The recent announcement to postpone the payment of salaries to civil servants on the eve of Christmas has to be viewed as insensitive by the government. Bear in mind there is precedent for paying salaries early at Christmas time. There is the recession which has impacted Barbados and by paying salaries early could have served to mitigate current hardship as well as pump the moral in the civil service. The decision to postpone the payment of salaries seems to feed the view the government is managing a ‘problem’. Even before the decision to delay salaries BU sources had confirmed that the Inland Revenue has been holding refunds and several government agencies have had overdue payables to the frustration of the civil servants responsible.
In recent months several individuals and companies have been complaining the Nation newspaper is being delivered late or in some case not at all. A BU source has confirmed the Nation newspaper printing press has been underperforming and in need of serious repair or replacement. We have a case above where the government may not be levelling with the people; so too the Nation Publishing company. Let us not forget the sufferation of the callers to VOB talk shows who have had to tolerate technical difficulties for over two years now. How do we measure best again? It seems we now live in times where the public aka consumer is being treated like jobby. We pay for a service and now routinely get mediocrity in return.
Tourism arrivals to Barbados and many of the Caribbean islands has been trending downwards as a result of the global recession. According to Barbados tourism officials, tourist arrivals for 2009 is expected to decline just under 10%. We should ignore the political howling on this matter and accept that Barbados is a high-priced destination located farthest from a key market of North America relative to our Caribbean neighbours. A fall-off of 10% year over year although not what we want we should take it. The caveat of course is the average spend should not fall-off significantly.
Barbadians are be glad to read the West Jet Summer Schedule. Beginning May 3, 2010 West Jet will be flying 5 times weekly at a price of CAD179.00 per seat.
The more we live on the planet the more startling the hypocrisy which continues to manifest itself. A story making the rounds in the last week suggests billions of dollars in drug money is responsible for propping up the financial system around during the current global financial crisis. The revelation was made by no less a credible source as the Head of the Drugs and Crime Office at the United Nations Antonio Maria Costa. While the OECD and regulators based in Luxemburg overseeing the Basel Accord continue to target our insignificant jurisdictions with their regulations demonstrating indignation; the developed world (G7) continue to dance to a different beat.
It is the holiday season, eat, drink and be merry but act responsibly in the process.