Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies; Professor Justin Robinson, an economist and pro-vice chancellor of the Board for Undergraduate Studies at Cave Hill; and Michael Howard, professor emeritus of economics.
    As Marshall, Robinson and Howard reportedly saw it, Barbados’ middle class was in jeopardy of further significant erosion as a result of rising inflation, traceable to the impact of COVID-19 pandemic and fallout from Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine. Indeed, Marshall was quoted as saying that some members of Barbados’ middle class might be in real danger of being “pauperised”.
    Jury ‘still out’
    But Dr Knight, a former director of the UWI’s Institute for International Relations, told the Sunday Sun that the jury was “still out”, on the plight of the middle class as its members sought to recover from recent global economic and social challenges.
    “It is hard to know without looking at the figures whether or not this is an accurate portrayal of what’s happening to the middle class” in the Caribbean, including Barbados, said Knight, a leading foreign affairs expert who is completing a year of research and collaborations with prominent scholars at Yale University.
    “To be fair, the pandemic has had a devastating impact on all people, regardless of the level they are at, whether the upper, middle or lower classes. It has had a devastating impact on our people. How we get out of this we are still not sure,” he said.
    “The pandemic is still going on and we have a variance of the COVID-19 pandemic which was causing much difficulty in many areas,” the scholar said. “It is important for us to really take a serious look at what all of this has done to the middle class” in Ba rbados and its Caribbean neighbours.
    “The rebounding of the economy, the rebounding of tourism and the rebounding of building back better after the pandemic are probably going to lead to an acceleration in development of the middle class,” he said.
    “I think we have to wait and see how this turns out. I don’t think I can agree that somehow the middle class (in Barbados) is eroding in terms of its economic power and political influence,” added Knight. “I will have to see more figures to prove that is the case. Right now I see the middle class as still holding steady and probably will be strengthened
    as we put in place more resilient structures, now that the pandemic may be fading away for a lot of people. As long as people don’t pretend that the pandemic has gone (actually) away. “
    Getting close
    He was quick to say “we are getting close to the end of the pandemic” but Barbados wasn’t quite there yet.
    After all, the Caribbean was a “small place”, he insisted.
    “I have to see the empirical evidence before deciding whether the middle class was eroding because of the pandemic,” he said. “The Caribbean has been hit hard by multiple vulnerabilities, including climate change. I know there is a need to do some serious analysis about what it means for black and brown people in a region to be tackling massive vulnerabilities and what it does to the economy. We have to look not only at the middle class but at other people too.”
    For his part, Walcott, a prominent civil rights advocate in Canada, said that concerns about the middle class were being expressed not simply in Barbados but elsewhere around the world.
    “That is a concern that most of the western world has found itself engaged in whether it was in the US, Canada, and Western Europe, France with claims that the middle class is in decline and under significant pressures,” insisted Walcott. “What they never talk about is why. We live in an era when there was “massive, untold, unheardof transfer of wealth to the wealthiest among us. What we don’t hear from governments who talk about the pressures on the middle class is what they are actually going to do to rebalance or to balance out these significant transfers of wealth to the wealthiest among us.”
    The Bajan, whose research is in the area of black diaspora cultural studies, gender and sexuality, said that the unanswered question was what governments were going to do about the middle class.
    “Governments with their legislative power, what are they going to do? Often governments seem to abdicate from their legislative power to make the kinds of changes and make the kinds of changes in their everyday lives” that would improve conditions facing the middle class, he said. “Don’t forget we are still living out the [President] Ronald Reagan years of trickle-down economics. Now we are living them out globally.”

    Source: Nation


    Bajans depositing millions despite minuscule interest rates
    By Shawn Cumberbatch

    Barbadians are still depositing millions of dollars into accounts at commercial banks and other financial institutions despite being paid little to no interest on their savings.
    That is based on new data from the Central Bank, which also revealed that while new loans to households have picked up, and more individuals are using their credit cards, most people are shying away from borrowing.
    At the end of last year, total deposits at commercial banks, deposit-taking finance and trust companies and credit unions reached $13.6 billion, but three months later at the end of March they had surged by $500 million.
    The majority of this, $311.3 million, was in local currency.
    Central Bank Governor Cleviston Haynes explained that domestic currency deposits “grew by 2.4 per cent due to Government spending and heightened foreign exchange inflows during the quarter”.
    The increased savings growth was also reflected in the balances of Barbadian households, he said, adding that the increased deposits slowed when compared with last year. This was because “domestic consumption picked up and prices increased”.
    “Foreign-currency deposits expanded to account for 7.6 per cent of total deposits, above the five per cent share recorded one year earlier. This expansion was largely due to the sale of real estate and increased activity in the tourism sector,” he said.
    Haynes said that generally liquidity in the
    Source: Central Bank of Barbados.
    financial system remained elevated, with banks continuing to maintain substantial excess cash with the Central Bank.
    “The growth in excess liquidity slowed over the past year from the preceding 12-month period, but the build-up during the last three months was stronger than that of the first nine months of the fiscal year, due to the Government stimulus and private sector inflows of foreign exchange,” he explained.
    With savings increasing, the Governor also reported that “interest rates on deposits and loans remained at historically low levels”.
    The increased pace of
    saving has generally not been matched by a growing appetite for new loans from banks and credit unions, the Central Bank information showed. This was in relation to borrowing by individuals and companies.
    “Credit to the non-financial private sector by deposit-taking institutions remained relatively flat compared to a one per cent decline for the first three months of 2021,” Haynes said.
    “On the corporate side, the value of new loan disbursements was one per cent higher than the corresponding period a year earlier but, after accounting for repayments, most sectors, with the exception of construction, manufacturing and real estate, registered declines in credit balances.”
    The economist said new lending to households grew at a faster rate than between January and March 2021, with credit card activity increasing with the resumption of travel and economic activity, but repayments continuing to exceed new credit.
    “These events resulted in the outstanding credit card balance being just above the value of debt incurred during the period. Mortgage balances also continued to contract, as repayments outweighed the growth in new credit. New bridging loans to households were higher than last year, but overall supply of funds remained weak,” he stated.
    Haynes said that overall, the financial system “remained stable during the quarter”.
    “Consolidated non-performing loans of the banks and deposit-taking finance and trust companies began to reverse the upward trend experienced in the earlier phases of the pandemic. This improved credit quality reduced provisions and contributed to higher profitability and a strong capital base,” he reported.

    Source: Nation

  42. “The British multinational automotive firm Inchcape announced Tuesday it had completed the acquisition of the Sir Kyffin Simpson-founded motor dealer and its regional automotive distribution arm, ITC.”

    Simpson Motors is now owned by the British.
    Perhaps we may see a reintroduction of British made vehicles into the island.

    The only locally owned car dealerships in the island are Courtesy Garage and probably Nassco.

    • @Artax

      Another case of looking for a golden handshake at a time there shift in market and Sir Kyffin getting on?

  43. @ David

    Remember, on December 2021, FTSE 250 car dealership Inchcape announced it agreed to buy Interamericana Trading Corporation (ITC) and Simpson Motors from the Simpson Group for an undisclosed sum.

    New car sales are at an ‘all time low,’ even before the COVID-19 pandemic.
    I’ve seen several new vehicles at Courtesy Garage, some that were there since last year. I’m wondering if they’re being as 2022 models. Simpson Motors had a reputation for engaging in that practice.

    Perhaps Sir Kyffin decided to take advantage of an opportunity that would see him ‘get out’ of the car sales business, while receiving millions of dollars in the process.

    I think he sold SOL as well. So, he definitely has to be one of the richest men in Barbados.

    • @Artax

      Bear in mind Simpsons is a regional player as far as having the agency for Mercedes, Subaru, John Deere and other high value brands.

  44. @ David

    Yes, I know.

    They owned the Suzuki franchise for the Caribbean region and are the agents for Mitsubishi heavy-duty vehicles, Chrysler, Isuzu, JCB and Bobcat as well.

  45. Barbados Water Authority said, however, that this will not make up the deficit created by the Desalination Plant being offline, so customers in the Lodge Hill to Shop Hill and the Castle Grant systems, including residents along the West Coast and in parts of St James, St Thomas, St Andrew and St Joseph will continue to experience water outages.

  46. Cut in spending

    Head of private sector body sees impact of high costs
    HEAD OF THE Barbados Private Sector Association (BPSA), Trisha Tannis, says businesses have already begun to see a reduction in spend from Barbadians due to rising cost of living in the country.
    Tannis told the DAILY NATION that due to the fact that the costs of goods are skyrocketing as a result of the external ripple effects of the ongoing war in Ukraine, the current sale of goods locally is suggesting that customers have begun to cut back to just essentials.
    “Definitely we are seeing persons being discriminating about their choices and what they are willing to spend their money on. I think like everything else it is going to come down to priority and therefore those sectors that carry commodities that persons can go without, have started to suffer a bit more. We have no choice but to engage in certain activities such as eating and putting gas in our vehicles, but we are seeing a lot more willingness from people to pool resources. It is clear that people are taking steps to conserve their disposable income,” said Tannis.
    She also said that the longer the crisis lasts, the greater the risk that jobs could be on the line, although she foresees such a move as a last resort for most entities.
    Preserve jobs
    “I think that whenever there is a prolonged impact on any particular sector that is negative, there is always the possibility of adjustment. The private sector has always faced some criticism for looking to labour first in terms of the adjustment. However, that is because it is the largest single element
    of business operating cost and how you treat to that cost can determine the fortunes of the company. I think what we would do, as we always do, is to encourage companies to preserve jobs as much as we can, to take a look at other operational costs and not just the cost of labour.”
    The BPSA head contended that businesses can ill-afford to sit and wait for the exogenous shocks to subside, stressing that steps must be taken now to bring cost down before it gets “to the point that persons cannot afford to live in Barbados”. She therefore called on the business sector to do a thorough check of their systems to determine where wastage and inefficiencies can either be dispensed with or eliminated through technology.
    “There is a call nationally to be more productive and efficient. We do need to carve out that wastage which are inherent in our legacy systems and processes. These are contributing to our inflationary cost locally. It is a call for us to challenge a lot of the mindsets that have built our structures over the years. We are going to have to determine whether or not we are going to continue to do things in a way that attract unnecessary cost,” Tannis said.
    She added: “Does that mean that there may be an impact on labour at some point in time down the road if we start looking at shifting systems and digitisation of our policies? Yes, it may, but it also means that there are opportunities being created in other types of jobs. Hopefully we can retrain and retool to start to shift jobs from entry level to more intuitive-based roles.”
    Tannis warned that these steps needed to be taken sooner rather than later, as the country was facing the very real possibility of prices spiralling out of control.
    “So, I don’t think that we can escape this, and we do have to start the conversation nationally because we are at the point now where it is extremely expensive for the average Barbadian to live here. We can’t just keep compounding cost structures on top of inefficiencies, the bubble is going to burst and in fact it is about to burst. We either deflate it or prices spiral out of control to the point that sectors start to collapse,” she said.

    Source: Nation News

  47. @ David

    Haven’t you realised as yet in his haste to make silly, irrelevant comparisons to portray Barbados in a ‘negative light,’ that guy alawys ‘looks AFTER he leaps?’

  48. Dear Donna

    I used this blog on the economy as an example.

    However, in addition to “hoping the economy gets better soon,” perhaps you could offer a suggestion or two on how it could be improved to being “good good.”


    A concern Barbadian.

  49. Artax,

    None that I haven’t given before and that haven’t been given by others more versed in these matters.

  50. Barbados ranks #1 in Caribbean for digital nomads
    Article by Barbados Today
    Published on
    May 6, 2022×456.jpeg

    Barbados is the number one Caribbean destination for executive digital nomads, according to Savills Plc, a United Kingdom real estate agency.

    Savills’ Head Office London Director, Paul Tostevin, shared in his blog on April 27, on the company’s website, that as part of its Impacts 2022 programme, an Executive Nomad Rating survey was conducted.

    Of the 15 destinations ranked, Barbados placed number one in the Caribbean, and fifth overall, and was noted as having the fastest internet in the Caribbean, an appealing climate, and good air connectivity. The top destination was Lisbon, followed by Miami, United States of America (USA); Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and Algarve, Portugal.

    The index was based on countries that have a digital nomad visa programme or equivalent, or in the case of the USA and European countries, are already part of a large economic bloc that allows free movement within it. Other criteria assessed included a year-round favourable climate, high quality of life, and a developed luxury housing market.

    Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, back in July 2020, announced the Welcome Stamp Programme, which seeks to assist in diversifying the island’s tourism product and attract a new type of visitor. The programme also seeks to fill the gap left by decreased tourist arrivals and to generate foreign exchange, and in July 2021, the Remote Employment Amendment Bill was passed.

    It allowed for the extension of the existing legislation governing the Welcome Stamp Programme. The Remote Employment Act 2020-2023 allows for persons under the programme to renew their application and pay the relevant fees to live another year in Barbados.

    As of March 2022, Barbados received 3,511 applications and approved 2,308 for the programme. Of the 3,511 applications received, 2156 were for the period July to December 2020; 1,011 applications for the year 2021, and 254 up until the end of March this year.

    According to the data provided, the top five leading countries seeking entry under the programme are the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Canada, Nigeria, and Ireland.

    Of the applications received, 64 per cent were from individuals and 36 per cent from families. A further breakdown of the statistics revealed that 62 per cent of the applicants are male, and 38 per cent are females.

    Those approved applicants under the programme have occupations in fields such as Engineering; Health Science; Architecture, Information Technology; Communications; Public Administration; Finance; Education and Training; Law; Distribution and Logistics, and Management.

    The recent statistics were compiled by the Research Department, Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc., with data received from the Barbados Immigration Department. (BGIS)

  51. Fla residents being gifted

    DeSantis signs tax ‘holidays,’ gas-tax break
    Published:May 6, 2022 6:09 PM EDT
    Updated:May 6, 2022 10:50 PM EDT
    A series of sales-tax “holidays” on such things as school clothes, hurricane supplies and tools and a suspension of the state gas tax in October topped a package signed into law Friday by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

    The tax package (HB 7071), passed by the Legislature in March, will reduce state and local revenues by $804.3 million during the upcoming fiscal year, according to a House staff analysis. The total will increase to about $1.1 billion when future impacts are factored in.

    Along with holding traditional tax-holiday periods before the school year and as hurricane season starts, the package will eliminate taxes during all or part of the 2022-2023 fiscal year on items including baby clothes, diapers, children’s books, Energy Star appliances, impact-resistant doors and windows, new mobile homes and admissions to Formula One Grand Prix races and the Daytona 500.

    “This bill comes at an opportune time, as families grapple with the rising costs of everyday expenses like gas, food and clothing,” Department of Children and Families Secretary Shevaun Harris said during an appearance with DeSantis in Ocala. “I know that every penny saved counts.”

    State leaders touted that the election-year package will help consumers.

    “The tax relief you’re going to see are going to be breaks for really critical needs, like gas, diapers, disaster supplies, tools for skilled trades, recreational activities, you name it,” DeSantis said. “And, so, families are going to be able to save for things that really matter for them.”

  52. Hundreds applying for cruise jobs
    Hundreds of Barbadians are not letting the opportunity to work on a cruise liner pass them by.
    Managing director of Trinity Recruitment Services Inc., Judeen Scantlebury, said people from various backgrounds were seeking jobs being offered by Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.
    “Right now we have a request for 400 jobs from Royal Caribbean and the management of that cruise line is scheduled to come to Barbados soon to do a final assessment of the candidates we are currently screening,” she told the Sunday Sun at her business in Mall 34, The City.
    There are positions in administration, cleaning, finance, guest services, payroll, media and accounting and senior positions, Scantlebury said.
    “They are good-paying jobs. Salaries start from US$900 and it goes up and based on your experience your salary would be higher. So it gives good options to Barbadians and all Caribbean nationals if they choose to come and sign up. Contracts are eight to nine months’ with two months vacation and we are looking to get people starting from as early as June 2022.”
    Last month, Minister of Tourism and International Transport Senator Lisa Cummins and chief executive officer of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Michael Bayley, signed a memorandum of understanding that will see hundreds of Barbadians securing jobs with that cruise line.
    Scantlebury said this was a great opportunity for people who were finding difficulty landing a job or wanted to get new work experience.
    “When you start you are going to the country where the ship is in port and Royal Caribbean is paying for your airfare, refunding you for money spent on medicals and to get your United States visa.
    “This has been the first week of screening and
    the response has been extremely overwhelming. Every day we have gotten consistent applicants for all areas.
    Within a day we have been screening close to 100 people from all walks of life and different backgrounds – from professionals to entry-level people. We have until May 13 for screening as afterwards the cruise ship managers will come and do their assessments.”
    She added that many people were having challenges making ends meet.
    “What we are seeing as well is the desperation of employment. People are really in overwhelming situations where as many as five or more people are living in a household and only one person is working. Those people can’t make commitments on payments.
    “So I am very glad that as a brand we have the opportunity to help people in this trying time and give Barbadians a chance to be employed. Some of the stories we hear are very disheartening and sad, and in many instances so far it seems we are the last option of hope for some people,” she said.
    Royal Caribbean is giving this employment opportunity to Barbados as a sign of goodwill. During the global lockdowns, Barbados opened its port to cruise ships and assisted with staff being able to fly out to their respective home countries. (SB)

    Source: Nation

    Bajans most taxed in English-speaking Caribbean
    By Shawn Cumberbatch

    Barbadians are paying more taxes than anyone else in the Englishspeaking Caribbean, an international study has found.
    Revenue Statistics In Latin America And The Caribbean 1990-2020 concluded that only Cuba (37.5 per cent) had a higher tax-to-gross domestic product (GDP) ratio than Barbados (35.2 per cent) among 27 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    However, economist Dr Simon Naitram said it was“not much use looking just at how much tax we pay without looking at how much public services we get access to”.
    He said Barbadians would have to determine what was more important to them – lower taxes or continued access to public services paid for by Government.
    But his fellow University of the West Indies (UWI) economics lecturer Dr Ankie Scott-Joseph believes “there is scope to reduce taxation”, though not without difficulty.
    “Changes in economic circumstances require changes in tax rates and structure. If the Government wants to achieve its economic objectives and encourage savings and investments, it must cut taxes,” she told the Sunday Sun.
    She suggested Government balance both sides of its fiscal operations by comparing the burden on taxpayers with the benefits Barbadians were gaining from the public purse.
    The joint publication of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, Inter-American Center of Tax Administrations, and Inter-American Development Bank reported that “with the exceptions of Barbados and Cuba, all Latin America and the Caribbean countries recorded a tax-to-GDP ratio below the OECD average of 33.5 per cent”.
    “For three countries, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados and El Salvador, nominal tax revenues fell by less than nominal GDP between 2019 and 2020, leading to an increase in their tax-to-GDP ratio,” the analysis stated Scott-Joseph suggested that any tax cuts Government made “should be directed as far as possible towards stimulating new consumer spending and/or new business investment in the short run”.
    “The problem with this approach, however, is that the options for tax cuts are limited to payroll or income taxes, and import and excise duties,” she said.
    “Together, these categories
    account for approximately 40 per cent of tax revenues and are closely linked to VAT, which also represents 40 per cent of total tax revenue. Any adjustment to these taxes will have an indirect, long-run impact on the VAT revenues, among others.”
    Her view was that lowering income/ payroll tax would induce more work effort, saving and investment.
    Scott-Joseph added that “if import and excise duties are reduced, larger revenues could be collected, because the cost of production and price of goods and services would fall, savings and consumption demand will increase, and so too will the production and investment activities of the economy”.
    She also explained that “shifting the burden away from payroll/income tax and import and excise duties may only be effective when these taxes and the reform themselves are well-designed and the Government makes strategic decisions to ensure its spending is efficient and productive”.
    Naitram said the matter was a complex one of priorities and tradeoffs for taxpayers and Government. “Of course there’s still the question of whether revenue is spent efficiently, but if you really want to reduce taxes, you would have to limit the provision of public services.
    Former UWI economics lecturer Professor Michael Howard agreed Barbados was “a very heavily taxed society”.
    He linked it to Barbados’ use of the Scandinavian countries’ Nordic welfare model, which relied on heavy taxation for the provision of extensive free social services like health and education but was now unsustainable; Government’s need to finance the “very large” public sector; the imposing of new taxes to reduce tax evasion and non-compliance; and international factors such as the fluctuations in the price of petroleum.

    Source: Nation

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