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‘It is like 1991 all over again’

Economist Ryan Straughn said the new tax announced last week by Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler and a pending salary increase for parliamentarians had triggered memories of 1991 when Government ministers received a ten per cent pay rise, while public servants wages were cut by eight per cent.

In resolutions yet to be debated in Parliament, Government has proposed a ten per cent hike in pay for all Cabinet members, Members of Parliament, Parliamentary Secretaries, and Senators.

Meantime, Sinckler announced in the 2016 Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals that a two per cent National Social Responsibility Levy would be imposed on imports effective September 1.

The Minister of Finance estimated that Government would raise $142.1 million in additional revenue from the measure.

Addressing a Barbados Labour Party (BLP) meeting in St Michael West on Sunday, Straughn said this situation was eerily similar to what happened 25 years ago.

“You just increased everybody’s cost of living by two per cent since introduction of the National Social Responsibility Levy, but these fellows intend to increase their salaries by ten per cent,” the BLP Christ Church East Central candidate told party supporters.

“This sounds familiar because in the early 1990s they increased their salary by ten per cent and then cut everybody else’s own by eight, and now in 2016 they are increasing theirs by ten and then taking two per cent of out of everybody else’s pocket. So, in effect, they’re eight per cent better off than everybody else.

“What is it about the Democratic Labour Party that eight per cent seems to be a recurring theme?” he queried.

Straughn, who just two days before the budget presentation had predicted Barbadians would be burdened with more than $120 million in additional taxes, said the heavy tax burden imposed during the current Democratic Labour Party administration had not helped to turn the economic or social situation around.

“After all of this money that each of us line up and pay, year after year, there isn’t a public service in Barbados right now that you can say with confidence is working,” he contended.

The Opposition candidate described the budget as a theatrical play without any specific, substantive measures that Barbadians could “take to the bank, have some faith in, or can articulate that would truly make our lives just a little better”.

  “When you tax citizens, you have to deliver something tangible that is of benefit, not just today, but going forward, and I am not seeing that happening right now . . . There is nothing tangible that we could say is going to take us into the next 50 years with confidence. There is nothing that we can point to in Barbados that we can say is working,” Straughn added.

11 Responses to ‘It is like 1991 all over again’

  1. Brien King
    Brien King August 24, 2016 at 5:45 am

    All those in parliament will get the ten present increase, not just the Dlp side alone but to carry a strong point forward, all Blp members in parliament must reject the ten percent increase in their pay packs that they have issues with that goes along with their complaints of burdening the people of Barbados with more taxes.
    Again, just talking about problems seen and not doing anything to fix it I question what is the point to it ?
    No alternative solutions to the problems mentioned where stated, nor does it appears to be forth coming either but there is always LIP service !

    • Glen Antrobus
      Glen Antrobus August 24, 2016 at 2:40 pm

      And by now they would have received at least one month of it already. …….but u hear anything more? ?????……..why?….because everyone enjoying theirs

  2. Danny Colombian Clarke
    Danny Colombian Clarke August 24, 2016 at 6:33 am

    Unfortunately this government feels that adding taxes which jacks up the price of everything is the answer. I don’t know if a fella only got a $100 to spend on groceries he can spend $200.

  3. Veroniva Boyce
    Veroniva Boyce August 24, 2016 at 7:20 am

    Barbados needs a NEW Government.

  4. M Anthony Adamson
    M Anthony Adamson August 24, 2016 at 7:43 am

    What a most egregious false comparison!!!

    Mr. Ryan Straughn – with his noviciate approach to the logic of the 1991/2 structural adjustment and stabilization period of this country – is also attempting to falsify the history of those very austere times. For, the increased transfers that came out of the salary regrading exercise for public servants and parliamentarians had started in 1990; then by January 1991 there were national elections, in which many had argued that the government Barbados was soon to enter the hands of the IMF; and then by September or so of that year, and with the foreign credits of the government reaching abysmally low levels, the jack o lantern DLP government was seen to have entered into a structural adjustment program with the IMF, with the 8 per cent cut directed only to the transfers of the broad masses of public servants, forming a major part of the program. Now, for any one to have been reported as attempting to compare those and other relevant situations with parliamentarians at this juncture restoring their transfer levels to what they were about two ago, and the imposition of a criminal 2 per cent of Taxation of the receipts of importers of certain goods and services well outside of an IMF led structural adjustment program to get foreign credits, et al, has got to be a very staggering political nuisance.

    Where are Straughn’s theoretical solutions to many of the political economic and financial problems facing Barbados?? Where are they?? This political novice and nuisance must be clearly rejected at the polls!!

    • Danny Colombian Clarke
      Danny Colombian Clarke August 24, 2016 at 8:23 am

      And put in you ??? A person who says you will remove motor vehicle insurance ? Taxes ? And build a train line ?? Proof that more mad ppl out than in .

    • harry turnover August 31, 2016 at 8:53 pm

      …..”the 8 per cent cut directed only to the transfers of the broad masses of public servants, forming a major part of the program”……..wha you really trying to say Adamson ? ya got me confused dey.
      I ,however, agree with you that it is a bad comparison because in this case it is a restoration of salaries.
      “Where are Straughn’s theoretical solutions to many of the political economic and financial problems facing Barbados?? Where are they??”
      Adamson………OPPOSITION parties DO NOT RUN Governments…they DO NOT have to offer solutions…what they say WILL NOT BE PASSED IN THE HOUSE…..those in Government HAVE to GOVERNED that is the LAW…so it is NONSENSE from the top drawer by those who continually say..”.man the Opposition talking all de time but na body en saying how they will do this and do that…they en offering no solutions” and a lotta bull crap.
      That is the SAME thing the late David Thompson said when in Opposition when asked what he would do….” what I would do ? they are the GOVERNMENT “

  5. AniRo Ararek
    AniRo Ararek August 24, 2016 at 8:24 am

    Common sense is not common. The country supposedly break, but Ministers who don’t do anything getting a raise on already outrageous salaries, while the actual workers of the country receiving pittance.
    Plus all these members got other jobs and businesses. Look the world is indeed a place full of GREEDY people!

  6. Donna Harewood August 24, 2016 at 8:36 am

    Now we must be accurate in our statements if we want to be seen as honest. It is a restoration of the ten percent they voluntarily gave up. It is unpalatable that they should reclaim it but it is not, strictly speaking, a salary increase. These deliberately inaccurate statements damage one’s credibility and are to be avoided if one wishes to inspire trust in future utterings.

  7. Henderson Cheltenham
    Henderson Cheltenham August 24, 2016 at 9:08 am

    I want the blp get this government CAUSE I know wanna end up being room mates with the IMF,be careful what wanna wish for you might just get it

  8. lester August 24, 2016 at 10:06 am

    people need to stop being POLITICAL and speak the truth, it is NOT a salary increase, these people voluntarily give up their monies ALL of them BEES and DEES, so they want it back, and that is the truth, tell the BLP to start giving solutions and stop trying to score cheap political shots


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