111 Economist prefers hike in water rates | Barbados Today

Economist prefers hike in water rates

It’s either privatization or an increase in water rates!

That was the warning issued last night by economist Jeremy Stephen during a University of the West Indies-sponsored panel discussion on The Future Of Water In Barbados in the Henry Fraser Lecture Theatre.    

Speaking ahead of today’s observance of World Water Day, Stephen, who is the president of the Barbados Economic Society, warned that the BWA needed to generate more money from its domestic supply of water to Barbadian households and commercial entities, while pointing to declining Government financial support to the public utility, which moved from $130 million in 2015 to $32 million this year, with only $19 million allocated for next year.

“I shudder at the thought if it doesn’t raise prices,” Stephen said, while suggesting that some form of tax relief would have to be given to low income earners.

“The Water Authority, sooner or later, has to push for price increases if it is going to maintain the cost of operating and be a smaller drain on Government’s purse strings,” he stressed.

Given its current economic dilemma, the economist advised that Barbadians may have to “pay more for now [and] ask less questions later . . . if [they] don’t want the privatization of water”, which he said was “one of the worst things that could happen if it mirrors the BNTCL [oil] deal”.

He also suggested that Government had missed an opportunity to generate money for potable water supply when in 2014 it introduced a Municipal Solid Waste Tax but had to repeal it the following year, after Barbadians protested.

This tax had applied to all real estate property owners with no exemptions, and a levy was affixed based on the size of the land.

“What would have been better, in terms of revenue-raising ability for the Government would be to put it on water bills,” Stephen said.

“People would have conserved a lot better,” he contended.

“Government would have been affecting real change in human behaviour and creating revenue to allow for fiscal incentives for [investment in] . . . brackish and salt water plants,” the economist added.

6 Responses to Economist prefers hike in water rates

  1. BARBADOS BORN March 23, 2017 at 6:59 am

    government continue to miss opportunities to balance the demands on citizens to stabilise the economy by awkwardly taxing necessary basics that motivate the well intended whilst letting vile persist.
    1. PUT ROAD TAXES IN THE FUEL PRICE ALL THOSE WHO USE FUEL NOW AND DON’T PAY ROAD TAXES WILL BE INCLUDED.

    A TO WASH GREASE FROM YOUR HANDS
    B TO CLEAN TOOLS
    C ALL THOSE UNLICENSED MOTOR CYCLES
    D WEED WHACKERS AND ALL SMALL ENGINES
    E EVERYTHING THAT HAS AN ENGINE WILL BE INCLUDED.

    2. THIS WILL AFFECT THE NEED FOR SO MUCH CLERICAL STAFF AT THE BRA.

    3. DEMAND GREATER PRODUCTIVITY FROM ALL DEPARTMENT HEADS, THUS THEY DEMAND GREATER FROM WORKERS.

    4. MAKE AN ASSESSMENT OF NON PRODUCTIVE PERSONS IN ALL DEPARTMENTS GIVE WARNINGS AND COMMUNICATE WITH THE UNIONS.

    5. IF THE UNIONS GET IN THE WAY OF OBJECTIVE REFORM DEAL WITH THEM DECISIVELY FOR THE GOOD OF THE COUNTRY.

    6. REDUCE THE SIZE OF PARLIAMENT BY HALF. DEMAND GREATER COMMITMENT FROM YOUR MINISTERS.

    7. ENSURE THE PASSAGE AND ENFORCEMENT OF INTEGRITY LEGISLATION IF YOU DON’T WANT TO DO THIS FORGET THE WHOLE THING AND PROCEED AS USUAL.

    Reply
  2. Maria March 23, 2017 at 7:09 am

    By the way I paid that solid waste tax and was never refunded my money what happened to the money from the people who paid in their tax I would really like to know

    Reply
  3. Mark Adamson March 23, 2017 at 7:22 am

    Is that the most Jeremy Stephen can come up with for a very major and strategic asset like the Barbados Water Authority???

    Privatization or subscribers of BWA services giving more money to them???

    What is Barbados coming to??!!!

    Reply
  4. Sonia Small
    Sonia Small March 23, 2017 at 8:40 am

    he gotta be kidding me!

    Reply
  5. Helicopter(8P) March 23, 2017 at 9:58 am

    Each house hold should be given an allotted amount of liters per size of household or in commercial businesses per size of employees. An established table of price per house hold or business quota per month should reflect an overuse tax!

    Reply
  6. David Eversley March 23, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    Why should consumers pay more for water. When David Thompson won the government seven years ago, one of the first things he did was to increase water rates by 60%. Since then several more businesses and residence were connected the BWA service. In addition to all of that, meters was change to the new smart meters and an increase of $10 was added to the bill. What are they doing with all this increase. All the government is doing is just collecting money from consumers and dumping it in the consolidated fund and then use it for other purposes. That was and still is he biggest mistake the DLP has instituted and now we are to paying for their bad management. There are a lot of other factor that can be mention.

    Reply

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