It’s Dem fault
Economist Clyde Mascoll believes that Government’s domestic policy has caused massive increases in the price of goods and services in Barbados.
Mascoll expressed this view last night while addressing a Barbados Labour Party meeting at Bay Street, St. Michael.
While acknowledging that there was a worldwide recession, Mascoll argued that something could be done to reduce the price of goods and services in Barbados.
The former Democratic Labour Party opposition leader maintained that if nothing could be done, then the presence of a government in office was unnecessary.
Mascoll, who was a former parliamentary representative for St. Michael North West, acknowledged that most of what Barbadians bought came from overseas and maintained that good governance could make a difference.
While noting that Trinidad and Tobago was the only country in the Eastern Caribbean that did not have to import oil, Mascoll pointed out that still prices were a lot lower in the other territories of the region than in Barbados.
He told the crowd that with the increase of VAT to 17.5 per cent in the 2010 Budget and a 50 per cent increase in excise duty, prices had skyrocketed in Barbados.
Mascoll reminded his audience that since 2009 pubic servants had not benefited from a wage increase, yet their water and electricity bills and road tax had increased.
He noted that of the 24 countries in the region which recognised tourism as a major foreign exchange earner, Barbados was now ranked at number 22. Circumstances were so grave, he said, the BLP could not waste time.
He told the gathering that contrary to what was being said, the BLP has put together a comprehensive programme to assist Barbadians.
Having reminded the crowd that he recently participated in the electricity rate hearing, he told them that the fuel adjustment clause and VAT accounted for 60 per cent of a customer’s electricity bill.
He argued that if the 2.5 per cent were taken off VAT it would result in a reduction in the cost of electricity to the over 100,000 customers — a value of about $12 million.
Noting that the Barbados Light and Power Company buys all of its fuel from the Barbados National Oil Company, Mascoll said that over the years the BNOC had accumulated profits in the region of $50 million.
Mascoll stressed that if the BLP regains the reins of office on February 21 it would grant some tax relief, but it would not be reckless in doing so. (NC)