Tax solution

Fringe party proposes ten per cent flat tax

One of the fledgling political parties seeking to disrupt politics as usual here come the next general election, believes it has a solution to the island’s burgeoning economic problems: a flat tax.

On the eve of the implementation of the onerous ten per cent National Social Responsibility Levy (NSRL), Solutions Barbados has unveiled a plan to charge Barbadians a ten per cent flat tax on earnings if it were to win the election due by the middle of next year.

“If every company in Barbados paid ten per cent of tax on their income and paid no Value Added Tax, no National Social Responsibility Levy and all the other taxes associated were removed, the Government will have far more money to spend than it does,” Scott Weatherhead, the party’s candidate for Christ Church East Central, said Friday afternoon at the Courtyard by Marriott, where leader Grenville Phillips II introduced his policies and the party’s 24 candidates for the election.

Scott Weatherhead

Like the other recently-launched political groupings, Solutions Barbados failed to factor in a recent opinion poll by Caribbean Development Research Services (CADRES) on behalf of the Nation Newspaper, which suggested the election will be a straight fight between the incumbent Democratic Labour Party and the main Opposition Barbados Labour Party.

However, the party of businessmen and women was undaunted as it presented a proposal that would lower corporate and personal income taxes, leaving more money in the hands of consumers.

Under the Solutions Barbados tax plan, the controversial NSRL due to take effect tomorrow, would go. So would Value Added Tax and the myriad other duties and levies charged by the administration.

Weatherhead, the chief executive officer of Mix 96.9 and a businessman of 25 years, said the lowering of taxes to spur economic growth was nothing new to Barbadians.

It was a strategy used successfully by former Prime Minister Owen Arthur, he said.

However, his proposal seems more radical than any seen here in the past, and could leave economists wondering if Government can raise sufficient revenue from a flat tax to meet its many responsibilities.

Yet he was certain this was the way to get Barbados out of its current problems.

“If every individual in Barbados paid the requisite amount of taxes, the Government of Barbados would have more than enough money to operate itself. . . . You cannot continue to tax a country constantly and think that out of taxing a country you are going to make enough revenue to pay your taxes in Government. In fact, you have to do the reverse.

“The reverse is that you must remove taxes and allow the people to have more economy so that they spend the income. As they spend the income that they have, the more you get economic growth and activity,” he explained.

Weatherhead also revealed that should his party emerge victorious, it would forgive all debts owned to Government by companies and individuals.

And as if to make it clear this was not a slip of the tongue, Phillips emphasized the point, stating the policy would allow everyone to operate from a clean slate.

The structural engineer, who will contest the St George North seat, was confident this policy would help Solutions Barbados turn round the economy within two months of taking office. katrinaking@barbadostoday.bb

21 Responses to Tax solution

  1. David Brathwaite June 30, 2017 at 11:29 pm

    No wonder people can’t take these jokers seriously. Remember how the silliness of the 1986 back-raise led to the ensuing economic crisis of the early 1990s?

    Have they even run the numbers to see what the impact would be on government revenue?

    This proposal reeks of unbridled political opportunism; a crass stunt that would tank an economy that is already on life support. I cannot believe the level of Machiavellianism and pure venality they are displaying at such an early stage in their existence as a political party.

    Wow!

    .

    Reply
  2. Rumboy July 1, 2017 at 5:22 am

    David ! I agree with you that proposal should have crunch the numbers. These parties should really become part of the main parties and try to influence change from inside. We need the experience of the BLP and the DLP plus the energy of new persons . We do not need fragmentation. Barbados is too small for all of these parties . In the recent past there were parties such as Monali, PDM etc and candidates in alternative groupings who made no impressions on the electorate . I do not believe that these new parties will win any seats or make any impression. The DLP was an alternative party but they had Errol Barrow. The only alternative party right now that appears likely to be taken seriously enough is UPP if Owen Arthur becomes a member. However 2 parties are enough and any more than two , Bajans would find Confusing and will stick with entities they know. So-called 3rd parties are wasting time and energy and somd seem to be supporting the DLP anyhow. The so-called PDC attacks the Opposition in a very personal manner but says nothing about the PM and that is Ridiculous and funny.

    Reply
  3. Sheron Inniss July 1, 2017 at 6:21 am

    I think what is being said makes sense but there is some other stuff I would like to see implemented that would put is back on track.

    Reply
  4. Keen Observer July 1, 2017 at 6:57 am

    Business people can’t want economic power and political power too. They must understand that if their economic policies do not succeed they must forfeit their wealth to the country willing or by any means necessary.

    Reply
  5. 3rdsun July 1, 2017 at 7:17 am

    As a government of business men this party would reduce the civil service at the drop of a hat. It don’t take a blind man to see that.

    Reply
    • Seawolf July 1, 2017 at 1:44 pm

      You mean the “army of occupation”!

      Reply
  6. Mark My Word July 1, 2017 at 7:24 am

    Under the Solutions Barbados tax plan, the controversial NSRL , would go. So would Value Added Tax and the myriad other duties and levies charged by the administration.
    Then how will Solutions Barbados pay Civil Servants and other Expenditure

    Government spending more than it collects in Taxes that is the BIG problem
    As Government then has to Raid NIS funds and print money

    Solutions Barbados that is not a viable Solution

    Reply
  7. Colin Daniel July 1, 2017 at 7:50 am

    In context, a 10% flat tax would yield under $1 billion in. $9.2 billion economy. At the moment we at least $3 billion to meet the current cost of government before taking debt amortization into account. For this to make sense we would have to triple the size of our economy in the short run. Having said that, we do need to rapidly grow our economy, essentially freeze the size of the public sector so that it becomes smaller share of the economy in the medium to long term and to systematically lower our indirect and direct tax rates.

    Reply
  8. Grenville Phillips July 1, 2017 at 8:37 am

    David:

    You are remembering a fantasy. It was not any ‘back raise’ issue that damaged the economy in 1986, it was already damaged by the excessive borrowing during the 1976 to 1986 period when the government embraced debt-financing to develop the country.

    In 1976, the country was about $259 Million in debt. Then we went on an unsustainable borrowing spree so that by 1986, Barbados was approximately $3.1 Billion (or $3,100 M) in debt.

    Best regards,
    Grenville

    Reply
  9. Grenville Phillips July 1, 2017 at 8:50 am

    Rumboy:

    Both the BLP and DLP have brought us to the brink of economic ruin. Two years ago, we simply wanted to give them ideas to improve the economy. They ignored them, so they were published for rigorous public scrutiny, and we assembled a set of candidates. We offered not to run against any BLP or DLP candidate who agreed with our solutions. None of them were even willing to discuss them.

    Please note that I have tried lobbying to improve construction industry standards for the past 2 decades. I can confirm that lobbying is the most ineffective method for making policy changes in Barbados – unless you are politically favoured. The only way things get done in Barbados is politically – so here we are to give Barbados the opportunity to implement workable and proven solutions, without the austerity promised by others.

    Best regards,
    Grenville

    Reply
  10. Grenville Phillips July 1, 2017 at 9:01 am

    Sheron: Please let us know what you would like implemented.

    Keen Observer: Please do not confuse us with merchants. We are mostly small-business people who have developed products. We have learnt what the customer wants through an iterative process of failure and product improvement. We want to assist all people to develop businesses in order to have another stream of revenue.

    3rdSun: Our plan does not require the laying off of any civil servants or reducing their salaries. It is the only non-austerity plan on the table. Please review it critically.

    Best regards,
    Grenville

    Reply
  11. Grenville Phillips July 1, 2017 at 9:04 am

    Mark & Colin:

    Please review our policy solutions on SolutionsBarbados.com. You will find that most reduce government expenses. Also, our tax policies are proven to increase government revenues.

    Best regards,
    Grenville

    Reply
  12. Sunshine Sunny Shine July 1, 2017 at 9:55 am

    Barbados Today, always putting my comments on moderation..stuuuuuuuupse

    Reply
  13. joan Worrell July 1, 2017 at 10:25 am

    Congratulations Grenville. This is what I want to hear from you. Ignore the naysayers. They are going to tremble in their boots when you and other knowledgeable people offer alternatives. I want to see you canvass in the St. James Central constituency. I have some family living down there and they tell me that the constituents are fed up- with the incumbent. Put on your trainers and start hitting the road. Get your people to use the social media effectively and you don’t have to depend on the biased media to do your work. I am looking forward to see you counterpunching here on Barbados Today. Three cheers Hip hip, Hurrah Hip Hip , Hurrah Hip hip , Hurrah.. You have made my day.

    Reply
  14. Milli Watt July 1, 2017 at 11:34 am

    I like this……….next election going be a right royal mess. I want candidates run for my parish you got my vote as long as it ain’t DLP or BLP. Bernie could make this work

    Reply
  15. Mr. Crowley July 1, 2017 at 11:45 am

    Barbadians are so accustomed to being lied to and exploited that they are having a hard time accepting your proposals. Be that as it may, I welcome the innovative and out the box thinking by your party. Most of these obstructionist and objectors are probably the beneficiaries of the current system so you can’t expect any open mindedness from them but I want to encourage your party to keep the ideas and dialog flowing. By the way, China can erect a 32 story building in 14 days, the Americans want to colonize Mars, you have self-driving cars in operation and 3D printing will surely revolutionize how products are produced, and we this part of the Atlantic can’t wrap our colonial brains around your very simplistic yet powerful concepts in managing a 2×2 island economy. You have companies that earn 100’s more revenue than the B’dos economy and they are being managed successfully by a simple board of directors and a CEO. Yet we got all these so call educated ministers that can’t or don’t want to solve the ZR problem, productivity problem, gun violence problem, our burgeoning debt problem….. No damn accountability, no damn transparency in this country, Auditor General Report suggests blatant indifference for our laws by government officials who are not held accountable. We NEED a solutions Barbados.

    Reply
  16. Mr. Crowley July 1, 2017 at 11:47 am

    Barbadians are so accustomed to being lied to and exploited that they are having a hard time accepting your proposals. Be that as it may, I welcome the innovative and out the box thinking by your party. Most of these obstructionist and objectors are probably the beneficiaries of the current system so you can’t expect any open mindedness from them but I want to encourage your party to keep the ideas and dialog flowing. By the way, China can erect a 32 story building in 14 days, the Americans want to colonize Mars, you have self-driving cars in operation and 3D printing will surely revolutionize how products are produced, and we this part of the Atlantic can’t wrap our colonial brains around your very simplistic yet powerful concepts in managing a 2×2 island economy. You have companies that earn 100’s more revenue than the B’dos economy and they are being managed by a simple board of directors and a CEO. Yet we got all these so call educated ministers that can’t or don’t want to solve the ZR problem, productivity problem, gun violence problem, our burgeoning debt problem….. No damn accountability, no damn transparency in this country, Auditor General Report suggests blatant indifference for our laws by government officials who are not held accountable. We NEED a solutions Barbados.

    Reply
  17. Greengiant July 1, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    The reality is Solutions Barbados is the only party who has offered an alternative to the austerity measures presented by government. The official opposition has offered none, but has associated itself according to chairman Payne with the Arthur suggested I M F supported plan.

    Mr. Phillips has also rightfully pointed out that the 1986 theory of
    ‘Back raise’ made popular by the then losing B L P government was actually the financial overheating of the economy with borrowing by the then B L P administration. Our dept had increased from under 300 million in 1976 when the D L P left office to 3,100 million when the D L P again formed the government. If we read the I M F economic reports on Barbados between 1978 and 2016 we will notice a trend with each party whenever they’re in power. These obvious financial habits of both parties over the last four decades has created the monster that’s dragging us under the depths of the ocean.

    The only chance of us surviving is to start a new voyage on a newly built ship with a non contaminated crew. The only ship with such a crew is ‘Solutions Barbados’. Now I must congratulate
    Grenville and the party on their revelation, and encourage to hit the ground as soon as possible. Looking you to see you on the borders of The city and St. Michael South.

    Reply
  18. Sunshine Sunny Shine July 2, 2017 at 4:46 am

    Barbados Today, tell me what is wrong with my comment you puppet for an online news agency. Can you not see that Barbados needs a 4th estate that is not compromise?

    Reply
  19. Sheron Inniss July 2, 2017 at 10:47 am

    Check out the system in Cayman . Their $ is valued higher than the US $ and their tax rate is very low. Their standard of living is much higher than ours as well so I have been told.

    Reply
  20. Greengiant July 5, 2017 at 4:01 pm

    The majority of caymanians live below the poverty line. There is a high level of crime and I mean serious crime. Gang violence is so serious there that they recently had to transfer two brothers on live sentence for murder to England to serve their 35 year sentence.

    Organized crime there is serious, the majority of the civil servants are foreign nationals who have to be paid, so to attract these employees their have maintained their peg against the US Dollar. Furthermore it’s a British colony, that is administrated by the foreign office in London.So I don’t see any comparison between Barbados and the Cayman Islands @Sheron Inniss.

    Reply

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