Inniss pleased with Symmonds’ stance

Minister of Industry and Commerce Donville Inniss says Government will not bow to pressure from all interest groups seeking relief from the Municipal Solid  Waste Tax.

And he is sending a message that while Government continues to listen to residents, they should not expect any across-the-board tax ease.

Minister Inniss made the comments last evening at his St James South branch meeting where head of the Barbados Economic Society Jeremy Stephen was the guest speaker.

The outspoken minister said though some pensioners had requested, and received, an ease, a number of them could afford to pay the tax.

As an example, he cited the monthly pension of a retired chief justice, stating it was more than what he earns as a minister.

Donville Inniss
Donville Inniss

“If we continue to bow to pressure to every interest group then nobody will be touched and the problem would just mushroom and get out of hand. So whilst we listen, I think those who are complaining must appreciate that everything you ask for, you will not necessarily get,” he said.

“The Government continues to listen. We can’t make adjustments every week, we can’t revisit legislation every month but we are certainly listening and I’m sure that the Ministers of Finance, Environment and all of us will continue, as we sit together every week and debate national issues, pay very close attention to this one.

“We would not be so stupid as to conduct ourselves in a manner that would make people feel that we don’t care or that we’re not listening,” he said firmly.

While noting that there would inevitably be inequity in the system with the burden of paying taxes inevitably falling on a smaller group of people, the minister said it was time for a national discussion on the issue of solid waste.

“The discussion has to be about what is a fair and reasonable amount of money to take from you in taxes for the range of goods and services the state provides in return . . . and I think once we get that conversation at the right level then we’re going to find that this country is going to settle, people are going to feel they need to be a lot more compliant with taxes and on the state’s end we’re going to have a higher level of accountability,” he stated.

The minister went on to commend Opposition parliamentarian Kerrie Symmonds for his decision to boycott yesterday’s Barbados Labour Party meeting held to discuss the solid waste tax.

He said while he did not view this as any ‘overture’ towards the ruling Democratic Labour Party, Symmonds was showing a “refreshing level of maturity”.


2 Responses to Inniss pleased with Symmonds’ stance

  1. Alex 3 July 22, 2014 at 10:18 am

    As a long time part time resident of Barbados I dismay at the application of such a biased and unfair tax on the people of this island.
    Assessment has nothing to do with the amount of solid waste generated by citizens and therefore this is a biased and unfair tax.
    Everyday in Barbados there is evidence of failure by government to encourage and indeed force conservation, reuse and recycling.
    Just look at the beverage sector. In Holetown you can return beer containers to the Banks booth behind SuperCentre. I am told there is a return centre up towards Speightstown. That in itself tells all. Make vendors of all beverage containers apply a fee to them and return 50% of the deposit when returned. Make the vendors of beverages take them back at the point of sales.
    Visitors and residents alike have no options but to put these containers in the garbage.
    Encourage waste separation at source. A compostable waste separation and collection programme in a 30000 person community on Vancouver Island diverted 600 tonnes of waste from landfill and recycled it as compost.
    Government has not exploited the numerous, well proven methods of solid waste reduction and management in Barbados. This is a money grab and will just allow the government to continue to waste resources rather than look at real solutions.

  2. David E Hall
    David E Hall July 22, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    Pleased that again a BLP MP has let the DLP off the hook?


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