The real write off

Please note that the amount of write off for the Barbados Turf Club was $19.2 million and not $12 million as stated in your Page 2 editorial Covering the sore” in the October 16, 2012 edition of the Barbados Today.

Barbadians were told by the late Prime Minister David Thompson and other officials of the Democratic Labour Party that this amount written off had represented unpaid and outstanding taxes due over a number of years to the Government of Barbados from the Barbados Turf Club, which were unlikely to be repaid by the BTC, given the magnitude of the outstanding amount and the time for which it had been outstanding given its cash flow position.

Barbadians were told that the write off was supposed to protect the jobs of the many persons employed in the local horse racing industry and allow the BTC to clear its balance sheet of debt which was preventing it from raising financing to be able to undertake much needed refurbishment at the Garrison.

That is what we as Barbadians were told by those in whom we invested power: but were there other reasons for the write off of taxes owed to the people and Government by the Barbados Turf Club?

We as Barbadians were never given details as to the make up of the amount owed in terms of what specific taxes were owed, the specific periods these related to, if any attempt was ever made by the BTC to settle these at any time or if it was a case that the club just wanted a free “pass” on the backs of hardworking Barbadian taxpayers.

In Barbados we have a policy of director liable, meaning that directors are on the hook for the debts of the organisation for which they are in charge. Why wasn’t this enforced in the Barbados Turf Club case? Why was the debt allowed to reach $19.2 million?

We still await the answer, its blowing in the wind like a galloping equine.

— Mike Lewis

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