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New garbage tax?

Lowe hints at rubbish levy

Barbadians may soon have to dig deeper into their pockets to support the controversial tipping fee, with Minister of the Environment Dr Denis Lowe today hinting at the possibility of an environmental tax.

Speaking in Parliament, Lowe admitted that the Sanitation Service Authority (SSA) had encountered several problems since implementing the fee last year. And he said Barbadians needed to accept responsibility for the disposal of their garbage.

“We acknowledge that the tipping fee issue has some embedded challenges in it. A recent conversation with the Ministry of Finance did reveal there are some challenges, aside from the fact that it has become somewhat challenging for waste haulers.

“We believe that the spread is too narrow and if we follow the global conventional belief that the polluter pays, then it means that everybody who is involved in waste generation has to become a part and parcel of the process of paying for the collection of waste,” Lowe stated during debate on a resolution seeking $6, 088, 284 to supplement the SSA’s operating costs.

The tipping fee was met with strong resistance when it was introduced in May last year and led to a week-long strike by waste haulers who complained that the levy would cripple their businesses.

The Minister noted that due to some challenges experienced by the SSA early in the financial year, along with the fact that it had not recouped the $8 million expected from the tipping fee, there was a financial shortfall.

Lowe also revealed today that the cash-strapped SSA would soon receive $10 million from Government to purchase 15 new vehicles.

He said the move was part of a restructuring plan for the Government-owned entity and would help the SSA to operate more efficiently.

According to the Minister, the adjustments were expected to save the waste collection agency $4 million.

“I think it is well documented that there has been a series of challenges that we are addressing very systematically at this time. We are not just simply looking to spend more money or less money, but we are looking to refashion and reorder the SSA to become a more efficient institution.

“As a result we have been very methodically going through all of the operation issues faced by the SSA and I am satisfied that only recently we were handed a restructuring plan that would give rise to addressing a number of those issues . . . In our new restructuring plan we were able to leave out a lot of duplication and according to the new plan we’ve been able to come up with over $4 million in savings.

“Of course the issue of vehicles has been an ongoing issue and I am satisfied that the Ministry of Finance has responded and only today I was informed that there will be a sum of $10 million allocated to the SSA in a matter of weeks, so that we can bring in the vehicles which are required,” Lowe revealed.

He said the manufacturers had already been contacted and he expected the vehicles to arrive on the island in the next four to five months.

8 Responses to New garbage tax?

  1. Tony Webster January 27, 2016 at 5:41 am

    National need+Greed+ misadventurous policy= national disaster (a.k.a. challenges)
    Challenges + new tax= Lowe and Co. go clear; taxpayers bleed.

    Would anyone like to buy a little-used brain; going cheap?

  2. Nivea January 27, 2016 at 8:48 am

    How come all department vehicles always fall into disrepair?
    Isn’t monthkyy servicin conducted?
    I’m sure that a set of mechanics/maintaince team are employed to monitor such, this would save a lot of money rather than dedicating $10 million for 15 new trucks that island will only 2 of.
    Come on man. Piss poor management
    Why does everything have to cost in the millions
    If the tax didn’t work before why will it work now
    How about each minister supplement their salary/wage towards that 8 million

    We have fine engineers here that can build vehicles
    We have a gentleman in St. Phillip who was building cars the other day
    Stop looking outside for help and using up the money man

  3. Alex Alleyne January 27, 2016 at 10:49 am

    YOU GOT TO BE CRAZY , why should I be tax because of your INCOMPETENCY ??????????.

  4. Lux January 27, 2016 at 11:23 am

    Policy making 101: placing a tax on some activity discourages people from doing that activity. Taxes = sticks, tax breaks = carrots. People are already bad at dumping responsibly, and now you are going to make them avoid dumping in the correct place even more. Why would someone pay to throw out garbage when they can toss it in a gully?
    Increasing taxes can actually decrease tax revenue if the tax causes people to stop doing the activity or decrease spending.

  5. jrsmith January 27, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    Blame our politicians, when last has anyone , been prosecuted, for littering or dumping.. what I don’t understand, all around the world , where they are cellular phones, people are capturing any activity at all, to help ,law enforcement , criminal damage, and criminal activity, all this dumping activity and no one seems to have evidence to help prosecute people who is braking the law..

    We have trucks dumping old molasses all over the place and no one with a cell have evidence, even the politicians , are laying claims to knowing who the culpricks are , but tend to do what is always done , coverings up for people is above the law…

    Do you politicians and , all you people, who think that because you have friends in high offices and are friends with government ministers, that you all , is effing above the law and destroying our country bit by bit.. because you all have protection, all of you will see one day we will find the honest to goodness politicians who are not corrupt, we the people of Barbados will lock you all down, mark my word.. our people are scared to say anything ,but we have had enough, and enough is enough..


  6. Sue Donym January 27, 2016 at 6:54 pm

    So the minister has found his voice and he will reuse, recycle, rename and reintroduce some taxes… If only we could interest this administration in the Reduce part… Sigh.

  7. junior January 27, 2016 at 8:54 pm

    Lowe needs to look first at the chaos going on at the SSA where persons who do not know anything about solid waste are in positions, A chairman whose only function is to hold meetings and say nothing.
    Lowe agreed to give SBRC $35 million dollars a year to take the stuff without looking at the consequences ofthefinancial perils.

    The Prime Minister needs to get rid of him and Denis Kellman, These menaces need to be recalled

  8. Mac10 January 28, 2016 at 12:00 am

    The tipping fee has increased illegal dumping ten fold. What the hell do you think a garbage fee (tax0 is going to do?????


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