Hidden agenda

Inniss suggests private sector head may have political motives

Minister of International Business, Industry, Commerce and Small Business Development Donville Inniss is questioning the motive of Chairman of the Barbados Private Sector Association (BPSA) Charles Herbert, suggesting the business executive was “hiding behind” his office in order to engage in party politics.

Inniss is upset at Herbert for stating that the Freundel Stuart Government achieved nothing last year, and for calling for a general election so there can be  “a Government with a new mandate” to tackle the economy.

The minister said he was not sure if the private sector boss was simply advocating that a poll be held immediately – the general election is due by the middle of this year – or if he was calling for a change in Government.

However, he said Herbert appeared to have a hidden political agenda.

“He is entitled to his view, I am not quarrelling with that whatsoever. I am quarrelling with those who hold these offices and then take these positions, hiding behind the offices they hold, when in truth and in fact they seem to want to be more politicians than those who are politicians,” a skeptical Inniss said.

The Member of Parliament for St James South took issue with the fact that Herbert’s “very strong statement” was made in his capacity as the BPSA head, stressing that it was important for leaders of such organizations to put aside “personal biases” and engage the administration.

And even as he said he empathized with those calling for an election, Inniss also implied that comments like those made by Herbert could have consequences for the organizations he represents.

“[I wish] to have leaders of non-partisan organizations continue to give Government their candid views without indulging in party politics,” he said, adding that: “This can have a long-term negative impact upon their organizations no matter which party is in office.”

“My [question] to Mr Herbert is, are you speaking in a personal capacity as an unapologetic supporter of a political party, or are you speaking as chairman of the BPSA?”

Herbert, who has been lamenting the slow pace of implementation in some cases, and, in other cases, the apparent abandonment of various policies intended to correct the country’s economic woes, had told Barbados TODAY last week that the Freundel Stuart administration had not achieved a single thing in 2017.

Also, in a story in the last Sunday Sun newspaper bearing the headline, ‘New Gov’t ‘Needed’, Herbert was quoted as saying, “the sooner we have elections, the sooner we will have action, and it’s not a political statement. We need a Government with a new mandate which will implement decisions quickly”.

Insisting that the authorities knew what needed to be done to correct the economic and social issues but refused to take decisive action, Herbert had also bemoaned Government’s apparent inability to meet with the Social Partnership for detailed and regular updates on matters of interest, including the performance of the contentious National Social Responsibility Levy (NSRL) and the proposed Barbados Sustainable Recovery Plan 2017.

However, Inniss told Barbados TODAY he considered this comment to be “offensive”, while seeking to link Herbert to the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) leader Mia Mottley, who has vowed to repeal the tax should the BLP win the next election.   

“To come and say that a Government has not achieved much, then he ought to say what were his expectations of the Government in some of the most trying circumstances,” Inniss added, while seeking to justify the onerous levy, which quintupled from July 1 last year, jumping from two per cent to ten per cent of the customs value of imported and locally produced goods.

“I hear Mr Herbert talk about he would like to see the removal of the NSRL. Mottley has said the first order of business, if she attains the office of Prime Minister, is to remove the NSRL,” he observed.

The minister told Barbados TODAY he had difficulty with the tax – which he had said during the Budget debate would have been painful for his constituents – as well as the overall level of taxation here.

Notwithstanding, Inniss made it clear there was no alternative.

“When people come and say remove all these taxes, these are the same people who will keep noise when their constituents cannot access essential medicines in Barbados. They are the same ones who would keep noise when they realize they cannot meet the payroll for the public sector in this country,” he argued.

“Our health care system is still intact. Law and order in Barbados is still functioning. The social services on the whole is still functioning. There is not anarchy in the street. The economy, yes, we have had our challenges, but you know what? When I hear people talk about the state of the Barbados economy, I say, ‘tell me where in the Caribbean they would like to go and live now’. All they [do is] cry down Barbados,” he said.

However, in a swift response this afternoon, Herbert told Barbados TODAY he had no hidden or political agenda.

He explained that his call for a general election was made on the premise that there was work to be done to drag the economy back from the edge and the current administration had very little time left to get anything done.

“Really, what I am saying is that we need a mandate that needs to make the decisions that need to be made to negotiate. We need a Government who has a term ahead of it. It could be the existing people or it could be a new group,” he said.

“There is no hidden agenda. There is no political agenda. It is just that there are big decisions to be made. How can a Government with only three months to go have a restructuring or recovery plan? How long will the plan be in force? So I am simply saying that the decisions that we are making need to be made by a group that can see them through. It is simply about a mandate and the term ahead for a newly elected Government. It is not about who is the newly elected Government, it was not a criticism of the current Government”.

Following the story published in the Nation newspaper, businesswoman Ram Merchandani had expressed disappointment at Herbert, saying the private sector was not a political body and should not act as such.

“As [chairman] he has no right to talk in this manner without the consent of membership. I would like to know who authorized this,” she said.

However, Herbert told Barbados TODAY Merchandani may have spoken after reading the headline, and without first fully understanding his statement.


47 Responses to Hidden agenda

  1. John Everatt January 3, 2018 at 12:31 am

    Mr Inniss is obviously defending his political party and there is nothing wrong with that however he seems to be claiming that his government has done a lot in 2017. But, he does not say what they have actually done. They certainly have not dealt with the south coast sewage issues. The sewage continues to pour out onto the streets as it has for the last year and longer. The economy is in a shambles while the MOF continues to grab at straws with his home grown solutions rather than listen to the economists. Mr Inniss says “Our health care system is still intact” but is it really. He implies that medicines are available through the health care system now. He needs to talk with some of the doctors at the polyclinics to find out the truth of the matter on that. Public transport is a mess and the SSA is even worse. Please tell us what your government has done this year Mr. Inniss.

  2. Ali Baba
    Ali Baba January 3, 2018 at 1:35 am


  3. Jeffrey Quimby
    Jeffrey Quimby January 3, 2018 at 2:25 am

    Mr Herbert is from Barbados ok sir you all be voting to hell out and your will be one to go that lady will do a good job that talk u give don’t cut it any more talk one thing all the time and it’s old news your time has come

  4. Michael Crichlow
    Michael Crichlow January 3, 2018 at 2:55 am

    Adios el Dialbo

  5. Tony Webster January 3, 2018 at 6:16 am

    Limp, Sir, Limp. A blue tablet might help.
    Mr. Herbert ain’t fraid of nuttin’ Sir, especially when it comes to confronting harsh realities which threaten us all. Push too hard and you might have anuthuh holding company headed for Bermuda. Find another target…or excuse for still fiddling while the place burnin’ down.

  6. Stanton Peace
    Stanton Peace January 3, 2018 at 7:03 am

    go home DLP.

  7. Heather Cole
    Heather Cole January 3, 2018 at 7:33 am

    I wonder if the private sector should inform him that everyone can see that the government’s agenda is not hidden, that it is for themselves, their friends and their families not for the entire population of Barbados.

  8. Honest January 3, 2018 at 7:57 am

    I like Donville Inniss. I really do. However, Herbert is correct. The DLP have achieved nothing for a long time. I also find the administration too clandestine. There is very little transparency, if any, with any transaction that is made whether it is the Hilton or The Barbados National Oil Company. Whether or not Herbert is playing party politics is not my concern as these things have been happening since forever. At the end of the day, Herbert’s words have merit.

  9. Jerry January 3, 2018 at 8:05 am

    Charles Herbert is a True Bajan Patriot with no hidden agenda who is seriously concerned about the future of this Island and who is not afraid to tell the truth. Bad Government Policies however well intended have ruined many Countries in Africa, South America and The Caribbean . We collectively as a people without regard to Political Affiliation need to know that after 21 downgrades, the looting of The NIS, the continuing printing of money by the Central Bank to fund the deficit even after We are being taxed heavily, Refusal by Banks and Public , Mutual Funds not to buy Government Paper of any kind. The selling off of the Country’s Assets. Billions on deposit in Banks earning no interest. Who will you believe. Have we lost our common sense.

  10. Alex Alleyne January 3, 2018 at 8:08 am

    A clear example of “Money talks”. Herbert and his “Pack” holds the “economic power” in BIM and refuse to pay in all TAXES to Government and got them over a barrel.
    When the DLP look back and history is written they will have to shed a tear for bad management 10 years running.

  11. harry turnover January 3, 2018 at 8:20 am

    Donville Inniss …ya time draweth nigh …talk all ya want now..it in gine mek na difference…..the QUEEN BEE gine still LEAD de sting attack in wunna RH..
    Instead of people like wunna losing sleep overt MIA and everybody that opposes the Government all like now wunna should be lighting fires at the street that got the same name as wunna General Secretary and bagging enough smoke to ward off the BEES as soon as the bell is rung.

  12. Carson C. Cadogan January 3, 2018 at 8:32 am

    It is plain and simple,

    the WHITE people want back in the party of House Negroes, the Barbados Labour Party. When they tell the Barbados Labour Party, “”JUMP””, the Barbados Labour Party will ask , “”how high?””.

    This is not rocket science!!!!

    • MARIA Holder January 3, 2018 at 6:30 pm

      Poor, poor, poor Mr Cadogan, on hs soap box again. Me thinks you need counselling

  13. Alex Alleyne January 3, 2018 at 8:46 am

    @CCC, let us say what you saying is true, are you comfortable , really comfortable with the way the DLP ran things in the past 10 years ?. Never forget the ‘ole saying “a drowning man will catch at a straw”.

  14. Lilian Lloyd
    Lilian Lloyd January 3, 2018 at 8:49 am


  15. Claire Battershield
    Claire Battershield January 3, 2018 at 9:05 am

    His agenda want hiding behind international bars. They are not lenient with scum

  16. Errol Rayside
    Errol Rayside January 3, 2018 at 9:48 am


  17. Falernum January 3, 2018 at 10:03 am

    Herbert for President !!

  18. Dick Tracy January 3, 2018 at 10:37 am

    Give Inniss a shovel, rake, and stamper and let him start filing potholes to begin. Then move on to the vacant properties to clear debris, rats, and mosquitoes. The only things they’re filling is their pockets.

  19. Carson C. Cadogan January 3, 2018 at 11:00 am

    These WHITE people only look after their own interests.

    • hcalndre January 3, 2018 at 8:15 pm

      @CCC; who interest is the politicians that looks like you are looking out for? all they have done is taken the baton and continue the journey. The hurtful part is that they`re your own.

  20. Almar H Cave
    Almar H Cave January 3, 2018 at 11:06 am

    I wonder if these ministers are paid to talk a whole set of “South coast sewage?”. It’s a political agenda when ppl want a change of government? Is it a political agenda when stake holders want a change? Is it a political agenda when investors don’t have confidence in the current administration? I wonder if he had spoken good about the government if he would’ve said that he has a political agenda as well? Can’t wait to see the back of you guys. Imagine this morning someone said the BLP is arrogant for posting the posters but check this now. This is the definition of arrogance.

  21. Carson C Cadogan January 3, 2018 at 11:44 am

    This thing by CHARLES HERBERT about new Govt. and 2017 has nothing at all to do with BLACK PEOPLE but all to do with WHITE people and their surrogates the INDIANS seeking to maintain their economic dominance over BLACK PEOPLE.

    an exert from development economist Collin Constantine:

    “”The economist also said that “a simple back of the envelope calculation shows that the average annual economic growth for Barbados over the period under consideration stood at 1.92 per cent, while the average growth of income share for its top one per cent and five per cent were 12 per cent and five per cent, respectively”.

    “Such drastic increases of income share each year suggests a hollowing out of its middle class and a complete decimation of its poor in terms of income share. This is the epitome of extractive growth, where most of the gains from income growth go to top incomes,” he noted.””

    This is what people like CHARLES HERBERT wants to continue in their favour.

    • hcalndre January 3, 2018 at 8:29 pm

      @CCC; did minister Innis let the people know that Barbados debt is $4.5B and 117% of the GDP., rated #8 of 10 in the world.

  22. Job January 3, 2018 at 12:49 pm

    A new intelligence has emerged in this country. Providing responses not answers is the growing trend. I trust Bajans are smart enough to identify deflections and spins and be no longer mesmerized by the Cadogans et al. I think theirs is a most disingenous and unpatriotic agenda.

  23. archy perch January 3, 2018 at 1:06 pm

    In the United States the Ku Klux Klan {KKK} used to wear hoods and other bed sheets to hide their faces from the public. They no longer do, thanks to ignorant Trump.
    In Barbados, the conservative almost lilly-white ( both in shin and in mind) Barbados Private Sector Association, formerly hid behind the scenes and financed the crooked Barbados Labour Party.
    That has changed now. The big baldhead guerrilla Charles Herbert is bold enough to be in your face and show his opposition coat-tail.
    It is obvious he and his group of parasites have been promised certain things by the crooked BLP, but they can’t until general elections are called.
    Listening to Mia on Starcom news yesterday, it was obvious that the private sector has been withholding their money while the DLP governs, hoping for a change of party. The black masses who always talking about Africa and moving Nelson and all that crap, are being encouraged to elect such a group. Shame.

  24. Job January 3, 2018 at 1:18 pm

    To the best of my knowledge the issue at hand is whether the Govt achieved anything during 2017. Let us not digress but those who can provide clear evidence of the achievements. Then and only then will the discussion educate.

  25. Saga Boy January 3, 2018 at 1:20 pm

    Who is Charles Herbert and how was he elected to the position he holds as head of the Private Sector Agency? I am 100% behind Minister Inniss. The white dominated private sector has deliberately with held investments because they do not like the DLP. Mr.Herbert’s agenda is to bring down the current administration. All of you who is supporting him should ask those black persons who knows him personally about what he represents. Imagine a man who is advocating the reduction in the size of the public sector is given support on this thread. What has he ever done to improve the lives of black people in this country? Do you really think he has your interest? This is a sad day in Barbados.

    • hcalndre January 3, 2018 at 8:53 pm

      Very sad for CCC., Saga Boy and archy perch, can you 3 say why the DLP should be re-elected? I`m sure the DEM fellas have plenty of cash too in the banks where ever and they are black.

  26. petra January 3, 2018 at 1:41 pm

    what hidden agenda. you all did nothing but case pain and suffering while you all reaped the fatted calf. well good riddance to you call come Jan Feb march whenever. you all gone for about 20 yrs

  27. Job January 3, 2018 at 2:18 pm

    Some people seem to think that if you are white you cannot have an opinion. Black led Govts have been running affairs in this country for over 70 years. Govts are tasked with the responsibility of enabling. Therefore , blame the Govts not the Whites who like every living organism are simply seeking to survive.

  28. hcalndre January 3, 2018 at 5:17 pm

    Its hard for a person to know that the country is heading for a fall and say nothing or tell it like it is. People like CCC knows better but his conscience is dead. The people that have now been rewarded and awarded is a sure vote for DEMS.

  29. Lorenzo January 3, 2018 at 5:35 pm

    CCC,you can talk all the racism,you like along with Saga Boy and Archie Perch,the writing on the wall for you Dems and I know it got you all catspradle.Mr Herbert is a bajan like you and if he sees incompentence like the mess on the South Coast which the PM has yet to address and Ias I have asked has the PM or Dr Estwick visited the South Coast yet?Mr Herbert is entitled to his opinion just like you moron.I hope the old lady whose light bill you have not paid in 2013 is waiting for you this time around.

    • Carson C. Cadogan January 3, 2018 at 6:19 pm


      How come his opinion does not encompass speaking to the private sector about paying the Govt. and the people of Barbados the hundreds of millions of dollars they owe the Govt???

    • Ras January 4, 2018 at 10:45 am

      Wait Lorenzaa you still living
      thee medication working then

  30. Carson C. Cadogan January 3, 2018 at 6:28 pm

    When CHARLES HERBERT wrote a letter to our Hon Prime Minister threatening social unrest in Barbados , what kind of opinion was he expressing???

    Anarchy?? Mayhem?? Revolution?? Coup???

    I have noticed recently in this same Barbados Today his girl TONI MOORE has now made a call for Rebellion in Barbados, was she echoing her master’s call???

    • MARIA Holder January 3, 2018 at 6:32 pm

      Based on the PMs response, he was hoping that they would be unrest that day. Sorry, that you all were disappointed

  31. mervin Kellman January 3, 2018 at 9:13 pm

    Carson. C. Cadogan has as much difficulty connecting with truth and reality as does Donville Inniss but alas “birds of a feather”. The truth is that Mr. Herbert is correct; the Democratic Labour Party has done NOTHING for this country for the last ten years. The reality is that all right thinking Bajans cannot wait to be rid if this Government which is without doubt the most inept in our history.This country cannot afford, far less survive another term of the Democratic Labour Party

  32. Johnathan January 4, 2018 at 7:43 am

    Carson Cadogan wunnah look after wunnah own interest by theifing from the house biggest. At least the whites does provide a meal so that wunnah black field slaves could eat yuh wunnah money cun# like u…

  33. Ras January 4, 2018 at 10:42 am

    CHARLES HERBERT is a Plantation owner looking to take us back into Slavery by way of Mia and the BLP

    Goddard’s Enterprises pays him $30,000 per month as Chairman, his only interest in the workers of this Country is to get them working any five out of seven days a week so he does not have to pay over time on his Plantation or at Goddard’s Enterprises and the whole Private Sector.

    Bajans TAKE NOTE

    The Private Sector already giving out money and want Slavery in return
    Wise Up Barbados

  34. Nathaniel Samuels January 4, 2018 at 4:41 pm

    White he is but Herbert is a Bajan through and through and like all of us can have an opinion on the affairs of Barbados. His opinion also concurs with mine and many others like me, black people so please do not worry about the messenger because there are many but worry about the message. Unfortunately this government has dragged this country down to the ground and now it is time to start the recovery but with a new leader and troops.

  35. Lorenzo January 4, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    Ras you are a J/A,always trying to detract serious issues with racist crap or sodomite talk ,the only body you fooling is yourself since anyone who is always talking about something is usually trying to hide something so the only sodomite and racist I see on here every day is you J/A so STFU moron nobody ain,t want to hear you Dem asslicker.,your feeding at the trough days are numbered put that in ya pipe and smoke it moron.

  36. Ras January 4, 2018 at 6:45 pm

    Lorenzaaa I dun know you want Homosexuality Legalized, but Mia is on record saying she not Legalizing it
    So cool yuh self, go back in de closet or go visit T&T again and enjoy yuh self

  37. Lorenzo January 4, 2018 at 9:44 pm

    Ras this is my last response to you since I do not respond to idiots .You do not know me or I you nor do I want to know you J/A.Ms motley will be the next PmM in Barbados when that happens what will you do emigrate or commit suicide J/A?poor you I know you nervous that sweet life coming to an end but as Dr Estwick told you all time longer than twine moron.I done with you J/A.

  38. Tony Waterman January 6, 2018 at 5:26 am

    Carson C. Cadogan:-It is plain and simple,

    the WHITE people want back in the party of House Negroes, the Barbados Labour Party. When they tell the Barbados Labour Party, “”JUMP””, the Barbados Labour Party will ask , “”how high?””.

    This is not rocket science!!!!

    If that is True, why is it that Mark Maloney is running around Barbados flouting the Town and Country Rules and building stuff without permissions, This is NOT a BLP Government, or is it ???

  39. Lorenzo January 7, 2018 at 8:08 am

    Don,t mind CCC he on here talking his racist bullsit to distract people from this Government poor performance.As you correctly ststed Mr Maloney and others under this Government getting work so CCC is being a hyprocrite as usual ,he should be on the South Coaorenzost cleaning the sewerage rather than speaking it.


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