Ministries of Finance & Culture of Barbados have gauntlet laid at their feet – Reduce Value Added Tax for Crop Over

VAT was effective for Barbados as of 1st January 1997 thanks to Owen S. Arthur

VAT was effective for Barbados as of 1st January 1997 thanks to Owen S. Arthur

One of the first things the late JMGM “Tom” Adams did on assuming office  in the late 70’s was to remove the 5% Sales Tax on a broad band of items for Bajans and he was a huge hero for that. In 1997 when Owen Arthur introduced Value Added Tax to Barbados there were supposed advantages and all too real concerns over VAT… Consumers felt that merchants would take goods which already had duties imposed and add VAT on top of it, and there were some instances where it was proven and the cost had to be readjusted. Since there was one flat tax for all things – including funerals – yet you still had duty at jewellery stores and when buying cars.

Then Opposition Leader David Thompson considered VAT as an unofficial devaluation of the Barbados dollar by 15%, there was a Calypso called “Owen VAT we up” which lambasted the administration of the day for imposing a tax system which Grenada dropped at that same period. The BHTA cried so hard that a concession was made so their goods and services only had 7.5% as opposed to the rest of us slobs. By September of ’97 Owen created the “basket of goods” which were VAT-exempt or zero-rated…

Macaroni, educational books, evaporated milk, computers, sardines and other items came under the umbrella where VAT could not reach them. Entertainers however, still felt the pinch, they wanted VAT removed on certain areas of music for Kadooment. This was an area where former Culture Minister Mia Mottley was going to examine shortly before she was promoted to Deputy Prime Minister and Owen took Culture for himself yet did nothing on the matter.

Janelle Walcott at podium, Table: L/R - Ramases Brown, Peter Boyce & Tony Hoyos

Janelle Walcott at podium, Table: L/R - Ramases Brown, Peter Boyce & Tony Hoyos

Now one of the pre-eminent impresarios in Barbados’ entertainment scene has amended the call for VAT to be removed, he would rather see it placed at the same rate as given to BHTA members. Tony Hoyos made this urgent plea at the Plantation Garden Theatre during the launch of the Celebration Time calypso tent, he’s likened the annual Crop Over season to a terminally ill patient whose doctors are wasting time diagnosing instead of prescribing or performing corrective surgery. These are Tony’s comments in full;-

Peter Boyce definitely understands Tony’s concern, not because the Plantation plays host to his venues but due to the fact he feels for too long Bajans tend to undermine the role of entertainment and humour in Barbados. He drew reference to how seriously the USA treats comedy when the World Trade Centre’s twin towers were destroyed nine years ago {CLICK ON FOLLOWING LINK TO HEAR FULL AUDIO};-

He recalled how New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani asked Late Show host David Letterman return from vacation to make Americans feel that everything is back to normal and not be depressed after the 9/11 attacks

Dorothy and "Michael Jackson" staged a mini-strike and embarrassed Peter by not coming on stage, but listen for them on the P. Boyce show on 98.1 FM every Saturday

Dorothy and "Michael Jackson" staged a mini-strike and embarrassed Peter by not coming on stage, but listen for them on the P. Boyce show on 98.1 FM every Saturday

Then Peter also listed the venues and dates for Celebration Time this Kadooment {CLICK ON FOLLOWING LINK TO HEAR FULL AUDIO};-

The Grand Opening of Celebration Time’s tent is on July 4th at the Plantation Garden Theatre with the climax on July 29th at the Wildey Gymnasium

Most of the cast for Celebration Time this Crop Over

Most of the cast for Celebration Time this Crop Over

The tent this year will have a new character who bears a striking resemblance to Madd’s senior citizen Rudefus, even down to the medical condition of goadies. However, his speech syntax reminds me of Mac Fingall if he was much older.

Despite the jumping and waving from Reddman & his posse here, Celebration Time is promising much Social Commentary for Kadooment

Despite the jumping and waving from Reddman & his posse here, Celebration Time is promising much Social Commentary for Kadooment

Plus a new generation of Boyces will become part of Celebration Time, as Reddman is in fact Rico – Peter’s son – while Rico’s brother Ramon will assist behind the scenes in the administration of the Crop Over venue.

Father Clement Paul admonishing media for not being positive, while good news may be ignored, at the same time if something can't get better - then folk must shut up? Please!

Father Clement Paul admonishing media for not being positive, while good news may be ignored, at the same time if something can't get better - then folk must shut up? Please!

Father Clement Paul was on hand to deliver a tune where he admonished the Media for not covering matters more positively… This sounds like family from the political side may have nudged the Catholic priest to rebuke certain sections of citizen journalism for showing them up recently?

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