BARP wants a minimum 50 per cent rebate

President of the Barbados Association of Retired Persons (BARP) Edmund Bushell is calling on Government to offer a rebate on the Municipal Solid Waste Tax to elderly members in Barbados and to exempt those individuals from that age group who cannot afford to pay.

Speaking to Barbados TODAY at the association’s Collymore Rock office this afternoon, Bushell said he was pleading with officials to review the tax, in light of calls he has been receiving since last Thursday from angry members.

He said most had complained they were already struggling to cope with the challenging economic climate.

President of the Barbados Association of Retired Persons Ed Bushell.
President of the Barbados Association of Retired Persons Ed Bushell.

“They have all asked our opinion as to what they should do, and the first thing we said to them is that the law is the law and you must obey the law.

“We suggested to them that if they are able to, they should pay the tax and then use the same law to petition the Minister [of Finance] and ask that there should be some rebate or elimination of taxes to them based on individual basis.

“Each person has to make their own representation but we as an organisation can advise them as to how to make that representation,” Bushell said.

He said some BARP members had also brought in their tax bills on Friday.

“We are hoping that we can somehow convince the powers that be that maybe they need to take a different view of this tax. The least they can do really is to treat this new tax the same way they treat land tax and to get a 50 per cent rebate for pensioners. But then people who have a particular hardship should be able to be totally exempt from [paying] the tax.”

Added Bushell: “I cannot imagine the Government not taking some thought of the impact this type of taxation would have on the general population.

“Whether or not they came to the right conclusion as to how to raise the money they need is a different matter and a matter that is open for debate but I would have hoped that they would have given it some thought before they implemented it,” he said.

Last Friday, Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler told this newspaper that Government had no intention of offering exemptions from the controversial tax before the tax was implemented and persons first paid the tax.

However, Bushell said “I think everybody understands the impact that this is having, especially on the people in my age group because they are on fixed incomes and there is no where to turn.

“One person called in on Friday and said to me that she happens to be in an area where the Transport Board has now decided to cut back their services . . . and now on top of that is this tax,” the BARP president explained.


6 Responses to BARP wants a minimum 50 per cent rebate

  1. Horace Boyce
    Horace Boyce July 8, 2014 at 12:03 pm


  2. Wayne P Hoyte
    Wayne P Hoyte July 8, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    Saw many of the retired people there in the line waiting to make their payments…. no noise no fuss!.

  3. Gail-Selina S. Hewitt-Clarke
    Gail-Selina S. Hewitt-Clarke July 8, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    Many of the elderly don’t have voices/advocates and suffer in silence. Some may have children/grandchildren to speak for them, but thanks Mr. Bushell for speaking on behalf of all seniors. Most of us would appreciate becoming senior citizens one day and would like someone/group to advocate for us, if we’re not able to do it ourselves.

  4. Frederick Alleyne
    Frederick Alleyne July 8, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    We all want help. No rebate, let the dam tax be gone.

  5. Heather Cole
    Heather Cole July 8, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    Frederick I agree with you. Maybe you should become the President of BARP and speak for the members. Yours is a logical conclusion. I am shaking my head at what Mr. Bushell said. It makes no sense to pay and then ask for a rebate. Inability to pay is inability to pay. If the members pay, that is the proof to the Minister that they can afford to pay. Do not pay. It has not been stated whether funds WILL indeed be returned.

  6. Sanderson Rowe July 8, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    Has anyone considered that for many a pensioner its a juggling act. Heads I buy some groceries. Tails I pay the tax man. I do hope that one day, when those who are against giving the pensioners some relief , themselves become pensioners, that they will remember , the popular adage. ‘ First they came of the Pensioners, I was not a pensioner, so I sat back and ………..etc etc. Tomorrow we may all be slapped with a QEH ,Ambulance and Polyclinic Tax.


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