A backward step!

Owner of A1 Supermarkets Andrew Bynoe has described the Government’s decision to remove some items from the so-called basket of basic goods as a backward step.

Delivering the 2015 Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals in Parliament yesterday Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler announced that effective September 1, there will be a new and smaller basket of food items to which full exemption from the standard 17.5 per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) will be applied.

There are currently over 400 items classified in the basket of basic goods, including frozen spare ribs, tenderloin, ham shoulders, snapper and sea trout.

However, addressing the post-Budget breakfast session of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre this morning, Bynoe criticized the move, saying it was simply wrong.

Managing Director of A1 Supermarkets, Andrew Bynoe
Managing Director of A1 Supermarkets, Andrew Bynoe

“I want to look exclusively at the basket of goods in which now there are a number of items that will [attract] VAT. It seems to me the thinking is the wrong thinking, it is a little backward,” said Bynoe.

“I listened to the Minister [of Finance] and he spoke of T-bone steak being in that basket, but what is wrong, are you telling me that the poor people must not want to eat T-bone steak? This is my concern with the Budget. This is my concern with so much that happens within the administrative arm of Government. The poor people are not encouraged to aspire. To me this is the wrong message with imposing VAT on that group of items,” contended Bynoe.

The supermarket owner suggested the island was losing out on billions of dollars in investment due to the lack of ability of the Government to attract investment.

“This economy cannot grow unless there is investment and particularly outside investment. Over the years I have not seen anything in budgets that is geared towards attraction of investment in this country.

“The minister spoke of one billion dollars within the tourism sector, but he spoke of this 12 months ago, he spoke of this 18 months ago. Why is it we are still speaking of this one point something billion? Does anybody know of the billions that have been turned away from this country because we do not have the right stimulus to get people investing in this country?” asked Bynoe.

11 Responses to A backward step!

  1. Doria Alleyne
    Doria Alleyne June 17, 2015 at 7:50 am

    People get ready to plant more yams, sweet potatoes,corns,and many other kinds of food.

  2. Ormond Mayers June 17, 2015 at 7:51 am

    Rather or not Vat is removed from certain food stuff , the reality food stuff and clothes in Barbados are too expensive. Vat or no vat, to meet the demands of life is too costly. Merchants want to get rich fast.

    Things like food and clothes are in great demand hence I don’t see the reason why the same should be expensive. So Mr.Bynoe don’t blame vat as the reason why poor pole can’t eat.

    Bring the cost of the items down and in the reach of the average shopper.

  3. Ormond Mayers June 17, 2015 at 7:53 am

    Correction poor people

  4. Hunte Omar
    Hunte Omar June 17, 2015 at 8:00 am

    Vat or no Vat, the cost of living in Barbados is too high as merchants rip off people and enrich themselves. Despite the so called basket of basic goods not Vat, poor people stiill can’t bye these items. So stop blaming the government, it is greed by the merchants.

  5. seagul June 17, 2015 at 8:00 am

    Why is it wrong thinking to encourage the working class in eating less unhealthy red meat ?

  6. Coloured Man
    Coloured Man June 17, 2015 at 8:14 am

    Thing that got me we paying for moneys there steal or give way

  7. Harewood Ann
    Harewood Ann June 17, 2015 at 10:03 am

    That is true Mr Bynoe cannot eat as we would like Stake proper pork chops and other things we cannot afford you buy but in god we trust

  8. Alex Alleyne June 17, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    You would still up your prices no matter what . Got we bajans over the “can” and saying “we cant eat the money” while you all loving it.

  9. jus me June 17, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    Just another ploy for getting Carlton A1 name up front FREE.

  10. Bostonian June 17, 2015 at 7:31 pm

    Doria that would be the smart thing to do, but barbados and Barbadian are so Americanize ,they would laugh at you and want to know if you are crazy


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