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TALK BACK: Sandals ‘sweet’ deal leaves sour taste

BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

TALK BACK: Sandals ‘sweet’ deal leaves sour taste

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The “sweet deal” Sandals has negotiated to set up business here in Barbados has left a sour taste in the mouths of online readers.
Operators of the international hotel chain will enjoy a 25-year tax break, followed by a further 15 years where they only pay half of the “applicable taxes”.
Online readers did not agree with this deal, pointing out that it not only placed local hotel operators at a disadvantage, but it was also untenable in this current economic climate where money needed to be flowing.
Instead of Government negotiating to get much-needed revenue, they argued, once again it appeared as though the average Barbadian was being faced with heavy taxes while outsiders got the breaks.
Others remembered the last foray Sandals made here in Barbados and also queried whether the beaches would be privatized. Very few were optimistic that it would bring the expected returns.
Still, there was some hope that having an international brand here would encourage more tourist arrivals and convert some of the cruise passengers into long-stay visitors.
Pan Willie: Everybody with some education and a little common sense knows that when the tax holidays expire, these people pull up the stakes and leave. When will we learn?
David Hall: [I] am reading this again and still can’t believe just how ridiculous it is. Taxes are needed to run the country but we willingly surrender them and then will look to tax the locals to run government.
Mac 10: The profits seen by these exemptions will not benefit Barbados as they will be taken out of the island and will not result in cheaper prices for Bajan people to stay there. With exemptions at this level, the only people being taxed will be the Barbados staff working for Sandals. Finally, does this mean other businesses, local companies big and small, can now apply for 25-year tax exemptions or is just for the connected?
Andrew Maingot: We need a Sandals so badly, I am sure it will be worth it in the end.
Al Wright: Now, let’s wait and hope people stop cruising and visit Sandals Barbados, thus boosting the tourist trade.
Robert Holloway: Twenty-five years tax break – that is totally unfair to the country. Mind you, they might pull out before that time frame. [I] hope someone did the math to see the net financial benefit to the country.
Mark Fenty: I’ve seen little in the way of alternative solutions to what some here have viewed as governmental shortsightedness with respect to this project. Any fool can complain, criticize and condemn, but where are the alternative solutions to the contrary?