Cost of Living – Crapo Smoke We Pipe

It is no surprise the ineffectual debate about reducing the cost of living has resurfaced. As usual the country is beguiled by the usual talking heads whose commentary is crafted to fulfil political interest and reaffirm traditional economic theories.

However you ‘slice and dice’ the challenge facing Barbados to significantly reduce the cost of living, it cannot change the fact Barbados is a net importer of commodities. For those who will interject that tourism as a service generates significant revenue inflow, it is an industry with significant foreign ownership which dilutes earnings making its way onshore.

A significant slice of Barbados’ import bill is oil and food totalling north of 40% by the blogmaster’s estimation. It does not require complex reasoning to understand that a significant increase in oil price and food will increase cost of living in Barbados. The disruption to global supply chains as a result of the pandemic quickly followed by the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine (responsible for producing a significant share of the world’s agricultural products used as inputs in food products) means Barbados as a net importer will continue to import inflation.

With the cost of living on the jump trade unions in Barbados have signalled labour expects a favourable response to an increase in wages. Pensioners and other vulnerable groups have also been crying out as the economic climate becomes more severe. ‘Heavy is the head that wears the crown’ – with cries emanating from all quarters what will the Mottley government do to deliver comfort to citizens in most need? Without being insensitive to the plight of suffering Barbadians there is so much protection a broke heavily indebted government can offer. The longer external shocks persist ‘crapo smoke [we] pipe’. 

The blogmaster – unlike some here – is not qualified to recommend to the leadership of the country the best approaches to take to manage an open economy during crisis after crisis. What can be said however is the importance of our leadership rallying the country around ‘fit for purpose’ national objectives. Truth be told, can many Barbadians say we have made significant adjustments to our lifestyle to effectively respond to the increasing adverse economic environment? 

The blogmaster continues to be amazed at the bustling activity at fast food and fine dining restaurants. The number of vehicles zipping up and down the highways as byways 24/7 given the astronomical gas and diesel prices at the pump. The one that peeves the blogmaster no end is an aversion many Barbadians have to suffer discomfort in vehicles by leaving air conditioning units turned off. There are many initiatives individuals can undertake to help themselves and those who can afford it, do it as a means to help others. 

The foregoing is not meant to excuse government from leading by example and doing all that it practical to execute fit for purpose policies. These are challenging times and a government with an unprecedented large Cabinet is expected to over achieve regardless of the challenges. To whom much is given much is expected.

67 thoughts on “Cost of Living – Crapo Smoke We Pipe

  1. “These are challenging times and a government with an unprecedented large Cabinet is expected to over achieve regardless of the challenges. To whom much is given much is expected.”

    DLP were on a roll riding high on power until they fucked up handling the economic recovery after the Global Financial Recession.
    Blinding Truth is Developing countries suffer in recession at least 7 times more than the Capitalist manipulators on planet Earth, who will still get richer and richer regardless and the smaller minority of top 1% and 0.1% earn more growth in economic crises and rest get economic stagnation wage reductions redundancies bankruptcies and are permanently out the money making game without chances of building careers just zero hour contracts.

  2. @ David
    Did Bushie not hold the patent for ‘Doom and Gloom’ here on BU?
    Are you not WAYYYY out of your lane Boss…?

    Whatever happened to Mr Optimistic bozie…?
    Monkey pox?
    Supply chain chaos?
    Cost of living?
    Global warming?
    Global vaccine scam?
    Radical vaccine scam?
    Sewerage in the sea?
    Solid waste still unsolved?
    Chinese houses still in containers?
    Still no constitution?
    Is the senate legal?
    What are our courts doing?
    Emera raising electricity?
    Engineers warn of Ponzi?
    Petra Wicky is our national moral guide?
    etc etc etc etc…
    All of the above?

    Expect to hear from Bushie’s lawyer (one of the three honest ones on Island) shortly…

    • @Bush Tea

      Isn’t given dispassionate advice to all who have ears taking the optimistic lane?

  3. David

    This ‘fit for purpose’ mantra as delivered to Mottley by her friends in Washington has outlived its usefulness.

    The circumstances have deteriorated beyond that. Indeed, fit for purpose connotes situations where margins could have been squeezed, even minor structural changes. We judge that the evolving conditions will not be responsive to such a light touch.

    As you opine interminably about imported inflation, and rightly so, capitalism and the Bajan condition will continue to act in concert to deliver feelings of satisfaction and desire by citizen showing that they can still engage in conspicuous consumption and those who can’t respectively.

    The wage escalatory ladder has long stopped making sense. We have missed the opportunity to transform workplaces into places of economic democracy. Within this equation the anti developmental tensions between labor and ownership or management ceases to exist.

    • @Pacha

      The blogmaster uses fit for purpose to connote relevance to what is required to effectively navigate the challenge.

  4. Is a country a cemetery
    Is a glass half full or half empty or both
    Is this your glass or someone else’s
    The glass is doing what it is meant to holding onto things

    Bloom from These Tombs


  5. This is about feeling. This is about taking enough time to stop running, come face to face with truth and fear and not letting fear drive the car anymore. This piece exists now because this affect all of us, every background, every skin tone and if you are human. If there is blood coursing through your veins, then you are not excluded from this. This could be though of as just my story, through my perspective, in regards to my reality or it could be that for someone else too but honestly it is so much bigger than both of us. The more we pretend this,–“this” as in hatred and racism and injustice all wrapped up — does not exist, the more power we give it. It’s time to shift the power. I bet if you took one moment to actually FEEL something about what is happening in our world today, your thinking would not cloud so much. Too many people are hurting and yet again I would dare to say that not enough people are hurting. this project not a political stance, this is a collaborative human observation.

  6. Wait and wunna surprised?

    For 10 years not a fellow hardly got a wage increase. Over the ten year period if we assume true inflation averaged 3%, then by the end a $100 bill would only of bought about $62 worth of goods anyhow! Aunty Mia get in and everybody get a little something as an icrease but what happen then?

    Then we had the new taxes aunty Mia brought on fuel etc etc and the infamous debt restructiring that saw returns on government paper fall from 7% to 1%. So a fellow with $100,000 in goverment paper that was getting $7000 a year in interest, just so wapaxx he get cut to $1000 a year. In other words we was in real trouble long before Putin do foolishness. Plus dont forget Covid do a number pun we tourist trade too.

    Bajans today are poorer in real terms than they have ever been for all the above reasons. Dont let no politician or fowl come along now and blame putin. Yes that idiot make it worst, but we have been paving the road to poverty quite nicely all by ourselves for at least 15 years before him.

    In simple terms we as a people have not earned enough to stay ahead of the annual inflation rate for over 15 years now. We are therefore poorer than we were in real terms in 2007.

    Thing is it is not just individuals but companies with real estate holdings as well. Over the 15 years since the bust of 2008 prices of properties have not recovered to the pre 2007/2008 level either. So for 15 years owners have paid land tax and insurances on an asset that has not shown any capital appreciation. Actually it has depreciated in value. So dont let nobody come here and pretend that this inflation thing only now come long and we is the victim of putin and others. No please the facts say different!

    • @John A

      Who is blaming Putin and the pandemic for the slide? What the blogmaster is saying is that it ripped the off the bandaids. We shouldn’t forget why the debt restructure was executed. We do not produce enough to pay for what we consume, this is the long and short of it. Until we do, we will be rearranging chairs on the titanic until the inevitable occurs.

  7. Bushie absolutely!. And that nobody has the answers to this situation which is long past a rhetoric of fit for purpose.

    Fit for purpose might have been a necessary even if insufficient condition before recent events but now it has no relevance at all we fear.

    Sticking to such terms vastly underestimate our perilous position. David

    • @Pacha

      The blogmaster respects your position, fit for purpose in the context used is about selecting appropriate strategies/policies to fit the predicament we find ourselves. There is no need to split hairs on language.


    Pacha, William, TLSN and others…i had to do some research first before posting this link, had some contacts on the continent check with their contacts to give up the truth about what this really means, since the UN has no track record of observing Black Afrikan rights in the west or anywhere else since the UN 30 Articles of Universal Human Rights ratified by them in 1948…all Black rights have been ignored by all since then…..72 years….

    hopefully, you too with your contacts Pacha….check into this to get the truth..then we can compare notes..

    one thing those who investigated and i can agree on….those Black conscious people in Barbados and the Caribbean should NEVER LEAVE the islands with any black face traitor politicians, the wretched of the earth…known CONNIVERS, they are THE ENEMY WITHIN….if you leave on your own, you will leave as A FREE AFRIKAN….if you leave with house negros from the colonial parliament…you will leave as A SLAVE and treated accordingly..

    all info about their dirty black on black criminality plans against Black Afrikan descents…ARE OUT THERE…for everyone to read about and know to STAY CLEAR OF THEM and KEEP THEM ALL EXPOSED EVERYWHERE…

    Pacha….i know you are well connected on our continent.., tellus what you find..

  9. Then there is this…do not be distracted with shite about cost of living, it RUNS MUCH DEEPER THAN THAT….

    BE PREPARED…and watch their disgusting nauseatingly retching black face liars every move…they know they have BEEN CAUGHT…so now they JUMPED OUT to tell their usual sleight of hand fairytales about “PREP for regional migration after a disaster.”

    these no good beasts are planning for Black lives ABOVE BLACK HEADS…and Black people KNOW NOTHING..

    “Charter of Barbados under scrutiny – by Barbados Today Traffic May 31, 2022
    Questions are being raised about the value of the new Charter of Barbados.

    The matter came up during an online townhall meeting on Sunday evening, titled Constitutional Reform and the Republic: Perspectives of the Youth and hosted by the Faculty of Social Sciences at The University of the West Indies Cave Hill campus.

    Retired High Court judge Christopher Blackman was among those who shared their thoughts on the non-justiciability of the document that was approved by Parliament in November last year, less than a week before Barbados’ transition to a republic.

    The Charter of Barbados, while not legally binding, outlines citizens’ rights and responsibilities. It is premised on five articles, the first of which states that all Barbadians are born free and are equal in human dignity and rights.

    That first article, in particular, was referenced by political science student Kai Allman who queried its usefulness if there are existing laws that run contrary to the terms of the Charter.

    “The Charter should really be serving as the foundation for the social and political change that we see in our new republic. The Charter can’t just be a symbol. When the Charter was passed, it was passed with the thought that it would just serve as a symbol for the Republic.

    “However, if it is just a symbol, then it is nothing, because when we look at it and we see that ‘all Barbadians are born free and equal in human dignity and relevance regardless of age, race, ethnicity, faith, class, cultural and educational background, ability, sex, gender or sexual orientation’ but we take a look at another piece of legislation that completely contradicts that, then the Charter is not a symbol of Barbados. It does not reflect the legislation or the Barbadian way of living,” Allman stressed.”

  10. “so now they JUMPED OUT to tell their usual sleight of hand fairytales about “PREP for regional migration after a disaster.””

    they did this in October 2021 and EVERYONE MISSED IT because they had no clue what they were talking about..

  11. David

    Please. We are past the stage where people can talk about policy selection. Can’t you see that so-called policies are irrelevant and that everything is outside our realm of awareness, ability to influence, at this historical moment.

  12. @ David

    Our problem had been that for 2 decades we have done little to keep paste with inflation, other than to comsume more. We have borrowed, found excuses and lied as an alternative for this.

    Based on all of this we have become lazy and unproductive as no politician wants to be open with the populace. Who wants to stand up and admit that ” under our leadership you have become poorer in real terms?”

    Our leaders have wrapped the people in a false blanket of safety with stupid statements like ” pubching above our weight” and other feel good nonesence.

    Here is a fact that I challenge any politician to question.


    • @John A

      Agree that we did nothing and recent events have hurried the decline. The root of the problem as you alluded is with us, not fit for purpose policies as well as tired social economic models.

  13. BTW Bushie

    Our first comment was meant to be ‘first’. However, today finds us in a country well known for power outages. Heavy rains brought one this day. On resumption, just sent.

    What do they say about fools? They seldom differ😁

  14. David

    There is a military philosophical saying which goes like this. When there is no clear path, the best thing is to do nothing. 😎

  15. “Pacha, William, TLSN and others…i had to do some research first before posting this link, …
    .. Pacha….i know you are well connected on our continent.., tellus what you find..”

    strange how you can see conspiracy in a green initiative on nuff land of African land
    not sure what you are fearful of
    intuition says it is kosher not cons piracy

  16. “intuition says it is kosher not cons piracy”

    your intuition ain’t worth shit, you have no clue what you are looking at…..nor the contacts to find out.

    Pacha will share what he finds…

  17. You are suffering from information psychosis love and are a Pacha disciple
    God and me and best mates which is worth an infinite number of BU Pachas
    it is the original Pachamama

  18. “Waru

    Will be on the phone with one or two today, hoping”

    Thanks Pacha….the same group has a wealth of info..

  19. You sleazy little minorities will learn that inserting yourself in the middle of the BLACK FAMILY is no longer appreciated, never was, by those of us who know you and ya sabotaging antics so well…

  20. The complaints about inflation and high prices are unjustified. We live on a dream island. It is clear that paradise has a high price. You have to die to go to heaven to God, and you have to be a millionaire to go to Barbados to Mia Mottley.

    If our island is too expensive for you, you can leave.


  21. Pacha to @ David
    “There is a military philosophical saying which goes like this. When there is no clear path, the best thing is to do nothing. 😎
    Pay Pacha NO mind with THAT suggestion Boss….
    You can always PRAY……

  22. “You sleazy little minorities will learn that inserting yourself in the middle of the BLACK FAMILY is no longer appreciated, never was, by those of us who know you and ya sabotaging antics so well…”

    Bu family consensus is YOU are sleazy and stupid to maxi maxi maxi maximum
    an angry black woman is what you are
    has anyone said you wrote a good book with full knowledge wisdom and understanding
    or you were out of your intellectual depth
    I don’t speak on behalf of any minorities or races just me and I am not to put into a box by a mad black racist woman

  23. Not even pray is going to help here…this is their waterloo….in more ways than one..

    the nusiance minority can have all the last words…

  24. I don’t get the point of the post.

    Seems to be just a rehash of things we already know viz. (1) we are in deep doo doo (getting deeper) and (2) the Mottley Crew is powerless to do anything of substance despite much spin and PR.

  25. These so called self labelling Bajan African Black Radical Activists are soft and weak liberating nobody

    Poetry, Music and the feels

  26. Bushie

    LOL! Trying to work out whether both yours and ours is doing the same thing -nothing!😇

    At least the military men trying to materially save lives in the here and now.

  27. @ Dullard

    Motley can do things but like all before her she will not as it would be political suicide.

    6 of 1 half dozen of the other.

  28. The time to act decisively was in the last 10-15 YEARS…but all that was offered was EMPTY TALK, lies, deceit and sleight of hand…….now unless ya know the script or have a copy…….ya shit outta luck…

  29. Information overload can blow your damn mind when you are not prepared and ready to use your brain.
    if someone calls black leaders in black lands lots of nasty names does that make them a self hating black.

    Dysfunction junction what’s your function, To Bible or Not To Bible that is the question
    Weeping and gnashing of teeth

    Gnashing (חרק) of teeth (שנים) appears several times in the Old Testament, including three mentions in Psalms, one in Job and one in Lamentations. Lamentations says, of the Babylonian occupiers of Jerusalem, “שָֽׁרְקוּ֙ וַיַּֽחַרְקוּ־שֵׁ֔ן,” “They hiss (שרק can also mean to weep) and gnash their teeth”. In all OT cases except Psalms 112:10, the gnashing appears to be an act of persecution and not suffering.

    The phrase “(there shall be) weeping and gnashing of teeth” (in the original Greek ὁ κλαυθμὸς καὶ ὁ βρυγμὸς τῶν ὀδόντων) appears seven times in the New Testament as a description on the fate of the unrighteous ones at the conclusion of the age. It is thought to derive from a logion in the hypothetical Q source, which yielded Matthew 8:12 and Luke 13:28. The other five occurrences (Matthew 13:42, Matthew 13:50, Matthew 22:13, Matthew 24:51, and Matthew 25:30) are all within the context of parables and are widely held to be redactional additions by Matthew. (source) Others, however, believe redactional theories of the parables are speculative at best, and offer little explanation as to the meaning of this phrase, and only speculate as to why Matthew and Luke included this apparently familiar saying.

    The phrase “gnash the teeth” is found in Acts 7:54, in the story of the stoning of Stephen. The phrase was an expression of anger of the Sanhedrin towards Stephen before the stoning.

    The phrase is also found as an idiomatic expression in colloquial English.
    Look up weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

    “Gnashing of teeth” means grinding one’s teeth together, having one’s teeth set on edge, or biting down in pain, anguish, or anger.

  30. I am an intuitive and can say that people need to be more grounded on the earth to prevent dissipating excess energy out of their brain

    Everybody needs a proper foundation to build on

  31. Pacha….when you get the info, don’t know how much of it you want to share on BU….i gave as much as i wanted…..I do believe some commenters deserve to know…

    .many in close family and friends inner circles and certain platforms already got access….and in turn shared it among their close circles…..that way the information travels to whom it’s intended…

  32. Moving Meditation: Qigong Grounding w/ Michael Winn

    Courtney Alex

    In many spiritual traditions, we’re flying up and away, out of our bodies whether we notice it or not. In this practice, borrowed from Qigong (some call it Chinese Yoga) we’re both moving AND meditating, connecting with the Earth, blending spiritual experience with daily existence. Are you an Empath who struggles to understand which emotions belong to you or someone else? Intuitive, but can’t seem to make it work for you fully? A creative with a ton of ideas but trouble following through materially? Do you daydream a lot in life or during seated meditation? In this video, Taoist Master, Michael Winn teaches how and why this moving meditation, called Deep Earth Pulsing, is so transformative!

  33. People get too much information and can’t figure out what is theirs and what isn’t and don’t know what to do with it.
    A country less than 300,000 peoples must be a minority.

  34. This is what these fraud politicians like….nothing happens for the people, they don’t lift a finger to help them………ten years later no severance. and all the politicians see is a photo op….2 governments later……all sucking on taxpayers, they and their fowls, hangerson and consultants…..but people can’t get benefits….pensioners…or their money from the treasury…

  35. Tron you dont seem to get it Most of us come to the island and pay what ever it costs but for a lot of us it is hard to have fun drink and party when we see how most of you live in fact it is kinda like a trip to india so instead of thinking you are some big up be happy we come and try to help your 26 x 14 island instead of going to a cheaper mexico or the DR with nicer hotels and a hell of a lot cheaper you putz.

  36. Pingback: BARBADOS: Cost of Living Increasing – What Solutions? – Barbados Underground Blog | Guyanese Online

  37. Pacha..i can now give you some background on the link, it came with a voice note from a well known and very credible individual…shared some weeks back….and also gave indepth info regarding that project….which does not correlate entirely with what they are projecting and seen as designed to sync with other events that were bound to occur over the last 15-20 years.

    Had not for a few people on BU, I would never share that info on here. I don’t believe they would have known certain things otherwise or seek to develop a better plan for self protection, hence i had no choice, have choices about others though.

    There is a very good reason to be economical with information going forward….by the time you get the full feedback…you will see the why….

  38. Intuition 101
    How do you tell the difference between intuition and fear, a lot of time people may think they are surviving on intuition,
    but are acting more on a survival based intuition in a situation that does not actually mean life or death. That can get us into the same patterns over and over again, stuck in the same story holding onto an old story or belief that does not necessarily serve you. Doing this practice will help you clear out some of that stuff without even having to identify it. A good example is when you start assuming types of people are the same when they are not and then worrying about it.
    We really want to be in present time and using the information we have in present time to make intuitive decisions that actually really serve us in present time and that leads us forward and yields more positive feeling and results.

    Intuition 101: Energetic Alignment

    Just about every spiritual tradition talks about the importance of being present. Sometimes, it can be difficult to get there if we’re still running energy from past events or future expectations. Energetically, getting present means connecting our physical body with the space we’re in, and clearing out the energy associated with our past, the stories and beliefs that keep us stuck there.

  39. Our position is grave. There is much upheaval in the world. I not satisfied that our government has conveyed the severity of what it to come.

    I am not one for panic or overstatement but it is definitely going to be worse than we are preparing for. Our solutions seem more medium to long-term whem the danger is around the corner.

    I hope when the rains come in we will plant more food.

    People will use less fuel when they cannot pay for it. Not too worried about that.

  40. Waru

    Know a couple of people eround The Sahel driving projects that turned out to be part of this Great Green Wall but was not aware of this mega project until you highlighted it and making some calls. Afraid I’m not going to be much more helpful, so much else happening.

  41. It’s ok, already know the whole setup behind it….you too will find out…

    .there is always the greedy and evil who use everything for their own narrow interests…

  42. Yes Pacha…a lot going on and the weakest people, both mentally and financially, are not paying as much attention as they should, still listening to lying corrupt politicians and their imps and pimps……

    “WHO Forced into Humiliating Backdown
    Stephen Andrew Mirani May 30, 2022
    Brilliant news out of Geneva today!

    As most of you know, the World Health Assembly has spent the past 7 days considering Biden’s 13 controversial amendments to the International Health Regulations.

    Official delegates from wealthy developed nations like Australia, the UK, and the US spoke in strong support of the amendments and urged other states to join them in signing away their countries’ sovereignty.

    The first sign, however, that things might not be going the globalists’ way, came on Wednesday, the 25th of May, which just happened to also be Africa Day.

    Botswana read a statement on behalf of its 47 AFRO members, saying they would be collectively withholding their support for the ‘reforms’, which many African members were very concerned about.

    Multiple other countries also said they had reservations over the changes and would not be supporting them either.

    These included Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa, Iran and Malaysia. Brazil in particular said it would exit WHO altogether, rather than allow its population to be made subject to the new amendments.

    In the end, the WHO and its wealthy nation supporters were forced to back down.

    They have not given up though – far from it. Instead, they did what they always do and ‘pivoted’.”

  43. Our citizens should thank Goddess Bim every day that they are allowed to live on the island. We do not have and have not had war, civil war, famine or other serious problems typical of the hellholes of Europe, South America and Africa.

    Thank you Supreme Leader for protecting us fiercely against all odds! We gladly drink French chamapgner instead of water and eat Italian pastries instead of bread. Not to mention that the high cost of living keeps refugees and the poor at bay. Those who want to come to us have to be wealthy.

  44. Pacha, Pacha…if only they had listened to you Bushman, Miller, William…etc…

  45. Gospel Gun · Ninjaman

    BT 2017 | Raoul Peck | “Shock Of The Real: History as Provocation”

  46. Samuel L. Jackson on I Am Not Your Negro Documentary

    ‘I Am Not Your Negro’ Q&A | Raoul Peck

  47. @ Tron at 6: 07 PM

    How true ! We are an expensive society. Let us take that as a given and work towards the well-being of all who live within our borders. We can only be who we are. Are we managing ? Our job is to manage it. It is a work in process/progress. No one is /can do better.

  48. High cost of living ‘hindering readiness’

    By Colville Mounsey
    The rising cost of living in Barbados is presenting a hindrance to some people’s ability to stock up on supplies for this year’s hurricane season.
    This concern was raised by chairman of the Retail and Distribution Committee for the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), Tomilson Bynoe, who said the uptake of supplies had been slower than usual this hurricane season.
    At the same time, president of the BCCI, Anthony Branker, said this development was worrying, given the fact that meteorological officials are predicting a very active hurricane season amid ongoing logistical shipping challenges. Bynoe, who is also a director of A1 Supermarkets said based on the feedback he had received, it was clear that many Barbadians simply did not have the disposable income to purchase beyond what they could consume for the given month.
    “The disposable income of the consumer has dwindled and that is the state of play in the world today based on the way that prices are moving upward. So, I don’t know that persons have the ability to buy twice as much as they normally buy in preparation for the hurricane season. It is not going to be something that many people are going to be able to do,” said Bynoe.
    He contended that should a hurricane hit the country, Barbadians’ ability to get supplies would depend on the distributors’ stocks. He said distributors had been doing their best to ensure they had the customary five-month stock of essential goods for the hurricane season. However, he said it was unclear if the supply chain had been able to deliver on what was ordered. He said it was going to come down to the distributors’ ability to manage inventory as effectively as possible.
    “As long as they [distributors] can get the product, they would make it available. On paper, most distributors have the supplies. The local distributors here are not cutting their orders. On the contrary they have been increasing their orders. It comes down to whether they have been receiving the full amount that they have been ordering. There is no challenge in terms of warehouse capacity, it is a question of getting only two containers when five were ordered,” he explained.
    Branker said he anticipated some challenges in the event of a hurricane, noting there was likely to be a rush on certain commodities. He said the ability to resupply quickly might be a task easier said than done.
    Provisions made
    “Most businesses in Barbados carry higher levels of inventory as we go into the hurricane season. So right now, businesses would already have made provisions to carry more of the basic commodities. However, if there was to be a hurricane, we expect that there would be a demand on certain things, and I am hoping that the additional inventory that Barbadian businesses carry would be able to carry us through. I would be able to perceive that a hurricane could exacerbate our challenges in terms of supplies in some instances,” said Branker.
    He added: “We are currently in a situation where nothing is as fluid as it was before and let’s say there is a significant lean on bottled water, the supply chain for that commodity not being as fluid as it used to be, it would be difficult to predict how and when you would be able to get follow-up shipments.
    “Certainly, there are some people who cannot afford to stock up as we would want them to do and then there are some persons who are just complacent and are laid back and would not do the stocking up that we have been asking them to do over the years. So, I don’t think that there is any singular reason that persons may not be stocking up because some people just wait until the last minute and now, we have a case of some people just not able to afford to do so at this time.”

    Source: Nation

    By Colville Mounsey
    Former Opposition Leader Bishop Joseph Atherley is calling for Government to reduce value added tax (VAT) from 17.5 per cent back down to 15 per cent to provide struggling Barbadians with relief from the rising cost of living.
    Pro Vice Chancellor at the University of the West Indies, Professor Justin Robinson, is of the view that Government may very well find itself in a position where a temporary lowering of VAT is possible without making too much of a dent in the public coffers.
    Imported inflation
    Atherley said given the fact that Barbados’ inflation is imported, returning VAT to its 2009 levels would go a long way in easing the “overextended pockets” of Barbadians.
    “I think that Government needs to address the VAT levels in Barbados and some of the duties that apply to goods when they are landed here in Barbados. So Government has not done enough to ease the pressure on Barbadians during these times of high inflation. The one thing that Government can do for sure is the lowering of VAT. The Barbados Labour Party had complained when the VAT was first raised to 17.5 per cent, yet all we have seen is the cap on fuel and few things that were added to the zero-rated list,” said Atherley.
    “If you cannot control the imported price then you have to deal with the thing that you can best control and that is the level of VAT that is applied on the ground,” the former Opposition leader added.
    It was 2010 that then Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler announced a temporary increase in VAT from 15 per cent to 17.5 per cent in the November 2010 Budget which was to last for a period of 18 months, which was supposed to expire on May 31, 2012. Twelve years later the 2.5 per cent increase on VAT has been maintained by successive administrations.
    Robinson pointed out that lowering VAT might pose a challenge within the context of an IMF target of one per cent primary surplus. However, he noted that several countries had lowered taxes levied on a percentage basis, based on the consideration that they were now likely to earn more than expected due to rising inflation.
    “Government has a target
    that it has to meet within the context of an IMF programme and it is quite debatable whether they can meet that target if VAT is lower than 17.5 per cent going forward. However, we are seeing it happen in other places on a temporary basis.
    “Due to the rising inflation, any tax that is applied on a percentage basis, governments are likely to earn more than they had expected during this period. So, some countries are lowering taxes and we saw this Government did it to some extent when they placed the cap on fuel. So in the same spirit, one could ask whether there is room for a temporary decrease in VAT because they are likely to earn more than is expected for any tax that is levied on a percentage basis,” the economist explained.
    State expenditure
    However, senior economic advisor to the Mia Amor Mottley administration, Dr Kevin Greenidge, told the Sunday Sun the issue was not as cut and dry as some are making it out to be. He argued that while it was true that Government is expected to see increased revenues due to price increases, the expenditure of the state had also increased.
    He pointed out that Government was already losing considerable revenue as a result of the current VAT cap on fuel, as well as the capping of freight charges to 2019 levels. However, he acknowledged that Government was likely to see an increase in revenue due to rising inflation but noted this would be offset by a rise in expenditure.
    “It is true that there will be an improvement in revenue because of higher prices. We also have to remember that Government will not get as much as they would normally get because they capped the VAT on fuel. Based on prices right now Government has foregone $14 million on gasoline alone while the loss on diesel is of a similar magnitude,” said Greenidge.
    He further explained: “Secondly, the Government does not operate in a vacuum. Government collects taxes in order to provide services to the country and to pay wages. So Government is also a consumer and they are facing higher inflation on their expenditure. To say that Government is having a windfall is tantamount to saying that they are purchasing these goods and services at some place special and are not subject to the same price increases.”

    Source: Nation

  50. Closer look at rising cost of living
    In recent months, the rising cost of living, primarily caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and more recently the war in Ukraine, has dominated the national discourse.
    President of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), Anthony Branker, has weighed in on multiple occasions as to the best way to navigate Barbados through this crisis, with consumers and businesses not emerging the worse for wear at the end.
    Earlier this month, the BCCI president issued an urgent call to its members to look beyond solely profit-driven motivations and instead incorporate a social mandate within their model. He noted then rising gas prices and high food bills, have the potential to give rise to greater social challenges and therefore it could not be business as usual. In the Sunday Sun’s Q& A series, Branker goes into greater depth with journalist Colville Mounsey about the concerns and solutions to tackle the pressing issue of rising inflation.
    Question: Have we seen the worst of the cost increases?
    Answer: As long as the war continues between Ukraine and Russia and the consequential effect that it would have on the price of oil, our situation will continue to worsen. As you are aware, where the fuel cost continues to rise it affects the cost of doing business, it affects the cost of freighting internationally and therefore it has an impact on the cost of our imports.
    The rising energy cost is the biggest threat now. Everything depends on fuel; we are significant importers, and the cost of freight is impacted by the cost of a barrel of oil. We must understand that if the cost of oil continues to rise, it will affect the cost of goods arriving in Barbados.
    Question: What is the inherent risk to the business sector currently due to rising inflation?
    Answer: Truth be told, the risk to business is one of loss of business due to inconsistent supplies and we also have the risk of increased cost of doing business generally. There will come a time when the consumer makes a choice on the goods and service they will purchase depending on the price.
    Therefore, there is an inherent risk to businesses because if consumers don’t have the disposable income, you can have a situation where persons will have to make a choice on what they can and would be able to purchase. For example, it could very well be that the survival of service-based small and micro businesses could come down to the priority that persons place on the services that they offer.
    Question: With high inflation, are the usual
    economic stimulants, such as Crop Over, working this time around?
    Answer: We in the business community all look forward to Crop Over because we get an influx of visitors, we get various fetes and activities that stimulate the economy. However, Crop Over depends significantly on sponsorship, we are seeing this year’s festivities being affected by reduced sponsorship as most businesses will be challenged in costing out sponsorship money at a time when they are under pressure.
    I think there needs to be a balance because we need Crop Over, but I think you would see select businesses coming forward. I think you would see those businesses that get a direct benefit out of Crop Over, stepping up to the plate. At the same time, you may also see some companies who may not get the direct benefit not being able to give the sponsorship that they would have been able to provide before.
    Question: You would have issued a call for businesses to look beyond solely profit-driven motivation and adapt a social stance in these times of high
    inflation. In your view, what are the direct consequences of failing to do so?
    Answer: The challenge that we face is that Barbadians have been accustomed to a certain lifestyle for many years and when you have the pressure that is being placed on them with high fuel cost and persons wanting to maintain a certain standard of living, there will be many persons who will now be living month to month.
    So, what could happen with continuous high inflation is that there is a level of frustration that could be created at most levels of society. For persons who would have dropped below the poverty line, they too need to feed their families and the society can be affected negatively.
    We could end up seeing an increase in crime and persons getting into all types of nefarious activities just to be able to survive. We must be able to contain this frustration and we must be socially responsible. As a mature society, not only from the business sector, but all of us also need to come together and understand and appreciate that persons are under pressure and that frustration is going to rise if we don’t contain it.
    Question: Do you see such a message permeating our current business culture?
    Answer: I believe that most businesses have contributed directly to society in one way or another. I think that my appeal is not necessarily just to business, but I believe that we need a rallying call from our beloved Prime Minister [Mia Amor Mottley] because we need to bring business, we need to bring labour and we need to bring Government together.
    Businesses cannot do it on their own. If we are looking at how we can stem the rising cost of fuel as well as the rising cost of doing business, it is not just a private sector initiative alone. I believe that if collectively all of the stakeholders come together, we can come up with a programme in Barbados that can see us reducing some of the critical items that we in Barbados consume.
    Question: Do we expect shortages to worsen?
    Answer: I think we have come to the peak in terms of shortages; however, I think that the impact will continue for some time. Shortages will take some time to regularise at our end, so I don’t think the situation will worsen but it will continue to the point where we continue to have that inconsistent supply for some time.

    Source: Nation

  51. Petrol imports at $455 million in first 4 months
    FOR THE FIRST FOUR MONTHS of this year, Government has spent over $455 million in fuel costs, and Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley expects that figure to keep climbing.
    “This is a country that has a custom spending $230 million [per year] in the last four years, with the exception of last year. Last year was an aberration because we shut down the country from December 31, and when we started reopening it in April the volcano erupted, so that the first four months of the year basically Bajans were not moving,” she explained.
    Mottley said as a result, last year’s bill was about $167 million or so, but the three previous years fuel costs were around $220 to $230 million.
    ‘Fuel prices still rising’
    “We’re spending almost double with respect to fuel in the first four months of this year, and the prices are still climbing. Now as you know, in the Budget [in March], I capped the taxes that could come from fuel and we’ve already shielded the country from just under $10 million of additional costs. In a full financial year it is going to hurt us because it will probably
    cost us $50 to $60 million to continue to shield Barbadians from the fuel costs,” she said at Grantley Adams International Airport yesterday following her arrival from the ninth Summit of the Americas last week in Los Angeles.
    Last week, Minister in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs Ryan Straughn revealed that since Government’s six-month cap on fuel took effect from March 16, it had lost $14 million on gasoline alone, with diesel losses of a similar magnitude. This was more than the estimated $25 million in revenue losses. He said based on the current trajectory, the losses will more than double what was originally projected.
    Meanwhile, Mottley said that building on United States Vice-President Kamala Harris’ meeting with leaders, the US-Caribbean Partnership to Address Climate Crisis 2030 (PACC 2030) was launched by the Americans to facilitate renewable energy infrastructure development, including increasing access to financing, and increasing capital in the Inter-American Development Bank, particularly for the private sector. (RA)

    Source: Nation

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