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TALK BACK: $20 barrel fee a ‘blow to the poor’


TALK BACK: $20 barrel fee a ‘blow to the poor’

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A PROPOSED $20 FEE on barrels to be collected from the Bridgetown Port is expected to add $1.2 million to Government’s coffers.

During debate in the Senate last Wednesday, Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and International Transport, Irene Sandiford-Garner, said it was time “to pay Caesar”. She said “the port is the entity doing the lion’s share of the work, but never received one cent”.

However, to online readers, it is yet another blow to the “small man” who is struggling to survive in these tough economic times, since it already costs to purchase the items, ship them and pay for the paperwork.

Readers also want to know if this additional tax is going to speed up what is often a tedious, time-wasting process. Here are their views:

Dorrie: Barrels are expensive already. Try to find another way to make your money, not on the backs of the people who can’t afford it. I always send home barrels and the last one cost over CAN$180 to get to my family, from freight, customs and delivery. When you pack a barrel you expect to pay something to get it home, but it is getting ridiculous. After you buy the stuff and then have to pay so much, it is very hard and discouraging.

Erica Murray: I must be mistaken, but the last time I shipped a barrel home, I paid a fee when I picked up. Are you telling me that this $20 is an extra fee?

Cheryl Maynard: This is another nail in the coffin of all the people who are finding it hard to eat and feed their families. This action is going to impact severely on the consumption of food for the elderly and children and all who are without work. What a shame. What is next, a tax on the fruit trees that grow on the island?

Sparkles Went: Not a break for poor people, well, well. Pay to buy stuff, pay to ship it here and then when it get here, ya paying for your own stuff again.

BrooklynStake Shortt: Maybe you all should be charging the tourist ships a lot more than you are charging them. You all see barrels come and you all see a way to make more money. Find another way to do it, because you will quickly see a decrease in the number of barrels coming. Then what?

Nikki Bayley: I propose the Government should pay me interest for every day I don’t get my tax refund.

Andria GoodHeart: Will this new collection of money help speed up procedures any faster?

Victor Lashley: The Barbados Government continues to find ways to take food off the struggling families’ tables.

Rhonda Thomas-Boothe: They charge $100 to correct the paperwork. I will never send a barrel again. Spend so much money, paperwork, dock fees and fees upon fees. Just wrong for the people, especially the elderly whose families send them food.