It’s a joke!

Former PM totally rejects Solutions Barbados plan

He has been very critical in the past of statements made by Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Finance Senator Jepter Ince.

But after hearing the lavish manifesto promises of 100 per cent debt relief and significant tax repeal made last weekend by the Grenville Phillips-led Solutions Barbados, former Prime Minister Owen Arthur said tongue in cheek yesterday he has had to reverse his opinion of Ince.

The revolutionary economic plan includes an across-the-board ten per cent flat tax and would replace the Value Added Tax (VAT), as well as the National Social Responsibility Levy (NSRL), the two per cent foreign exchange commission and other measures which were recently announced by Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler in his May 30 Budget.

As part of its ambitious economic strategy, Solutions Barbados is also promising to remove the 25 per cent corporation tax on profits; the 35 per cent personal income tax; and the excise tax on fuel, and to either reduce or remove import duties on a range of items.

And while acknowledging that over $1 billion was currently owed to Government in terms of tax and other arrears, the party is contending that there is more to be gained in terms of economic stimulus from forgiving those debts than keeping them on the books.

“When I read it, I thought it was a very clever attempt by Mr Grenville Phillips to make Jepter Ince appear to be a genius,” Arthur told Barbados TODAY before totally rejecting the proposals as “perfect folly”.

“Look, there are some things that you comment upon because they are in the realm of reality and there are some things that are of such perfect folly that you don’t,” he said, adding that he had learnt the hard way not to respond to Grenville Phillips.

He explained that on one occasion when he was prime minister, Phillips was invited by the private sector to a national consultation to make a financial presentation on the international business sector.

‘Mr Phillips’ consultation to that exercise was singular. He said as far as he was concerned no public servant in Barbados should be paid because they don’t do any work . . . and as chairman of the Social Partners and Prime Minister of Barbados, I felt a need to defend the public servants from what I thought was just a ridiculous, nonsensical attack by a pure idiot . . . [but on this occasion] I am not going to attack Mr Phillips because I regard him as a genius,” a chuckling Arthur said.

However, in the same breath the former prime minister and respected economist said he supported the position taken by the Lynette Eastmond-led United Progressive Party in its mini-manifesto that Barbados needed to pursue a borrowing arrangement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“The fact of the matter is that the problems facing this country at the economic level are so vast that we are not going to get over them without significant help from the international financial community. And that is not to profess any love for the IMF, it is just to reflect a reality and I suspect without being able to prove it that the Government has been talking to the fund. My great fear now is that what the Fund would have been able to recommend three years ago they will not be able to recommend now.

“So that the adjustment would have been less painful and you would have access to the foreign exchange receipts to help you make the transition,” said the former prime minister, who has been pleading with Government for several months now to take urgent corrective action to stop the country’s economic hemorrhaging, but to no avail.

With the country’s international reserves said to have fallen below $500 million and Government now having exhausted most of its policy options, Arthur again warned that swift and definitive action was needed to stop the economy from plunging.

“You may get some reserves coming in from the sale of the [national oil] terminal, but that is a one off. That would stop the hemorrhage but that is not a process of foreign exchange earnings that you can sustain. So the fundamental problems will still be there,” he said, while cautioning that “what was driving the economy was no longer driving it and the fundamental challenge now is to fix the economy.

“The tourism sector can lead but the tourism sector cannot carry it alone and Barbados needs to have a series of sectors of the strength of the former international business sector to supplement tourism and the resources have to be devoted to make that happen.”

Arthur also said “some of the entitlements we have gotten accustomed to, we can no longer carry”.

22 Responses to It’s a joke!

  1. John Everatt November 29, 2017 at 9:28 pm

    Solutions Barbados is simply not a credible party. I certainly hope that the public will not be fooled by these clowns. Reality is reality and it is impossible to do the things that have been promised by this bunch of idiots. I for one do not wish to see the DLP elected again and I am not completely sold on the BLP either. We will watch and see how things progress with the UPP.

  2. Saga Boy November 29, 2017 at 9:32 pm

    Interesting that he supports the mini budget of Ms.Eastmond.

  3. archy perch November 30, 2017 at 12:31 am

    Mia like she dump the genius Dr. Clyde Mascoll as her economic whiz. She now flirting with Economist Ryan Straughn and Economist Marsha Caddle. I think Marsha will win Mia’s favour because of her affection for the female touch. So Ryan ! Take a back seat! No room for you up front dhould the crooked Barbados Labour Party win the up-coming general elections…sorry.

  4. just observing November 30, 2017 at 1:19 am

    Archy perch, I just put you in the same class as jepter ince. Go to the head of the class ! Mout open sh..t jump out.

  5. Don Keyote November 30, 2017 at 4:26 am

    Wuhloss! North Korea’s missiles pale in comparison to this Owen broadside inflicting mortal damage on SB. Grenville is going to have a very bad independence day. Unfortunately not even an Arthur missile can penetrate Jepter’s armor of idiocy.

  6. Saga Boy November 30, 2017 at 4:36 am

    Archy perch ignore ‘Just Observing’. This is another example of an emotional outburst from him. The fact is that Mia has been ignoring Mascoll. Ryan has been the preferred spokesman over Mascoll for some time even though Mascoll has had more practical and theoretical experience. Mascoll has been over looked as a candidate for St.Peter over someone with less experience and popularity. Finally it is my believe that if it comes down to Mia choosing between a male or female she is more likely to choose a female. So Ryan watch out. You may be used and disabused.

    • The truth November 30, 2017 at 7:26 am

      Is Mascoll running as a candidate? Should he be getting the spotlight at this time when you have two first timers trying to get elected? Think for once and stop being a mule.

      Mascoll is still very much the Economic adviser for the BLP but he doesn’t need to be out front when the BLP has economists who are running for elections and need to be vocal on economic issues.

  7. colleta November 30, 2017 at 6:17 am

    Bajans know bout everybody but themselves.

    • harry turnover November 30, 2017 at 7:13 am

      ….and how did you arrived at that conclusion ? explain maam !! as far as I can understand ,the story is about BAJANS and BAJANS and everything said is in the PUBLIC DOMAIN.
      This is a COMMENT section maam…what is yours’ and if you are Bajan your rhetoric applies to you too
      Maam ,your comment is akin to Ossie Moore a black man calling black people black cattle

  8. Mark Adamson November 30, 2017 at 9:21 am

    Three things here:

    1) Arthur, Mottley and the rest of the then BLP government – from 1994 to 2008 – are the ones who are primarily responsible for the present state of dedevelopment, decay, collapse, ruin and destruction that are being found in so many of the relevant affairs of Barbados. They did a most horrible task of ransacking the political economic and financial affairs of this country especially on the basis of the implementation of so many evidently long ago flawed and failed political economic and financial policies and programs. For example, the implementation of the so-called VAT, CESS, etc.

    2) Arthur, Mascoll, Straughn and other so-called economists in Barbados do NOT have any monopoly on the conceptualization, production and presentation to the various publics of ideas and policies that orient around assisting in the management and control of people in their extraction, production and distribution goods and services with a view of helping to achieve certain production, commercial and financial outcomes. As a matter of truth there has to be evolved a new language and discipline evolved to replace economics which right now is the most discredited and backward of all social studies disciplines ever. Rather than criticizing Phillips, Arthur should have been examining the TOTAL ideological, philosophical and psychological
    bankruptcy and sterility of economics and its most destructive
    social, political, material and financial effects upon this nation of
    people by its continued practice.

    3) Phillips and Solutions Barbados have to demonstrate a greater commitment to the expressing and elucidating of the ideological,
    philosophical and psychological foundations upon which their
    ideas and policies have been and are founded. This is
    ABSOLUTELY TOTALLY necessary if their policy formulations are
    to have any credibility, logicality and validity in the eyes of certain
    critical thinkers in this country. Otherwise then they have to
    ground their ideas and policies in philosophical scientificism.
    Once properly done and explained to the public, they will be able to
    successfully over come the “playing to public gallery”, decaying
    mentalities of Arthur, Mascoll, Straughn, etc., who are nothing but
    local extensions of Westernism, oligarchism, and their
    exploitation/dependency trajectories in this country.

  9. straight talk November 30, 2017 at 9:41 am

    I am not surprise that Arthur would support lynette Eastmond cause they are all enemies of the BLP

  10. Joe Blow November 30, 2017 at 10:55 am

    All Arthur ever touts is an IMF solution for Barbados’ problems. This speaks volumes to his lack of ideas and creative thinking in his old age. What does the IMF have to offer us but aggressive financial and economic policies, and money which will be gone in short order, without immediate and drastic changes to the way the finances of government are structured and managed. 1) If the only fresh economic ideas can be gotten from the IMF, then Aurthur is suggesting that Barbados is devoid of any great thinkers including himself, and therefore must import them from the IMF. 2) There are other places to borrow from besides the IMF, such as China and the UAE, if more borrowing is his suggested solution. Reckless borrowing is what got Barbados in this mess in the first place, so there is no way that more borrowing can solve it now. What is required is completely new financial and economic thinking, and the IMF is not the only organization with a brain. Barbados has many extremely intelligent young creative thinkers, and it seems clear to me that Solutions Barbados is full of them. I suggest Barbadians pay close attention to what they are proposing. Their proposals may seem radically different, but radically different is what it will take to fix this mess. We simply cannot keep doing the same thing for 51 more years and expect different results. What Solutions Barbados is proposing is to take a U turn and change direction and a change of direction is what we need right now.

  11. luther thorne November 30, 2017 at 11:51 am

    I have said already that UPP is the only credible third party. Solutions banking on the Christians from the new fangle dangle churches , the ones who had pray warriors out last elections and who have those fancy names and led by fancy titled individuals with cult like mannerisms.

    I have also said that Solutions would run Barbados into the ground. I have said too that it is either the BLP or DLP that people will vote for. The BLP and DLP have persons with the competence abilities and experiences to run the Country. Dont mind the BLP and DLP seem to be opposed to each other. That is the cut and thrust of debate. They each know what it takes. They have been trained for many years and I am satisfied that both sides are capable. This is not Utopia and you cannot get perfection with a perfect score . I am not risking Barbados with no jokey third party
    like Solutions . UPP is the only third party to be taken seriously if there is to be an alternative party to the BLP and DLP.

    Grenville does scare me every time I hear him.
    I does feel like I am in the Vacinity of Black Rock near a certain place. I heard a man in that vacinity talking and he seemed to have the same uncanny sound as Grenville.

  12. Grenville Phillips II November 30, 2017 at 4:05 pm

    If Mr Arthur has been quoted accurately and in context, then he has invented a ridiculous fantasy, and has irresponsibility ascribed his lunatic ideas to me. Let me explain.

    In 2002, I was unanimously elected President of the Barbados Coalition of Service Industries. Lynette Eastmond was elected Vice-president. During my second term in 2004, I was invited to make a presentation at a National Consultation hosted by Prime Minister Owen Arthur. I encouraged higher standards (including the ISO 9001 quality management standard) in the private sector, and higher standards in the public sector.

    During the question and answer session of my presentation, Mr Arthur, who was seated next to Ms Mia Mottley, went on a long personal tirade, which David Ellis carried on Starcom. I responded, explaining to the Prime Minister where he had clearly misinterpreted my statements (which was understandable since he spent much of my presentation talking to Ms Mottley). Mr Leroy Trotman of the BWU then asked me a relevant question about chartered qualifications, and he seemed satisfied with my response. My speech and Mr Arthur’s response are part of the public record.

    The only thing that Mr Arthur could object to was my suggesting improvements to the public service. After my address, and Mr Arthur’s rude response, a hotelier of a different appearance then tore into the incompetence that he experienced with public services in Barbados, of which Mr Arthur was the chief minister. He then made harsh recommendations for public servants.

    During the question and answer period of his shockingly revealing address, I was tempted to activate the microphone on the table in front of me say “Did you not see how Prime Minister treated me for suggesting improvements to public services? Yet you have strongly gone after public servants with utter disdain, thus incurring the impending wrath of both the Prime Minister and the BWU. Why would you now want to experience a much worse treatment than I?” However, I decided to simply observe Mr Arthur’s response.

    To my surprise, he simply bowed his head. I wondered why he was cowering after this blistering attack on public servants. Why this scathing and unjustified attack on me, but no response to this fellow? I never learnt the answer.

    For the record, I never even remotely suggested that public workers should not be paid or anything of the sort. That is pure fantasy on Mr Arthur’s part. I believe that not paying public servants was a recommendation made by the speaker who followed me, a position that Mr Arthur chose not to challenge. However, all of this can be verified since it is part of the public record.

    If Mr Arthur is genuinely confused about who made the comments, which he now claims were made by an “idiot”, then let him now call the person, before he formally cowered, an idiot and let us finally see the fireworks. Nevertheless, the public record should be corrected.

    If Mr Arthur genuinely believes that I made the comment in question, and stands by his mistaken belief, then that would explain his support for the UPP.

    Best regards,

  13. Joe Blow November 30, 2017 at 4:48 pm

    The BLP and the DLP are both equally responsible for where Barbados is right now. $13.7 Billion in debt, less than 8 weeks of foreign reserve left, on the brink of bankruptcy, paying away thirty cents on every dollar they earn in taxes to a government that has no idea how to solve the current economic problems, and you propose this country continue to be led by one of these two parties? You are the one that needs to be checked into black rock. The UPP is no better, they are just the BLP’s back up plan. Same policies as the BLP, same lack of economic imagination. Same people running under a new name. Watch and see if Owen don’t come out and lead them when they get 29 candidates. Barbados needs fresh thinking, and I like the sensible and creative thinking of these Solutions Barbados business people. Christians or not, they are business people, and that is what this country needs more of in Parliament, not more lawyers and Doctors. Lawyers and Doctors make the worst managers, and the worst financial people. No disrespect to Lawyers or Doctors, they are great at what they do, but managing a country should never be one of those things. How many people does the average lawyer or Doctor have to manage in their office? 2 or 3. Lawyers are trained to fight for their clients position, not to work with others to find Solutions. What we need is Solutions, not fighting over policy.

  14. Ideliver69 November 30, 2017 at 5:49 pm

    Mark Adamson the problem your argument has to convince me or anyone with a brain that the Blp actions 9 years ago are a direct result of the 22 plus downgrades (more to come) and loaming devaluation. is when the current Finance minister can praise and say he had full confidence in his Central Bank governor 3 months before releasing him of his post. Even in the months leading up to that the government repeatedly states that governments policies were not achievibg it’s targets andre that the government needed to prioritise reducing its expenditure.
    to summarise you prause him then fire him for having a difference of opinion. which is the same as the acting governor. so maybe he won’t be acting for long either.
    FYI this is the dame advise leading economist the Blp IMF and Moody have been saying for years about the failed economic plan of this government. but your heros Chris and Frendel know best and are now on plan R which still won’t address the exexpenditure

  15. luther thorne November 30, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    It is always easy to say throw away people with experience, the ones coming are better. Talk Cheap.

    The BLP and the DLP have persons who are skilled and experienced in running the affairs of this country. Solutions are on the outside looking in and trying to convince people that they have the answers. It might look easy but it is not that simple

    Owen Arthur dismissed Grenville. That is enough for me and there is no way after Owen ‘ s dismissal that I would even consider Solutions again. That did it for me. Cross off Solutions from the list one time .

  16. Speartip November 30, 2017 at 10:41 pm

    Luther Thorne ,you need to climb from under that Rock. Go and read the SOLUTIONS BARBADOS proposals on the Website and see that DLP and BLP are engaging all of their ideas. Speak of what you know not from emotions. Use Facts and Data, Owen did not do that. The VISION for the future is with A Solutions Barbados

  17. Grenville Phillips II December 1, 2017 at 10:51 am

    What has the UPP done with former PM Owen Arthur? Our 4 point plan comprises lowering taxes, improving the management of government services, depoliticising the public service, and eliminating corruption. Mr Arthur has prejudged our economic plan as unworkable without first entering into a discussion with us. What is he so afraid of?

    Our plan is not some theoretical untried plan, but it is proven. It is proven that a country takes in more revenues when it reduces its tax rates. Mr Owen Arthur himself proved this when he was MoF, which is why we recommended that he deserve a knighthood. Now he is backing away from his own proven plan in order to criticise us? That is highly irresponsible, and he must know that.

    It is proven that better managed public services results in less wastage and a higher level of customer satisfaction. He also tried this, but failed miserably because he rejected the ISO 9001 Quality Management System in 2004 and instead supported the ineffective NISE initiative. I am sure that he is regretting that unfortunate decision now.

    It is proven that a politicised civil service can ruin a country, and it is proven that corruption results in severe austerity for most citizens. He cannot disagree with any of this. Yet, after associating with the UPP, he does. What have they done to him?


  18. Joe Blow December 1, 2017 at 11:57 am

    Luther, with all the skill and experience you say the BLP and DLP have, why have they run this country directly into the ground financially? surely their skill and superior intellect would have ensured that under their governance this country would not be in the state it finds itself in now. They have skill alright! Skill at destroying an economy, that will be their legacy. They are not the only ones capable of managing the affairs of this beautiful nation of ours. Barbados has many very talented and intelligent people, and it is time the citizens of this nation wake up and see the damage done to Barbados by these two parties. It is time for change. If we as a nation keep putting the same parties back in office, time and time again, with their same tax and borrow policies, we will simply keep getting the same failed results and end up with a ruined country. It is time for fresh new ideas and a fresh new approach to the economic management of Barbados.

  19. Bim shire December 2, 2017 at 10:19 pm

    You… I love this blog! I glad Grenville the leader of SB brought the proof. If this attack was the dlp or blp you would have had nasty replies and nuff theatrics ! This is impeccable Thank you for showing grace and ya got my vote! I am tired of hearing the former PM. You say don’t vote for the BLP yet the UPP are the BLP rejects! Solutions has more in depth plan and a visible one that ties various steps together. The only parties that will take this countrt imto more taxes or take us to the IMF is the very ones that are so called popular! The BLP had 14 years to put in anti corruption legislation and now they want another chance! Foolishness. The Dlp will continue to over tax us! So I say SB all the way! UPP should a stand with the BLP but the mere fact that the BLP is running all of their old folks and refused to run the younger candidates and keep Lynette shows you they have internal problems. Isn’t she experienced? They dumped her too. Experience is a learning process and the BLP are hiding their plan! Go and elect them and see the slump we will continue to be in

  20. Ossie Moore December 5, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    Lord God! Paradise on earth before I Gone!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *