Some bar owners across the island are still playing a wait-and-see game to determine whether their liquor prices will go up this Crop Over season as a result of the recent increase in the National Social Responsibility Levy (NSRL) and other tax measures.
Banks Breweries reportedly implemented increases in its products from as early as July 1 when the NSRL increased from two per cent to ten per cent, while manager at Bryden Stokes, Jeffery Evelyn confirmed that some prices went up from the same date and others increased from July 17, when a two per cent tax on foreign exchange transactions took effect.
Speaking to Barbados TODAY before the levy came into effect, owner of Chop Arts Sports Bar in Baxter’s Road, the City, Troy Trotman said he was waiting to see how much the prices from distributors would increase before taking a decision on whether his would go up.
But shop steward Jennifer Harper said she expected that even with an increase, customers would still continue to purchase alcohol.
“Everybody will complain . . . . [Despite] the quarrelling, them still buying,” she said.
Owner of Crystal Waters Beach Bar in the south of the island, who gave her name only as Debbie, also indicated no decisions had yet been made on price increases “because it hasn’t been a notable change” since the rise in the NSRL.
“I do not want to be chopping and changing. We are going to [await] the next couple of weeks and see what will happen,” she said.
The bar owner suggested, however, that the tax measures would hurt local alcohol producers.
“I believe that it is grossly unfair because, in my opinion, they are going to shut down manufacturing, as local things will cost more than imported things [like] beers,” Debbie said.
Meantime, the owner of Mullins Beach Bar, who did not want his name published, confirmed that prices at the St Peter establishment would increase.
“Our prices will have to go up – some maybe a dollar, some two dollars; it depends on the item,” he said.