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We have done well, says Boyce

Government Senator Darcy Boyce has defended the country’s current fiscal position, saying Government was forced to face several severe challenges since assuming office eight years ago.

Boyce told the Upper House today during debate on the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure that Government had performed creditably, despite not operating on a level playing field.

“We have made good progress in our fiscal position. We are not quite where we want to be, but we have made good progress,” Boyce said, noting that some consideration should be given to “the major events over the last eight years that have occasioned us considerable fiscal distress”.

He pointed to changes to the Canadian tax system, to which the Freundel Stuart administration had to adjust in order to keep Canadian companies in Barbados.

“And we made that decision intending to keep the jobs that we had in that sector here in Barbados, intending to keep those somewhere between 3,000 and 4,000 persons employed in that sector, and to continue to earn the most of the income that we earned from that sector.

“The last figures I saw put that income at $900 million, that is close to ten per cent of the GDP [Gross Domestic Product]. So the effect of that Madam President, was that we have lost essentially . . . close to $200 million a year . . . It meant that every year thereafter our tax take was somewhere between 150 and 200 million dollars below where it would ordinarily have been,” Boyce said.

He noted that Government tried to recoup some of the losses through taxation and cutting expenditure in some areas, “but there’s a limit to how far we can go on either of those”.

Boyce also listed economic conditions in Barbados’ main tourism markets; the fall of the British currency against the US dollar and the blacklisting of Barbados and other Caribbean countries as tax havens by some European countries as challenges that impacted on the administration’s programmes.

“We are not playing on an easy wicket, we have not played on a good wicket for the last eight years, and the wicket is not getting much easier. We have to continue to play very carefully,” he warned.

Boyce also hit out at critics of Government’s economic policies, complaining that the administration faced criticisms no matter what it attempted to do.

“Whenever the Government tries to raise a little revenue . . . there is a hue and cry from the very people who say to us we should cut the fiscal deficit . . . . If we say we’re going to lay off some people . . .  there’s a hue and cry from the people who tell us there are too many people working in Government and the wages are very high.

“So you have to go with a very delicate balance in terms of how you cut this fiscal deficit,” he said.

10 Responses to We have done well, says Boyce

  1. BaJan boy March 24, 2016 at 6:23 am

    Mr. Boyce we accept that you and your colleagues have done well no denying.

  2. harry turnover March 24, 2016 at 7:22 am

    No Boyce….you and dem were forced to face those severe challenges 4 years ago when the former PM went on a taxing spree as soon as he got into office.
    Eight years of super taxation, to seeing light at the end of the tunnel to being nowhere where we should be to having done well to having to cut a fiscal deficit EVERY YEAR

  3. Graham B Bannister
    Graham B Bannister March 24, 2016 at 7:33 am

    Another joker.. You have done well killing the economy and maybe geting a fat salary for little work. You have sent home over 3000 persons and destroyed families livelihood and therfore families. You have prevented people from being able to feed their families and keep their homes…. same thing over and over. You have done well…..Time for another way of doing business. Time for another set of persons leading this country hand in hand with the citizens. Time for Citizens to create a Partnership for Progress..TIME FOR CHANGE

  4. Santini More
    Santini More March 24, 2016 at 7:38 am

    Elections are truly in the air. The spin masters have provided the DEMs with a script which includes gems such as “we have done so well despite all the difficult EXTERNAL factors.”…External my tush, our dire economic position is due to the incompetence, ignorance and arrogance of the Governor of the Central Bank and his know-nothing glove puppet Minister of Finance…After years of out performing our Caribbean neighbours, we find ourselves at the bottom of the regions economic growth tables. And yet these DLP politicians still want to blame EXTERNAL factors!

  5. Beverley Headley
    Beverley Headley March 24, 2016 at 7:50 am

    “Done well” for who? Certainly not for the masses! Wunna gone, so please, don’t bring that line again, wunna can’t say enough to convince no right thinking Barbadian to even consider wunna to run this country ever again, so go hush, enjoy the months wunna have left and take a nice ride off into the sunset, your government us the worse that Bajans have and seen in the history of Bdos, and I don’t think no other govt after you can do any worse, you all, and your yardfowls have totally destroyed Bdos, and we know that it will take sometime to correct the ills, but we the public if Bdos are prepared to let a proven govt take back Bdos. Go and enjoy your acquired wealth at the expense of we the taxpayers.

  6. jrsmith March 24, 2016 at 7:59 am

    One problem , little Barbados have too large a non productive political infrastructure, needs reducing by one third. You cannot see what the political people in Barbados do.

    Dear, Government a strong solid infrastructure , leads to a good strong government, which leads to economic growth , to consider Barbados had an increase of 14 to 15% in tourism yet still the economy is still sitting on the floor..

  7. Peachesnaddy Brown
    Peachesnaddy Brown March 24, 2016 at 8:13 am

    done well my foot all u idiots do in the eight years is kill Barbados

  8. Andrew Rudder March 28, 2016 at 10:53 am

    Senator Boyce you have layed it out to the people just like in the good old days! Your language in the economics arena seems to be in par with the late E.W. Barrow’s style.Thank you for a good lecture! No one else has expressed the current economic difficulties in such layman terms. We now have a clear picture of the present state of affairs. Thanks once again!

  9. Sunshine Sunny Shine March 28, 2016 at 3:57 pm

    Senator Boyce, you have no credibility or integrity.

  10. Babsie March 29, 2016 at 7:59 pm

    I want to refer the Editor for ease of reference to the Offical Gazette No.12 dated 9th February, 2015.

    I refer to Mr. Boyce’s comments ” whenever government tries to raise a little revenue…”

    I would be please if Mr Boyce would address the introduction of Supplement to Official Gazette No.12 dated 9th February, 2015 which is referred to as the Domestic Prov. Act. that his govenement recently quietly and secretly imposed on all small businesses (Vendors, shopkeepers,barber shop, hair dressers etc.) which are registered with Corporate Affairs.

    He need to explain to all and sundry the reason for the introduction.

    The deadline for payment is March 31, 2016 and the fee is
    $100.00 failing to comply, the penality is $10.00 per day.

    I want to know how many of the above businesses are aware of this Companies Act, Cap 308.

    To date there has been no public service announcement informing these business of this amendment to the company act.

    This is why people like me have to make a huge outcry when government try to cut the fisical deficit, by targeting small business people.

    To date there has been no official BGIS announcement on this matter.


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