Over the last twenty five years, I believe our small company has been a model corporate citizen on Barbados. We have no outstanding debt to either Government or the private sector, yet next week we will be forced to go cap-in-hand and beg our bankers for an overdraft facility.
Why, you may ask?
Simply to be able to cover our expenses, while we await several VAT refunds totalling over $32,000, which have been overdue for as long as two and a half years. We are told that all the claims have been approved, but are ‘warned’ not to call the VAT office, to chase when payment will be paid. Of course, we have tried to approach Government discreetly by writing to two Ministers with responsibility for either VAT or small businesses, but weeks later, neither have bothered to respond.
Recently under a banner headline in one of the media outlets entitled ‘VAT Division not taking full blame’ VAT division Auditor, Ryan Wiltshire, attempted to spread the blame onto another Government department, stating ‘it was up to the Treasury’.
Frankly, we are not interested, as already it is a burden to prop up what is a clearly unsustainable huge civil service that has been completely isolated from the reality of operating in the real world of commerce. And it is almost adding insult to injury when you see Government workers driving around in taxpayer funded luxury SUV vehicles.
Rarely a week goes by without hearing one Minister of another spout the importance of supporting small businesses, which are deemed globally as the best vehicles for economic recovery and employment generation. Sadly, this appears only to be more political rhetoric and it is probably best to cease and desist at this time, as few out there believe you anymore.