President of the Small Business Association Dean Straker says the National Social Responsibility Levy has had a negative impact on local manufacturing. (Picture by Sandy Pitt)
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THE PRICE OF SCHOOL UNIFORMS has gone up and sales have gone down.
And it is all because of the National Social Responsibility Levy (NSRL), says president of the Small Business Association Dean Straker
In his address to the Social Partnership at Hilton Barbados today, Straker said sales were down 20 per cent from the start of the month when compared to last year and it was general consensus among other manufacturers.
He said it was a “retrograde step” for the NSRL to be applied on final sales and would be less of a burden on inputs like fabric and thread, for example, since the Small Business Association was not against paying its share to grow the Barbados economy.
It was also causing a headache for businesses to tender for jobs or make quotations because the cost of inputs was constantly changing.
Straker said those who buy local would think twice because it was costing more.
“The automatic thing is to look elsewhere and to see how I can get this item at a cheaper price. And invariably if you can get it at a cheaper price in Barbados, it is going to be imported,” he pointed out.
These products were likely to be from China and Taiwan and would not be to the same standard.
Straker said he also had a big problem with asking workers – whom they were struggling to keep employed – not to take a wage increase when they also have to pay the NSRL.
He urged government to reconsider how the tax was implemented since they were paying it at every stage of the process including raw materials, rent, utilities and wages. (SAT)