NSRL grief

Govt cash cow not delivering needed results

A mere month after Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler publicly boasted of the performance of the controversial National Social Responsibility Levy (NSRL), it seems the dreaded NSRL is not meeting its revenue targets.

It was back in October that Sinckler revealed in Parliament that the NSRL, which was increased from two to ten per cent on July 1, had raked in $50 million in the three months following the announced the increase in his May 30 Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals.

However, in the draft Barbados Sustainable Recovery Plan (BSRP) 2017, a copy of which was obtained by Barbados TODAY ahead of its tabling in Parliament next month, officials in the Ministry of Finance who prepared the document following consultations with the Social Partnership, have suggested that the burdensome tax was now likely to perform weaker than earlier expected.

In addition, the document warns that the lower than expected revenues would affect Government’s overall chances of achieving its fiscal targets, a similar caution to that given by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) yesterday in its latest Barbados economic assessment following the annual Article IV Consultation.

“There is already evidence of a slightly weaker than expected revenue flows from the National Social Responsibility Levy,” the draft document states.

“It is therefore perceived that the goal of achieving a balanced Budget and a small primary surplus of just over $4 million may be temporarily setback at the end of the fiscal year 2017/18,” it adds.

The document is based on the assumption that the national debt would continue to rise to reach 152 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) within the next three years.

“The baseline profile of the current debt stock suggests a continual increase in debt levels to around 152 per cent of GDP by the end of the financial year 2020/2021. Given this trajectory, the ability to reduce debt to pre-crisis levels will require concerted efforts,” it adds.

However, officials indicated that if fiscal policy developments were in line with a primary surplus target of three per cent and accompanied by growth of about two per cent on average over the medium-term then “debt can be lowered to around 146.7 per cent of GDP by 2021”.

They also gave the assurance that Government’s expenditure would be slightly lower, based on the completion of the half-yearly Budget review exercise.

“With this outlook, the BSRP framework, which aims, to a large degree, to foster greater efficiency within the public service, will continue to support the 2017 measures and lend towards greater stability in the public finances,” the document adds.

However, with a projected minimum growth in the order of 1.75 per cent on average over the next three years, Government still sees light at the end of the proverbial economic tunnel.

The BSRP document therefore paints an overall positive economic outlook, with economic growth expected to increase gradually despite the softening impact of recently introduced austerity measures.

“Underpinning the growth framework is the continued buoyancy of the tourism and construction sector. These sectors will be supported by environmental and infrastructural projects to lend to an overall macroeconomic advancement of the economy. These developments will gather momentum over the medium-term horizon and will support wage and employment growth, thus boosting consumer spending. As a policy measure, tightening labour and product markets will be crucial to maintain aggregate economic activity,” it explains.

“Also underpinning economic growth are the efficiencies to be realized from improved business facilitation and increased productivity levels which are expected to contribute on average 0.15 per cent to the real economic growth rate.

“The growth projection for 2017/18 – 2020/21 incorporates a growth projection of 1.75 per cent on average over the medium-term.

“While a return to Barbados’ average historic growth rate of 3.0 by 2020/21 would be ideal, for the purposes of this exercise, we maintain a conservative 2.05 per cent growth rate over the projection horizon. This does not however, detract from the aim of achieving a growth rate of 3.0 per cent on average over the medium-term,” it adds.

In addition to the debt, the document however identifies a number of other risks, which it said could undermine growth and further deteriorate the fiscal position of the country.

“These risks include the incidence of natural disasters; higher international fuel prices which could increase budget transfers and electricity supply charges; higher than expected US and domestic interest rates; the Brexit effect which is still shrouded with uncertainty, creating a heightened sense of anxiety as it pertains to securing the gains made from the recent boost in tourist arrival intake from Barbados’ major source market – the United Kingdom,” the draft document explains.

26 Responses to NSRL grief

  1. Adrian Reid
    Adrian Reid November 23, 2017 at 10:31 pm

    Ring the bell,game over…

  2. Yvette Harps Fenty
    Yvette Harps Fenty November 23, 2017 at 10:31 pm

    He bullying we left..right n centre

  3. Antheia Springer-Williams
    Antheia Springer-Williams November 23, 2017 at 10:33 pm

    Idiots, de people spending less! Wait and see gasoline prices will go back up, you don’t need a degree in economics or finance to prove that……. Lol, put the dreaded tax on sweet potatoes, eddoes, yam and breadfruit because I will be eating those. I sure I will put on weight!

    • Jennifer November 24, 2017 at 7:48 am

      @Antheia Springer-Williams – I believe you are right. And so they should spend less. That lot spent lavishly and now got the poor people over the hot coals. Darn nonsense, taking poor people for granted constantly and only two sets of people getting financially fat. Buy only what is needed.
      Oh and man made macaroni/Pasta/rice/bread, the cheapest out does make you fat too. I eating plenty of local fruits and vegs. Eat a little and live long and keep more money in your purse. And that event coming next month – leave out that lie too.
      I can smell another tax coming.

  4. La Reine Kalonji
    La Reine Kalonji November 23, 2017 at 10:34 pm


  5. Amanda Corbin
    Amanda Corbin November 23, 2017 at 10:34 pm

    How are these clowns still in.

  6. Michelle Griffith
    Michelle Griffith November 23, 2017 at 10:40 pm

    Hmmmm I remember Mr Stuart getting cuss, when he said that he cannot comment until he had a report in his hand, persons were saying he should wake up from sleeping, he did not know what was going on, he was the worst PM, and look now all you look like fools, because the man is always a step ahead of you all.
    As I said already, and will say again Sinclair jump the gun.

    • harry turnover November 24, 2017 at 6:17 am

      I can see all of this is just a smoke screen designed not to give Civil Servants more money.
      Sinckler,I believe you that time.Might even be more than what you stated.

      • Jennifer November 24, 2017 at 8:05 am

        Harry T – you could be right, the WHOLE lot of them “think” they SLICK. And you know in this place who the sheep like he lick.

    • Randolph November 24, 2017 at 7:10 am

      Michelle,I like your sarcasm.I would go further and say that PMStuart is the best PM we ever had.LOL.

  7. janette reifer November 23, 2017 at 11:35 pm

    I don’t know why they don’t give up the ghost. A whole waste of flesh.

  8. Bradg November 24, 2017 at 5:42 am

    Not one of their home grown remedies worked!! This DLP Admin is a total failure, stilling hanging on to power.

  9. Sylvan Greenidge November 24, 2017 at 6:51 am

    It is amazing how the underperformed NSRL in the month of November can draw such happiness from BLP supporters. You would think that there are expecting the country to fail. Well don’t be too joyous yet because Barbados overall macro economic position is still sound. You can not use one instrument of government’s revenue generation to set the overall trend. Remember last month when our foreign reserves took a nose dive, we’ll part of the reason was because business were busy importing goods for the Christmas shopping so there were more financial activity those the over expected performance of the NSRL. I don’t have tell you that the tax is a tax on businesses more so than individuals. However, reading on in the article one sees that stability continues to be maintained in the economy and growth is still being achieved. Americans are complaining about the increase taxes they have to pay as well and their government has said that the increase revenue is not going towards bringing down their deficit it is merely going towards the day to day operations of government. The BLP reminds me of man watching a domino game. He shouts loudly about what every body should play because he can see everybody’s hand from his vantage point but then he gets a chance to play and gets six love. What is the moral of the story.

    • ebaje November 24, 2017 at 8:59 pm

      Stupse. The level of FOREX was on the decline for months–the Central Bank Report refers to quarters i.e. more than one month. Secondly, the NSRL was increased from 2% to 10% for a reason–to boost government revenue. If it is under performing it is logical to conclude that government’s overall revenue will be down.

    • hcalndre November 25, 2017 at 12:28 am

      @Sylvan Greenidge; the moral of the story is your moral story and the inept Dems, no one else. The domino game that you mention is called Cut Throat played by the DLP. Every American that file their income tax get their return in the mail in a few weeks time.

  10. Tony Webster November 24, 2017 at 6:53 am

    Repeated failures and misery, dressed up like a whore going to a fete. Any way this is sliced, or diced, it is we that getting chopped to pices.
    Lord, hear our prayers.

  11. Greengiant November 24, 2017 at 8:12 am

    @Sylvan Greenidge: We won’t know the true performance of anything until the end of the winter season next year. This government plans to take their term in office right down to the wire. The BLP’s hands are tied with the loss of Agard, and Arthur in parliament. Like elections, votes count in parliament too. The people of Barbados, like all the political parties have a wait on their hands for the next election. Time for the BLP and DLP to implode, and the signs are there for an implosion of mass proportions. Stay tuned.

  12. milli watt November 24, 2017 at 9:50 am

    fat lady ain’t singing just yet………..I got a buoyant tourist season to look out for, got some projects to start, mfg is doing well, got the unions to trick just now and christmas is in the air. I good till next year and oh yeah gasoline prices going up next month so that will be a boost.

  13. Sheralyn Brooker November 24, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    Talk talk talk behind a device is allll I keep seeing. Everyday I have to fight for my rights. And everyday I’m fighting for my rights, I hear fellow barbarians dropping whatever they’re doing to quietly goad me to holler lil harder, “Preach it sista.” Leh me tell wunna sain hear…..I does holler and fight for me and mine hear. Not fuh wunna!! Sick o’ my scared barbarian brothers and sistas. Sick o’ wunna.

  14. luther thorne November 24, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    Lets face it.
    The DLP cannot get the job done.
    The BLP did a very good job and should be given a chance to continue the good job they were doing pre 2008. The DLP was doing a bad job pre 1994 but were giving the chance to continue the poor job in 2008 and there has simply been no improvement. Just struggle struggle and like a child or immature person when they cant get the job done blames the sun the moon and the stars and everything in the Universe. Time is up. The party started at 9 pm, it is now 3 am. Nothing has happened. Makes no sense waiting, the party is over. Call the elections. This not funny anymore.

    The Government in the interest of all Barbados should cut the crap. Call Elections Now. We should not taint 2018 with the same struggling meandering approach. In all seriousness now , the DLP needs to fall on its Sword. There comes a time.
    A man knows when his works are not working. Either make Donville Inniss Prime Minister or Fire Chris Sinckler or Call Elections. Be statesmen !
    Any good and sensitive leader would call Elections

  15. luther thorne November 24, 2017 at 4:35 pm


  16. David Hall November 24, 2017 at 6:22 pm

    Its unfair to suggest that BLP supporters are rejoicing because they did not want the NSRL to work. The truth was that they always warned that it would not work. In November 2017 the DLP is a failed government. It simply needs to do the right thing and leave office.

  17. Donild Trimp November 24, 2017 at 8:19 pm

    @ Daivd Hall-
    Do you agree with scrapping the NSRL?

  18. hcalndre November 25, 2017 at 12:58 am

    After 4 1/2 years of the 2nd term, why the DLP would not ring the bell is that they are scared and not certain of a victory but as the old people always say the longest day got an end.

  19. Cryptic Messenger November 25, 2017 at 5:15 pm

    Whether or one supports one party over the other the reality is this current administration has failed miserably with the implementation of any sound rational developmental policies. Simply put they have used the most pedestrian and simplistic methods that can be expected of a group of pre schoolers. We need more money so charge more on everything. Not to mention no one seems to care about transparency when it comes to taxes…so I’m very confident there’s some missing funds.. perhaps in the millions of dollars..but I digress. Failed economic policy, doubled crime rates, increase in cost of living, and a growing hate of politicians amongst the general public. Overall…what have they actually accomplished? Apart from their own selfish desires…renamed a few schools and clinics? That’s about it. I’d love for an inquiry to be launched into government revenue and spending…let’s follow money trails. Any one who still supports these characters are frankly brainwashed or just plain ignorant. Neither of which is a flattering place to be.

  20. Anthony Prescott November 30, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    They raking in the last dreggs of the NSRL…..None of the taxes they implemented went to benefit Barbados. They are a cruel and hungry breed……hungry for money at the demise of poor people……..

    Hope wunna can all sleep well, but The Father’s sees and hears all, wunna day’s are numbered !!

    How can you run a country with so many different races, coming from different points in life, and without any real indepth communication, we have a society that is supposed to run fairly…after an experience of slavery, a heinous act, now we supposed live along side our oppressors, who never levelled the playing field…..Free people now expected to be happy to pay some asshole rent for land when you buy it.

    And to abide by some asshole’s rules and regulations WHEN the creator has his own rules and regulations. What the hell are you telling me?

    And instead of having an input to the SAME system we live in, we gotta listen to “book academics” that be “brainwashed” by the leaders to keep us in line and be oppressed.


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