Blame Donville!

UPP says Inniss must shoulder responsibility for dreaded NSRL

If anyone is to blame for the recent increase in the National Social Responsibility Levy (NSRL), which was hiked from two per cent to ten per cent on July 1, it is Minister of Commerce and Industry Donville Inniss.

This was the contention of United Progressive Party (UPP) Leader Lynette Eastmond last night during the launch of her party’s candidate for St James South, the  constituency which is currently represented in parliament by Inniss.

While others have sought to lay blame for the increased taxation squarely at the feet of Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler, who reported last week that the levy has so far raked in $50 million over the past three months, Eastmond argued strongly that Inniss was really the one at fault as far as the dreaded levy goes, since the sectors under his direct responsibility were simply “not producing anything”.

“Inniss is responsible for commerce, small business, manufacturing and the international business sector, sectors that are not producing anything,” she told those gathered at Notty’s Bar in Haynesville, St James for the launch of Christal Austin’s political campaign.

While zeroing in on the declining performance of the international business sector which reportedly fell from $300 million to $96 million, Eastmond suggested that this was the reason why Barbadians were being made to pay more taxes.

“That is why you have the National Social Responsibility Levy which some people call the starvation tax; that’s why Value Added Tax has gone from 15 per cent to 17.5 per cent and though they told you it was temporary, that was a big lie,” she said.

Her comments come on the heels of Inniss’ stout defence of the levy last weekend.

Noting that the measure was designed to dampen demand for foreign exchange and to assist in raising the necessary revenue to reduce the country’s deficit of six per cent of Gross Domestic Product, Inniss, who had initially raised concern when Sinckler had announced the tax hike back in May that the NSRL would result in a rise in the cost of living, suggested that “the critics, however constructive they attempt to be, ought to be addressing what other measures can be implemented to address the issues of the deficit in Barbados,” while demanding to know “what are the options?

“Quite frankly it would be a reduction in public expenditure which should mean one of the ways of doing this is to reduce the size of the public sector by extension reducing the size of the payroll,” he suggested to Barbados TODAY in an interview last weekend.

However, addressing a gathering, which, apart from herself included three other Opposition Barbados Labour Party rejects in Christ Church West incumbent Dr Maria Agard, former St John candidate Hutson Griffith and ex St Michael South Central representative David Gill, Eastmond warned members of the public not to be fooled by Government’s assessment of the current economic situation in the country.

“If you look at Chris Sinckler’s budgetary statement, he himself admitted that there was a decline in almost every single sector in Barbados,” Eastmond said while suggesting that the reported increase in tourist arrivals was not reflective of the tourism spend coming back to Barbadians.

“The truth about the tourist sector is that a lot of that foreign exchange that should be coming to Barbados is left outside of Barbados. It does not touch Barbados. But every year the Government takes up millions of your dollars as a taxpayer and puts it into the tourism sector. For what, a few jobs?, Eastmond asked.

In a hard-hitting address, the UPP leader also accused Government of holding taxpayers to ransom in the tourism industry as she alluded to recent concessions given to the international hotel group, Sandals.

“Every year, asking for every concession possible and recently a hotel got all the concessions that they asked for. So now we have a hotel in Barbados that can advertise on CNN, but doesn’t pay any taxes, that cannot be right,” Eastmond said, adding that Barbadians should not re-elect a Government that would agree to that.

Elections are constitutionally due here by the middle of next year.

3 Responses to Blame Donville!

  1. Fiona Waldron October 11, 2017 at 10:50 pm

    ‘apart from herself included three other Opposition Barbados Labour Party reject’…. wuhloss although tru, it sound harsh doh!

    Reply
  2. Harry October 12, 2017 at 6:56 pm

    will lose her deposit

    Reply
  3. Greengiant October 13, 2017 at 8:02 am

    Lynette is just another lawyer who uses her debating skills to the maximum in politics. How could she accuse this government of allowing the foreign investment from the Hotel sector to remain outside of Barbados? The Arthur administration it was that allowed the hotels to be converted to condos, that allowed the proportion of all inclusive hotel to expand to what they are now, and gave huge concession to the international business sector when she was the minister.

    There are conditions and contractual agreements that the D L P found in place to which the cost of changing instead of honoring would be insurmountable. The renewal of the telecom contract with Cable and Wireless was renewed when they were told it would affect through liberalization of that lucrative sector. Also under watch as Minister responsible, the manufacturing, business, and trade, the government of which she was an MP did nothing to restructure or reduce the expenditure in those areas. Instead she too was part of the government who increased the public sector, and public spending after the Erskin Sandiford administration had asked the citizens of this country to make sacrifices to reduce the same.

    Now she has become the latest politician to place blame at the feet of Innis, and this government scqarely rather than tell the truth on the contribution of the Arthur led administration. She must not be trusted, this party i’m afraid will just be another extension of the old B L P under Arthur. This is her opportunity to call a spade a spade, and sadly she has allowed the bus to leave the station without boarding.

    I often say we should be looking for new parties, but it’s clear that unless we have new politicians they’re no new parties. I often say that we need to get the lawyers out of our parliament, Eastmond has now strengthened my view on this. Therefore the people of Barbados have to take a full view and give a permanent ear to Solutions Barbados, as they present the only true alternative government. Eastmond has now confirmed that when new parties are formed by experience former members of the old parties, those off shoots are nothing but disguised extensions of the old parties. I like Eastmond, I honestly do, but in all administrations, sectors perform, some under perform, and some fail. This was the case under the B L P as well. The C B C, Sanitation, Transport Board, Agricultural sector, N H C, N C C, even Education with the Edutec project that has been a failure. These were burdens for the state, all the money came from foreign direct investment, due to ICC cricket world cup, sale of west coast property for direct investment in condos, and other real estate deals like Royal West Moreland, Ape’s Hill, the now controversial Harlequin hotels, and the much controversial and failed hotel project in Black rock. So Eastment, when you live in a glass house forget about stoning other people’s property.

    Reply

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