Closer scrutiny

Government looking to better regulate charities

Charities in Barbados could soon come under greater scrutiny as Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development Donville Inniss suggested that many of them were not being properly administered.

Speaking in Parliament yesterday during debate on the Land Tax Amendment Act, which makes provision for exemptions to be granted to some sporting organizations, charities, and places of worship, Inniss said it was perhaps time for a charities commission to oversee the regulation of the sector.

“My ministry has commenced a look at the Charities Act, and I believe that Barbados, leaping into the 21st century, must revisit such. Our Charities Act, as far as I am concerned, has served its purpose to date, but we need to have a relook at it. Part of it is that we must march towards having a charities commission in Barbados,” Inniss told the House of Assembly.

“Mr Speaker, as you look around Barbados today we have all sorts of civil organizations being created for all kinds of purposes – to help the homeless, to help the vagrants, to help the animals, to help the ladies, to help the gentlemen, to help those who are not sure of what they are – all sorts of organizations are being created in Barbados to assist,” he said, adding that “the truth is that majority of them do mean well, but we have, on the other hand, in the enthusiasm to grow out these variety of organizations, you find that they are grasping at the same resource base for financial and other support”.

He also pointed out that “not all [charities were] well administered, adding that “we must be careful because when such goes unattended, you run the risk of creating damage, irreparable damage in some instances, to the civil organization grouping”.

While stressing the need for greater regulation, Inniss said his ministry would be seeking to address any weaknesses “without doing any injustice to those who mean well in Barbados”.

“I really hope that as we revisit the Charities Act, and perhaps move towards a charities commission, you have a structure that would eliminate a lot of those challenges that are currently being administered, where one sometimes has to write to Government departments and wait for months to get a response, where there is perhaps inconsistency in terms of applications, where there is ambiguity sometimes in terms of policy perspectives, where there are these challenges that create a lot of confusion and then frustration reigns among those who are well intended in assisting us in Barbados in addressing the myriad of challenges that we may face,” he said.

3 Responses to Closer scrutiny

  1. Dick Tracy January 18, 2018 at 12:58 am

    This government will do anything to get it’s hand in your pocket! They want VAT, and the free donation to QEH. It seems Sinckler pulls all the strings, and lines his pockets, since theirs no one with any backbone to stop him. Well an upcoming vote against should do the trick for these pathetic bunch of losers……

    “Broadway to Barbados
    12 hrs ·

    The Broadway to Barbados Charitable Trust (BBCT) regrets to advise that it has found it necessary to suspend the holding of the Broadway to Barbados Show for 2018.

    For the past five (5) years the Broadway Show, which has served as the centerpiece of our fundraising activities in support of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), has been held annually at the Frank Collymore Hall.

    In 2016, we received a VAT exemption in writing for 2017 from the Barbados Revenue Authority (BRA) upon the understanding that all contributions by BBCT would go to the QEH. A similar request to BRA for the 2018 Show was made but to date, no written reply has been received. In addition, while attempting to reserve dates at the Frank Collymore Hall for the 2018 Broadway Show, we were informed that they could not reserve any dates unless the VAT request was approved in writing, by the Ministry of Finance. To date such confirmation has not been received.

    Regrettably, BBCT is therefore unable at this late stage to arrange for a 2018 Broadway Show even if the VAT issue is now resolved. The producer of the Broadway Show, Mr. Neil Berg, has however committed to the 2019 Show with an exciting new production and we eagerly anticipate a
    firm resolution to the outstanding impediment.

    During 2018, we expect to continue with further commitments for the QEH, in association with Partners, and develop programs in support of our “Supply Pack Program” which provides critical care supplies for the benefit of caregivers and patients. Additionally, we shall seek to identify new
    projects which will supplement our efforts to improve critical care at the QEH. As of this date, BBCT has raised $2,859,649 and made commitments to the QEH of $2,016,141 in relation to new equipment and maintenance support, training programs and supplies in association with its Partners and Supporters.


    Trustees of the
    Broadway to Barbados Charitable Trust”

  2. Tony Webster January 18, 2018 at 6:45 am

    The demonstrated sloth, callous attitude of many government departments, ministers and ministries, gorilliphants, opportunists, and other plasmatic adventures, merit entries in the Guinness Book of Records. Yes, under the “shame” category.

    Next: tax churches; sex; breathing in; and breathing out. Shutes, I almost forgot: tax dying also. Have a nice day , now.

  3. ks January 18, 2018 at 8:49 am

    …. listen to the words of “Taxman” by the Beatles…. from the 60’s but fits right in with wishes of Sinckler & Inniss!


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