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Cut spending and hold new taxes


Shawn Cumberbatch

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Continue reducing your current expenditure and hold off on introducing new taxes.
Newsly installed Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados (ICAB) president J. Roger Arthur has that advice for Government.
Speaking to BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY moments after being elected at ICAB’s annual general meeting last week at Hilton Barbados, the chartered accountant said the organisation having a new man in charge did not mean an ease of its “laser focus” on lobbying against runaway public spending and arguing against increased taxation.
He also said ICAB would continue “strengthening our corporate governance” including sustaining its phased by-law review.
“I think we need to continue to have a laser focus on getting the economy back on track. The Government has started a process and we would certainly encourage them to continue in that vein. One of the things that we have been promoting is to reduce our current expenditure and they [Government] have taken steps to do that and we encourage them to continue in that regard,” he said.
“We do not anticipate that there will be further increases in taxes. We certainly do not recommend that because that has a contractionary effect in the economy. So we would certainly suggest that Government continues on its current course to get the fiscal house in order and to set some medium-term goals. For example, we need to re-establish our [investment grade] credit rating and whatever we can do to facilitate that will certainly be desirable.”
Arthur said he had chosen to serve and he believed ICAB’s membership had elevated him to the leadership post at this time “to join our attempts to reshape the Barbados economy”.
The P D Technical Services financial controller said ICAB was qualified to speak and advise on expenditure issues “because we understand the whole concept of cost and we as an institute will continue to push on those issues”.
“I think we have made a contribution in the past and there continues to be a laser focus on expenditure, how do we reduce our expenditure and also a focus on the level of efficiency that we are getting. In other words, for the money that we spend are we getting the outcomes that are desirable?”
Arthur also said improving business facilitation was “critically important” because this “provides investors with an opportunity to set up businesses and get them going in a reasonable time, and especially in this climate where we are looking for people to be entrepreneurial. We don’t want to frustrate them by having unnecessary blockages to them setting up business and conducting business”.

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