Cash Flow Problems In Government, Printing Problems At The Nation Newspaper, West Jet Coming And Drug Money Bailout Of Banks

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.


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40 Comments on “Cash Flow Problems In Government, Printing Problems At The Nation Newspaper, West Jet Coming And Drug Money Bailout Of Banks”

  1. David December 18, 2009 at 7:59 PM #

    Thanks to Looking Glass for some of the leads in this blog.


  2. sad very sad December 18, 2009 at 8:42 PM #

    thats sad very sad !


  3. Pat December 18, 2009 at 8:49 PM #

    hmmm. Am I to understand that the government has cash flow problems, or maybe that the Treasury is empty. This is not good.

    With regard to the Nation, what is their problem, not making enough ad income to fix the machinery? They made a mistake by sending home journalists rather than fixing the harware.

    With WestJet fares so low, the nationals will be flocking home soon, so things will hopefully pick up. The tourism situation may be because Barbados caters to the high end visitor. It is time they change their strategies, or have two or three to target the middle class and blue collar. workers as well.


  4. The Scout December 19, 2009 at 9:09 AM #

    The dates for monthly salary payments were made at the start of the year, am I to understand that it took a whole dept almost a whole year to see the so-called problem? Something fishy!!!!!!!
    What about those who expected to receive their tax returns for Christmas? That Dept has also fouled up? or is it Gov’t andthe Dept it the “fallguy”? It will be better if gov’t would come out and tell the public what difficulties they are facing,instead of covering up. Everyone knows these are hard times come out and level with the people, eat a little humble pie for Christmas.


  5. Johnny Postle December 19, 2009 at 9:28 AM #

    Help me to understand this piece of crap. You telling me, giving CLICO a 10 million bail out and writing off the turf clubs debt of 19 million is not a problem but now you asking civil servants to hold strain a little longer because you have to evaluate the effect paying early could have on the government treasury. How could you give CLICO 10 million (regardless of the reasons it ain’t anyones fault that they did crap) but cannot find money to give citizens their income tax return money. How could you write off 19 million when you know the country needs it.

    Mr. Prime Minister, I Johnny Postle, of a long line of Postles, voted for change. I felt that you would be more transparent than your other counterpart who now relishing in riches. But after months of you doing nothing to hold those accountable for actions you deemed corruptive, I am now losing faith in you.

    You and your political friends do not have to worry about money this christmas; your salaries, endorsements and other sources of income have you covered for this Christmas and many more Christmases to come. The civil servants, the ones who ain’t getting there’s like some of you, are not so fortunate. You should have paid the people. This is down right disgusting. It just a matter of time before the pressure reaches boiling to explosion.

    Bajans are getting more fustrated and more angry with what they are seeing, especially those who are living lavishly from monies earns through illegimate means.


  6. David December 19, 2009 at 12:07 PM #

    @WIV et al

    You wish to offer no comment?


  7. Donald Duck, Esq December 19, 2009 at 12:17 PM #

    WIV is it true you not paying the civil servants before Xmas? is this the first time this has happened?


  8. David December 19, 2009 at 12:19 PM #


    We understand the salaries will be paid on Monday.


  9. Crossroads December 19, 2009 at 5:36 PM #

    They are stupid pack of heartless bastards to delay peoples salaries at xmas time, for this they will pay. BLP coming back at ya, not that they are any different. Outta de frying pan and into de fire!!


  10. Hopi December 19, 2009 at 6:33 PM #

    Did David Thompson and all the other MPs get a postponement in their salaries as well?


  11. Checkit-Out December 19, 2009 at 6:44 PM #

    Could someone explain what is the source of the claim that Government Salaries for December will be delayed this year. I’ve been trying to find the info on the net but with no success so far?

    Also, I take it that there has been no December advance in salary for Christmas this year even as part of a stimulus package? This practice was an almost standard year end stimulus to businesses by Governments in the past even though it left many Government workers having a hard time paying it back over the first three months of the year. I don’t recall if it was a BLP or DLP innovation but the effect was primarily to support christmas shopping.


  12. Mobert December 19, 2009 at 7:41 PM #

    De government does got issues. But, when wunna spen nuffty money pun de wurl cup,den de big road, soon we goin gotta run bicycles pun de highway, as nubody gun have money tuh run cars.

    As fuh de Nation, wunna fuhget dat de gotta sen money to T&T fuh dividends now, one of the issues in being owned by a foreign comp’ny.


  13. Mobert December 19, 2009 at 7:43 PM #

    When a foreign comp’ny buys a local one, de ting dey looking fuh is returns.

    So, profits going get re-patriate tuh T&T like all de foreign comp’nies.

    Stop selling wunna com’nies and land tuh foreigners.

    Own way yuh won’ hear, yuh gun feel!


  14. Pat December 19, 2009 at 8:17 PM #

    @ Mobert

    They will live and learn.


  15. Bush Tea December 19, 2009 at 10:09 PM #

    The trouble ain’t even start yet…. Complaining about being paid a few days later in December will look like a childish, silly lament in a few months time.

    Bush Tea cannot understand how wanna cannot see what is coming…

    A Mobert says, we have been sowing these seeds ever since Sandie left office… wanna didn’t expect fruit?


  16. m December 20, 2009 at 10:46 AM #

    There has been no delay in the payment of Civil Servants, Salaries are already lodge in the bank accounts of those persons who are paid via salary lodgements. my concern is my income tax return


  17. David December 20, 2009 at 11:10 AM #

    To pay on Monday they would have to be lodged now, your statement is therefore correct in that context.


  18. Ossie Moore December 20, 2009 at 3:21 PM #

    Wanna voted for change now all you getting “short change” but on a serious note if you cannot pay the civil servants on Friday at 4.30 pm when all government transactions cease to function can you pay me on Monday morning at 8.00 am? now I am hearing Tuesday, if the civil servants do get pay on Monday it meant they had the funds all along and that would be tantamount a wicked act! bajans are a very unforgiving people and they will remember that at the next poll carry on smartly.


  19. Ossie Moore December 20, 2009 at 3:38 PM #

    Recently the board of a Government agency accepted the “resignation” of its acting C.E.O who happens to be the sister of a current minister after the “arrangement” to work one year in the position, by the next month her file went to the treasury for her to received her gratuity and that is not “2 cents,!!” and subsequently she received it! this is one of the reasons why the civil servants have to wait for their salaries! word is that she is forcing her way into the transport board as C.E.O…and this woman is as dumb as a doornail……


  20. Sargeant December 20, 2009 at 3:55 PM #

    Could someone who works either in the Civil Service or at one of the Financial Institutions confirm once and for all what date is the official “pay day” for Gov’t salaried employees during the month of December? It used to be the practice of the Gov’t to inform the Financial Institutions of the official “pay dates’ so that they would have enough cash on hand to pay all those folks who were withdrawing funds. The notification also meant that the Banks could grab loan payments from all who were delinquent before the account holder could withdraw all the funds.

    Let’s put all the conjecture and rumour to rest.


  21. Ossie Moore December 20, 2009 at 3:56 PM #

    Ossie @ m// and David,
    yes the civil servants received their salary slips from the treasury, but that do not meant the money is in the various accounts at the banks that delay was to give The prime minister elbow room in order to borrow the money from elsewhere… it will be interesting to see what happens Monday ….wait and see …. can u believe they issued a tax return cheque for .0 21 cents and had the balls to cross it?


  22. David December 20, 2009 at 4:10 PM #

    There is no conjecture Sargeant. BU has stretched the reason government has not paid salaries as being a cashflow problem but the official reason as we understand it is the law prevents the Accountant General from paying salaries BEFORE the 18th of the month. Given the hardship caused by the recessionary times it seems a simple matter for the government amend the law if it was sensitive to the plight of the people.

    See a comment posted by Alex Fergusson (DLP Surrogate) a few days ago.

    Since the PM said that there is no cash-flow problem, what is the reason why salaries are not being paid – as they have been for the past 49 years?

    It cannot be an interpretation of the law because the Insurance Act is very clear on the issue of the Statutory Fund.

    That Act is not being enforced and the question must therefore be asked – why the selective application of interpretation of the law as it relates to Section 24 (2) (a) of the Financial Administration and Audit Act, (L.R.O. 2002) which provides:

    24. (2) “Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary in any enactment, the Accountant-General may

    (a) “pay all fixed claims on the Government in respect of salaries, services, pensions and allowances on such day after the eighteenth day of the month for which those fixed claims are due as he may determine.”

    All I can say is that this is another: “wait-and-see.”

    Wait and see if the government gets money between now and Monday, so that it can pay salaries.

    In short, David Thompson is a Prime Minister without a “plan.”

    His vision for Barbados in an economic crisis, which he triggered, is: “wait-and-see.”


  23. Ossie Moore December 20, 2009 at 4:11 PM #

    oh well the slogan of this government is ” they looking into it”.hahahaha


  24. Anonymous December 20, 2009 at 4:40 PM #

    M wrote @ 10:46 am:

    “There has been no delay in the payment of Civil Servants, Salaries are already lodge in the bank accounts of those persons who are paid via salary lodgements. my concern is my income tax return.”

    David wrote in response @ 11:10 am

    ” @m
    To pay on Monday they would have to be lodged now, your statement is therefore correct in that context.”

    well as of 4: 35 pm, my account does NOT indicate that my salary for December has been lodged. Maybe it is there but will only be accessible after midnight.


  25. Sargeant December 20, 2009 at 5:44 PM #


    Given the hardship caused by the recessionary times it seems a simple matter for the government amend the law if it was sensitive to the plight of the people.
    I am still scratching my head over that response, call me slow but if the Civil Servants have a job and they have been paid over the past eleven months I would say that they are weathering the recession very well compared to many others who were laid off or are otherwise unemployed. I will assume that everyone knows that Xmas comes every Decemeber so why would people wait for their December pay to go on a massive spending spree? What happen to “putting away a little something for a rainy day” or for whatever reason? Does anyone budget anymore? Let’s advance this a little and pay all the Civil Servants on December 15th and pay them their January salary on January 25th.

    I think I would hear the screaming all the way up here.

    To fail to prepare is to prepare to fail


  26. FairPlay December 20, 2009 at 7:48 PM #

    I have some civil service friends who survive from pay cheque to pay cheque even under the last government. They feel the pinch the hardest around January 15 every year. Therefore being paid on December 18 would put them under even more pressure in January. Some told me that their salaries were lodged on their bank accounts on Saturday and they had access to it.
    The Government may have a cash flow problem and I am not surprised. We have not seen a drastic decline in things in Barbados. Persons are still shopping, Christmas lights are still going up. Barbadians are defying the doom and gloomers and are planning to have a wonderful Christmas with whatever they have.
    How about Barbadians going back in time and having an old time Christmas where there was much sharing in communities. The less well of persons would feel so happy if some who could do better would just share some of the goodies they received at Christmas. I know a guy because of his position and networks receives about six hams every Christmas. H e shares them around to his family.
    In 2010 Barbadians should cut back on their wants and concentrate on their needs. The government is saying the first six months would be rough therefore all persons should go into survival mode. Produce more, buy local, eat what we grow, do some more walking to cut down on the fuel bills and carbon dioxide emissions.


  27. Bad Man Saying Nuttin December 21, 2009 at 2:17 PM #

    It is amazing that people speculate so much and talk so much SHITE. how could a contract gratuity payment which given civil service salaries could not exceed $200,000 stop government from paying a multi million dollar wage bill?

    If there are cash flow constraints where the money that will be there on the 21st gine come from if it not there on the 19th?

    A multitude of ignorance being spouted on this issue.


  28. Alex Fergusson December 21, 2009 at 2:34 PM #

    The DLPis incurring debt to finance consumption. This is a very bad sign of the crisis.


    The simple and only point to be made is that – contrary to what was said recently by the Prime Minister, Barbados has a serious cash-flow crisis.

    In essence, given its high and uncontrollable deficit (now hovering at some 10% but which neither stimulates or stabilizes the economy) the DLP is essentially borrowing or incurring debt to finance consumption.

    This is a a very bad sign. What is David Estwick saying now?



  29. Hants December 21, 2009 at 3:05 PM #

    you wrote “all persons should go into survival mode”.

    Not in Barbados. Barbados is Utopia.

    The recession that we feeling here in North America cannot possibly affect Barbados.

    I suggets you follow your own words of wisdom and take care of yourself.

    I personally have been in survival mode for the last year and a half. I am a Bajan but I doan live down dey so I am affected by a world wide (except Barbados )recession.

    Have a Merry Christmas and I hope we who are enduring the recession in the rest of the world will find our Utopia next year.


  30. Alex Fergusson December 21, 2009 at 3:26 PM #

    DLP ensuring that CLICO does not have Cash flow problem or a Statutory Fund Deficit


    Seems like Barbadians will have a cash-flow problem for a lot longer than CLICO, which now has a $54 million Statutory Fund Deficit!

    It is why the DLP Government is laughable.

    Why is the DLP far more concerned with the application and interpretation of Section 24. (2) of the Financial Administration and Audit Act – as it related to when public servants can be paid – than with the section of the Insurance Act, which says that CLICO is breaking the law by not having the $54 million fund, it should?

    But it looks like there are serious attempts to ensure that CLICO would not have a cash-flow problem or a Statutory Fund Deficit.

    Is this why the DLP is floating a $100 million bond to buy that derelict Castle at Samlords for about $300 per square foot – far more than the market price and an extravagant amount too – at a time when the real estate market in Barbados is below soft.

    This is indeed a sweetheart deal.

    Didn’t Busy Williams say that no one will build or buy at this time?

    Then why the urgency to pump so many millions into Clico, but not into the hands of public servants?


  31. Royalrumble December 21, 2009 at 3:38 PM #

    FairPlay says “The government is saying the first six months would be rough therefore all persons should go into survival mode”.

    On the question of paying Public Servants later than the practice that has been in place for the past 50 years let me say two things. Firstly, the DLP is not a party that manages crisis situations very well. Whenever the Dems are in office Barbados goes through a fiscal crisis with or without a global recession.

    Secondly, can someone please tell me which public servant would be willing to take the Government to court for paying them earlier than the eighteenth of December.

    How can it be that this Government can find millions to bailout Clico in circumstances where corruption has been identified as the reason for its downfall but cannot find the money to pay our hardworking public servants? What about the millions in taxpayer’s money that has been committed to Clico through letters of comfort but not a word about it in our Parliament?

    How is it that the DLP can find millions to spent on political patronage such as the community councils, summer camps, monthly parties at Illaro Court for Taxi Drivers, NCC workers, community groups, school children and the likes to promote their political interest, but cannot not find the money to pay its bills?

    The Governments says that next year is going to be rough and that Barbadians should tighten their belts but yet the Dems are traveling in numbers, staying in the best hotels and raising the biggest of parties. Quite frankly I do not think they care one iota about the people that voted for them.


  32. David December 21, 2009 at 6:52 PM #

    Interesting that the local media houses has remained mum regarding the cashflow problem which government is currently experiencing. We understand the need for the PM to push the confidence factor but isn’t time for Bajans to be discussing this matter BEFORE the crap hits the fan? The discussion may help to shape a behaviour that all is well.


  33. ossie moore December 21, 2009 at 9:30 PM #

    @ B.M.S.N., knowing the connections of this “civil servant”, she received her gratuity in one fell swoop! yet the former C.E.O.
    who she succeeded is still on the waiting list to receive his….I am not saying that $200.000 will break the government but what are they doing with the money they are raking in from the heavy taxes of the last budget? seems to me the treasury is administering a case of “Preference Payment for those who have the “right connections


  34. Ossie Moore December 21, 2009 at 9:44 PM #

    @Royalrumble Well said … this is a party of “frills and thrills” that is where the money is also going …


  35. Enuff December 21, 2009 at 10:38 PM #

    This happens when your Estimates are based on unrealistic revenue.


  36. Crusoe December 22, 2009 at 4:05 AM #

    Debt that is causing this exacerbation of the recession on barbados is the $500 Million on Cricket World Cup, that will be paid for years to come, another few hundred million on a wider Highway and (the only one that was needed, although again, contract poorly managed), a new prison for a couple hundred million, ALL in the space of a few years.

    Lunacy and the previous administration was warned then, before it was incurred, including the end effect of disablement of fiscal flexibility but they went on merrily ahead.

    So, do not have the nerve to blame this Government for the insane (non-productive debt) that exists now.

    What productive capacity is Kensington? Or a wider highway?
    At least the prison produces vegetables for its own consumption.

    As a writer noted above, the amount of ….that is getting spouted here is ridiculous.

    I am not affiliated with either party, but had to answer this, because this idiotic party-partisan blame game without acknowledging the real isues and the factual basis of the situation, is sickening.

    Question: what exactly does Barbados export in significant quantity to raise substantial foreign exchange?

    Obvious answer tourism, financial services.

    Funnily enough, the next one I would put is human capital, our trained personnel going overseas to work, succeed and send money home, invest at home.

    Which is why I would actually encourage more training of nurses etc and more training of excellence in nurses etc, and encourage more to go overseas.

    Things like rum etc do provide some comfort money, but nothing compared to the first two.

    But, we import everything else.

    Therein lies the roots of the problem.

    Diversification is necessary, while continuing to improve those two products.


  37. JC December 22, 2009 at 12:14 PM #

    Well said Crusoe! Well said!


  38. Enuff December 22, 2009 at 10:10 PM #

    @ Crusoe

    “What productive capacity is Kensington? Or a wider highway?”

    It is called infrastructure unless I am dumb, and may more be about priority than uselessness.

    There is a clear correlation between access to transportation routes and their ease of use (i.e limited congestion) and productivity. One can not produce if one is stuck in traffic.

    What impact did the recently held CLOBI tournament had on our tourism industry during October and what will the upcoming World 20/20? We so often decry government for not supporting sports and when they do, it is still criticised.

    Ironically you spoke about diversification but can not see the link with first class sports facilities. Just like there is a need for infrastructure to support our creative industries.

    You remain swathed in the old ideal that academic pursuit alone pays dividends, so we should just continue to export nurses not more cricketers, footballers, Rihannas, Hals etc who all have the potential to make 10 times what nurses earn.

    Rum is a strong export product, but how man of the inputs are or can be sourced locally? As for the prisoners and agriculture….when they start growing rice, wheat and corn then we can start talking.


  39. Crusoe December 23, 2009 at 4:40 PM #

    Infrastructure for productive capacity is useful. Infrastructure for non-productive capacity not.

    Kensington is social but non really productive.

    A new state of the art manufacturing industrial park, or a state of the art music centre for developing musicians, or a new medical training centre for young doctors, nurses or medical technicians is.

    You misquote me in accusing me of being swathed in olt time thinking.

    I am all for the exploring alternative revenue generation such as music etc. Indeed, I was preaching this many years ago.

    The question is one of returns and capability of revenue generation.

    To be blunt, regrettably cricket is a game of the past and we must accept it rather than extend the pain, while medical training including nurses, music, football are major money spinners.

    Where is the football stadium and training centre?

    Getting a number of our players into international clubs to earn millions is the future.

    Indeed, there are more international football clubs than one can count, unlike cricket. And the money is better.

    Secondly, the reality is that productive capacity in industry is a feature that was ignored for the past twenty years, but it is necessary to reduce imports and generate exports.


  40. Enuff December 23, 2009 at 6:45 PM #

    My apologies for the mislabeling, and I see that you do agree (and have been a proponent for some time) with the potential of sports persons even if a little skeptical about cricketers. But shouldn’t everyone have a fair chance? The footballers have had government land and international funding for how many years now? There was/is suppose to be a new badminton, volleyball and netball indoor facility and national stadium too.

    Not so sure ignored is the correct word either, again maybe more of being of lower down the list of priorities, as I am sure I have heard talk about fashion and furniture industries. It is all about “capitalising” on available opportunities, and I think that is what happened during the last decade or so.

    I am still lost about reducing imports substantially…tell me what we can produce that allows us to be competitive.


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