Garbage and Sewage Tax Audit a MUST

Kemar J.D Stuart, Economist and Director Business Development , Finance and Investment Stuart & Perkins Caribbean

As the 2023 budget looms, the IMF program BERT 2.0 specially focuses on SOE reform. Is it a coincidence that most SOEs are crying broke? In the Sunday Sun , The general manager of the BWA made some earth shattering revelations in regards to the economic , financial and social survival of the island’s sole water management entity.

The financial state of the water utility company has been hampering its ability to fully tackle water woes in Barbados due to mismanagement of its resources and other structural problems such as cost/price imbalances. Currently the due for disconnection stamps are coming in on water bills for amounts as little as $80. Letters from BWA to collect arrears are destabilizing many households who just can’t afford to clear their BWA arrears.

There’s all justification now for the government to cut the GSC tax on water bills as GM Keithroy Halliday pointed out that the BWA had sought permission to borrow from the Garbage & Sewage Contribution as it was unable to meet its “financial obligations”. The fact that this tax which earned over $344M is being collected directly by the BWA was never transparent.

The financial statements of BWA since last we were informed by Minister Ryan Straughn, are not up to date which is in contravention of the new public financial management act, if found to be so. However the public hardly ever sees financial statements of an entity like BWA so where was it ever transparent ?

Continue reading