The non-governmental organization that promotes the use of renewable energy here is describing the steep rise in the National Social Responsibility Levy (NSRL) as “a significant exercise of fiscal desperation”.
In addition, the Barbados Renewable Energy Association (BREA) said the jump to ten per cent from two per cent when the levy was introduced last year, along with the introduction of a two per cent tax on foreign exchange transactions, was an indication that the Freundel Stuart administration was not treating the sector with any degree of urgency.
“What we are saying is there is a lack of urgency in trying to propel this sector forward. We have been quite supportive of the Government’s efforts. Given the crisis that we face and the fact that this sector is being heralded as one of the potential saviours of the economy, the general approach of malaise is noteworthy,” BREA President Aidan Rogers, told journalists today at a news conference at the association’s headquarters at the Central Bank building in The City.
Rogers said while most businesses in the sector had absorbed the two per cent levy imposed last year, the increase was a bit too much for the companies, and some might be forced to shut down and retrench workers.
He also complained that for the year so far, there had been no more than two meetings of the advisory committee which approves new applications for photovoltaic panels or small scale wind systems in the island, even as he joined other executives in the renewable energy sector in emphasizing that companies would suffer a fall-off in sales because of the taxes.