An aspiring Opposition politician is telling Barbadian residents and small businesses not to expect any relief in the Government’s forthcoming budget.
In fact, Barbados Labour Party (BLP) candidate for St Philip North Indar Weir is predicting that the highly anticipated fiscal package to be presented by the Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler in another two weeks, will only bring “more hardship” to Barbadians.
“What will happen on the June 15th will determine how much smaller your disposable income will become and that is the reality that we face here in this country,” Weir said as he addressed a BLP St George South constituency branch meeting over the weekend.
Weir, a small businessman, said the writing has been on the wall for residents to understand what to expect in the budget, making reference to two controversial waste-related measures – the Municipal Solid Waste Tax, which was introduced last year and is to be repealed, and the $25 tipping fee implemented on May 4 this year.
“You have been asked to pay a Municipal Solid Waste Tax when there is no waste-to-energy plant in Barbados, but you were told that you are paying this tax towards the development…. Today, you are now being told that you (waste haulers) are paying a tipping fee . . . I want to tell of you, if that matter is not amicably resolved, it isn’t any haulers paying a tipping fee. It is all of you … because the cost will reach the bottom and at the bottom is you,” Weir said. “You are the ones that will pay it, you are going to pay it in the supermarkets, you are going to pay it every place you go to purchase goods or services.”
He said the waste haulers’ six day protest in Warrens earlier this month was a clear indication that the Government did not engage any of the small businesses in the process of preparing the budget. “One would have thought that if this present administration understood the reality in keeping businesses in Barbados going, that they would have addressed this as a matter of urgency but I say to you all that none of this will come on June 15th. “
Weir added: “What would come instead would be greater and greater burden on the citizens of this country and the businesses of this country… The Government is trying desperately to scrape the barrel and raking every cent that they can get so they are asking you to carry the economic cost and they are hitting you everywhere.”