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Minister of Finance not willing to get into rubbish fee impasse

Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler has respectfully turned down a request by protesting waste haulers for a meeting with him to discuss Government’s newly-introduced and controversial tipping fee of $25 per ton of waste delivered for disposal.

Saying that he believed Minister of the Environment Dr Denis Lowe was working hard to find a resolution to the impasse, Sinckler said he saw no reason why he should intervene at this time.

Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler addressing Wednesday’s  cocktail reception at Hilton Barbados Resort.

Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler

“I’m not quite sure where I fit in that at all. I think the appropriate person to deal with that is the Minister of the Environment,” he told Barbados TODAY while at Case Grande Hotel, where he was sponsoring a Fun Day for 11-plus students from his constituency.

“I respect the fact that they have asked for a meeting, but I’m not quite sure what value I can add to bringing a resolution. I think that both sides really should be able to sit down. I know that Minister Lowe is not opposed to meeting with the waste haulers, and I am confident such a meeting will take place, hopefully sooner rather than later,” Sinckler added.

However, the Finance Minister admitted that the current standoff – which has seen the waste haulers embark on a five-day strike – was a very tricky one. “Minister Lowe is dealing with an extremely difficult situation in having to deal with the spiraling cost of waste management, having limited options and having a situation where the volumes of waste that Barbadians produce is not going down. It is increasing exponentially on the sophistication of the society and the things that we do here,” Sinckler said.

“In that environment, it becomes extremely difficult for the agency charged with this responsibility, the Sanitation Service Authority (SSA), to be able to manage all of the costs associated,” Sinckler contended, revealing that the SSA spent in excess of $30 million annually dealing with waste management and the tipping fee was expected to recoup around $9 million of this amount.

The Finance Minister argued that due to that high cost, something had to be done to assist the SSA. “The SSA is saying that they need to recover a part of the costs, not all, but a small part. The tipping fee will account for about $9 million of the $30 million odd, so you can see it is not a huge amount,” he explained.

“Now, yes, this will have an impact, because some of these people have not been paying it before, and when you are faced with a new fee, then there obviously is going to be a reaction to it. But the basic international principle that has been accepted by all countries is that the polluter should pay. And if we are producing more waste as Barbadians, then all of us have to find a way to share the cost of the treatment and disposal of the waste,” Sinckler stated.

The finance minister said whether it was through taxation or cost-recovery by the SSA, or a combination of both, the reality was that a cost had to be attached. He maintained that the time had come for Barbadians to stop thinking that the current taxes which they paid were enough to sustain the country’s development.

“The regular taxes that we pay are not going to be sufficient to do everything that we want to do in Barbados with regards to education, healthcare, social welfare, social development, community development and then also pay for a spiraling waste cost. So we have to find a way to sit down and agree on how we are going to share the cost for dealing with it,” the minister noted.

The strike by the waste haulers continued today, with more truckers joining the protest in Warrens, St Michael. The Waste Haulers Group and the Waste Movers Group – the body which has been formed to represent the waste haulers – have scheduled a press conference for tomorrow at the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association.

31 Responses to NOT IN THAT!

  1. dave May 16, 2015 at 4:48 am

    Rubbish !

  2. Patricia May 16, 2015 at 5:50 am

    2 comments happy the minister is treating 11+ kids hope it was from his personal funds and not tax payers money! Secondly has the government ever thought of MAKING householders recycle garbage instead of sending it all to the dump? B ‘s has been in business for many years now we can only assume he must be making money on recycling

  3. Tony Webster May 16, 2015 at 6:07 am

    Hands washed, bajan -style! Understandable really, as when you have finished the final draft of one’s budget…you really want to spill ink (or garbage) all over it?
    Perhaps, delegate the smelly thing… “upwards”?

  4. Ronnie Murrell
    Ronnie Murrell May 16, 2015 at 6:21 am

    LOL!!!! Nice

  5. David Gibson
    David Gibson May 16, 2015 at 6:37 am

    and dennis lowe cant find that 9 million from some where else? rather than insult and shut down the livelihood of small hard working truckers ?.thousands of dollars in equipment the ssa has idle waiting for parts , do u think if that was a smalll buisness man those machines wud be parked ,,,dennis lowe needs to stop the waste that goes on at the ssa first.

  6. Harry Turnover May 16, 2015 at 6:50 am

    Who IMPOSED this tax ?

  7. Angus B Post
    Angus B Post May 16, 2015 at 7:29 am

    These ppl can’t be serious, them ain’t in the same government? They trying ta tell the public each nininsty is an independent entity making decisions on their own accountable ta their individual selves?#alltheycareaboutistheirpensionnotwe

  8. Veroniva Boyce
    Veroniva Boyce May 16, 2015 at 7:42 am

    I bet wanna he won’t turn down a plate of food! The looks on his face alone speaks, ‘that ain’t got nothing to do with me and wanna can be talking to me fuh true.’ Pray tell me, what is Not In That? Wanna should know better to ask Sinc for support he don’t C A R E now and never will. The matter does not affect him or the the other airbags they don’t live on the island. The lot of them are a complete solid waste of time.

  9. Zeta Mac
    Zeta Mac May 16, 2015 at 7:47 am

    Seems like they don’t want to be held responsible throwing around the blame card. I feel many storms are on the way.. saying nothing just brings more fear, doubt and confusion to the country.

  10. Seth St John
    Seth St John May 16, 2015 at 7:56 am

    What else needs to be said when the government shows such disdain for their citizens… How much of that 30 million dollars ended up in someone’s hidden bank accounts?

  11. Mark Rudder
    Mark Rudder May 16, 2015 at 8:00 am

    I guess everyone is looking at the garbage impact but what about the overall trickle down economic impact. There’s going to be increased cost passed on to business owners, who will pass on that cost to the consumer. This will result in reduce activity (spending) at that level. As a result there will be a loss of jobs. So yuh see it ain’t stop at a lost for the haulers, it will be a loss for the economy and the people in general. Just saying.

    • Colette Felix
      Colette Felix May 16, 2015 at 2:07 pm

      Its a new way to tax the consumers indirectly, stupse

  12. Lavern Hinds
    Lavern Hinds May 16, 2015 at 8:15 am

    So true Veroniva Boyce a bunch of jackasses running this country

  13. Alyssa Norville
    Alyssa Norville May 16, 2015 at 9:04 am

    Simone Gibbons the minister of Finance is not getting between the haulers and the minister of environment. Piss in my relatively small, moneyless pocket do.

    • Simone Gibbons
      Simone Gibbons May 16, 2015 at 9:14 am

      I am truly confused. How does a Minister of Finance not want to get involved with a situation that speaks about taxation and fees? Not to mention he says he doesn’t see why he should be involved but yet still has so much to say on said matter….?

      I feel they should have waited until he’d finished getting his face painted THEN ask for the meeting…

      #funday #allday #everyday

  14. Heather Cole
    Heather Cole May 16, 2015 at 9:14 am

    I am done! I too want to know who imposed this VAT. It is not ultimately his Ministry? How is the MOF going to recover $ 9 million from this fee when the entire proceeds are going to a private company? Never in the history of taxation has any government created a tax to fund a private entity. Taxes are collected by government to provide services for its citizens and residents.

    • Robert Foster
      Robert Foster May 16, 2015 at 1:58 pm

      It is not funding a private company. It is paying back the private company over time for building the plant. It is what is called a BOLT (Build Operate Lease Transfer) arrangement where government gets private sector or an international funding agency/government to construct something for which they pay over time and at the end of the period when it has been paid up it is handed over to the government. Much like Dodds. And what is supposed to happen at he port with the cruise ship berth/pier.

  15. Depablo May 16, 2015 at 9:19 am

    Barbados is in a mess. Not even the people we put to look after our affairs are taking responsibility for the bad decisions they make. All you hear is ‘not me’, or ‘I don’t know’. The PM only reacts when he wants to cuss someone.

    We have lost our way. We badly need leadership and people who are responsible. This lot will be the demise of this fair land.

  16. Eton Thompson
    Eton Thompson May 16, 2015 at 9:41 am

    But the SSA’s function is to handle waste. So why are they complaining about doing their job?

  17. Eton Thompson
    Eton Thompson May 16, 2015 at 9:43 am

    The other thing is that if there isn’t so much governmental waste, the “regular taxes” will be enough.

  18. Roger Manning
    Roger Manning May 16, 2015 at 10:05 am

    If all minsters would make public servants work efficiently and stop the wastage, we would not need such over taxing. I personally witness a SSA truck with engine idling for an hour next to a gas station. The operators went inside and was hanging out and drinking. One can only imagine how much fuel was wasted that day. When I told a civil servant what I saw, I was told the truck was metered to show you are working. Therefore the truck was left idling to show it’s working while men drink. I am not sure this is true, but my watch was the best indicator that money was wasted that day. Now you are asking me, a small businessman the pay for this governmental wastage. Government must do there part also, not just over burden citizens. I want to pay and help make a better Barbados, but the government needs to stop the financial wastage.

  19. Matt Carter
    Matt Carter May 16, 2015 at 10:20 am

    anyone else see it as disrespectful how they refuse to collaborate with the people of barbados? sad.

  20. Dave D Small
    Dave D Small May 16, 2015 at 10:45 am

    What the truckers r doing should be applauded and supported by each person in this island…its not only them that will be impacted the trickle down effect will be devastating for all of BIM .the truckers will pay more to dump our garbage we in turn would have to pay them more (we meaning households supermarkets businesses hotels etc ) who in turn will charge more for goods and services which will carry up the already high cost of living ….don’t even mention the illegal dumping it will encourage… God help us…nice move government

  21. Dexter Squires
    Dexter Squires May 16, 2015 at 11:21 am

    dem bullieing the bajans

  22. Ouida Burnham
    Ouida Burnham May 16, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    Why not Mr Minister ???????????????????

  23. junior May 16, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    Lowe always find controversy and it seems that no one can tell him anything.
    How can you find money to buy more skips when you have trouble paying the creditors? How can you as Minister allow private persons to collect refuse at Parks when SSA has a commercial division?

  24. Robert Foster
    Robert Foster May 16, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    Dr. Low has not collected the coconut shell from around Warrens yet.

  25. Hope Bless
    Hope Bless May 16, 2015 at 1:57 pm


  26. Colette Felix
    Colette Felix May 16, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    Would be great if everyone took their gabbage and dropped it at Lowe’s house,stupseee

  27. Rich Hughes May 16, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    $9M is approx 32% of the $30M and Sinkler says it’s not a significant amount? Yet when they cut Minister’s salaries (not the Alowances) by a mere 10% he was crying and gnashing his teeth coz he had children to send to school and school fees to pay! They made a huge PR coup with that “news”! More taxes coming! That is his ever present solution to his deficit budgets!

  28. Empress rose May 16, 2015 at 10:50 pm

    All of these d’s is d same thing none of them can’t call back the one another! Them getting them big salary and don’t care bout d lil man! When is elections again? Frustrated with this government and WHERE D HELL IS MY INCOME TAX???!?,


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