Too many entitlements

Bajans too dependent on welfare system – warns Butch

If hotel magnate Gordon Butch Stewart were in charge of the Barbados economy, one thing is certain, there would be less social entitlements.

Commenting briefly today on the domestic economic situation, the Sandals chairman expressed the view that the island was  “weighing down” itself through its social welfare system.

In fact, he said while Barbadians traditionally enjoyed significant benefits under the island’s unemployment benefits scheme, this system needed to be addressed.

His comments come against the backdrop of recent warnings issued by former Prime Minister Owen Arthur and others that the era of the ‘welfare state’, in which citizens were guaranteed free social services and other entitlements “paid for by a plethora of taxes” was fast coming to an end.

In fact, while likening the Barbados economy to a speeding vehicle, Arthur cautioned late last year that it was fast approaching a dead end and therefore urgently needed to change course in order to avoid plunging into a calamitous “developmental trap”.

“I say to you that a developmental model based on protectionism, trade preferences, unique tax benefits and on economic sectors which do not make the fullest use of our human capital will lead Barbados into an economic cul-de-sac,” he told participants in the Innovate Barbados 2017 conference at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre last November.

His comments were echoed by Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development Donville Inniss who also cautioned that due to the worrying economic challenges facing the country, the hour had arrived for Barbadians to look after their own welfare and not rely solely on the state.

“When I look at the adjustments that we are going to have to make to the social services in Barbados, I keep saying that the state cannot keep providing everything to everyone as they expect it. So I tell my children that they are going to have to start to save some money for their children’s insurance, I also tell them that they are going to have to get insurance. We are going to have to inculcate in our people’s minds that they are going have to take a greater level of responsibility for their lifestyle and of course the outcome,” Inniss had said.

Today Stewart did not elaborate any further on his economic concerns, but sought to offer a measure of economic hope as promised that an estimated 1,800 new permanent jobs and an investment of US$400 million would come to Barbados with completion of the Beaches Resort by Sandals.
In an interview with Barbados TODAY at the newly-opened Sandals Barbados Royal Resort at Dover, Christ Church, Stewart added that the Beaches, which will replace the existing Almond Resort in St Peter, was expected to create about 2,000 jobs during its construction, which he said should officially get off the ground by September this year.
The hotel magnate, who has been in Barbados meeting with industry stakeholders on other possible avenues for investment, said the construction of Beaches should take about 32 months.
“We are very advanced. We know what it’s going to look like. We know what the layout and the design is. It’s a huge development. It is easily the biggest development Barbados has seen. It is 540 keys. When I say keys, some of them represent four bedrooms suites, three bedroom suites, a lot of two bedroom suites and one-bedroom suites and all of the accommodation are family suites,” the hotel tycoon told Barbados TODAY, adding that there would be many restaurants and entertainment for children.
“We have had the best cooperation for this hotel in everything. We couldn’t ask for anything better,” he stressed.
Barbados will become the only Caribbean country outside of Jamaica and Turks and Caicos to have a Beaches Resort by Sandals.

54 Responses to Too many entitlements

  1. Cornelius Drogo
    Cornelius Drogo January 13, 2018 at 12:04 am

    They are also too many concessions to hotels…. Oops…

    • Breadfruit. January 13, 2018 at 12:19 am


    • Jennifer January 13, 2018 at 7:47 am

      well said, and imagine this is a hotel magnet receiving so called concessions too. Typical wilful blinded lot. Barbados is not only weighing down itself with this people bot also with them for a couple of crummy paying plantation jobs, while them got the rock firmly on-top this people.

  2. meakai January 13, 2018 at 2:31 am

    “If hotel magnate Gordon Butch Stewart were in charge of the Barbados economy, one thing is certain, there would be less social entitlements.”

    Butch after Paradise, you ain’t had nuh right back in Barbados, but beggars can’t be choosers, so you right.

    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.
    How did we get so?

    • Jennifer January 13, 2018 at 8:05 am

      “How did we get so?

      Through copying your slave masters ways – start with Adams & Barrow. Integrating ourselves like sewing a piece of weak degenerate cloth to a simple piece of strong fabric. Trying to get goats to breast feed sheep and the like. And a lot of those welfare entitlement ideas we have came from the UK too (that place got the biggest sit down homers) you will find. This people like too much copying which can also demonstrate poor thinking skills ans self pride.

      • Jennifer January 13, 2018 at 8:36 am

        These governments have helped to keep this people down by ignoring and suppressing their talents and capabilities for another people. This so called magnet will NEVER talk on the forex leaving bim by hotels or the SLICK operational moves by hotels to keep their monies out of in Bim. And his blindness will be strictly INTENTIONAL.

    • Allistair DeFour January 14, 2018 at 8:35 am

      Emmanuel, I have been following your stories for quite a while, and I have noticed that when you are unsure of your material, you tend to start with “if so-and-so had x-position…” in order to juxtapose a potential scenario. That, frankly is not the best technique for a journalist of your standing. “If” does not set up a fact or reality, and actually sets a foundation for speculation, which, as you know, is highly frowned upon by practitioners of this profession. This is even more distasteful when you had free access to your subject/interviewee. Why not clarify all the “ifs” at that time.

      The reason I write this is that I thought I was going to read a story about a major hotelier attacking a government for its financial policies, only to realize that the man opened another hotel. Could you not have examined the issue from another angle? Sensationalism was a child of the 90s… she has grown up now. Today’s children are “fake news”. You don’t want to fall in either category… especially in a time where global economic pressures are being felt in media, marketing and advertising.

  3. Tony Webster January 13, 2018 at 5:12 am

    Rather than swallow the offerings of a man who had Sir Wes hanging out to dry for years, offering pap excuses for not honouring promises to renovate Paradise Beach hotel, I’d prefer to hold on to my fathers advice, given as I completed my 6th form grammar-school education.

    “Tony, the world does not owe you a living. You are now an adult, and responsible for your own way forward.”

    Well, Barbados, it’s time to “get real”; to look in da mirror….and to pay the Piper. And you know what…I really believe we can do it. We CAN fix Bim…if we wish to enjoy life after 6th form.

  4. Anonymous January 13, 2018 at 6:47 am

    We always wanted to appear different from the rest.

    • Allistair DeFour January 14, 2018 at 8:40 am

      In Antigua, we have thought the same way as well, but our leaders today betray us for less than 40 pieces of silver, so you should count your blessings. Butch feeds thousands here every days, and still the PM is trying to stiff him for more money, with no care to the workers. I don’t know since when a legally binding contract or agreement can be whimsically revisited because the PM woke in the wrong side of the bed… or in the wrong bed or whatever. Leaders like that make us look like we still running around in grass skirts, which is a shame when people like Butch trying to carry the whole region in his back.

  5. Sheron Inniss January 13, 2018 at 7:24 am

    Looka who talkin’, wuh loss. I still believe there is a place for these social services but for those in genuine need. All others should pull there weight.

    We need an educational system that inculcates “really standing on our own two feet” and it starts with our children. Back to basics – Agriculture first, values, etc.

  6. Freeagent January 13, 2018 at 7:26 am

    You are correct Mr. Stewart

    • Allistair DeFour January 14, 2018 at 8:41 am

      This is a misleading headline on a poorly written story.

  7. Sue Donym January 13, 2018 at 7:38 am

    How’s your spelling? Fill in the blanks
    ST____ is behind a hotel project that leaves the streets in a mess
    ST____ is behind a hotel project but leaves the mess in the streets.
    No prizes for getting it right, though… they both agree that the small fry pay so the big fish can play

  8. Andrew Simpson January 13, 2018 at 8:02 am

    Reference to the island’s unemployment benefits scheme not so apparent. It’s the people with postings that taxpayers need to be more concerned about, in my opinion.

  9. Mike Callender January 13, 2018 at 8:03 am

    And this kind of comment is coming from a man who was granted 50 years of concessions at the expense of the people of Barbados.

    • Jennifer January 13, 2018 at 8:39 am

      yep. And when you talk TRUTH you get the wicked bs’ers.

  10. Tee White January 13, 2018 at 8:35 am

    This outrageous statement from Butch Stewart is another contribution to the neo-liberal psychological pressure that the rich are trying to pile onto the Barbadian workers and ordinary people. According to this logic, the workers whose labour create all the wealth in the economy are not entitled to benefit in anyway from this wealth. Not satisfied with the share they take out of the economy via profits and interest, these billionaire capitalists are now casting a covetious eye on the wealth taken out of the economy by the state to carry out its responsibilities to society and to uphold the public good. From the point of view of Butch and the other capitalists, any money spent on meeting the social needs of ordinary citizens is a wasteful drain on government expenditure, while the government granting Sandals a 25 year tax holiday, followed by another 15 years of paying tax at 50% of the standard rate is perfectly reasonable. Butch’s statement that “Barbados is the only country in the Caribbean where people got paid for doing nothing…” is a straightforward lie, since all over the Caribbean investors receive dividends on their invesments for doing exactly nothing. The question is not one of “society not owing you anything” or of “standing on your own feet”. The fact is that the Barbadian economy is a socialised economy. Everyone including workers, capitalists and government rely for their survival on the wealth created in that economy by the labour of the workers. The question then arises as to how the competing claims of the workers, capitalists and government are resolved. Butch, like the capitalist he is, is demanding that the share going to the capitalists should be increased while that going to the workers should be decreased. This is a demand that Barbados must reject. Far from Barbados being a country which is being “weighed down” by its “social welfare system”, Bajans on the whole are deprived of some of their basic rights, such as access to decent affordable housing, good quality health care, and efficient public transport. There is no justification for any attacks on the limited welfare rights which Bajans currently enjoy. If Butch is that concerned about the state of Barbados government finance, why doesn’t he just pay his taxes in full and stop seeking more tax concession entitlements?

    • Allistair DeFour January 14, 2018 at 8:49 am

      Are you getting paid by the word to troll the forums? I’m sure very few people read that diatribe that is at best, fact-lacking. The love of money is really the root of all evil! How many black Caribbean millionaires/billionaires are there that seek to invest/gamble not in one island, but an entire region??? If you had a billion dollars, I’m sure you’d still be unable to cast off your mental chains, and would instead but a hilltop mansion, a fleet of fast cars, the yacht, and have a pool filled with champagne and catwalk models. Stupid black people mentality again. People getting work (how much of your family employed in the tourism industry) and putting meals on the table. You have a problem. Government getting back some money for an idea that’s not theirs. You have a problem. Progress and development in a hard global economic time. You have a problem. Well, friend, why don’t you set up your own hotel chain and show Butch how to do it. That should work. No problem there.

  11. straight talk January 13, 2018 at 8:43 am

    A few dollars the government give to the poor and needy in Barbados and this big neck pot guts wun from Jamaica getting millions of dollars in concessions from the same government of Barbados although the economy is not doing well. Their are a lot of rich wealthy people in Barbados and throughout the caribbean, but Barbados especially that think they must get everything to suit them and poor must stay poor get poorer and dead poor.

  12. frank January 13, 2018 at 8:44 am

    Its an issue that is relevant which is why it is so important that companies like Sandals and Beaches and others provide investment that creates the jobs they are creating. the fact is they just hired 500 people and if they can hire 2,000 more, then that’s doing something about it.

    • Bim January 13, 2018 at 5:48 pm

      You can bet your childrens’ lives that most of the money people pay overseas to stay at Butch’s resorts does NOT and WILL NOT reach Barbados. He told the same lies to the Jamaican people – once bitten twice shy, do your research, Butch does not give a flying crap about the people, all he cares about is his own wealth. As to running THIS island, ask him how he ran Air Jamaica into the ground to service his hotels in Jamaica… Butch Stewart is the reason Jamaica had to privatise / sell their national airline. Management? he may know how to make money for himself, but a country is NOT a business, and you cannot just dump people because they do not make you a fat profit.

  13. Jennifer January 13, 2018 at 8:59 am

    @ Tee White – Well said.

    This BUTCH will NEVER see things any OTHER way, he nor people just like he. Basic medicines, poor transport, poor and poorly managed health care, poor (copied) keep down education, unfair justice system, ill distributed welfare etc. Are all extensions of this people’s woes. I waiting on the other lot of this people who say Butch is correct.

  14. seagul January 13, 2018 at 9:13 am

    The fact is that we should be protesting against the plantation boutique wages and not just hide these exploits under the carpet…

  15. Sue Donym January 13, 2018 at 9:29 am

    Yes @Tee White, for many months I thought I was among very few that saw this Sandals arrangement for what it is – horribly skewed to accommodate a concern that was more than able to pay a fair share of taxes and to contribute to the country that gives it the ability to attract its client base.

    The fact is that the more Barbados gives – or fails to take from – these ungrateful beneficiaries of our ill-advised generosity, the more comfortable they feel in making outrageous demands. This situation drives us further into desperation while the obscene profits are enjoyed by the burgeoning multinationals and their fat cat shareholders. The standard of living is not significantly improved for the resort workers, local vendors or the country as a whole. There is no minimum re-investment (not even in government bonds) or profit retention.

    We are the victims of a shortsighted government as well as “investors” with a very longterm and satisfying view of their bottom line. Employment is but a necessary expense item, often almost inconsequential when compared to the massive profits, executive salaries and international image enhancement generated. Meanwhile local companies have to beg for loans for everything from startup to improvement and are made to pay heavy penalties on even slightly late tax obligations – the kind that the fortunate, concession-enjoying non-Barbadian companies never have to worry about.

  16. milli watt January 13, 2018 at 9:56 am

    you know when you in the sewer when a half-baked, can’t walk bout spanish town, keep paradise tie-up cause he wanted a private beach fuh he raw friends to come bout here and do as they like parasite agree wid ()ornville that Barbados entitled. That may be so but the likes a you two ain’t got the high ground to make the statement. what you need to do is offer ()ornville a job as a janitor cause he goin need it. As fuh you butch you need to take a walk downtown Kingston Jamaica at about 2-3 in the morning. checking to see if Jamaicans entitled to rob you among other things.

  17. Alex Alleyne January 13, 2018 at 9:57 am

    Well ,well, well. , After Government ben’-over-backwards to make sure he get all the “concessions” , he now spitting on us. Maybe he is saying “I done get my share of $$$$$$$ outta ya-all. WHO WILL BE NEXT ????????.

    • Bim January 13, 2018 at 5:51 pm

      Ask Butch how well he managed to skewer Antigua. The time came for him to start paying the staff Social Security deductions, now he owes them millions and won’t pay.

  18. seagul January 13, 2018 at 10:01 am

    Yes! It all goes towards the illusion of progress. We don’t own a damn thing as hotel boutique squatters. Entrepreneur Education…this is what matters. We are fragile. Time after time the words ring out for our leaders to promote the policies which look to – The condemnation of racism, the protection of minors, the provision of aid and the mobilization of solidarity towards all the poor and needy. Plenty a hotel worker think they are progressing but they own squat. Growing up on the coastal south I know this reality, and the pain and the fear of losing this small post still sadly exist among these people who mostly travel from afar to fill these jobs.

  19. Alex Alleyne January 13, 2018 at 10:10 am

    Oh what a “booshwah”……(bourgeoisie)

  20. Donild Trimp January 13, 2018 at 10:44 am


  21. Alex Alleyne January 13, 2018 at 10:58 am


  22. Donild Trimp January 13, 2018 at 11:04 am

    @Tee White —
    It is not pleasing to the eye when you jumble such a long post together.

    How about a space between the paragraphs next time.

    • Tee White January 13, 2018 at 6:10 pm

      @Donild Trimp I hear you and will bear it in mind for future long posts.

  23. Ossie Moore January 13, 2018 at 12:35 pm

    Anonymous says : ” We always wanted to appear different from the rest ”

    Ossie to Anonymous: “buh”bados ( Barbados ) up to this very day still believes that it is different to all of the rest.

    Alex Alleyne says : ” Well ,well, well. , After Government ben’-over-backwards to make sure he get all the “concessions” , he now spitting on us “.

    Ossie to Alex : The rest of the Caribbean ( and the TOURISTS ) have realize that of all of the Caribbean islands , buhbados is the easiest island to spit on.

    Tee White says : “If Butch is that concerned about the state of Barbados government finance, why doesn’t he just pay his taxes in full and stop seeking more tax concession entitlements? “.

    Ossie to Tee White: Butch Stewart is not stupid , how do you think he became a multimillionaire ? Now he is on his way to becoming a Billionaire . . . . . . with the help of the buhbados.

  24. San San January 13, 2018 at 1:03 pm

    I am very proud to read these comments which show that so many Barbadians are seeing through this nonsense that he is spewing… and are counteracting with great and concise points of view.
    At this stage all that I would have wanted to say was already said by the likes of Tee White and others.

    Barbados needs leadership, vision, and mandates to get this country back on track …

  25. Ossie Moore January 13, 2018 at 1:05 pm

    Jennifer says : STRAIGHT TALK.

    Ossie : Very interesting Lady J ! ! ! at 8:00 mins into the conversation is where it really gets very interesting. I know that I’m going of on a tangent here but I really encourage commenters
    listen to click on the above u tube link that was posted by Jennifer to listen to what is being said.

    • Mark Rosmar January 15, 2018 at 3:34 pm

      or save yourself some time and listen to me: “Educate yourself, save, get married to a woman with whom you are compatible and start a business if you are having an acute challenge with any of the elements – expand your horizons.”

  26. Reginald Eckstein January 13, 2018 at 1:12 pm

    Hello, can anybody here tell me what the wages are like in Barbados if you work at one of thee hotels or any hotel ? Im trying to find out if these wages are a living wage.


  27. Alex Alleyne January 13, 2018 at 1:13 pm

    OK Bajans , make sure that all the “PIG-FOOD-BUCKETS” going out SANDALS doors are LOADED with GOODIES……..every time.
    Make BUTCH feel it in his pocket and show him that we do WORK.

    • Jennifer January 13, 2018 at 2:13 pm

      That will never happen Alex too many rats around.

  28. Dick Tracy January 13, 2018 at 1:17 pm

    In the spirit of transparency Butch, tell us what concessions in dollars, etc Sandals was granted by the government. Did you pass any of it on to your employees.

  29. wolsleyGrannum January 13, 2018 at 1:29 pm

    Barbadians the gravy train should have stopped years ago. You all expect the government to take care of you from the cradle to the grave. stewart is right. The mendicant mentality mu come to an end soon. However wins the government must address this. Too much freeness is counterproductive to economic prosperity.

  30. F.A.Rudder January 13, 2018 at 2:44 pm

    Lets make it the best in returns to you Mr Stewart ! Our interests now as Barbadians are; to get an Australian, Korean and New Zealand market going. In 2018 with 787’s operating more frequently out of the South Pacific and more fuel efficient aircraft, airlines and pilots are looking for newer and less conjestant destinations. Let’s wish that I.C.A.O free up some new routes and regs.

  31. Belfast January 13, 2018 at 3:19 pm

    Is the Barbados Mauby now laced with Super Glue? Why are we keeping our mouths closed, leaving it to strangers to our shores to plead our cases for us? Isn’t it bad enough that a large number of bosses both in the public and private sectors “have never heard of cuckoo dish”?

  32. Alex Alleyne January 13, 2018 at 4:45 pm


  33. Greg Jackson January 13, 2018 at 4:53 pm

    Mike…in this day & age most most communities…cities…etc, offer builders concessions/ tax breaks, etc. It’s the cost of doing/attracting new business adventures…

  34. Ossie Moore January 13, 2018 at 5:01 pm

    Belfast says : ” Is the Barbados Mauby now laced with Super Glue? Why are we keeping our mouths closed, leaving it to strangers to our shores to plead our cases for us ? ”

    Ossie to Belfast : Because the locals are only interested in hearing that ;

    (1) The world’s best street ” wukup ” Crop over is going to be better this year.

    (2) 5 cruise boats will be in harbor this week.

    (3) This season will be a ‘bumper ‘ tourist season with more visitor arrivals . . . . which puts a smile on Butch’s face also. TO

    • Jennifer January 13, 2018 at 5:14 pm

      (4) when a people believe a bunny rabbit lays eggs.

      (5) A big red man with a white beared will come out of the sky and save them when he race enslaved them.

      You know the brain washing is great.

  35. Bim January 13, 2018 at 5:41 pm

    And thank God he is NOT running Barbados. This from a man who travels only on his own private jet and lives free of all encumbrances and expenses in his own luxury all-inclusive beach hotels. Too many entitlements, Butch? You need to come back down to earth, fat old man, you have been living to high on the hog for too long to know how REAL poor people live. Just like all the politicians around the world, you are 100% disconnected from reality. Better you keep your flabby mouth shut from now on.

    • Allistair DeFour January 14, 2018 at 8:52 am

      You are sooooo right. You show Butch how he should manage a billion-dollar empire. Show him how to keep people and governments happy. Show him how efficient LIAT and CAL. You show him CEO-yardman living. I support you!!!

      PS: What’s your company’s name again?

  36. Hebrew Israelite January 14, 2018 at 10:04 am

    The fact that mr.stewart can make these bold idiotic statements and feel like it’s based on his vast knowledge of being a great man is throughly the joke of the understanding of how these so called “entitlements “are obtained thru taxes I guess it’s manna falling from the sky…as for donville inniss you know the mantra de higher the monkey climb….

  37. Mark Rosmar January 15, 2018 at 2:56 pm

    I didn’t know that Barbados paid long term unemployment benefits! I would think that these benefits would either be discouraged in the first instance or based on past contribution if conditions were met. In the past developed countries used to pay these from returns on investment but as returns are now so low these ‘benefits’ are now generally paid from the tax revenues (robbing Peter to pay Paul). In a society such as Barbados this, coupled with consumption and draw-downs on foreign-exchange reserves, is a recipe for disaster. They should be phased out.


Leave a Reply

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