A ‘Glocal’ Food Crisis

Submitted by Steven Kaszab

Wheat prices have tumbled from its peak when Russia had invaded the Ukraine, but one of the worlds most consumed items remains in short supply and that the global hunger crisis still remains. Much like oil, steel and beef, wheat shifts its price and availability in response to many complex factors such as geopolitics and the weather. Declining prices of wheat creates a challenge to our economies, one where low prices of wheat may not incentivise farmers to plant more wheat, thereby creating more scarcity of this product and its many off take products. A lower price for wheat does not deal with the ever increasing cost of energy, which affects the cost of running farm equipment, transportation and even the manufacturing  of needed fertilisers.  Hot, dry weather is also crimping the farmers style of crop growth. Our global economy is facing a potential situation where food prices could spiral out of control. 

Russia and the Ukraine account for 1/4 of global wheat exports. That is what war has affected. A man made crisis that may go into the long term. Adding global drought episodes and we are facing a combination of scarcity, corporate profiteering and ultimately food price gouging like not seen before. Wheat prices are at a level seen before the year began.  @ $7.75 per bushel jumped to over $13.00 right after Russia invaded Ukraine. The price stayed in double digit’s through this June and then began to fall to a $8.00 a bushel level. Winter Wheat stocks also brought the price down and a deal between Russia, Ukraine and the United Nations has allowed some wheat to ship to international markets. 

The cost of wheat and many other foods have been affected by the war between Russia and Ukraine, but the real factors that will affect the price of bread, cereal and other items will be climate change, the price of fuel and fertiliser.  Climate change is making crop growth highly unpredictable. Lack of rain, drought level micro climates and over harvesting of single crop items are limiting what can be grown and harvested each year. In Canada temperatures soared to record highs, making three fourths of the country’s 2021 agricultural land  abnormally dry. Canada’s wheat crop dropped to nearly 40% from 2020 to 2021, causing its exports to Latin America to decline by over three million tons.  Also, in 2020 wheat was about 30% cheaper then it is now. 

Because Russian fertiliser is so important to the global farm trade, it avoided international sanctions. Although high prices hurt countries that import wheat, low prices might dissuade farmers from planting extra crops this year. Over the past decade the number of farms closing production has increased. Family farms are becoming less and less, while corporate farms of thousands of acres specialise in the most profitable of crops, often no those crops that feed the nation. 

Like the stock exchange, food prices are on the move up and down, making money for some, and costing money for others. Whether the costs are artificially kept high, or there really is no controlling our food stuffs costs, the end consumer is in for a roller coaster ride, and their pocket books need to look out.

A Boiling Cauldron

Submitted by Old Onions Bag

Clyde Mascoll, promises the BLP will relieve taxes on the middleclass if elected

“capitalism gone mad ” ― Mighty sparrow

Things in Barbados today are like living in a boiling cauldron. It is hot hot and getting hotter. The people of this once ‘amiable and smiling faces’ land, have changed their outward appearances over-night and are real vex. When last you been to the supermarket or joined a paying queue,or the utility companies line? You don’t dare say  “good morning ” nowadays and expect a mannerly reply. People are feeling the burn deep inside and manifesting their bile outwardly.

Visited the gas station lately and observed? See the long dreary faces as consumers accept their plights. Gasoline is almost a necessity like food and the providers know it. The prices go up and seldom down, but the mean price of this commodity is always up. One often wonders how come this is so, as the price of crude had in the past, plummeted, and remain that way for awhile. It leaves drivers with ‘nothing’… but to accept a sense of hopelessness.

Continue reading

Food Prices Are Out Of Control

Submitted by Old Onions

Barbados food bill out of control

What  we can do to help ourselves …

Let’s face it food prices are not coming down anytime soon. Nor will certain promises that were made about “Priorities” some four and a half years ago, will be materializing, given that six months is all that’s left for scope.

So what can we do for ourselves to stave off the Dollar Monster living in the supermarket who seems hell bent on gobbling up the remainder of our savings, or sending us away with nothing much in hand? Times are not easy internationally this we know only too well.

With food prices rising, many of us (especially women) have already become well versed in the art of trimming our food budgets. In some instances, we have simply sacrificed on the quality and/or quantity of food eaten. In the face of inflation, many families may have no other recourse.

Continue reading

REDjet Sabotaged By Caricom: The Big Two Jamaica And Trinidad

Two events occurred in the news this week which confirmed to BU that Caricom is in a coma. A mini-Caricom summit held in Guyana saw four heads absent, Prime Minister of Trinidad among them. In the obligatory end of summit communiqué which nobody reads except Rickey Singh, the heads advised the world implementation of a common currency would be further delayed until a review of the Guyana-based Caricom Secretariat. Have to admit the decision was a surprise, in fact the Caribbean is still in shock!

The other happening was REDjet’s decision to cancel plans to fly the Trinidad and Jamaica air routes. It is no secret both Jamaica and Trinidad have frustrated REDjet’s application to operate its low-cost airline between Barbados, Guyana, Trinidad and Jamaica. Barbados and Guyana gave the all clear to REDjet about a month ago.

Continue reading

The Story Of Respectable Thieves Colluding To Price Gouge Bajans

The issue of high food prices continues to be furiously debated in Barbados. To be expected much of the debate is tainted with partisan political rhetoric. The government ran a political platform during the last general election based on a promise, one of many, to Barbadians to reduce food prices. The reality is Barbados was in the lag period of a looming global recession but it did not deter many Barbadians from believing a magic wand was all that would have been required to right the problem.

Several factors in recent months have had the effect of negatively impacting food prices on the world market. Barbados imports almost all of its food and therefore this makes the business of food security a top priority. BU agrees food prices are controlled by external forces but there is a level of efficiency which must be managed internally to ensure Barbadian consumers benefit from the best price.

Earlier we discussed on another blog Breaking The Stranglehold On High Prices Will Call For A Holistic Strategy. What came out in the discussion, to the surprise of some, was the reason the ministry of commerce discontinued publishing the prices of staple products sold by leading retailers in Barbados. BU has confirmed from a reliable source the ministry has no budget to support the initiative of publishing food prices. It seems paradoxical that a government who has as its number one priory reducing the cost of living cannot not exercise budget ‘cleverness’ by allocating a relatively small sum to support the effort of officers in the ministry of commerce, harsh economic times notwithstanding.  Again BU is reliably informed that the ministry of commerce has about 10 officers who are mobilized from time to time to check prices on shelves across Barbados. Unfortunately the output of their activities will remain secreted on the desks of bureaucrats in the various government departments.

Continue reading

Breaking The Stranglehold On High Prices Will Call For A Holistic Strategy

Andy Armstrong, President of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce

I am just fed up with the mark-ups . . . I was in a supermarket recently and I wanted to call the health inspectors. The quality of the English potatoes was so poor! So you are not only paying more money, but getting poorer quality,” Benn added…Sir, I have being complaining for the last five years and no government department takes me on. I am further convinced some importers are importing low grade or rejected potatoes which are not fit for human consumption Minister of Commerce Haynesley Benn (Nation)

It started with Minister of Finance Christopher Sinckler making the charge at the kick off by-election political meeting in St. John that retailers have been ripping of consumers in Barbados. He went on to challenge officers in the ministry of commerce to getup off their backsides and patrol the supermarket aisles to ferret out and expose cases of ‘price gouging’. On queue a couple days later Minister of Commerce Haynesly Benn paraded a number of items to the media, which at face value, supported Sinckler’s case that retailers have indeed been pricing products unreasonably high. It is at this point things have become very interesting.

Both political parties have struggled over the years to rein in the cost of living. Before the recession when there was plenty of money in circulation an already passive Barbadian consumer had become price insensitive. Well into the throes of a global recession of the worst kind, a desperate government which has over promised and under delivered on reducing food prices faces an uphill battle. It should be obvious in the prevailing economic climate that it will be well-nigh impossible to significantly reduce prices. It does not mean that as a country we should not be vigilant to the practice of what is termed ‘price gouging’.  The Fair Trading Commission (FTC) which was setup to safeguard the interest of Bajan consumers has been asleep at the switch from its inception. To add to the problem of government the Washington Post reported yesterday that the battle is on to keep global food prices from soaring.

The issue of high food prices like most things in Barbados has become a heavily politicise one. Wholesale distributors and the major retailers are in the main controlled by the merchant class. The inability of successive governments to effectively manage food prices clearly illustrates a case of those who control the economic power trumping those who have the political power.

Continue reading

Electricity Usage In November Attracts 17.5% VAT

Chris Sinckler, Minister of Finance, Economic Affairs

Rookie Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler has delivered his first budget and admittedly it was at a difficult time. BU does not have the expertise to apply the required analysis to determine if it was a’ ‘good’ budget or not. Seems oxymoronic for people to be labeling an austere budget as good anyway.

Since delivering the budget Sinckler has had to to clarify or reverse a few of the financial measures which he announced. It is not unprecedented that a Minister of Finance would have to ‘tweak’ his budget but one senses that the impact of this budget has not been adequately assessed or anticipated.

As an example the following note was received from a BU family member.

Continue reading

When Will Barbadian Consumers Understand They Have The Power?

Click on the image to download membership form

Click on the image to download membership form

We have to believe, yet again, the renewed effort underway to recruit members in the Barbados Consumer Watch organization will bear fruit this time around. It seems ludicrous that a country labeled to be in a severe economic recession by the International Monetary Fund and with Barbadians indicating the cost of living to be a big concern, yet they would so easily spurn the opportunity to sign-up to a consumer organization. The politicians who suggest that the cost of living is such a big concern for Barbadians should explain our low level of participation and activism in consumer organizations.

Barbadians welcome the intervention of the intellectuals at Cave Hill who recently went public with some research done on what influences prices of goods in Barbados. Our sense is that they needed to go further. Maybe we are too harsh in our assessment of their effort but until we can understand how a supermarket can report $750,000 in shoplifting and remain in business, we have to continue to ask why.

One of the principals behind the Barbados Consumer Watch organization is BU family member, the indefatigable ROK. The President is well known netball administrator Annette Beckett.

Continue reading

What Is The Song And Dance About The Hike In Water Rates?

Hartley Henry - DLP Political Strategist

Hartley Henry - DLP Political Strategist

Two separate but yet related matters sparked my attention this past week. First, there was the predictable hue and cry from “professional opposers” to the increase in water rates. Second, there was Barrack Jagdeo swiping and getting clean bowled by his fellow countrymen.

It is clear to me that if water rates had been increased by five cents a gallon the reaction of some in our midst would have been the same.

What took the cake for me in the gas station last Sunday afternoon was this known Barbados Labour Party operative and spokesman who approached me, in their usual arrogant and bombastic manner, claiming that “the new water rates will kill poor people”.

My intended response would have been to set forth the argument in favour of the need for an increase in rates, given the magnitude of the capital development programme about to be undertaken by the Authority as well as the ongoing desire to enhance both the quality of and accessibility to the resource. I am sure I could have made a compelling argument, but this gentleman gave me the perfect opening when, in approaching me he armed himself with nothing less than a two litre bottle of water, which, from the label, I became aware was bottled in Trinidad and Tobago.

I deliberately asked him to buy me a similar drink, because quietly I wanted to discover the price he had so willingly paid a few seconds ago for imported drinking water. The price at the register was $3.40.

Continue reading

When Is A Chicken Wing Not A Chicken Wing?


One of the promises advocated by the then opposition Democratic Labour Party (DLP) during the last election was their intention to break the stranglehold of the monopolies in Barbados. One of the monopolies which has been high on the agenda is that which controls the food sector. So far if the PEOPLE were to judge the effort of the government after 14 months most would probably feedback that the rhetoric of the campaign has not yet translated to any discernible improvement in this area. In the defense of Minister David Estwick who has been recently given responsibility for the matter, he needs more time to tackle what is a very deep-rooted problem.

To break-up monopolies in Barbados will have an economic and social cost for Barbados.

Over one year and the PEOPLE of Barbados continue to be sold-up the river by the merchant class and a government continuing to struggle to fulfill a campaign pledge to break-up monopolistic practices. The naiveté of the government when in opposition to think that this is a task which can be solved using tried methods has been disappointing i.e. suasion, threat of competition, price-controls etc.

Let us pick on the chicken industry in Barbados. We have heard the fact that Barbados is a chicken loving country. There has even been the trivia which has circulated for some time that the KFC restaurant in Barbados consumes more chicken per capita when compared to outlets in their global network. What is a definite fact is that there is a heavy DEMAND for chicken in Barbados.

BU received the following submission from a new family member which places the issue of the monopoly on the chicken sector in perspective:

Continue reading

Consumers In Barbados Continue To Be Conned By Merchants

Prime Minister of Barbados David Thompson

Prime Minister of Barbados David Thompson

BU family member Carson C. Cadogan has been strident and unequivocal in his condemnation of the merchant class in Barbados. His criticism of the groups which control the channels of distribution and retail has attracted criticism from other BU family members because he is of the view that the groups which have historically controlled have been White i.e. Hanchell Inniss, R. L. Seale, Bourne, BS&T, Goddards etc.

To say that Barbadians have significant choices to buy low priced food and other commodities would not be fair. Barbadians have witnessed the demise of the Julie N’s and Bugs Buy entities over the years when these entities tried to bring the price of food down. We may not totally agree with how Cadogan frames his contributions but we should not ignore the message, PRICES IN BARBADOS CONTINUE TO INCREASE. This is despite the acknowledgement that freight and other key input costs have been falling on the world market. Additionally, news out of Trinidad and a few other countries confirm prices have started to dip in those countries.

Not so in Barbados!

Continue reading

Should Our Merchants Be Tarred And Feathered?

ground-provisons1We have to admit that we came up empty when we tried to do a follow-up on a previous Foreign Eggs Are Coming! which we posted leading up to the Christmas period. From all the feedback received there was no significant downward movement in the price of eggs. It is regrettable that our local media has not done a follow-up story by asking what, why, who, when and where. Maybe we are being harsh on them, they seem to have their hands full trying to defend why journalists in Barbados should not pay professional fees.

In all fairness the local media has kept the issue of high food cost in Barbados as a centre issue. On a related note the Trinidad media has been reporting this week that there is overwhelming evidence the price to the consumer of imported food is starting to trend downwards. The main reason given is the depressed oil price which has impacted freight cost.

The information coming out of Trinidad requires that some explanation from Barbados merchants is required. The immediate would be to question the sourcing of suppliers used by Barbados merchants  vis-à-vis those in Trinidad.

Continue reading

A Case When A LIME Is No Ordinary LIME

blackberry-boldIt is the Christmas holidays approaching and we were hoping to take a short break from blogging. However the thought of a company which has operated as a monopoly in the Caribbean for so long and has generated unconscionable profits contemplating sending home employees makes a sour taste in our mouths. Cable and Wireless (C&W) aka LIME has been in the Caribbean since the 1880’s. According to C&W 2005 Annual Report the Caribbean was the second most profitable market with a turnover of £550 million which was second only to the United Kingdom’s £1,602 million.

C&W is not you regular company, it is one which has a foundation deeply rooted in the communities of 15 former British colonies.

Any decision to re-brand and downsize by C&W must be viewed not as a simple business transaction. When taken in the context of the collaboration between the respective Caribbean governments leading into the period of deregulation, the region deserves better. One of the key planks of the Barbados economy is its Offshore Sector which is attracted to an efficient telecommunications infrastructure. The current arrogance which is being exhibited by LIME is quickly causing its goodwill accrued over 100 years to dissipate.

We will expand on this blog another time but here is a note from a BU family member who wants to ask LIME a question. Continue reading

Prime Minister David Thompson Lashes Out At The Distributive And Media Sectors

Prime Minister David Thompson

Prime Minister David Thompson - Source Barbados Advocate

Prime Minister David Thompson for the third time in nine months, and not unlike the father of his Democratic Labour Party, engaged in a fire side chat with members of the media. He was assisted by Minister Darcy Boyce who has responsibility for energy. In his preamble he communicated a third reduction in fuel price at the pump in under two weeks. The gist of his early preamble was to stress that government is doing all that it can to facilitate a reduction especially in food prices but he was obviously irritated that enough is not being done by the private sector to reduce prices.

Prime Minister Thompson and rightly so was very critical of the passive role the media has played to date to amplify the concerns of Barbadians in the current climate. We felt a deep sense of sadness at the lack of depth to the questions which were lobbed by local journalists. We would have thought that our journalists would have thoroughly quizzed the Prime Minister and Minister Boyce on economic issues given the onset of the biggest economic challenge which Barbados will have to confront in the current global climate. While a question or two were posed about the possible impact on tourism and the international business sector caused by the global turbulence, we were disappointed that a more rigorous query was not offered by the journalists on show. Is it not agreed by many that the current financial meltdown is being compared to the time of the Great Depression?

It was interesting to note the obvious annoyance expressed by VOB’s Stetson Babb who childishly reacted to moderator Richard Cox shutting him down on one occasion. If this is the mentality of our media workers it is no wonder that Prime Minister felt inclined to issue them with a tongue lashing tonight. Continue reading

Consumers In Barbados Being Screwed By The Establishment

In recent days Prime Minister David Thompson has resorted to using suasion to encourage retailers in Barbados to reduce prices to consumers. His plea has come in the aftermath of two reductions in fuel prices by government last week. Barbadians it seem have become accustomed to living in a high cost country. We have been told by some experts that it is a consequence of the high standard of living we enjoy relative to our neighbours, near and far.

The laid back nature of our consumer organizations, the monopolistic inclinations of the wholesale and retail sectors, the longstanding practice of under-invoicing goods sourced in the USA, the ineffectiveness of the Fair Trading Commission (FTC) which we were told would be the watchdog for Barbadian consumers, and last but not least the passivity of Barbadians and their aversion to retaliate to the juck out your eye policy of retailers in Barbados.

Yesterday’s Nation headline NOT SO, PM! may have crystallized the challenge Prime Minister Thompson and Barbadians will face as we attempt to battle retailers to achieve lower prices. Managing Director of SuperCentre David Neilands is quoted in the newspaper as saying ” Our supermarket was not putting up our prices as a consequence of oil increases; our prices have gone up as a consequence of the price of goods coming to us. In the case of the local industries . . . if the prices drop, then our prices will drop accordingly.” Mr. Neilands has been taking some flack because of the position he has taken but isn’t his statement correct? If the SuperCentre suppliers do not reduce their prices how can the Prime Minister reasonable expect SuperCentre to reduce prices? As Mr. Neilands has correctly pointed out they are running a business for profit and not a charity!

What has been made clear from the article is that SuperCentre has a price and supply model which has brought it success for more than a decade, so why should they change it? Continue reading

Trans-Tech's Claim Challenged, Another Example Of The Media Short-changing Barbadians

July 20, 2008

Ms. Peggy Griffith

Chief Executive Officer

Fair Trading Commission

Good Hope, Green Hill

St. Michael

Dear Ms. Griffith:

It was with some concern that I read an article in the Weekend Nation (Friday, July 18) entitled “Gas Pump. This article outlined plans by Trans-Tech Inc. to start selling a device which, it is claimed, will almost double mileage in gasoline and diesel powered vehicles. Such devices, also known as HHO hydrogen generators, take electricity from the vehicle’s alternator and, through hydrolysis, produce a mixture of hydrogen and oxygen. The gas mixture is fed into the engine where it becomes part of the combustion cycle.

Companies selling HHO hydrogen generators prey on people’s anxiety over the rising cost of gasoline and diesel. Unfortunately, all such devices do not work as claimed. Far from improving fuel economy, they will actually consume more fuel because of the extra load being placed on the alternator. These devices are nothing more than scams which seek to dupe unsuspecting consumers into buying them by making fraudulent promises of vastly improved fuel economy, promises which are never fulfilled. At this stage, I am not accusing Trans-Tech of trying to defraud consumers, for the company may be an unwitting victim of the manufacturer of this device. It is disconcerting, however, that Trans-Tech has plans to manufacture this device, so one would assume that they are fully versed in the limitations of the technology.

The basic failing of such devices is that they consume more energy that they produce because of inherent inefficiencies of the various steps along the process to produce and burn the hydrogen and oxygen. Continue reading

Air Canada, WestJet Duke It Out On The Barbados Canada Route

Of course, pretty much anything can happen between now and November, but lets look at what increased competition has already achieved. Book a seat from Toronto to Barbados for travel on the first week of November, 2008 and with Air Canada the cost is currently CAD$898.05.

Travel on the same dates with WestJet and the cots is CAD$673.13. Both fares include all taxes and surcharges as they have been applied today (5th July).

Adrian Loveridge

Barbados Prepares To 'Weather' Economic Storm

We are living in difficult times. One of my more-.perceptive friends recently described our Island as a “motorized ghetto”, where the smell of diesel and gasoline fumes, and the ever-present vehicular pollution add a peculiar resonance to the ambience of this Rock that we call home. We have become so smug in our belief that Barbados is on a continuing upward path of so-called development, that we seem to have forgotten that we live on a very small island with a fragile ecosystem. Our current political leaders, in the belief that repetition is reputation have been trumpetting claims to such achievements, as an unprecedented eight years of uninterrupted economic growth, the lowest level of open unemployment on record, and the highest level of net foreign reserves ever accumulated, thereby encouraging us to forget that our Island faces an uncertain future.


david thompsonThe issue of the rising cost of living will no doubt remain firmly at the top of the national agenda in the coming weeks and months ahead. The pundits seem to agree that the current configuration of our economy places a skewed reliance on imports which lends itself to imported inflation. When this unfortunate reality is studied against the recent report issued by the National Productivity Council of zero growth in national productivity in the last two years, the affinity by Barbadians to behaviours which engage in high consumption expenditure, and the relatively high debt burden which Barbados has to manage, we absolutely don’t envy Prime Minister David Thompson.

Let us not forget that Prime Minister David Thompson came to government on a campaign promise to reduce the cost of living. How quickly the reality of managing a small open economy in a volatile global market can loom.

Continue reading

Prime Minister David Thompson's Day Of Reckoning On The Horizon


The picture above shows the price of light crude as of 10 March 2008, 2.30PM settling at USD107.90. It is no secret that the onset of a recession in the US economy which is occurring against the volatility of oil prices in the world market should be of great concern to the Barbados government and Barbadians in general. Why should we be concern? Barbados is an economy which is ultra-dependent on the tourist dollar to support our economy. The increasing price of oil will have the affect of increasing the cost of air transportation to Barbados, along with the looming recession in the USA which will dampen travel by Americans abroad; Barbados maybe in for a rough ride.

Thomas Boone Pickens, Jr is the 117th richest man in the USA and the 369th in the world. He has made his fortune as a Texan oilman. His business acumen as an entrepreneur who is able to sniff out companies ripe for acquisition has become legendary. His background in the oil industry makes him an expert, therefore when he gives his opinion on the oil business, the world sits up with ears pricked. Recently in a CNN interview T.B Pickens predicted that the price of oil will fall below USD100.00 in quarter two but his best judgement projects that the price of oil will shoot to USD200.00 later in the year.He is so confident that oil prices will increase and make it an unrealistic raw material as a source of primary energy that Texas of all places has started to invest significantly in Wind Power Energy.

Continue reading

Barbados Cannot Sustain Current Level Of Subsidies


It seems that this DLP Government will be hell bent on subsidizing the operations of many commercial and industrial interests in this country. For example, and quite recently, an announcement was made by the Minister of Trade, Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Mr. George Hutson at a press briefing at his office, Reef Road, and attended by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Haynesley Benn, and others, that the Government will give a very short term price support to particular interests in the livestock industry in the form of the granting of a subsidy to the Manufacturers of Pinnacle Feeds in Barbados – now majority owned and controlled by regional corporate blood sucker Neal and Massy – so that Pinnacle Feeds would be able to return the prices of only layer, turkey, swine, sheep and diary feeds to what they were before the February 11 increases. It was also announced that the measure would cost government BDS $ 1.3 million monthly. (Source – Daily Nation, Tuesday, February 19, 2008.)

Added to that example, is another example of the subsidy that was being given by the former BLP Government to the Barbados Light and Power Co. Ltd, still apparently being continued by this DLP Government. But, certainly this subsidy will continue indefinitely given, too, that yesterday US crude on the world oil market reached more than US $ 101 per barrel. And, there seems to be NO likelihood that these great surges in world oil prices will dramatically come down any time soon. Too, this subsidy to the Barbados Light and Power Co. Ltd – another majority owned and controlled foreign business – will also continue because this government has made VERY STRONG commitments to reducing the COST OF LIVING in Barbados, which under this old nefarious economic order, is being helped fueled by these said astronomical, record world oil prices.

Finally, what this DLP government must be told in the clearest and strongest of terms is that while this subsidization of these particular interests in the agricultural and production sectors in Barbados is welcome in the short term, such an approach CANNOT be sustained in the foreseeable future without further WRETCHED AND UNRIGHTEOUS TAXATION ASSAULTS BY THIS SAID DLP GOVERNMENT ON THE MASSES AND MIDDLE CLASSES OF PEOPLE OF BARBADOS. Again, we leave the following: that a future PDC Government shall Abolish ALL TAXATION in Barbados, and will make sure that IMPORTS OF GOODS AND SERVICES into Barbados are zero-”priced” at ALL points of entry.

Source: Society for Mass Freedom Also Known as PDC

Our frequent poster who goes under the name of PDC (click on the image) is known for generously sharing their views with the bajan blogosphere. Although accused of being long winded at times, we do find merit in some of their postings. Some might argue that their positions are mired in ideologue and that an elected government might struggle to see the viability in rolling out many of their recommendations. On the point which they have made which is quoted above, we believe that there is merit to the concern which they are expressing.

Continue reading

The Cost of Living In Barbados

We are pleased to publish the following article by Dr. Justin Robinson. His article provides an in-dept analysis about the vexing and topical issue of the high cost of living in Barbados. We encourage the BU family to give the Doctor a warm welcome. We hope that he and his colleagues at the University of the West Indies are driven to write many more articles which would help the public of Barbados to grapple with some of the many issues which confront us. Continue reading

Do You Remember All Those Promises That Intra Caribbean Airfares Would Come Down?

Well! What has happened?

Here we are almost at the end of 2007 and not only have intra Caribbean airfares climbed to the highest ever recorded, but travel within the region has fallen dramatically by an estimated 30 per cent. LIAT’s response is to cancel a number of flights, rather than making it more affordable to travel, and one is left to ponder exactly what benefits the ordinary Caribbean taxpayer has reaped from the millions of dollars in subsidies the airline has received. According to the Barbados Statistical Service, we lost a total of 11,928 Trinidad and Tobago and other CariCom long stay visitors during the first six months of 2007 alone.

Up until the merger of LIAT and Caribbean Star, the Caribbean represented Barbados’s third largest market for long stay visitors. Not only did Intra Caribbean travel supply a lifeline for many of our smaller hotels but even more important that that, it filled rooms during the critical summer months, when we most needed the business. A loss of nearly 12,000 visitors based on average stay and spend represents nearly $30 million in tourism earnings. And what we have to take into account is that this happened during a period that we were hosting the Cricket World Cup when additional intra regional traffic was generated.

What if anything has been the net benefits to the travelling public from the merger?

It is difficult to identify any!
Historically highest airfares!
Reduced traveller’s choice!
A grossly overstaffed airline operating from an illogical base!

Is this really the legacy benefit we were looking for?

Adrian Loveridge

10 November 2007

Barbados Advocate Features The Article "ZERO Inflation For First 4 Months Of 2007~You Have To Be Joking !

Stoute: Zero inflation prevailing in first four months of 2007 good news
Web Posted – Fri Aug 17 2007

PRESIDENT of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dick Stoute, has described as good news the zero inflation, which he said information suggested was the case, prevailing during the first four months of 2007. The same time he has called for more productivity gains, warning that if incomes rise faster than productivity, inflation will most likely take place.

The following is the full statement: “We have recently gone through a period of rapid price increases. Towards the end of last year prices were increasing at an annualized rate of close to 8% driven by significant price increases in oil, metals and cereals.”

Source: Advocate


CONSULTANT Althea Wiggins-Rock, at right, making a point to prominent businessman Arthur Lok Jack, at left, while BCCI president Dick Stoute, third from left, and Andrew Niles senior vice-president look on. (Picture by David Sandiford.)

The above article appears in the Barbados Advocate this morning and BU suggest that you should read the story before taking breakfast. If we say that we are confused it would be the understatement of the year. The conclusion which we have made is that Mr. Dick Stoute is part of the spin web with an election imminent. The statement is insensitive at a time in our history when the cost of living is being felt to the core by Barbadians. Mr. Stoute is obviously part of the establishment who is now being mobilized by his Barbados Labour Party master to go out and preach it!

Continue reading

‘Master Plan’ For Tourism!

It should take approximately 12 months to complete once they have gone through the process of hiring consultants they would be working with’ said Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Rudy Grant. This statement was contained in a Barbados Advocate article published Friday 27th July 2007 under the headline Mission: Bring more tourists to the island’. The question is with the huge staff of the Barbados Tourism Authority, The Ministry of Tourism and a National Marketing Committee, why is it necessary to bring in hired consultants?

Are these hired consultants likely to be locally based, like the company headed by a former BTA chairman or will the required expertise be imported? And why on earth is it going to take 12 months to formulate a ‘Master Plan’, especially as the Senator stated that there is an ‘urgency to have it in place’?

Does this also mean that the ‘Master Plan’ for tourism will not be in place by the next General Election?

Adrian Loveridge

27th July 2007

Adrian it is prophetic that you submitted this note because we wanted to ask you to comment on the following: We know that the government at the height of the JAWS controversy sought to justify GEMS by explaining it would improve room stock on the South of the island. Last night we came across some information which created some confusion in our minds. Here it goes!

Read Barbados Underground RSS Feed Continue reading