It’s unfair!

COW cries out against duty-free system

Give us duty-free concessions too!

This was the cry of prominent businessman Sir Charles Williams as he addressed the launch of his multi-million dollar Apes Hill Country Club over the weekend.

Before a gathering that included Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy and Minister of Industry and Commerce Donville Inniss, the local developer accused Government of discriminating against investors like him, in favour of non-nationals.

“Can any Bajan in here tell me how they would feel when you get a condition that [is for] a non-national in our country?” asked Sir Charles, who related two personal experiences.

Sir Charles Williams

He said some years ago he had received permission to import a duty-free vehicle in the name of the Country Club, on condition that “it must be driven only by a non-national”.

More recently, the construction magnate said he had also applied for permission to bring in another pickup to be driven by his son and another Barbadian to take around prospective buyers of the Club’s luxury villas and houses.

“You’re taking people around that are buying a million dollar lot, $2 million lot, a $500,000 lot. You’re asking to drive them in a pickup, and I was told in the last year that I seem to have missed what the condition was. It must be driven by a non-national,” Sir Charles lamented.

In response, Sealy, whose Government has been criticized for offering millions in concessions to the hotel chain Sandals, offered little satisfaction to the affluent businessman, opting instead to make light of the situation by saying: “I can relate to your issue with the duty-free concession on the vehicles.

Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy

“All of my counterparts in the region enjoy a duty-free concession for the vehicles they drive. I don’t get one here, which is why I drive a Nissan Almera,” the minister of tourism said in his address to the launch.

Earlier, Sir Charles has also complained about long delays in getting approvals from the Town & Country Planning Department.

“You all might not believe it, but this project took ten years. If it had taken five, we would have sold everything,” Sir Charles said in reference to the luxury project, which includes houses and villas with a going rate of between US$1.3 million and $6.5 million.

“And I had the discomfort of hearing a person from the Town Planning Office say that it took that long because it was different,” the developer added.

“I do not think that the general public . . . realizes how difficult it is to make headway if you take impossible chances.

“You all don’t realize how difficult it is to lift you head above water,” Sir Charles stressed, complaining that it takes too long to get projects of value moving.

10 Responses to It’s unfair!

  1. Steve L. Jemmott
    Steve L. Jemmott February 21, 2017 at 12:12 am

    Total abuse of duty free concessions…..” for your son to drive around potential purchasers”… the local real estate fraternity never dreamt of being so bold.

  2. Watchman February 21, 2017 at 12:43 am

    Not like the good old days of Port St.Charles when duty free concessions were freely flowing. But then I was the puppeteer so I could call de tune and make de puppets dance.

    Speightstown and de whole of St.Peter still enjoying de benefits of all the business and prosperity that project brought with it, those concessions were a small price to pay.

    ROFL !!!!!

  3. Meakai February 21, 2017 at 1:38 am

    People buying a million dollar lot, $2 million lot, a $500,000 lot and you cannot afford to invest in one pickup?

    If things are so tight at the top, we at the bottom must be suffering.

    Wait a minute, we suffering all now so we gine soon drop down dead from financial starvation.

    • Leroy February 21, 2017 at 12:10 pm

      Just vex that others have the tax break but him, but in all honesty, give no breaks to no one or give everyone equally, so he has a point but not the crap pretending he cannot afford it.

      Tax breaks cannot be applied on an individual basic or we will always be open to bending of the law.

  4. Peter February 21, 2017 at 10:41 am

    Sir Charles, You need to personally up the standards of your property sale presentations. Surely your organization can afford more luxury class vehicles. driven by your son? I’m sure he is a senior executive. Hire a chauffeur and he, your son, dressed classy and well trained in property marketing and presentations, Trained to spot searching “buying” questions and requests. Turn your son into a true professional not a footstep follower with a legacy and inheritance. Class is class.

  5. Tiffany Robinson February 21, 2017 at 11:33 am

    Are seriously complaining about duty concessions? How much is your net worth? There are people in Barbados suffering because the people like you who can afford are getting and abusing concessions and they dont know where there next meal is coming from. Shame on you and others like you

  6. Helicopter(8P) February 21, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    People who are used to travelling in Daimler Benz, Cadillac Lexus and B M W are not going to feel at ease in a pickup truck. Get to an international level of doing business Barbadians. If tourism is your main earner then get with it both ideologically and realisticly.

  7. Alex Alleyne February 21, 2017 at 3:30 pm

    When this “Family” speaks , Bajans shakes like a leaf on a tree. He/they can fire hundreds of workers at a time.

  8. Alex Alleyne February 21, 2017 at 3:31 pm

    UNION or no UNION.

  9. Jennifer February 21, 2017 at 6:46 pm

    Tiffany – Well said. They have no conscience and no end to their greed. Would have Esau stolen till he had enough???
    Alex – Blame this government and the people of Barbados for that. Nothing new.


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