Blame yourself, Sinckler tells the private sector

Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler is essentially telling the private sector to blame itself for any confusion it had about how his recent budgetary measures – including the contentious National Social Responsibility Levy (NSRL) and two per cent tax on foreign exchange – would be implemented.

Following his announcement of the belt-tightening measures at the end of May, the Barbados Private Sector Association, the Barbados International Business Association, the Barbados Manufacturers’ Association, the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association and the Barbados Bankers’ Association had called for clarity on the $542 million austerity package, in terms of how it would be applied.

However, delivering the weekly Astor B Watts lunchtime lecture at the Democratic Labour Party’s (DLP) George Street, St Michael headquarters on Friday, Sinckler said the private sector had created its own confusion because the taxes were increased and not lowered.

“If you say the VAT [Value Added Tax] gone back to 15 per cent tomorrow nobody don’t have misunderstanding about what that means, but if I say it going from 17.5 [per cent] to 20 [per cent] they will say, ‘it is not clear, I ain’t sure, what that mean, how it work?’

“So they create the confusion in their heads, run to the press with it, and of course the press loves that. They put it on the front page and say, ‘oh Sinckler don’t know what he doing, he don’t think through this and he don’t think through that’, to create the confusion, not because they are unclear in their minds – although some of them are to be honest because some of them don’t read and some of them are politically mischievous – but they create that [confusion] because they want the tax rolled back,” he said.

Pointing out that the NSRL was in place since last year, he said “guidance notes” had been issued since then “to business people [and] there wasn’t [any] confusion” to speak of.

“All we did was to increase the rate from two to ten and now they ain’t got no clarity. They don’t know how it is going to work, if it on this, if it on that, we ain’t sure who go to pay,” said a seemingly annoyed Sinckler.

However, immediately following his announcement last year, stakeholders had demanded a review of the NSRL after it proved to be a major headache, especially for manufacturers.

But while standing firmly by his austerity Budget of May 30th, he said the monies collected would be used to fund health care, education, social welfare, sanitation services and water and other social services.

“The position of the Democratic Labour Party is very clear, we are going to defend this. Even if it means taking a little bit more out of your pocket to do this. It is better to do this than to cut this out, diminish this to a ridiculous level and cause social chaos and deviance and disruption in this society,” he said.

The embattled Minister of Finance also made it clear that he would not be bullied, “knocked down” or lose focus on account of any detractors.

“We have done enough to hold our heads high and not to be brow-beaten and bullied by those in the society who believe they have a fundamental entitlement to Government,” said Sinckler in his very cutting presentation, in which he also accused the media of not reporting on some issues created by the previous Barbados Labour Party administration. 

7 Responses to Blame yourself, Sinckler tells the private sector

  1. Greengiant June 24, 2017 at 1:08 am

    It’s your duty then Sinckler to tell us what the media would not. I’m aware that some in the business community are politically mischievous, some are cry baby business people, and others can hardly spell ‘business’. I’m also aware that the D L P is up against a media mafia that will do all it can to detract any news that makes the government earn points, while promoting any news, or even all news in a way to cast doubt in the minds of the electorate regarding the government. Such is politics.

    Then you have Judas waiting in the wings to make his glorious second coming when the inside demolition job is finally complete. I know you and your colegues have some vital information in the political campaign vault that will be like the recent firestorm in Portugal, but you should speak up now. Present the facts of the damage the B L P has done to this country’s economy, because the people believe it could have been repaired in the years you were MOF. Waiting until the campaign begins will be way too late. See what’s happened to the US after they went into Bagdad, Libya, and other states but refused to complete the job properly? They’re now battling ISIS, formed from these failings during invasions. Politics is no different, it’s a game called ‘ kill a man when he’s
    weak ‘. It’s time you let the people know all the facts, the mess left for the D L P, and the errors of economic judgement you’ve made over the years. The people will respect you for this, and we both know, you have made errors. The old fashoned style leadership, and politics has also cost the D L P dearly, you can’t govern in these modern times without spin doctors. Public relations and communication are critical elements in everything we do today. That’s an advantage of the B L P on the D L P, they can make a serpentile effect appear to be and sound like an angelic intervention.

    Before I go though Chris, the adversary will be dealt with from within. They will have so many problems internally, that I will sneak through on the rails to snatch the people’s victory. The time is at hand. Oh, man I forgot you knew.

  2. Ron June 24, 2017 at 5:40 am

    If only chris would reveal to the people the true state of the ecconomy he will come over more credible. Stop the lied and the window dressing.
    You have failed us, as a young man from the Deacons area we had great expectations of you. Please tell us the truth.

  3. Darius June 24, 2017 at 10:20 am

    I bet no one knows there will is a change in the legislation to include NSRL in calculations of VAT , as opposed to being exclusive of VAT like in the past…makes things even worse. Couple that with the utterance of it being calculated on the input value of an item and not the selling price and he has the nerve to ask why there is confusion?

    Disgraceful comments.

  4. Carson C Cadogan June 24, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    Well said Chris.

  5. Lorenzo June 24, 2017 at 6:38 pm

    Greengiant why you don,t stop trying to defend the minister of finance who has been a monumental failure and in any other cabinet of Mr Barrow,Mr Adams oMr Arthur would have been fired long agd and you on here blaming the BLP who left office nine years ago?When will you Dems accept responsibility for anything it is becoming sickening.If you cannot handle the job call an election and step aside simple.

  6. BaJan boy June 25, 2017 at 7:32 am

    Now we know the parasite statement didn’t originate at Jepter Ince but he was stating a cabinet decision. Exactly why none of them would not,could not and did not distance themselves from it. Even the Carson Cadogan here now agreeing with Sinkler.

  7. Greengiant June 25, 2017 at 10:28 am

    This is the last time I will state it for you mate. You seem to crawl out of your bed whenever I say anything to support the Minister of Finance or the D L P. I’m not obligated to any of the leading political parties. My uncle was a leading politician the Barrow and Sandiford led cabinets, and I am proud to say that I learnt politics under the late Lionel Craig. Craig was like my political father, and he always told the truth about both B L P and D L P. I could hear him now as I write, explaining the differences, and similarities between the ideologies of both parties. I was being groomed for politics first by my late uncle, and later by the late Craig.

    Their tutoring has enabled me to see these parties for what they really are so I do not support either party. I like George Payne, have much respect for Ms. Mottley, and was educated with Chris Sincler, Mascol, Michael Lashley and several others. This experience has lead me to the conclusion that the ideology of both parties is unsuitable for this country at this time. Unless either of them can like a batsman the quality of Bradman, Sobers, or Lara learn to take fresh guard to bat long and successful innings politically, they like other batting failures should not get the people’s support. That does not stop me from giving support to any party or politician who does, or says something that is correct at anytime. It’s that simple @Lorenzo.


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