Bad call!

BLP leader slams private sector income tax proposal

The Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) has reacted swiftly to a suggestion by the business community that Government should consider raising income tax instead of imposing new taxes to combat its fiscal challenges.

BLP leader Mia Mottley issued a brief statement late this evening saying it was unfair to expect already struggling Barbadians to carry the burden for “Government’s incompetence or the greed of a few” by raising income taxes.

“We have listened keenly to the private sector and however well intentioned they may be, there can be no attempt to place income taxes back on the backs of poor people in this country again,” a defiant Mottley said.

“Poor people could barely afford income taxes in good times, how could they in all conscience do it now in these difficult times and ask them to pay for the Government’s incompetence of the greed of a few? [It] is completely unacceptable if we are to maintain a stable cohesive society in this country.

Charles Herbert & Mia Mottley

“The truth is, fiscal problems in this country were not caused by poor people and the solutions to our fiscal problems will not come from putting on the backs of poor people additional income taxes,” the Opposition Leader stressed.

In appealing to with Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler not to introduce any new taxes when he presents the Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals later this month, the business community admitted that the lingering fiscal challenges would warrant some “painful” austerity measures.

However, Chairman of the Barbados Private Sector Association (BPSA) Charles Herbert told Barbados TODAY any course of action should involve adjustments to current levies such as income tax and Value Added Tax, not the imposition of new duties which “always create all kinds of problems”.

“The key thing we are hoping for is that the Government will use the current mechanisms it has in its armory, VAT and income tax, and not introduce a new tax or something that requires more administration,” he said.

“Why put in a new tax? You have existing mechanisms, but don’t put in any new administrative mechanisms because every time you put one in it is difficult.”

Sinckler last August announced a two per cent National Social Responsibility Levy which he anticipated would have raised $142.1 million  – $82.9 million for the 2016/2017 financial year when prorated from September, 2016 – to help cover the cost of health care.

However, nine months later, industry officials said they were still uncertain about how it should be applied.

Herbert supported Acting Governor of the Central Bank Cleviston Haynes’ call last week for Government to demonstrate greater fiscal discipline and to address several pertinent challenges, including the fiscal deficit, the international reserves, the country’s debt and a framework for promoting and creating economic activity.

The private sector official stressed that tackling those challenges would come with “some kind of hardship”.

“We have to keep saying to the population, ‘there is going to be pain, there is no way out of it without pain, we just have to make sure that the pain is evenly spread around so that nobody is taking all of the burden.

“The key is that the Budget needs to be balanced all around so that it minimizes the effect on any one group in society,” Herbert stressed.

The BPSA chairman said he was eager to find out if Sinckler would introduce in the May 30 Budget, any of the recommendations from the two working groups of the Social Partnership established two months ago by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart to advise on ways to lower the fiscal deficit and increase foreign reserves.

Stuart has already dismissed the proposal to sell the National Petroleum Company and the Barbados National Oil Company Limited, while Sinckler has all but ruled out the recommendation to increase airport and cruise taxes.

Other recommendations included examination of the national import bill “with a view to identifying a list of non-essential items which would be subjected to higher tax rates and or quantifiable limits” and lowering of the VAT rate to below 15 per cent, with no exemptions, concessions or zero ratings for any sector.

Meantime, the 40,000-member Barbados Association of Retired Persons (BARP) is also concerned about the possible impact of any belt-tightening measures on senior citizens.

BARP President Ed Bushell told Barbados TODAY while pensioners recognized Government’s fiscal dilemma, they remained one of the most vulnerable groups, and the imposition of new taxes would hurt them.

“We recognize the predicament that the Government currently finds itself in, but one thing that we know would not be helpful at all would be any significant increase in taxation, especially on senior citizens who are the most vulnerable,” Bushell said.

“That is a matter we are very concerned about, and we wait to see what direction the Budget takes. We are hoping that there are no new taxes – any imposition or commission on us,” he added.

Last year seniors benefited from a $10 per week or $40 a month rise in old age non-contributory pensions.

16 Responses to Bad call!

  1. Kevin Gibson
    Kevin Gibson May 15, 2017 at 11:18 pm

    Bajan’s should note that it’s the small man’s back that is going to carry the weight!

    • Peter May 16, 2017 at 1:02 pm

      I am NOT like Jackass Jenny nor jrsmith two rejects from England who could not afforf heating so they return to Barbados to boast to their friends back ther that they are living in a tropical paradise wherte only the rich and famous cab come. These two persons always complain. jrsmith about the DEMs and jackass Jennifer about whites and ich and well off blacks. she calls them all especially the successful, educated ones, “crabs in a barrel.”

  2. jrsmith May 16, 2017 at 4:31 am

    This present government is making barbados the world’s first taxed economy, possibility our black masses would be taxed if you are living over , 65…………
    You must wonder, who really and honestly pay taxes in barbados we are not shown any details , or nothing is published as to who is who paying taxes….
    We must also ask the question why our government cannot publish (Audits ) for the varying public departments , we are always hearing how inefficient the collection of taxes is in barbados..but its always (taxes)….
    Why a little island as barbados always having tax issues , always on the world radar , for tax avoidance money laundering its about time the (US) law enforcement do something about barbados and start arresting the corrupt and crooked people in association with others who control our country…………….the only people in barbados who is suffering is the black masses ……..

    • Jennifer May 16, 2017 at 6:40 am

      @Jrsmith – The masses like it (suffering) so, just to continue their habitual state of complaining, especially about governments that have no intention of working with them or for them anyway. That is why they are allowed to get on with complaining, while the others keep silent and thrive.

  3. Samantha Best May 16, 2017 at 6:04 am

    I do not understand the private sector’s call. Higher taxes reduces the people’s disposable income. As a result the demand for goods and services offered to the populis will reduce. Hence the private sector’s income will reduce; they have to lay off staff, who in turn would have been paying taxes,now no taxes will be paid by them because they are not working.

    Right now, the disposable income is so limited, persons are barely making the supermarket. Bills including mortgage payments are being rotated. It is hard!

    I think Gov’t needs to ask for volunteers in the public sector to retire. This would assist in cutting their expenditure.

  4. Randolph May 16, 2017 at 7:02 am

    It was “Dems again”this time I hope it will be “never Dems again”.

  5. Babsie May 16, 2017 at 7:03 am

    Where was the Private sector when the government ministers restored their 10 per cent? They did not speak out against it –

    Why can’t the speak for the poor civil servants – like the general workers (especially maids, NCC, postmen/women, police officers etc.) – who now have to pay more VAT on a package of Milo, Ovaltine and Chocolate ect. to make tea for their children.

  6. bradg May 16, 2017 at 7:11 am

    @Samantha. Voluntary retirement is not going to “cut it” unfortunately. This inept administration was too slow ( and is slow still) to make the necessary adjustments that are needed to correct the imbalance. What is needed now is “mixed assortment” of medicine to get the country well. This what this useless Administration has put the country through.

  7. Helicopter(8P) May 16, 2017 at 10:22 am

    jrsmith! You are now being nonsensical on the matter of Barbados’ sovereign tax system. The U.S.A has no powers in regard to the Barbados revenue system. This is a soverign government and it would be an international infraction for Washington to involve it’s self in the domestic affairs of a soverign nations system of collecting taxes. we may apply models of some kind but blatently being direted on revenue collection is left to the state and it’s administrators!

  8. Saga Boy May 16, 2017 at 11:50 am

    I want the private sector to tell the people of Barbados what is their plan to reduce prices to the consumer. If Govt reduce VAT they will as usual not pass it on to consumers. I hope Govt does not let them trick them with such foolishness. I want them to tell Govt that they will bring more of their foreign currency back or into the island from the many companies their have formed overseas.

  9. Peter May 16, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    jrsmith all you do is complain against the DEM government, while that unqualified uneducated resented and dysfunctional racist crab herself, complain. NEVER ONCE has either of those two come up with a business proposal. They only complain and criticize. Well, Here is my suggestion. Waive all Income tax (PAYE) for EVERY month of NOVEMBER (only November) It will double as an independence gift from Barbados to its working citizens, and serve as a purchasing stimulant for the Christmas holidays especially since Christmas bonuses will be in abundance. More money will be in circulation. NIS will be deducted of course. The government will collect it back from VAT and corporate taxes especially during that busy excessive spending period. How does government curtail overseas travelling by those who can afford the trip to Miami, London, New York, Toronto et al? Implement a double travel tax payment on all tickets originating out of Barbados for the whole of December and the first two weeks of January and all bookings made before that period in advance of the time of travel for that period of travel. Customs duty plus VAT will be added to those who still went out at that time. Abed and all his Private associates especially in the retail sector won’t be complaining of a slow and sluggish season. This will be a win, win, win situation. Govt, private retail sector and working Barbadians. That’s my suggestion. What are yours, Jennifer and jrsmith? Looking for your objective comments…

  10. jrsmith May 16, 2017 at 3:24 pm

    @, Peter , hail, hail , I join the Democratic party because of my dad who has passed on, my dems passport was signed by the great man himself the late (Honorable DP Barrow..)…………
    If I wanted to raise my voice in barbados , Massa wouldn’t prevent me, but people like you could only say what you want to behind toilet doors ….
    I am a very, very proud black bajan and love my people the ones who is genuine …what do you contribute to barbados ,, my contribution is part of the 170 millions which is wired across from the (UK) annually to our bajans who has work toward they retirement ………..

    • Peter May 16, 2017 at 4:23 pm

      I contribute more than you can imagine Both in taxes, monies wired in from my offshore accounts in London. Toronto and the USA. Incidentally I do own properties in those places as well as Stockholm , Brussels and Copenhagen. I hold responsibility for over 33 offices in Caribbean and Latin America. I an sure part contribution is not worth 0.0001 % of that 170 million you so proudly claim. You came back here to show off to your friends that you live in a tropical paradise. I doubt not that you were an engineer. there are many like you who try to fix buses. and Jennifer who is a complete failure who catches a ZR or bus, and rely on the supermarket shuttle to take her home. Poor thing…

    • Peter May 16, 2017 at 4:25 pm

      Stop complaining then. Come up with something that can help DEM improve things.

  11. Donild Trimp May 16, 2017 at 9:49 pm

    @Peter – I am now convinced that you are in love with the person behind the pseudonym “Jennifer”.

    Peter, why are you so captivated and fascinated with Jennifer?

  12. Mark Adamson May 17, 2017 at 1:09 am

    “The truth is, fiscal problems in this country were not caused by poor people and the solutions to our fiscal problems will not come from putting on the backs of poor people additional income taxes,” the Opposition Leader stressed”.

    The aforegoing were copied from comments attributed to Mottley in the above news story.

    The fiscal problems of this country have been caused by these two intellectually and politically backward, bankrupt, decrepit and discredited DLP and BLP whenever they become at the helm of government in this country, through their continuing to wickedly and evilly TAX the receipts of the relevant individuals, businesses and other entities in this country.

    Moreover, this evil, wicked, criminal, unconstitutional, fascist, unproductive and uncooperative TAXATION system has been and continues to be source of the fiscal problems of the government of this country.

    Only with the ABOLITION of Taxation and its replacement with , at least 10 strategies for helping bring about a post-Taxation society for Barbados, will the fiscal problems of the government of this country be almost removed.

    Clearly Mottley is totally out of her league when dealing with such fundamental issues of the causes of the fiscal problems of the government of this country.

    For, once again, Mottley has reportedly said nothing of substance
    in conceptual relationship to the truth that – even though she is .purporting to have been making a case for poor people not to
    be made to suffer from greater TAXATION otherwise speculated in
    the sense of the possibility of the implementation by government
    of greater TAXATION policies on the receipts of the poor in the
    upcoming Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals, it is still
    they – the poor – that will suffer when greater TAXATION is imposed on the receipts of middle class and upper class people, their businesses and other interests, and they therefore – as a consequence of greater TAXATION – will reduce spending in such ways that poor people will surely – in manifold ways – be indirectly affected. So, Mottley would be foolishly spinning top in mud!!

    Moreso, so insensate and obtuse are the reported thoughts of
    Charles Herbert – in the same above story – that there are existing
    mechanisms of VAT and Income TAXATION that can be used by
    government ( to falsely come by more of the receipts of the relevant others ) instead of creating new taxes – when it is clear that NOT ONLY ARE THESE RECEIPTS LOST PERMANENTLY TO THE VICTIMS OF TAXATION and to the government itself, BUT ALSO ALL TAXATION is TAXATION by government on the receipts of the relevant individuals, businesses and other entities – and whether the proceeds are collected through new or old TAXATION methods – it is the amounts of RECEIPTS of the relevant persons, businesses and other entities that are going to be TAXED by the
    government and the resulting harmful psychological, social,
    political, material and financial consequences that is of
    importance to the People’s Democratic Congress – in the
    denouncing of such TAXATION schemes.


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