The blogmaster continues to follow the story regarding a call to BARP’s membership to attend the AGM- the rule requires 200 members in good financial standing to achieve a quorum.
It begs the question why the Barbados Association of Retired Persons with close to thirty thousand members representing a cross section of the local population has been unable to raise a quorum. One far fetched reason is that the meeting being convened via ZOOM, far fetched because BARP has a significant 50s professional membership. BARP has rescheduled the meeting for December 06, 2021 via ZOOM in difference to the prevailing COVID 19 condition.
A key agenda item to be discussed at BARP’s AGM is to approve a team to intervene in the upcoming Barbados Light & Power (BL&P) rate review. The BARP president has raised public concern regarding the impact an increase in the electricity rate will have on its membership. The inability of BARP to raise a quorum to be an intervenor at the rate review goes to the root of our failing as a people to actively participate in civic engagement activities.
The blogmaster looks forward to BARP being able to host a successful AGM on December 06, 2021.
BARP considers protest against proposed BL&P rate hike
The Barbados Association of Retired Persons (BARP) is concerned that the hike in electricity rates proposed by the Barbados Light & Power Company, (BL&P) will be burdensome and unbearable for its members, and plans to intervene on their behalf. BL&P has applied for a substantial increase in its rates and tariffs that would see the domestic rates per kwh increase between 33.3 per cent and 42.9 per cent, and the cost for new service (below 200 amps) jumping from $50 to as much as $130. BARP is hoping to assemble a highpowered team of individuals of various skills to protest the steep increase. “Since all rates are subject to Value Added Tax (VAT), such a steep increase will be even more severe for our members. We must make our voice heard, not only for our members but for all ratepayers,” said BARP president Marilyn Rice-Bowen. She confirmed that the proposed intervention will be discussed at BARP’s annual general meeting which will be held next Monday via Zoom.In its 1,300-page application to the Fair Trading Commission (FTC), the BL&P said that following adjustments for rate-making purposes, its profits fell from $53.4 million in 2019 to $28.7 million in 2020. The BL&P had also stated that its application for a rate hike was only its second in 40 years, and acknowledged the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the recent ashfall and Hurricane Elsa, had on ratepayers. (BT)
Short of a miracle and/or a radical change in the way we do business, it appears we have headed into one of the most challenging tourism summers’ in recent history, hot on the heels of a poor winter. With still no game changing strategies, other than one or two tinkering offerings on the horizon, is there more ‘we’ can do to avoid further widespread lay-offs and closures?
The answer has to be YES! And I think we can start by looking at further opportunities on our doorstep.
For ages, I have admired the work of the Barbados Association of Retired Persons. My wife and I have been members for a number of years and I cannot even begin to think of the savings it has brought us during that period, far outweighing any annual subscription fees. For a number of reasons, I only purchased my first public company shares just over half a decade ago, on the recommendation of our accountants. If we are lucky, our small capital investment will return to the level that we initially put into fund, by the end of 2013.
In its 2008 Manifesto, the Democratic Labour Party gave a commitment that it will treasure this country’s seniors in their golden years and further stated that it is committed to caring for all Barbadians in their senior years.
Members of the Barbados Association of Retired Persons (BARP) – all of whom are over 50 years old – must be wondering if the DLP had them in mind when it made that statement and exactly how committed is the DLP to what it wrote in that Manifesto, especially now that the actions and decision of the same DLP Government – is making it extremely difficult for them to get their investment made through BARP – out of Clico.
As a former Chairman of the National Assistance Board, I wonder whether in its haste to protect Clico – the decision and actions by this David Thompson led Government – does not constitute elder abuse. Elder Abuse is often defined as a single, or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to an older person.
Back in May 2009 we underscored the The Important Role Of The Intervenor At FTC Hearings as advocates for the PEOPLE. The fact they are not paid and are expected to engage corporate entities with significantly more resources makes the Intervenors heroes in our eyes.
The long awaited BL&P Hearings under the aegis of the Fair Trading Commission commences tomorrow (2009.10.07), from 9.30AM at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre. The Hearing is expected to continue week-days until 2009.10.23.
The Intervenors are:
– Barbados Association of Retired Persons Inc.
– Barbados Small Business Association
– Barbados Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (BANGO)
– Barbados Consumers Research Organisation Inc.
– Dr. Roland R. Clarke.
– Mr. Errol Niles.
– Mr. Douglas Trotman.
– Canbar Technical Services Ltd.
– Sentinel Group Caribbean Inc.
BANGO has promised to record the hearings as is practicable and make available for the PEOPLE for following. We wish all of the Intervenors the very best. Many of us talk but few are forced to act.
As expected from the recent budget NIS pensions will be increased in Barbados by 4.87% in 2009 (effective from Jan 5th). An initiative like this has not got the edge for some to sharpen their barbs on but that does not mean it is not good news, as it goes towards the caring society we wish for, it surely makes a good start for 2009. There is of course the usual retort what about this group or that sector which is under funded and seems neglected? I say a start has been made it should be welcomed and others no doubt will follow.
This initiative comes on the back of free travel for school children in uniform. One commenter was churlish enough to mention the cost he/she disregarded the fact that expenditure is involved in supply.
Perhaps we could make 2009 the year when we took heed of and looked after the aged, there was a time when they were young…as there will be a time when the young will be old. Some of the aged have fortuitously got themselves in a financial position where they do not need or seek financial assistance from others or the state but all are not so fortunate.