caswell

The Caswell Franklyn Column – Concessions to Cost-U-Less Should Raise Hair

Caswell Franklyn, Head of Unity Workers Union

Caswell Franklyn, Head of Unity Workers Union

Over the years, I have been complaining that the system of governance practiced in Barbados is merely a parody of the Westminster System that obtains in England. In a previous article, I wrote that we have all the trappings of a Westminster type democracy but they do not work as designed.

It is not my intention to disparage or in any way pull down an institution that history records as existing for over 376 years. I am concerned that the present occupants are not doing enough to make Parliament a place of which all Barbadians can be proud. To this end, I am calling on Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition to do whatever is necessary to halt Parliament’s slide into irrelevance by ensuring that its rules and traditions are observed as intended. But it appears to me as though the Opposition could care less and is just biding its time until this DLP administration crashes and burns. Unfortunately that strategy might fail and it is the people of this country that will continue to suffer.

In my last column, I referred to the Minister of Finance waiving taxes under the Duties, Taxes and Other Payments (Exemption) Act. That act and the Interpretation Act require the minister to lay orders to waive or remit taxes in Parliament, “as soon as may be after they are made”. Only last week, while reading the Official Gazette, I came across one such order that should raise the hair on the back of the necks of all right-thinking members of this society, especially the members of the Opposition.

Official Gazette No. 102 dated December 14, 2015 carried a notice published as S.I. 2015 No. 90. It is an order made by the Minister of Finance designated as the Duties, Taxes and Other Payments (Exemption) (Cost-U-Less (Barbados) Inc.) Order, 2015. By now some of you might be saying that you don’t understand the fuss I’m making since the tax concessions to Cost-U-Less is old news.

Unfortunately, it is not. According to the notice in the Official Gazette, the Minister of Finance only made the order on December 4, 2015. My question therefore is: Under what authority were these tax concessions accessed by that company back in 2011. At best, this whole episode amounts to an insult on the intelligence of Barbadians. Paragraphs 7. (2) and 8 are instructive. They state:

7. (2) The exemptions referred to in paragraphs 3 and 4 are granted on the condition that the project commences on or before June 1st, 2011 and is completed by 30th of November, 2012.

8. This Order shall be deemed to have come into operation on the 1st day of May, 2011.

By regularising these unnecessary, and so far unexplainable, tax give-aways four years after the fact, Government has ensured that parliamentary oversight of the minister’s actions would be an exercise in futility or rather a veritable mockery on the institution called the Parliament of Barbados.

The people of Barbados, through the Opposition, must demand answers from Government explaining why it was necessary to lavish tax concessions on a company to develop a shopping mall to house a supermarket, restaurants and other related amenities at Warrens. I well remember that a shopping complex was constructed at Carlton, Black Rock and I am yet to see any order giving tax concessions to that project.

Further, it would be interesting to see if Government could give credible explanations for paragraph 5 of the order, which states:

5. The Company is exempt from the payment of withholding tax payable under the Income Tax Act, Cap. 73 for a period of 15 years in respect of

(a) the interest and dividends paid by the Company to resident or non-resident shareholders or individuals who have given loans to the Company; and

(b) fees paid to non-residents who were contracted to provide management services, consultancy or technical skills for the construction of the project.

It would also be interesting to find out the identity of these favoured investors.

Government is proposing that this country become a republic, which basically is a government by the people for the people. Unless more information is forthcoming from Government about this deal, it would appear that we have a government by the people for their friends. That scenario is not a republican form of government; it would be corruption if found to be true.

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107 Comments on “The Caswell Franklyn Column – Concessions to Cost-U-Less Should Raise Hair”

  1. Raw Bake January 25, 2016 at 1:34 PM #

    That was the time when parents supported teachers and children were admonished to “guh school and open yuh skull box and learn”. Back then there were a few “rich” and well to do children at school, but these children and they parents never behaved; even if they thought it, that they were better than the poorer children who were in the majority.

    Today if you live in a wall house and your parents drive an SUV with chrome rims and you have an iphone, ipad and flat screen tv in your bedroom; you are better than the rest of those riff raff.

    Poor Great Extradinaire?

    Like

  2. David January 25, 2016 at 1:35 PM #

    @NorthernObserver

    It is also about a government being able to manipulate process while touting we are transparent and a democracy.

    Like

  3. Hants January 25, 2016 at 1:56 PM #

    As per usual….a lotta long talk but nothing will change for the better…..but we still need to keep talking and exposing the “evils that men and women do”

    Like

  4. Dompey January 25, 2016 at 1:56 PM #

    There will always be corruption in government no matter the level of transparency, but this seems not to register with some here.

    Like

  5. June Naime January 25, 2016 at 1:59 PM #

    Under the banner of SOCIALISM we are all SURFS, understand that the plan is to “CONTROL AND RULE BY WAY OF THE EXTRACTION OF THE PEOPLES WEALTH WHILE ENCROACHING ON THEIR FREEDOM THROUGH BURDENSOME REGULATIONS”. Socialism has its tentacles like a giant Mantel over the earth and we on the Isles of the Sea are not exempt! It is a slow process of Rot, while promising everything while delivering Poverty under the guise of Equality and Economic Justice, Divisiveness under the guise of Social Equality, Moral Decay as in Relativism as in no Moral Absolutes and where God Is Removed!!

    “Socialists intentionally suppress creativity and innovation by discouraging individual God-given talent and encouraging dependency. In short, your failure is required for its success!
    At the root of socialist philosophy is the demand that you forfeit your faith and the dreams God birthed in you. Additionally, socialists would like you to believe that without coercion, individuals are incapable or unwilling to be generous to their neighbor with their own hard-earned money. It’s just not true! What is true, however, is thievery via over-taxation has never incentivized productivity.
    Free Enterprise (Capitalism) leads to Prosperity and Freedom while Socialism leads to Poverty and Bondage!
    Capitalism doesn’t come with a warranty or “money back” guarantee. Yet, it encourages individuality, creativity, opportunity, risk taking, ambition, pride, dignity, and a sense of accomplishment, promotion, and provision. Nonetheless, the lazy, stagnant, and ambitious are rewarded fairly and equitably. As much as Socialist professes their disdain for capitalism, they’ve yet to offer a better system. The reason is simple; it doesn’t exist”.

    The Adversary plans to destroy Liberty and Freedom-Economic, Political, and Religious, and set in place thereof the greatest, most widespread, and complete Tyranny that has ever oppressed men. He is working under such perfect disguise that many do not recognize either him or his methods and he has been at it since the beginning of time using secret combinations. Names only change to suit the times, its an almost perfect disguise, the Adversary has been at it for Centuries. Communism, Marxism, Fascism, Socialism, Liberalism, Leftism = Stateism which seeks to take away Freedom, where a Few Elitist Benefit!

    These names are only different varieties of the same thing. It has the same outcome, IE, creating Elitist where certain people are favored and benefited. The means to accomplish this has always been Big Government that takes from everyone to create a system that the Elitist controls. This is in direct opposition to Free Enterprise that is not shackled by burdensome regulation. Socialism is against the natural of order of how we live and trade as a free people Life, Liberty, the Pursuit of Happiness and the protection of Property as was envisioned in the American Constitution! That is the natural order of God anything else is an Abrogation. Both Communism and Socialism is Stateism, which seeks Power and Control to take away Freedom, and benefits only the Elitist!

    We are steeped up to our Eyeballs in SOCIALISM, we are dwarfed by Big Government intervention upon our lives… most Countries are under its influence…how much more does it take for us not to recognize its ill effects upon the people. How about our neighbors in Venezuela…That’s Full Blown Socialism in Action…How is that working out for them. How far away are we on this Island with the level of Taxation escalating with nothing stopping it in its tracks? Have you noticed?

    Like

  6. Prodigal Son January 25, 2016 at 2:13 PM #

    @ Donna January 25, 2016 at 11:34 AM #

    Prodigal Son,

    Surely you jest?????? Bring me that evidence!

    ………………………………..

    Page 7 of today’s nation………….direct quotes from the top police!

    Like

  7. Prodigal Son January 25, 2016 at 2:18 PM #

    @ David January 24, 2016 at 10:22 AM #

    @Hants

    If memory serves it was the prospect of jobs being created.

    ………………………………………..

    No David.

    Remember the DLP campaigned on “Cost of living, Cost of living, Cost of living” This was all in the trick that the DLP could bring down the cost of living.

    Out of it all, it is alleged that the Stinkliar got all of his giveaways brought in duty free through these same players. Jobs were the spin off of the concessions.

    Like

  8. Artaxerxes January 25, 2016 at 2:24 PM #

    Well Well & Consequences January 25, 2016 at 12:57 PM #

    That was a very interesting and informative video you posted. It is worth some discussion in this forum, as many issues mentioned can be attributed to Barbados.

    Like

  9. Enuff January 25, 2016 at 2:48 PM #

    Opposition what, didn’t they address all the skullduggery associated with Cost-u-less even before the last election yet the DLP was re-elected? Didn’t the Opposition raised the issue of an appointment of an Executive Director at BWA when the law then or now allows one? The Dems right!!

    Like

  10. Frustrated Businessman aka Republic my ass. January 25, 2016 at 2:49 PM #

    Anyone seen the duty free concessions for Bushy Park race track?

    An area designated by Parliament as a National sports facility like the National Stadium and Gymnasium but operated for profit by more of Stinkliar’s friends with no benefit to the Bajan tax payer other than increased entry costs and restrictive entry conditions?

    Corrupt cabinet running amok over citizens’ birthrights with no-one to answer to.

    Like

  11. Caswell Franklyn January 25, 2016 at 2:49 PM #

    David

    Just for the sake of my vanity, could you say how many hits were recorded on the dashboard.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Like

  12. Enuff January 25, 2016 at 3:26 PM #

    Opposition what, didn’t they address all the skullduggery associated with Cost-u-less even before the last election yet the DLP was re-elected? Didn’t the Opposition raised the issue of an appointment of an Executive Director at BWA though the law then or now does not allow one? The Dems right!!

    Like

  13. NorthernObserver January 25, 2016 at 3:29 PM #

    What the blogmaster needs to tell you Mr.Franklyn is if they are unique IP hits or if certain well known bloggers have hit it 25 times.

    Like

  14. Bush Tea January 25, 2016 at 3:37 PM #

    @ Well Well & Consequences January 25, 2016 at 12:57 PM #
    Bushie endorses Artax complements re the above video…
    This is what true educational exploration and debate should be about at university level…

    Like

  15. Donna January 25, 2016 at 3:39 PM #

    Raw Bake,

    There was a time when I trusted most teachers to do the right thing. Sadly that is no longer the case. I would say it is about fifty/fifty. So I cannot agree with you that one should follow all their instructions and seek redress after. Why? Because often there is no redress as some principals are no better than the teachers. After a particular incident at my son’s school the principal and year head told the children to come to them if they feel they are being unfaired. I thank God that he is a man of logic and that he listens dispassionately. School just isn’t what it was in my day.

    Like

  16. NorthernObserver January 25, 2016 at 3:43 PM #

    @David
    isn’t that politics? Creating a fantasy, and having others believe it is attainable, and convincing them it is being attained?

    Like

  17. Well Well & Consequences January 25, 2016 at 3:56 PM #

    The Bushman….exactly, how can we find ourselves, if we do not know anything about ourselves, yet have the knowledge to find out.

    Art…you are right. The people responsible were taught at university level and are able to articulate and have the info understood at evey level.

    Like

  18. David January 25, 2016 at 4:19 PM #

    @Caswell

    As you know we never discuss stats but from Facebook alone your article pulled 850 referrals in 24 hours and climbing, this figure does not include other referrals and direct hits to BU.

    Like

  19. Artaxerxes January 25, 2016 at 4:32 PM #

    @ Bush Tea January 25, 2016 at 3:37 PM #

    “Bushie endorses Artax complements re the above video…This is what true educational exploration and debate should be about at university level….”

    @ Well Well & Consequences January 25, 2016 at 3:56 PM #

    “Art…you are right. The people responsible were taught at university level and are able to articulate and have the info understood at every level.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    I also endorse both you and Bushie’s above comments and agree that the level of research and subsequent presentation of the information as demonstrate in the video was quite intriguing (and is surely absent from UWI).

    For example, UWI’s Department of Management Studies should have done research and presented information to the public, relative to the implications of Banks Holdings being taken over by AmBev (even before the actual purchase of majority shares was achieved).

    Such information would also have been helpful in the recent situation whereby Massey was able to buy BS&T and subsequently “de-Barbadianize” the conglomerate; close businesses thereby placing Barbadians on the unemployment line; “re-branding” the Barbadian icon BS&T with the Trinidadian Massey brand; and now in the process of closing JB’s where approximately 47 Barbadians will lose their jobs.

    Like

  20. Well Well & Consequences January 25, 2016 at 5:00 PM #

    There has always been an information blackout aimed the people in Barbados…those in charge never thought the people are entitled to hear about anything affecting their lives and that of their offspring….that attitude extends to whether the politicians are leading or in opposition….they have no respect for the people and only focus on “getting in”.

    Just watch the trend leading up to next elections, they have probably already started practicing in their mirrors, the right way their deceit will work.

    Like

  21. Artaxerxes January 25, 2016 at 5:02 PM #

    As it relates to ongoing discussions about the traditional media, it is interesting that, although it is news, the discovery of a female at a residence in Inch Cape, St. Philip was enough to motivate Stetson Babb to have a lengthy interviews of the deceased’s neighbours and to be featured today on VOB’s 6:30am, 7:30am, 8:30am, 12:30pm and 4:30pm news broadcasts.

    However, the only mention of Caswell’s article on VOB was when David Ellis mentioned it to a few Brass Tacks callers, many of whom were more interested in the cost of the yearlong celebrations. Perhaps Ellis could use the Brass Tacks forum to question these tax concessions.

    This Sinckler/Cost-U-Less debacle, similar to the CAHILL scam, will die a natural death, thereby (assumingly) reinforcing DLP politicians position that they could perform any action, inform the individuals who vote for them and pay their salaries of these actions whenever it is convenient to them and make pejorative remarks to those individuals who seek further information (Sinckler’s response to those who are questioning the cost of the yearlong celebrations is a perfect example).

    They behave this way because they know we are all talk and no action and they will definitely win the 2018 general elections.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. David January 25, 2016 at 5:04 PM #

    @Artax

    And Ellis wonder why social media and BU in particular is very critical of traditional media.

    Like

  23. Jeff Cumberbatch January 25, 2016 at 6:22 PM #

    Bush Tea, as versed as you may be in “brassbowlery” and cognate matters, your law is weak,. You urged,sometimes yelling;

    “Jeff, you do us a disservice by supporting the retroactive passage of such an order. As a teacher of the law, you MUST know that, at the very least, for the FOUR YEARS before this order was done, the damn Government HAD TO BE ACTING ILLEGALLY in providing these concessions to Cost You Less”.

    I take it you missed Caswell’s earlier point-

    “I referred to the Minister of Finance waiving taxes under the Duties, Taxes and Other Payments (Exemption) Act. That act and the Interpretation Act require the minister to lay orders to waive or remit taxes in Parliament, “as soon as may be after they are made”.

    Let us contend, therefore, as to whether or not the order was timeously made…or even should have ever been made…but the concept of the validating order, Act or regulation is well known to law (having been used since time immemorial), and does not at all portend chicanery by its usage.

    Like

  24. Prodigal Son January 25, 2016 at 8:58 PM #

    I believe that the next government should investigate every shady deal these morons made with thr likes of Mark Maloney, the Inotech DaSilvas, Bjorn Bejerkam, the Cows, the Cost u mores, the Sandals.

    Enough is enough. They get the concessions, we get burdened with the tax burden.

    Like

  25. Bush Tea January 25, 2016 at 9:08 PM #

    @ Jeff
    You are correct that Bushie lays no claim to any expertise in Law … especially Bajan law. You are also on point about brassbowlery… But surely you can do better in defence of the four-year gap between a minister remitting taxes for persons unknown and the process being legally ratified.
    Your red herring about the concept of validating order is exactly the point being made.

    No one is disputing the validity of retroactive orders….
    Obviously this process is valid – it is clearly designed to accommodate VALID situations where expedient use of ministerial authority cannot be challenged because of timing realities that may be encountered in the process of managing a complex economy.

    So just because a critical public officer is on leave, ill or otherwise indisposed…. or because of equipment breakdown etc such an order would not be technically invalidated …because the minister is allowed to lay the order “as soon as may be after they are made”.

    Given this ‘inch’ in Law, this Minister takes a whole yard in waiting for FOUR years, until the situation is politically cool enough to get away with the shiite… and you support that…?
    Were it not for Caswell, it would have worked too…

    Do you also support the situation where our courts ROUTINELY delay justice until everyone involved dies ….once anyone of any influence is involved…?

    Can you with a straight face support the four-year gap in the case given?

    …and please stop judging Bushie…. He ain’t worth it…. He is not a politician, does not teach anyone (anymore) and he need only understand the business of whacking and brass bowlery….🙂

    Like

  26. millertheanunnaki January 25, 2016 at 9:25 PM #

    @ Prodigal Son January 25, 2016 at 8:58 PM
    “I believe that the next government should investigate every shady deal these morons made with thr likes of Mark Maloney, the Inotech DaSilvas, Bjorn Bejerkam, the Cows, the Cost u mores, the Sandals.
    Enough is enough. They get the concessions, we get burdened with the tax burden.”

    You and I, along with Sam Couchie and the Duppy, know that not one shi**t is going to happen. Just look at the situation with the PAC.

    How the hell a business like CUL can be granted such tax concessions is beyond comprehension. This government would sell the soul of EWB just to get a dollar of forex to stave off what’s around the corner.

    One can understand if CUL was a foreign-exchange earning enterprise. Then the world of concessions would have been in order. But what has it done for the retail sector? Are prices any cheaper than its main competitors or did it help to drive down the cost of living as promised by that damned lying party? All CUL has done is to take away market share from other players in a contracting economy.

    Like

  27. Hants January 25, 2016 at 9:34 PM #

    @ Bushie ” Bushie lays no claim to any expertise in Law … especially Bajan law.”

    That suggests you do have expertise in “other” law. Canadian law perhaps?

    Like

  28. Bush Tea January 25, 2016 at 9:43 PM #

    @ Hants
    BBE Law….

    Like

  29. Frustrated Businessman aka Republic my ass. January 26, 2016 at 7:30 AM #

    On BBC last week a public officer was called on to explain comments he made IN THE MINUTES OF A CIVIL SERVICE MEETING that were published on line AS MANDATED BY LEGISLATION.

    Imagine if all cabinet, statutory board, civil service management and tender hearing meeting minutes in Barbados were published.

    Like

  30. Prodigal Son January 26, 2016 at 2:55 PM #

    I totally agree with you, miller!

    Cost-U-Less was projected by the dead king to be the catalyst as per the lies they told the electorate to bring the cost of food down.

    We all know that it was a crafty shady way to give concessions to their friends. There are all sorts of names of dlp big ups who are share holders of CUL. This was all part of the fatted cat mentality.

    As a matter of principle, I have never set foot in the establishment and have no deisre to do so. I choose to shop at Shop Smart, at least that franchise is owned by Barbadians.

    Like

  31. Prodigal Son January 26, 2016 at 2:56 PM #

    This is a shout out to “pieceofthe rock” ……..hope his madam has not taken away his computer privileges.

    Like

  32. Well Well & Consequences January 26, 2016 at 2:59 PM #

    The government loves to bend over and give to businesses, corporate welfare, while burdening the taxpayers for decades, what do they do for the taxpayers.

    Scandanavia countries are not wealthy but make sure their people have adequate services, they know how to give back to the taxpayers. It’s a positive worth copying.

    http://ow.ly/XyHuL

    Like

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