Pitcher launches broadside against Govt
The Barbados Government has no vision!
That was the assertion of businessman Robert Pitcher as he slammed the Freundel Stuart administration over several issues, including the National Social Responsibility Levy and other tax measures announced by Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler in Tuesday’s Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals.
Pitcher, the director of Fun ‘N’ Sun, said Barbadians would have to bear the brunt of taxes as Government sought to fill financial holes.
“We need $100 million more; who [do] you think it coming from? It ain’t a well that they putting a bucket down; the well is you and me,” he argued, as he used the opportunity of the re-launch of the Caribbean Traveller website at Divi Southwinds Beach Resort yesterday to voice his displeasure with the administration.
Pitcher also expressed concern about the plan to build a Hyatt hotel on the beachfront on Bay Street.
He argued that while the jobs Hyatt would bring would be good for Barbadians, “to put a 15-storey hotel on the beach downtown would made the City . . . a concrete jungle”.
“From a jobs perspective it’s all well and good, but the place where they are building the hotel, I am not for it,” he said.
Still on the issue of tourism, the businessman also warned that the concessions Government had given to hotel chain Sandals would not work out in the best interest of Barbadians.
He pointed out that Sandals Royal Bahamian was also given concessions, but still more than 600 workers were made redundant this week when the resort closed for two months for repairs .
“The same that happened in the Bahamas will happen here, because the bottom line is the profit for Sandals,” he cautioned.
Pitcher also had some harsh criticism for Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, who he said had not done enough to force change at regional carrier LIAT, in which the Barbados Government is the largest shareholder.
He reiterated his concern that the airline had continued to do the same thing, even though it was getting the same unacceptable results.
The frequent traveller, who has repeatedly complained about LIAT’s management, insisted that the Barbados Government had to insist on a turnaround.
He suggested that the current Board be disbanded and each shareholder government appoint a successful businessperson to a new Board to help turn the Antigua-based carrier into a properly functioning, money-making airline.