We are not pocketing levy funds, Inniss says

Minister of Commerce, Industry and Small Business Development Donville Inniss is making it clear that no one in the Freundel Stuart administration is pocketing any of the monies raised through the contentious National Social Responsibility Levy (NSRL), which, effective July 1, climbed from two per cent to ten per cent of the customs value of imported and locally produced goods.

In light of the revelation this week by Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler that the levy earned Government $50 million in the three months since the increase, Inniss today sought to reassure Barbadians that the funds were being put to good use.

“Let’s have that conversation not just about collecting S50 million in NSRL but where it is being spent. This is not money that has gone into any politician’s pocket and what not,” he told Barbados TODAY after visiting his constituent, centenarian Violet Gaskin.

When Sinckler introduced the tax last year he said it was meant to raise $142.1 million annually to assist “in offsetting the costs associated with financing public health care service provision in Barbados”, to finance a new fleet for the Sanitation Services Authority and to procure parts for the existing fleet.

However, Inniss appeared to suggest that the NSRL funds were being put to even greater use.

“When people call for an ambulance, they want an ambulance to respond in a matter of minutes. It costs money to maintain those ambulances.

“We have bought additional trucks for the Fire Service, [and] the [Royal Barbados] Police Force has been given all the resources they need to fight crime and to be proactive in this society. These things cost money,” Inniss insisted.

He also suggested that the monies collected through the levy helped subsidize “the most complex surgeries” at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, with Barbadians getting those procedures done “without having a clue as to what it costs”.

“That is where the taxpayer’s dollars is going. So it’s not being squandered around,” the minister stressed.

During debate on the austerity Budget presented by Sinckler on May 30, Inniss had complained that the NSRL, along with increases in the excise duty on petrol, would hurt his constituents.

However, in a stout defence of the tax, the minister today boasted that it “has been met with success”, while he suggested that Barbadians should spend less time “talking about high levels of taxation and downgrades”  and more time thinking positively about the country.

“I just think that as a society we really can be a lot more positive in our speeches and thoughts and actions. If we spend all of our time talking about high levels of taxation and downgrades, all these things, that negative thought, sometimes drives you to just throw your hands in the air,” he said.

In an apparent reference to the series of downgrades of the country since 2009 – the latest by Standard and Poor’s last week – and the public’s reaction to each downgrade, Inniss complained that Barbadians were “quick to jump on them once it places Barbados in a low position”, and that there were Barbadians “who go on social media and just celebrate”.

He said such reaction was due to the fact that the country was on the eve of a general election, and warned that many more issues would be politicized as the poll drew closer.

However, the minister intimated that instead of going to hell in a handbasket, the country was on the rebound.

“We have a lot in this country to celebrate and I’m satisfied that we have started to go upwards now. It’s been a little rough for the last couple of years, but I’m beginning to see an upward movement across this society,” Inniss added.


61 Responses to We are not pocketing levy funds, Inniss says

  1. Wayne Spooner
    Wayne Spooner October 5, 2017 at 10:44 pm

    Somebody is, either that or gross mismanagement.

  2. Ricardo Worrell
    Ricardo Worrell October 5, 2017 at 10:51 pm

    One minute he criticizes the tax next minute he says it the greatest thing ever done so should we trust him when he says his crew don’t pocket the ppl money

    • Jack Ryan
      Jack Ryan October 5, 2017 at 10:53 pm

      Have u ever heard a fisherman say his fish stink

    • Rubertha Blackman
      Rubertha Blackman October 6, 2017 at 5:09 am

      A double minded man is unstable in all his ways

    • Ali Baba
      Ali Baba October 6, 2017 at 6:03 am


    • Claire Battershield
      Claire Battershield October 6, 2017 at 7:10 am

      Bank not pocket

  3. Alwin Ellis
    Alwin Ellis October 5, 2017 at 10:54 pm

    Bring in Maury to do a Lie Detector on all the DEM ministers

    • John Everatt October 6, 2017 at 5:43 am

      When was the last time an ambulance response time was in minutes? Mr. Innis, I guess you do not have to go to the formulary to get your meds but you need to know that they have very few meds there. Red eye is reaching an epidemic level in Barbados but there are no medications for this in the formulary. if this government were more transparent people might believe you but the reality is that it is not.

  4. Max Carter
    Max Carter October 5, 2017 at 11:02 pm

    ya lie

  5. Cornelius Drogo
    Cornelius Drogo October 5, 2017 at 11:04 pm

    What they should do is start repaying income tax, so that there would be more money floating around, which would in turn, cause the economy to be jump started…. Christmas coming up, people will spend.

  6. Willz Power
    Willz Power October 5, 2017 at 11:09 pm

    How would we know.

    I can run to the media and also state unequivocally that i never saw a big goat in a suit……

    Would all of barbados be expected to believe me too?

    How do i know every cent collected in taxes is going where it’s suppose to go?

    Ohh yeahhhhh!!!!!!

    I don’t- Proof?

    The auditor general’s report of missing money etc.

    So, i never see a goat in a suit in my life!!!!!!!!!

    • Terissa Bushell
      Terissa Bushell October 6, 2017 at 2:04 am

      I have seen several goats in suits, so I would readily believe you.

    • Mhizz Kelly P Forde
      Mhizz Kelly P Forde October 6, 2017 at 4:31 am

      That’s a lie , bare goats walking bout in suits, I does see them every day !!!!!!

    • Eddy Murray
      Eddy Murray October 6, 2017 at 6:20 am
    • Wayne P Hoyte
      Wayne P Hoyte October 6, 2017 at 9:43 am

      the question would be are Ministers signatories to Bank Accounts? Are monies paid directly to them?

  7. Adrian Reid
    Adrian Reid October 5, 2017 at 11:10 pm

    I believe you sir,because I know that you didn’t come in to politics broke…

    • Eugene Lavine
      Eugene Lavine October 5, 2017 at 11:51 pm

      That is why they sent him to say this

    • Jasmine Blanchard
      Jasmine Blanchard October 6, 2017 at 4:29 am

      Your point? You ever heard of greed? Plus he was very vex and vocal when it was first suggested that they take a 10% cut. “Don’t touch my money!”
      But dem more than touching ours, inappropriately too!

  8. Lauraine Clarke
    Lauraine Clarke October 5, 2017 at 11:36 pm

    How can people believed you,you have a morning mouth, and an evening mouth. I waiting to hear Mr Estwick.

  9. Aquarius Rastress
    Aquarius Rastress October 6, 2017 at 12:04 am

    If wanna in pocketing in it where ppl income tax is in wanna dam pockets stupseee long isc

  10. Philip Matthews
    Philip Matthews October 6, 2017 at 1:14 am

    not this NSRL but $20BILLION Gone where , not the roads, not the hospital , not the police , not CLICO , not government pay , not the Sewer system , not water ,

    • Cecily Jones
      Cecily Jones October 6, 2017 at 7:37 am

      I don’t understand why Bajans don’t hold the politicians accountable. Coming on social media and complaining ain’t doing a thing. This lot will be out of government soon but when they leave they will be going with big pensions as well as all the cash they have robbed you all of.

    • Sandy Perkins
      Sandy Perkins October 6, 2017 at 9:49 am

      in DEMpockets,dem is some good teeths

    • Sandy Perkins
      Sandy Perkins October 6, 2017 at 9:50 am

      Politician talk,when DEM tell ya walk ya is ta run,

  11. Iteebah Cadogan
    Iteebah Cadogan October 6, 2017 at 1:56 am

    The lie detector determined ‘that is a lie’

  12. Baz Moz
    Baz Moz October 6, 2017 at 2:17 am

    Why is he saying this is being used to buy a new fleet of sanitation trucks when the solid waste tax raised $42 million Bds (the clue is in the name “solid waste tax”) and only this year it was stated $20 million US was being borrowed to purchase new sanitation trucks and yet there are no new trucks and they’re struggling to keep the ones they got on the road…….just asking?

  13. Duane Burke
    Duane Burke October 6, 2017 at 3:27 am

    My belief is that Tax Returns and Supplier payments are going to be flying. People and companies will have paid for their own amounts due from Government. Effectively collecting from Peter to pay Peter

  14. Ione Mitchell
    Ione Mitchell October 6, 2017 at 4:14 am

    I think Barbadians are concerned that we have given up so much for so long but there seems to be no improvement. Road tax went up and the roads are worst than ever. What is happening to the money? Why are we making all these sacrifices only to hear of yet another downgrade?

  15. Mhizz Kelly P Forde
    Mhizz Kelly P Forde October 6, 2017 at 4:32 am

    I didn’t realise ENID BLYTON books back in circulation again . #steupsedo

  16. Keith Forde
    Keith Forde October 6, 2017 at 4:54 am


  17. Angela Chase
    Angela Chase October 6, 2017 at 5:15 am

    De more de monkey climb de more he show he ass!

  18. Shaun Maynard
    Shaun Maynard October 6, 2017 at 5:20 am

    Lol but even if they pocket it, would they come out and say yes they did? I believe wanna pocket some maybe not all but most

  19. Lady-Stylez Pilgrim
    Lady-Stylez Pilgrim October 6, 2017 at 5:23 am

    In Maury’s voice “Now that’s a lie”

  20. Ali Baba
    Ali Baba October 6, 2017 at 5:48 am


  21. Ali Baba
    Ali Baba October 6, 2017 at 5:55 am


  22. Ken R. Smith
    Ken R. Smith October 6, 2017 at 6:10 am

    Comedy !!!!’

  23. Susan Maynard
    Susan Maynard October 6, 2017 at 6:28 am

    NRSL was only until end of september what happen next

  24. Susan Maynard
    Susan Maynard October 6, 2017 at 6:42 am

    stop stop the lies now, you all so good at lies u will make a lie detector like bad , Bajans in foolish ppl man,

  25. Nico HL Beckles
    Nico HL Beckles October 6, 2017 at 6:53 am

    It’s too much money to go in your pockets, you put it in your bank accounts

    • Claire Battershield
      Claire Battershield October 6, 2017 at 7:11 am

      Thank you smart one. Of course the man is telling the truth

    • hcalndre October 6, 2017 at 9:57 am

      Where are these Banks? take it from the overseas account.

  26. Claire Battershield
    Claire Battershield October 6, 2017 at 7:09 am

    Of course not .Who said that? I am ashamed of them to think so. That is more than pocket money. Its being banked ,spent and invested

  27. Ronnie Murrell
    Ronnie Murrell October 6, 2017 at 7:22 am

    Wait what? Here I am asking if the funds are really being collected and this fella saying “we are not pocketing levy funds”… You can’e pocket what you can’t collect. Let me see how these funds are being collected first and then get back to me about whose pockets they are going into.

  28. Greengiant October 6, 2017 at 7:36 am

    Inniss was critical of the tax at the beginning, but he has seen the benefits of the revenue collected. So obviously he will now give his blessings to it.

    He is man enough to say what he feels, and to admit his errors once he realizes. Not many people can do that. The problem with the private sector people for me is, when the D L P assumed leadership under Thompson they knew the status of the economy, and what had to be done. They too like the politicians went another direction, kept silent until it reached crisis stage. This whole austerity could have been over a period of years, and much less painful.

    Both government, the opposition and also the chamber of commerce are at fault. They all knew the situation and kept silent.

  29. Lilian Lloyd
    Lilian Lloyd October 6, 2017 at 8:38 am


  30. Carie Apple
    Carie Apple October 6, 2017 at 8:48 am

    Hmnn….. $50 million in 3 months…..hope it helps fix de roads, improve the Qeh

  31. Princess M R Charles
    Princess M R Charles October 6, 2017 at 9:05 am

    Even if they were they can’t say it

  32. roger headley October 6, 2017 at 9:06 am

    As someone said earlier, a double-minded man is UNSTABLE in ALL his ways.

  33. Wayne P Hoyte
    Wayne P Hoyte October 6, 2017 at 9:43 am

    the question would be are Ministers signatories to Bank Accounts? Are monies paid directly to them?

  34. Kathy Griffith
    Kathy Griffith October 6, 2017 at 9:58 am

    Would you have said f you did

  35. straight talk October 6, 2017 at 10:04 am

    Apartments, Big, houses, land, SUV’s, luxury cars,yacht, overseas bank accounts first class trips for thee family, hotel, expensive restaurants, thee Bling, Thee suits,Thee wh@res, thee b@llers, cheep election giveaways, vote buying , Guns and ammunition.

  36. Thunder October 6, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    50 million is a lot you need to tell itemise where all the money is going and you have some nerve to tell Bajans how to express themselves,which shows you have been reading these comments.
    However you and your government must be more mindful when taxing the people your famous tax jump from 2% to 10%,and people’s salaries have not increased, it is a burden and you know it,but you don’t have to care you and and your fellow politicians done butter, however after taxes I can’t afford to purchase butter!
    This is why I continue to say vote them out!

  37. Greengiant October 6, 2017 at 5:19 pm

    Regardless of which of the two major parties are voted in next year if any of them is voted in these things will not change immediately.

    1. Wages and salaries in any sector.

    2. Taxes, whether V A T or N S R L.

    3. The size of the public sector or statutory corporations.

    4. The dept to G D P situation.

    5. The fiscal deficit.

    6. The size of our parliament

    7. The presence of Lawyers in Parliament wasting time debating
    with little or no speedy result.

    8. Our international rating.

    9. Our foreign investment portfolio.

    10. Conditions on our roads.

    11. Availability of affordable housing solutions.

    12. The preservation of agricultural land for farming.

    13. Monetary reserves for the small business sector.

    14. Paying for tertiary education.

    15. Accountability from ministers

    16. The division within both major political parties.

    17. The dependency on government by the private sector.

    18. The competitiveness of the CBC, Transport Board, B W A,
    and Issues with the unions.

    19. The crime situation

    20. Mismanagement of Government projects.

    21. Tax breaks, and other extraordinary perks to foreign

    These are just some of the many areas that need to be examined, these are the grey areas under every administration over the past three decades. Once these two parties remain the parties of choice these issues will remain. Their very political ideology will affect these issues negatively. History has spoken against them both.

  38. Tony Webster October 6, 2017 at 5:41 pm

    Having chatted thru all this tall grass with Ossie, on my iPhone 10S directly connected to heaven, we agreed that Barbados is indeed the new pivot on which God’s Green Earth shall spin, and that all silly folks with foolish-money shall soon beat a path to our door. Additionally, we came to the even more obvious conclusion that that if we played our cards right with what’s-his-name in that big beautiful while house-thing in Washington, he could easily sign an executive order requiring S&P, and other Moody folks, to fix the whole down-grading mess in one, fell, swooping, King-Sized-Signature: …by making them create another six/seven new lower notches in sovereign ratings…thus giving us the breathing room required….until elections.

  39. Ossie Moore October 7, 2017 at 4:01 pm

    Webster some people up in here says Donville got “morning mout, and evening shout” but look at it; Estwick got ” All time mout!

  40. Greengiant October 10, 2017 at 12:19 am

    @ Tony Webster & Ossie Moore; This is no comical thing. People’s well being has been strangle by these two old boy’s clubs we call political parties. Join the movement for change. Since independence we’ve had D L P – (1966-1976, 1986 – 1994, 2008 – 2017) months short of 30 years. B L P – (1976 – 1986 , 1994 – 2018) 24 years.

    Now there’s another Adams in town, all is happening is that they’re trying to take us back to Sir Grantley and Tom. Their era has closed, their tomb has closed mortally so let it be closed politically. They tried to play the old Dieghton Mottley card on us, that card has now been rejected from within. So rather than let the poor boys get control again, they have commisioned an Adams.

    These are desperate days, and as such requires desperate measures. Remember they had to send for an Adams to unseat Barrow back in the seventies. So if that old tattered deck of cards have been brough out dusted off to play again. Can’t you older heads see these are indeed desperate times politically for these traditional parties?

    “Movement for real change”

  41. Tony Waterman October 12, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    This Unasked for statemennt from Minister Inniss, reminds me of an Old Cowboy Movie i saw as a Child, where the Sheriff goes into the Saloon and asked “Who Killed Tommy McClurgh:?? and a fellow got up from his Chair and said to the Sheriff “It was not me who Shot him in the back” he was promptly Arrested by the Sheriff for Murder, as he (The Sheriff) did NOT say how Tommy McClurgh was Killed. in that light !!!! why are we being told by this Minister, where the Money is NOT Going. as i did not see anywhere, where anyone had asked him that question.

    Perhaps the Minister has a concience ????


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