John Boyce, Minister of Health
It has come as no surprise to many tthe Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) continues to be affected by shortages of critical medical supplies. Despite assurances from Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners (BAMP) officials that care to the critically ill will not be compromised by the current state, BU remains stoutly sceptical and pray to the gods members of the BU household do not become afflicted by any serious malady in the near future. To listen to Minister John Boyce condescendingly advising Barbadians not to panic in the Lower House has done nothing to dissuade our view.
Who in their right mind believed that a 35 million dollar cut to the health budget 2013 would not have adversely affected healthcare delivery in Barbados? Explaining the cuts last year Minister John Boyce also gave an assurance , “ … that cost reduction measures at QEH were being taken in consultation with the Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners, the Medical Staff Committee, and the Barbados Registered Nurses Association” – see Boyce lists QEH cuts. BU is willing to be corrected but it seems the government through its agent Minister Boyce picked a number, in this case it was $35 million, with the unrealistic expectation to be able to find budget heads to cut to achieve the target. Bear in mind the CEO Dexter James was quoted in the media in 2012 confirming that the QEH required $200 million to finance the current hospital model and had received a budget of $154 million, a shortfall of 46 million.
Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart
At 3.53 of the video Prime Minister Freundel Stuart hints at the next BIG change which is being considered by government. He shared with the public that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has submitted a review our tax system in response to a request from government. In short there is a view government should tax Barbadians and use the revenue to support government programs. The idea of giving tax benefits through allowances and exemptions to Barbadians maybe on its last legs.
What the muni tax has shown us is that Barbadians are a reactive people. The tax was promised several months ago and as the Prime Minister rightly stated in the video, we have waited until the invoice landed in the mailbox to express concern. It is the same reaction to Massy signs which have dotted the Bajan landscape in recent days. It is the same Bajans who sold a significant chunk of our shares to EMERA and BNB and to Republic Bank and wondered about the decision long after the ink dried.
Submitted by William Skinner
Bizzy Williams, “leader of the entrenched white corporate class, slapped him down and reminded all and sundry who pays the bills and calls the tunes“
Our erudite Prime Minister, Mr. Freundel Stuart spoke the truth, when he said that there are powerbrokers that want to control black politicians but want no contact with the masses. As the Prime Minister said: “They don’t want to dirty their hands.” In other words, they avoid politics but want to be powerbrokers within the system. He also asserted that he is proud to be of the political class and that this class knows how to bury their differences when it is necessary.
Former Prime Minster, Erskine Sandiford, once reminded a group of corporate heavy boys that he was “not elected in a board room”; Dr. Don Blackman reminded us that there were white shadows, whose main focus was to influence and control the black political management class and another former Prime Minister, Mr. Owen Arthur, called Mr. Harold Hoyte, a black power player, a “negrocrat”. When we examine these comments, we realize that Mr. Stuart is not that far off target.
On the heels of Stuart’s speech, we have the Mr. Ralph “Bizzy” Williams, informing us that wealthy business persons pump money into the elections campaigns of both the Barbados Labour Party and the Democratic Labour Party. The revealed strategy, according to Williams is to be equally generous to both parties. He boldly proclaimed that he supports the PIG, which is the Party in Government. We note the acronym P.I.G- those who feed at the public trough.
Adrian Loveridge – Hotelier
In tourism, just like many other businesses we talk frequently about the bottom line but do we really pay enough attention to the subject. For instance, how many hotels have sat down and calculated what difference a ten per cent increase in average annual occupancy and a net rise of US$10 or US$20 per occupied room night would make to their turnover and viability.
To use a simple example of a lower end 100 room hotel with a normal nightly rate of US$100 and currently achieving an annual occupancy level of 50 per cent which is pretty typical of many of our properties. In accommodation revenue alone that would generate US$1.825 million a year. Take that occupancy level to 60 per cent at an average of US$110 per room and immediately turnover climbs to US$2.409 million. That’s an income differential of US$584,000. Or US$830,000 if the price rise is US$20 per room per night. Of course, it is not quite that straightforward. There would be higher operational costs, but the net result is a greater overall level of profit and the additional margins can be used to achieve the initial objective, allowing any residue to be employed in product upgrade.
To a certain degree many of our larger hotels are dependent on tour operators to fill at least a critical mass of their overall room stock, but I am convinced through creative marketing this percentage can be reduced to ensure a greater return on investment. As we enter week six since the re-launch of the re-DISCOVER restaurant initiative I would like to use this column to publicly thank the Barbados Tourism Authority for their whole-hearted support. It has been a refreshing revelation and a model example of how the private and public sector can work successfully together to drive additional business.
Statement Issued by the Guyana Trades Union Congress
Acting Foreign Affairs Minister Ms. Pryia Manickchand attacks USA Ambassador Brent Hardt
The Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) having followed the differences between the Government of Guyana through acting Foreign Affairs Minister, Ms. Pryia Manickchand and the USA through Ambassador Brent Hardt sees this as another mark in the degenerating quality of governance the society has been witnessing from the PPP. The ambassador has dealt with the issue and the Government of Guyana has made its position known. The GTUC is encouraged by those who sought to distance themselves from the Government’s conduct.
Going forward the People of Guyana are urged to resist the temptation to view the USA/Guyana experience as a one-shot incident requiring outrage only to revert into apathy on holding the government accountable to act in the manner that holds proud the values, aspirations and institutions of this beautiful country and its people. It is said a people get the government they deserve. Less this society forget the relationship with the PPP and USA has over the years been frosty, influenced by the PPP’s desire for political power and not necessarily the interest of the people and nation state. The PPP still holds in acrimony the USA for what they think is the denial of their ‘right’ to govern for years, even as they sought the USA intervention to influence a change in the country’s electoral policy that saw their return to the seat of government.
The Sunday, July 6, 2014 Voice of Barbados (VoB) talk show will host The Hon. Christopher Sinckler, M.P. Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs and Commissioner of the Barbados Revenue Authority, Margaret Sivers to address public concern about the Municipal Solid Waste Tax and related issues – Click image to follow the program from 11AM.
Bolt Solutions Inc, CAIPO registry # 37941, Category = company, date registered 2014-02-19 – see CAIPO Director document
Just like 3S and others we observe companies being registered on the face of it to be eligible to tender and receive government contracts. In the case of the above project being managed by the Ministry of the Environment (Denis Lowe’s ministry) we question who is BOLT Solutions Inc. It is the right of Barbadians to ask questions but more importantly the government promised to be transparent. We want to know.