UK envoy calls at Nation House
British High Commissioner Paul Brummell yesterday took time from his busy schedule to pay a courtesy call on Nation newspaper Publisher/ Chief Executive Officer Vivian-Anne Gittens.
Brummell, who expressed his eagerness at strengthening ties between the commission and the editorial department, also met with new Editor-in-Chief Kaymar Jordan, before taking a tour of the media house.
During the visit Brummel said he was quite impressed with the newspaper set-up, and added that he would be happy to keep working with the media house, to keep the public up-to-date on matters involving the two countries.
One item discussed was the tax being imposed on UK travellers to the Caribbean countries, which has been influencing the travel plans of some British travellers.
For those coming to Barbados, the proposed increases were supposed to go from £50 to £75 (BDS$231) per ticket in economy and from £100 to £150 (BDS$461) in premium class.
But Brummel said they were very conscious that the passenger duty had raised concerns as made clearly by governments across the region.
He said just recently the UK government had met with a group of six ministers, including our own Richard Sealy.
“I was very pleased that they had a productive visit and met with four UK ministers . . . the minister of Treasury, In the Commonwealth office, the Minister for tourism and in Transport,” he noted.
The High Commissioner noted the “public finance in the UK as in many countries around the world” was not an easy one, and said there “shouldn’t be any expectation that the taxation from the aviation sector will be reduced”.
“But they made it clear to their Caribbean counterparts that there was an openness of discussing the issue of revenue raising from the sector, and that they were interested in hearing more on the impacts of the duty,” he added.
Brummel stressed however, that the UK remained the number one tourism partner for Barbados and said the decreased numbers could be attributed to the global economic recession. (CT)
Here, from left: Editor-in-Chief Kaymar Jordan, Political Officer at the British High Commission Gilly Metzgen, British High Commissioner Paul Brummell and Publisher/Chief Executive Officer Vivian-Anne Gittens in discussion during the courtesy call.