BCCI responds to Sinckler’s ministerial statement
The Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) says it is not at all surprised but disappointed to learn that recent “onerous” tax measures announced “as temporary measures” by Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler in his August 2013 budget are now likely to be extended.
However, in a statement today, the Chamber said it both “welcomes and supports the proposed amnesty on penalties and interest on outstanding taxes while still reminding Government of the urgency of settling long outstanding payments for goods and services as well as VAT [Value Added Tax] refunds.
“We see this as an essential part of stimulating the ability for the private sector to advance growth initiatives,” it said.
In relation to a projected increase in tourism activity, the BCCI said it would continue to advocate for “these critical projects to come to fruition in the indicated time frame”.
“Private Public Sector Partnerships (PPP’s) have been mentioned in landscaping, public transport, BNOC and The Caves of Barbados,” the Chamber noted.
“Further PPP’s are ripe for development and the BCCI will work with prospective partners and Government to encourage efficiency and lowered costs to some services in the public domain,” it added.
The BCCI said it also welcomed the planned introduction of fiscal responsibility laws in order to increase the level of prudence in public financing and to strengthen transparency.
“The business community awaits further details and clarity on what we believe are critically required fiscal rules for the Barbadian economy.”
Regarding the reform of statutory entities, the BCCI said it hoped that with acceleration of PPP’s, some employment would be “taken up in the private sector rather than being lost all together should there be resulting employment dislocation in the public service”.
“With 2014 being a year of no growth but showing an improved fiscal deficit, growth will have to be the main area of focus for 2015 with continued effort to have a facilitating environment for investment, particularly in the foreign exchange earning and savings sectors,” added the statement.