Barbados PM – No Increase In Taxes – Yet

Government will not be increasing taxes at this time.

This from Prime Minister David Thompson, as he addressed his first quarterly press conference with members of the media at Ilaro Court, last evening. The point was made that it would not be fair to ask Barbadians to bear any more in this current economic climate. The PM stated that, “In the current economic environment, it is my view that it would not be desirable to increase taxes. What we are trying to do is control expenditure and we have carefully gone through the Estimates in every Ministry.”

He continued, noting that “…the outturn last year was not as rosy as we expected, so even though we expected some growth in the revenues, that has not materialised … from reduced tourism spending and not earning what we should from international business. It is from those taxes that we provide services for Barbadians as well as pay wages and salaries for public sector workers, so what we are looking to do is hold the line, except for the payment of increments … and maintain the minimum programming that Government makes a contribution to growth in the economy and to protecting the most vulnerable in our society”.

However, the Prime Minister made no apologies for what he termed were necessary “generational” investments in the development of the country’s children. Referring to the free bus fares for schoolchildren and summer camps, it was stated that the programmes had the desired impacts.

“Barbados is the only country in the Caribbean that provides free education for its citizens at all levels …free healthcare. All of a sudden programmes targeting our children were highlighted as contributing to the major financial challenges that we have. We have had a massive expansion in social services by having free bus fares for schoolchildren, by having summer camps,” he said.

“… We provided $11 million for the transport of schoolchildren in 2008-2009 and we spent $6 million. We provided $11 million in 2009-2010, so far we have spent $3.2 million. If that would break the Treasury, it means that we are in a worse position than any economic forecast would project on trying to extract schoolchildren from environments that are not wholesome to them,” he stated.

It was also stated that Government had a duty to protect the society at all costs and its children. “There is a strange phenomenon developing where people seem to forget that Barbados is a society. It is not just an economy. People do not just come to Barbados because of tax concessions or competitiveness. They come because of our way of life and we have to do everything as a Government to protect those values that have been so important to us can continue.



Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: