With a new fuel tax and other domestic levies due to take effect here from July 1, one popular local fast food chain says its consumers need not worry about any immediate increase in prices.
In fact, speaking to Barbados TODAY this morning on the sidelines of a presentation ceremony for the annual Chefette Fun Run/Walk, Managing Director Ryan Haloute pointed out that a price hike was already effected last December for the first time in six-and-a-half years.
Therefore, he said there was little likelihood of a further increase at this stage.
“We will always aim to offer the best prices in our local market as we currently do while offering great quality products and service,” Haloute told Barbados TODAY, adding, “we purchase all of our chicken products locally from Chickmont and have received no correspondence regarding a change in prices”.
His comments come against the backdrop of a warning issued last week by Chief Executive Officer of the Barbados Agricultural Society James Paul that the soon-to-be imposed levies could result in an increase in poultry prices in the island. Paul further warned that “unscrupulous” importers would likely use the tax measures announced by Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Mia Mottley on June 11 as a ruse to get a “surge” of poultry products into the country.
In her presentation of the so-called mini Budget, Mottley announced that effective July 1 the road tax would be abolished and replaced with a fuel tax to be levied at 40 cents per litre on petrol and diesel and five cents per litre on kerosene, to raise about $80 million in a fiscal year.
She also announced that Barbadians would pay a Garbage and Sewage Contribution through the Barbados Water Authority, at $1.50 per day for households, while businesses would pay 50 per cent of their water bill.
However, even in the face of these measures, and as Government prepares for further tightening of its economic belt, the Chefette managing director said the focus was on expanding the business.
“We have plans to continue to grow our businesses and play our part in strengthening our economy,” he told Barbados TODAY when asked if they too would be cutting back.
This year’s Chefette Fun Run/Walk topped last year’s performance, with a total of $135,000 raised during the May 20 event in support of local charities.
Proceeds from the fundraiser will go towards Variety the Children’s Charity, Precious Touch Foundation and the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA).
Haloute revealed that based on the funds raised the YWCA would be able to feed between 1, 200 and 1,300 children a month with its breakfast feeding programme; the Precious Touch Foundation would be able to fulfill three wishes and 400 children from Variety the Children’s Charity would be outfitted with school supplies.
Speaking to some of the 60 sponsors who gathered for the presentation, Haloute said he was pleased with the response the company was getting to its annual charity event, now in its sixth year.
“In times like this it is overwhelming to get a response like [$135,000] because things are hard. You can see it, . . . hear it and feel it out there,” he said.
“It is amazing to get that type of response from everybody,” he added.