Budget passed; House approves controversial levy


Parliament in the wee hours of Friday morning approved the controversial National Social Responsibility Act after Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler put up a strident defence of the onerous tax on imported and locally produced goods, which is covered by the legislation and is due to be increased from two to ten per cent, effective July 1.

Dr David Estwick & Donville Inniss

During Thursday’s marathon debate, which began at 10 a.m. and ended at 1:20 a.m. Friday, two Government ministers – namely Dr David Estwick and Donville Inniss – took exception to the levy, which is otherwise referred to as the NSRL, with Estwick warning his own administration that it simply could not “tax its way out” of its economic problems and Inniss seriously cautioning that the NSRL would result in a rise in the cost of living, as he echoed the call by Opposition Leader Mia Mottley in her Budget reply on Wednesday, for provisions to be made to assist vulnerable citizens.

“All I ask is that we ensure that the most vulnerable in our society are not placed in any more of a disadvantageous or uncomfortable position,” Inniss said, while also pointing to concerns raised by the manufacturing sector over the increase in the NSRL.

“When they sell to other manufacturers the National Social Responsibility Levy is not applicable as far as I understand.  But when the manufactured goods are sold to the retailers, the National Social Responsibility Levy is applicable, and therefore that leads to an increase in the cost of goods manufactured in Barbados. But it also places us in a position to be less competitive on the local market.”

Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler

The levy was first introduced in September last year. However, effective next month it will move from two per cent to ten per cent, as Sinckler,  who has a $500 million economic hole to urgently fill, embarks on a series of tough economic measures, including the NRSL, which is expected to rake in $218 million for the remaining nine months of the current fiscal year.

Inniss has also taken issue with the planned increase in the excise tax on petrol, warning that it would also drive up the cost of doing business and the cost of living.

The outspoken Minister of Commerce and International Business has called for a “serious conversation and action plan” to improve efficiency and cut the cost of the public sector, stating that a number of state agencies had got out of hand and had “to be reined in”.

“Let us get real. Some of those agencies need to be merged or closed down.  And that is perhaps one of the realities that we don’t want to face,” Inniss stated.

However, after hearing Inniss’ strident appeal and pleas from an equally defiant Estwick, who is a trained medical doctor, for the Government to follow his economic prescription instead, Sinckler was adamant that his remedy was the best one for the times.

In the face of an apparent budget split within the current Freundel Stuart-led Cabinet, the Minister of Finance pointed out that there was no such thing as a “perfect” Government.

Therefore, he suggested to Parliament that differences of opinion were expected to arise from time to time, even among political cohorts.

However, he was less forgiving of Mottley who he claimed repeatedly called him a “liar” during her Budget reply.

Mia Mottley

And in light of several corruption allegations levelled by the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) Leader in Parliament, Sinckler sought to warn Mottley that he was holding countless files that could prove to be very politically damaging to her.

Sinckler, who is the parliamentary representative for St Michael North West, further cautioned the Opposition representative for St Michael North East that no one from “Black Rock” was afraid of anyone from “Sandy Lane” as he drew a deeper political line in the sand, suggesting that when Mottley spoke she was doing from a position of privilege, while he was coming from the perspective of the poor working class man.

In fact, he threatened to expose Mottley once and for all for who she really was and in no less of a place than in “Queen’s Park at midnight”, if she proceeded with her planned “Haggatt Hall” witch hunt against the Stuart-led Government.

During his animated closing budgetary statement, Sinckler further attacked Mottley, saying she had failed to present a feasible plan for turning around the ailing economy, which apart from a worrying deficit, is also burdened with an enormous debt in the amount of 160 per cent of its Gross Domestic Product.

Members of the Opposition Barbados Labour Party as they made their way into Parliament on Wednesday afternoon.

In fact, Sinckler accused the Opposition Leader of waffling during her three-hour long reply to his presentation on Tuesday, without giving Barbadians any specifics on how she or her BLP  team –  who he said were equally anxious to take the Governmental reins – intended to address the country’s worrying economic challenges.

In response to strident calls by former Prime Minister Owen Arthur, economist Michael Howard and others for Government to turn to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for an economic bail out plan, Sinckler was adamant that this was not the way to go right now, as he warned former University of the West Indies (UWI) economics professor Howard that the UWI would be among the first institutions to be cut off from financial support were Government to take the country down the dreaded IMF road.

However, Sinckler agreed with Arthur that there was “noting that we can’t do [as a country] if we put our minds to it”.

With that said,  the Minister of Finance led the passage of the controversial National Social Responsibility Levy Act.

Attorney General and Minister of Home Affairs Adriel Brathwaite also led the passage of Magistrates Court Amendment Act before the parliamentary session officially came to a close.

Just the 1:20 a.m. adjournment, House Speaker Michael Carrington apologized to his fellow legislators for losing his “cool” during an exchange with Opposition Member of Parliament for St James North Edmund Hinkson earlier in the night.

The House resumes on Tuesday, June 13 at 10 a.m.


55 Responses to Budget passed; House approves controversial levy

  1. Krystle Howell
    Krystle Howell June 2, 2017 at 3:57 am

    This is a travesty of epic proportions….so sad for my countrymen.

  2. Justin Moore
    Justin Moore June 2, 2017 at 4:24 am

    They actually bought into this. Guess they’re not as bright as I thought.

    • Alwin Ellis
      Alwin Ellis June 2, 2017 at 5:48 am

      DEM is a dumb bunch

    • Jennifer June 2, 2017 at 6:42 am

      @Justin – This ain’t about being bright as they are in GROSS DARKNESS. This is about eating from that same pale and troth. The house Negros at work making the field Negros shyte. Everyone else in a safe boat. And despite all of this watch how they will all continue to support their enemies events and shows etc, no cutting back of any kind to send any messages from this people. And those house Negros know this too.

    • Peter June 2, 2017 at 8:45 am

      For a group of men duly elected to the second oldest Parliament in the western hemisphere, I am flabbergasted by the unintelligible blubbery spit expelled from the likes of James Paul and the AG. The others I did not take the time out to watch nor hear as they all sound the same. With regards to Sinckler’s death wish budget, the saying….” If you can’t dazzle them with your brilliance, Baffle them with your bullsheet.” I say no more.

  3. jrsmith June 2, 2017 at 4:52 am

    Why should anyone be surprise at this time when for the 2 terms nothing has been achieved by this government , who has made sure we the black masses is still at the cross road waiting to see whats the out come , of this try this ,try that government ……..

    • Jennifer June 2, 2017 at 6:53 am

      jrsmith – A good morning to you. We need to stop with this shortsightedness in looking at two terms. All of this supportive, oppressive and sub thinking by our so called leaders started many years ago. Hence this is why many peoples have left this island to go to other pastures, not understanding that they are just running from one of oppressors to the very same set, and in many cases they are well strangulated there too. Look carefully who the masses support financially and who keeps ballooning and who keeps staying deflated. And with the increase on this ALPHABET tax these so called leaders are pushing the masses further into the balloon syndrome, but cutting out the internet shoppers, money transfers etc.

      • Jennifer June 2, 2017 at 7:43 am

        Until we as a MAJORITY people can come to GRIPS with the fact that these governments will never work in the masses favor, we will always be trick-able and nothing but vote bait. Watch and see how the BLP will support all of those measures that Stinkler implemented when they put her in the big house to “lead” next year. She will take off a 2% off the ALPHABET tax as a smoothie (cold and nice) and then add on something else making the vice grip of the shoe tighter on the foot. We really need to see that our ancestral house Negros sold out this people a long time ago and now this new set just continuing. Not that there is anything they can do. They allowed the frying pan to become too hot to handle and the cart to become too full. Then these leaders feel proud attending Washington and where else on first class flights to THEIR SELECTED (as they cannot attend certain ones like animal farm) conferences/summits being paid for by the masses to ensure that the assimilation, faulty education and integration is going as planned producing what?????? >>>>>>>more slaves. And that THEIR philosophies are continually OVERSPREAD ON THE MASSES. And the conveyor belt continues. Resulting in what???? no people to MANUFACTURE, no INGENUITY, no CREATIVITY no INVENTORS ETC. Only professional one way THINKERS branched out on that tree of educated donkeyism. Then we got the so called MIDDLE class lot suffering from MIDDLE CHILD SYNDROME. What a mess.

        • Peter June 2, 2017 at 8:32 am

          “Once again, Jennifer expectorates her racial vomit”. This was sent to me from a director from London. Oh, He’s mixed. Black, white, Indian and Jamaican Chinese. He has a doctorate in Business law and Ownes an investment firm. I said you write in parables only you alone understand. He said ” Well Peter, if it were to be projected, all people would see is a blank screen.” What elucidation?

  4. Taylor Dane
    Taylor Dane June 2, 2017 at 5:16 am

    F@*king hell

  5. Concern citizen June 2, 2017 at 5:17 am

    All those ministers voted for this budget while pretenting their got problems with it. A bunch of hipocrites. Was only looking out for political future. Was only appealing to their constituents to. Vote for them while pushing the bitter pill down their throats. I prefer the ones that you know where their loyalty is. Still got to suffer the after effects of the pill.

  6. Lanceford Skeete
    Lanceford Skeete June 2, 2017 at 5:35 am

    What else you expected? Bajans, get ready for seeing things that you use to enjoy and having to leave them alone now. Food, clothes etc.
    In life, always be careful what you ask for. We wanted change, and we got it.

    Pray Barbados, because you’ll need it now than ever before.

  7. Wardy Milton
    Wardy Milton June 2, 2017 at 5:51 am

    Back to slavery people because all you working average people will be able to do is barely buy food and pay high utility bills……oh wait my bad that is what you are presently doing so just continue smartly.

  8. Pullhead Davis
    Pullhead Davis June 2, 2017 at 6:20 am

    Proves they only care about themselves not the people

  9. Bobby Gilkes
    Bobby Gilkes June 2, 2017 at 6:29 am

    As Chris and Struat sing …”We aint going no way” …..walks away slowly lol

  10. Iteebah Cadogan
    Iteebah Cadogan June 2, 2017 at 6:37 am

    Well wellll

  11. Samantha Best June 2, 2017 at 6:40 am

    After all the comments and opposing views, how did Estwick and Inniss vote when it came time to decide on whether or not the ‘budgetary proposals’ should be accepted? I missed that.

    All the talk about concerns for constituents and then what? Party allegiance first.

    No discussion at Cabinet on the budgetary proposals??? Hard to believe that. Everyone wants to shy away from it after it goes public.

    • harry turnover June 2, 2017 at 7:37 am

      …and Mia gave a PEEP into what she would do and what she wouldn’t do WHEN SHE FORMS THE NEXT GOVERNMENT….as though ANY party can IMPLEMENT ANYTHING when in OPPOSITION
      Read the rest in the BLPs’ manifesto. …and your last paragraph applies to you too.

  12. Mark Lorenzo King
    Mark Lorenzo King June 2, 2017 at 6:46 am

    It’s amazing how many people come on here and make comments but no one is willing to stand up for change, all of you are still going to sit back and endure the ride rather than get up and keep noise, the sad truth is that we don’t see the power we have as a people because they have brain washed us into believing that we have no choice but to accept. Until we remember that this country belongs to all of us and not just the politicians and the rich dictators there will be no change.

    • Beverley Headley
      Beverley Headley June 2, 2017 at 6:56 am

      In total agreement. My sentiments exactly.

    • Charming Forde
      Charming Forde June 2, 2017 at 7:19 am

      I am speaking with my purchasing power and that is an individual decision that can put pressure on the supermarkets, who will in turn put pressure on the government and change will have a to come.

    • Dana Jemmott
      Dana Jemmott June 2, 2017 at 8:35 am

      Well said…. bajans don’t know about unity and coming together as one

    • Caroline Boxill
      Caroline Boxill June 2, 2017 at 9:20 am

      Precisely we can’t lay Down and play Dead . All ah we need to come out . Again I agree with you .

    • Charming Forde
      Charming Forde June 2, 2017 at 4:11 pm

      No need for striking, just act in silence but with full power. Government can tax whatever it wants to indirectly, but you determine how much you will pay by refusing to spend over a certain amount

    • Charming Forde
      Charming Forde June 2, 2017 at 4:12 pm

      As long as your salary is not taxed then we got some control left

  13. Laeticia Prescod-Birkett
    Laeticia Prescod-Birkett June 2, 2017 at 7:13 am

    What resources do we have to work with?

  14. Louis Swann
    Louis Swann June 2, 2017 at 7:21 am

    Two members run talk and still vote party… so wuh yuh words worth, not a pinch of slat ….like the government…

  15. Peter June 2, 2017 at 8:19 am

    I noted a few days ago that no matter what, this budget will be passed. Irrespective of who say what or if it can or cannot work, well knowing that it won’t. Any vote against by any DEM would be looked as internal dissention, and cold shoulder and resentment action would result from within. When a careful study is done, it will result in more loss and irreconcilable differences occurring with certain political privileges removed forever. so dear people, it had to pass irrespective of some deep internal conscientious feelings by some DEMs. Jennifer, I really wish you would refrain from degenerating black people and using racism as yoyr leverage in reasoning. Someone as far as Hong Kong told me you only see things in black and white. Oops an entire board of directors sitting in that board room present at live video conferencing call applauded. Yes they seem to follow BT reports and have a good laugh at the comments therein.

  16. Leacock June 2, 2017 at 8:50 am

    I’m sure this is a way to bankrupt Barbados, to have a reason to destroy the country with IMF.

  17. Peter June 2, 2017 at 8:58 am

    Chris Sinckler’s Budd, budd, Budget reminds me of an old saying… It goes… ” If you can’t dazzle them with your brilliance, then baffle them with your Bullsheet.” Truth well told. Sorry, I used Jennifer’s style to begin this comment. Budd-budd here was Not a stutter like Alex Mc Don, It meant Buddies within the DEMs enclosure. ah ah ah go go gone…..

  18. joan Worrell June 2, 2017 at 9:39 am

    We as a nation are in trouble. Mia wasted our time with three hours of B.S on Wednesday and Chris responded in kind. Alll we heard on Wednesday was ” teef teef teef and lock up and lock up”’. Chris in response cleared the air about who teef on the other side and family connections who teef. He explained that he was willing to go to Dodds but he is carrying along some members from the other side including Pressy. Ms Lynette Eastmond and Mr. Grenville Phillips, can’t wait to get some of your members in the House of Assembly. The BLP obviously is not the replacement for the DLP. The only economic model they have offered so far to turn around the economy is the ‘Trump Model” i.e make Barbados Great Again” by giving us back the Government. They really miss Owen Arthur as their spokesman on economics. Look what a great Party has come to?

  19. joan Worrell June 2, 2017 at 9:41 am

    The above should read ” Ms Lynette Eastmond and Mr. Grenville Phillips, I can’t wait to get some of your members in the House of Assembly” .

  20. Joy Waldron
    Joy Waldron June 2, 2017 at 9:44 am

    Waittt so all that was just hottt air from Estwick and Innis …. if you don’t like or approve something you say no tho. Smhhh.
    Talk in public but love in private hmmmm

  21. Darren Garrett
    Darren Garrett June 2, 2017 at 9:51 am

    The result of voting against your own interests, TWICE

  22. Mark My Word June 2, 2017 at 10:02 am

    BLP wasted a good opportunity reply poor rakey and lack substance.

  23. Desmond Edwards
    Desmond Edwards June 2, 2017 at 10:28 am

    A whole set of BULL.men without BALLS……..talk against the proposals…..When it came to really show that you are real men …What do they do..?…..Vote for it……..so all people could really stop posting about Politics……Pages like Barbados Today n Nation news….. Deleteeeeeeee

  24. Tony Webster June 2, 2017 at 10:35 am

    I am no biblical scholar. Indeed, I confess my sins…repeatedly. However, I turn to the Good Book frequently, when pressed down, and burdened, or don’t know which path ahead, is the righteous one. The Good Book, amongst other things, speaks to our God-Goven talents. More particularly, the injunction to use them to the full….lest they be taken away.

    Our Adult Franchise, is indeed at once, both a precious talent, and simultaneously, a grave duty and responsibility.
    Lord, help us to discern the several roads ahead: the narrow and righteous; : the wide and easy. Open our eyes that we may see the guile of men, and to n’use the li’l brains we got….to take us out of us out of this Rocky Gully, where there are also thorns, snares….and snakes.

    Hear our prayers , Lord.

  25. Natalie Haywood
    Natalie Haywood June 2, 2017 at 10:59 am

    Let us not only talk but remember to go to the polls and vote them out!!

  26. jrsmith June 2, 2017 at 11:44 am

    Well change from what to what, I am disappointed with the opposition party , they allow the present government to destroy barbados in every way possible….. and has gotten away with it….
    What frightens me, bajans waking days after the up coming election and realizing the said government is still in power…….the black voters in barbados should come up with an idea how to remove politicians from office , if this should happen……………

  27. Carson C Cadogan June 2, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    A wonderful budget which was passed.

  28. Peter June 2, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    Joan Worrel This Government should make you pay taxes for the shyte you write. you more than likely get some small change for writing it anyway You remind me of political foot soldiers like Matthews who calls himself Arthur. Yes we know who he is. His own son-in-Law and his Daughter revealed his Canadian secrets. and the other one Coralita Miss undecided. At least Carson C Cadogan ain’t hiding in the background. He keeps his George Street passport all cleaned and in always presentable state. Joan, you, Arthur Matthews Undecided but well supported, Zeus and Carson Cadogan and Jennifer the Black dog lover, and jrsmith. Have NEVER presented an idea or developmental project. all you do is criticize the BLP praise the DLP and

    yet you complain.

    • Jennifer June 2, 2017 at 9:24 pm

      you are the white dog all up in black people issues. As if u care. Colonial pumpkin eater. Go take your white privileged a$$ and stay in your lane you piece of sun burn, freckle shyte hound. Flees and lice like you. Look at a dog, no top lip and hair DNA just like yours, Fact. Go burn.

      • Jennifer June 2, 2017 at 9:28 pm

        You peter is my dog rojo. Down red boy.

  29. Milli Watt June 2, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    speaker loose only he cool shuddah lost he pick long time concerning the corn belonging to another but that is a story for this election. now dat de man drive he foot one last time in dis economy all we got to do is wait and see if the can roll back at he. bare sport bout here just now.

  30. joan Worrell June 2, 2017 at 2:03 pm


    You bitter bitter bitter liker bitter aloes. Wuh hurt you bozie? Your leader had a great opportunity to critically analyze Chris Sinckler’s budget and impress Bajans that she had some idea of economics even if she had read data supplied to her by Ryan Straughn and Clyde Mascoll. She wasted 3 hours in the gutter attacking Sinckler and his fellow DLP MP’s. Last night she was paid back in her own currency. Young Straughn must be holding his head in shame. What is he going to tell the constituents in his riding? Mia reminds me of a good milch cow which my grandfather owned years ago. The morning its feet weren’t tied, she would kick down the 4 gallon bucket with all the rich milk. After all these weeks rubbing shoulders, town hall meetings, marches, picnics etc. etc and attracting good crowds, she has dashed poor Straughn’s hopes of winning a seat. All that was missing from her bashment performance was the music. Oh Lord Have His Mercy, she tek off something from Straughn’s notes and pelt it way.

    • straight talk June 2, 2017 at 3:56 pm

      joan has a serious problem with the opposition leader cause I am certain that I heard much more that teef teef lockup lockup, she spoke like a leader and one that is ready to lead this country. It is time that this group of ungovernable and unreliable people packup and go bout their business between 2007 and 2008 they were a pack of power hungry people being led by David Thompson and if he was alive today he would have resign or step down .

  31. Anton Shepherd
    Anton Shepherd June 2, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    Is there a record to see who voted for and against?

  32. Lorenzo June 2, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    Joan Worrell you are useless DLP ass licker .For you to suggest that all Ms Mottley spoke about was theifing and locking up is the height of ignorance not worth a response but even so she produced information to back her claim which had Mp sealy who spoke after her and others like the same sex union man Dr lowe scrambling .She let Mr Lowe Know tha morality is not only about same sex unions but other areas as well By the way Joan what is wrong with exposing information in the public domain,do you rememember David Thompson what a hyprocrite you are.

  33. Quietly Observing June 2, 2017 at 5:59 pm

    It is amazing how you all yard fouls could try to change things to suit wuhanna. We all know the country went through tough economic times but this lot made matters worse. They didn’t and still don’t have a clue and yes nuff corruption in this present party whether all ya want to admit it or not. Stop burying all ya heads in the sand. Mia had every right to let Barbados know all the nasty deeds they got up too. Check the lifestyle on a minister salary wid hungry constituents pun the backs to feed. Tell me how they doing it eh? Joan Worrell and Company.

  34. joan Worrell June 2, 2017 at 6:57 pm


    I am still convinced that you are in a same sex relationship. Anyhow let’s move on. Mia said absolutely nothing in her budget reply that makes economic sense. She apparently threw away the input from Mascoll and Straughn and did the dog. The UPP offered suggestions that made sense. Owen Arthur offered alternative economic measures that made sense. On the other hand, her mantra was similar to Donald Trump’s ‘Make Barbados great again by voting us into office She put she hand in the air and wave like if she was on the street on Kadooment Day , playing Mass. Poor Straughn must be hanging his head in shame. What is he going to tell his constituents? If his leader doesn’t have any suggestions as to how to turn around the economy, you think the constituents are going to take him seriously..

  35. Lorenzo June 2, 2017 at 7:25 pm

    Joan Worrell tell me what did mrsinckler say that made economic sense what about the PM,or mr Estwick or your relative Dr Lowe or Steve Jackett maybe what they said made sense to an economic dunce like yourself.You are truly a Dem dunce.You all care nothing about Barbados and people,s hardship only about the survival of the DLP.

  36. joan Worrell June 2, 2017 at 8:03 pm

    Lorenza or Laurie, whichever you like to be called

    Do you understand what goes into a Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals? Read Sinckler’s three hour presentation. It comprised of different models of economics. I am no economist but I had a little peep into economics and I am sure that both micro and macro economics (Neoclassical) are included in the report. The two economic models I see in Mia’s report is Stiffy’s ‘Tek off something and throw it way” and Plastic Bag’s Ragga Ragga. lol . Girl, ain’t she do bad nuh. You like it so? She has let down young Ryan Straughn.

  37. joan Worrell June 2, 2017 at 8:05 pm

    the above should read ”Two economic models in Mia’s report are Stiffy’s Tek it off etc etc etc

  38. sunshinecanada June 2, 2017 at 11:13 pm

    you talks alot of bull, have a blessed Nite,

  39. Wordpress Hosting July 2, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    Ughh I don’t even know what to say, thanks!


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