Submitted by Douglas
Ministers Donville Inniss and Chris Sinckler
It is never easy to take tough decision which would affect the livelihood of those affected. From the start of the economic recession, the Democratic Labour Party’s administration had always said it would seek to maintain the social safety net and the sending home of persons from the public service would be a last resort so that government could maintain the employment levels in the country as long as possible.
For more than six years, the Democratic Labour Party administration maintained that promise while it introduced policies to restructure the economy of Barbados and position it on a sustainable growth path. This restructuring process which was long overdue is now being undertaken in the midst of the most turbulent, global economic recession which the world has seen in over a hundred years. Naturally, the journey has not been smooth sailing.
From the start of the economic recession our financial experts reminded us of the importance of protecting our international reserves. We were able to do this with reserves consistently above 16 week of imports from 2008 to June 2013. This was a major economic victory in the face of an unsettled global economic climate. This provided the cushion for government to continue its role in maintaining employment levels and the social safety net while putting policies in place to sure up revenue earning and controlling government’s expenditure in areas of goods and services, transfers and subsidies.
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Submitted by Pachamama
We recall well, between sleep and wake, nightmares of the slaughter of our teams, by the great Australians of the 60’s and 70’s. But this New Zealand team of 2013 is the opposite of the Australians, and yet, the expectation of capitulation remains our constant companion, in this battlefield of dreams, especially at this time of the year.
Last test match the West Indies Cricket Team succumbed for the umpteenth time, over the last two decades, to a less than viable opposition. This cultural rot will only stop when we properly locate its causation firmly in the laps of the administration of the West Indies Cricket Board (of Control) (WICB) and take concerted actions to excise the underlying cancer of this prolonged and institutionalized failure.
Since the coup that ended the ‘Age of Dominance’ the cricket establishment in the Caribbean has not produced one single player worthy of that epoch. What we have had is the constant recycling of average pretenders totally removed from the mind set of Worrell, Lloyd and Richards. The warrior mentality has been stripped from them, by executive design. The coup plotters of 1991 and their descendants continue to destroy West Indies cricket at all levels. So the largesse of team management could be directed to a Richie Richardson, the instrument of the plot which relocated effective power from players to administration.
Submitted Neil Watchman
Stephen Broome, Chairman of BCC
There is growing concern among staff at the Barbados Community College where the Board or more accurately, the Chairman, seems to have developed a tight stranglehold on the institution. Staff cannot recall there ever being such a high level of politicization at the institution until the advent of Mr. Stephen Broome who served first as Deputy Chairman and is now in his second term as Chairman.
Some, perhaps out of fear, believe that the Chairman’s mission is to destabilize the institution as a precursor to the Government’s phasing it out. They point to the recent spate of sixth forms set up by the MOE headed by Ronald Jones in support of this supposition. This, coupled with the imposition of higher fees on UWI students from 2014 makes for a very confusing educational policy. One could be excused for thinking that the Government would have put more resources into the BCC but then again, if it didn’t do that when things were well, one cannot expect them to do it in these dire times. So what? Such confusion and contradictions seem symptomatic of the Freundel Stuart administration, anyhow.
Submitted by Anthony Davis
Denis Lowe (1) Peter Allard (r)
Landowners who ignore Government’s warnings to debush their vacant lots will be named, shamed, and even forced to pay a fine if they want to ever develop or sell that property. “Tired of people not responding to appeals to clear their land, Minister of the Environment and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe, said that his ministry was ready to take action. He said he had received a report about 25 undeveloped lots in the Southern Heights, Christ Church, community – just one example of several cases of delinquency all across the island – Source: Page 3 of “Barbados Today”, dated 28 November, 2013
I would suggest that the Ministry of the Environment and Drainage remove the log in its own eye before looking at the mope in in the eyes of private landowners. A prime example of Government’s delinquency is the building from which the BTA has moved. It is overrun with grass, and the trees are hanging over the sidewalk. That is very unsightly, especially that that area is a very high-traffic one.
Will the Minister of Housing be “named and shamed and be forced to pay a fine” if he does not “move with haste to clean up that ministry’s lots”?
The mahogany Coconut Group extends sincere holiday and New Year greetings to David and the BU family. We are also extending greetings to all those who contribute and are keeping democracy alive throughout the Caribbean. The MCG is not, as we have said on many occasions, interested in “I told you so…” pontifications.
However, we are extremely proud that we have been in the forefront of several issues : violence against women, children and the elderly; exposing the incestuous and visionless political parties in the region; finally getting others to recognize that there can be no sustainable development without a reformed approach to education; defending the right to freedom of expression, by standing as one with BU and other blogs; exposing the complicit role that major corporations such as Neal and Massy (Barbados Shipping and Trading) have played in wrecking regional economies and we have continued to maintain that the Caribbean is one Nation .
Another year comes to a close, with the same players offering the same solutions, and expecting different results. The simple truth is that those who cut their teeth on old and irrelevant economic teachings, and who have not contributed anything to modern economic models and governance, are essentially ill equipped to save the region from the present malaise. We may seem harsh on them but they have not demonstrated any capacity to get our regional economies moving in positive directions.
George C. Brathwaite
By personal choice, I have not written recently on the social, political, or economic factors heavily impacting on Bajans, but I have observed the callous and perhaps reckless approach to governance by the DLP. The DLP regime has targeted the poor, the middle class, and there has been concerted effort by Cabinet to dismantle the gains achieved under the BLP. I am concerned, and particularly over the assault on Barbadian workers and their livelihoods. Nonetheless, the latest pronouncements and ensuing policies that have emerged from the DLP’s political machinery and from within central cogs of the Barbados Cabinet demand unfettered commentary. This I owe it to my fellow men and women regardless of their political persuasion.
I begin by stating my ‘critical’ bemusement at the ridiculous phrasing employed by the Minister of Finance, Christopher Sinckler. In his Ministerial Statement delivered to the Parliament of Barbados on Friday, December 13th, 2003, Sinckler said to the Lower House that he was “mindful” that the beleaguered DLP Cabinet had “completed the first three months of implementation” of the ‘restructuring programme’ which he had announced previously in the contentious budget delivered on August 13th, 2013. Sinckler, strikingly claimed that he was “happy to lay, along with this [Ministerial] statement, a report in matrix form, outlining the progress we [the DLP Cabinet and administration] have made to date on the implementation of the measures” announced in the August budget.
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Adrian Loveridge – Hotelier
Just over a week ago, my wife and I experienced a staycation at Sandals Casuarina. An enormous amount of discussion has taken place concerning the extraordinary concessions granted to the Sandals companies and as I was not personally familiar with the product thought it was important that I tasted what is often referred to as the Sandals ‘WOW’ factor first hand.
Despite the website [Sandals] at the time showing that the hotel was fully booked until the middle of March 2014, I managed to reserve a room online for the dates of my choice and pay in full at published rates by credit card. Bookings are processed by yet another company, Unique Vacations Inc., based in Florida and an email confirmation was sent. Noticeably absent were any taxes or corporate information, including office address or contact details.
Having a few queries prior to our stay I emailed Adam Stewart, the CEO of Sandals Resorts International (SRI) and within minutes he responded personally apologising that because he was currently travelling, he had passed my concerns over to the General Manager (GM) of the hotel. Still within one hour, Josef Zellner, the new GM not only answered my initial questions but went on to monitor our reservation and ensure a seamless check-in.