Levy cuts deep into PSV owners’ net earnings

Details are beginning to emerge of the impact that the dreaded National Social Responsibility Levy (NSRL) is having on the privately owned transportation system.

A spokesman for the operators of public service vehicles (PSVs) has revealed that the tax has cut their net earnings by 50 per cent.

Morris Lee, the interim chairman of the Association of Public Transport Operators (APTO), told Barbados TODAY that prior to the increase in the NSRL, which jumped from two per cent to ten per cent on July 1, the owners took in a net return of 13 cents on every $2 fare.

However, with the increase in the levy, the net returns have been halved, falling to under seven cents.

This was one of the issues that the owners and operators raised at a meeting last week with Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler, at which they requested a fare hike and duty-free concessions on imported spare parts.

Following the talks Chairman of the Alliance of Owners of Public Transport (AOPT) Roy Raphael had told Barbados TODAY, the demands were based on the rising cost of doing business, which has been compounded by the NSRL.

Raphael had also said Sinckler had requested a detailed proposal for discussion at a future meeting.

“Based on how the discussions went I would say we would have to come back to the minister with a proposal. We would have to meet again both with the Minister of Transport [Michael Lashley] and the Minister of Finance with a proposal. The proposal would have to look at duty-free concessions and increase in bus fares.

“We will also have to get some experts to give us some advice so we would be prepared and well documented and we are going to do that as soon as possible . . . . I would say within the next week we will be meeting with our stakeholders to prepare a proposal to present to the Minister of Finance,” the AOPT leader said.

However, one senior transport official who attended the talks seemed unhappy with the outcome, complaining that it was further proof that Government was taking the PSV owners for a ride.

“It was perhaps one of the strangest meeting I have ever been to. The minister asked that the industry comes back with a proposal regarding the duty-free concessions and the bus fares but at the same time he also indicated that bus fare consideration was not up to him and that it was a Cabinet decision which has to come via the Minster of Transport. This is something that is new to me. It is unprecedented because I have never heard of that before so I am not sure when the structure of Government has changed,” said the official, who spoke to Barbados TODAY on condition of anonymity because he was worried about the possible impact of going public on his business,

“Over the 30 years I have been in this business, the Minister of Finance has always received request for duty-free concessions and approved or disapproved them. Could you now imagine the red tape that we now have to go through if the Minister of Transport has to receive the proposals, pass them on to the Minister of Finance, who has to then pass them pass them on to Cabinet? Those proposals will not even leave the Minister of Transport’s desk before election.”

However, neither Raphael nor Lee would comment on those concerns, while efforts to reach both Sinckler and Lashley were unsuccessful up to the time of publication.

3 Responses to Levy cuts deep into PSV owners’ net earnings

  1. Olutoye Walrond
    Olutoye Walrond August 22, 2017 at 7:53 am

    I insist that these PRIVATE operators should be allowed to set their own fares. How can you have the government dictating rates for a private concern to which it does not give concessions nor subsidy. It is wrong. Taxi drivers charge you what they think the journey costs. I have paid very different rates for the same taxi trip. The government apparently does not regulate their rates. It does not set the rates of tour bus operators nor freight haulers. Why PSV’s.

  2. teasingbow132 August 22, 2017 at 9:08 am

    well put

  3. Helicopter(8P) August 22, 2017 at 11:37 am

    A schematic diagram of how request and proposals are to be processed and teleported or transported should be printed and documented, placed in every ministry’s standard operating procedures hand book (manual) and kept for the good of administration!


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