Policy Solutions for Barbados

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More experienced professionals normally find that the simplest practical solutions are often the most effective.  The least experienced professionals normally propose very complex and less effective solutions due to their recent academic training and lack of practical experience.  We have found that the most effective solutions for Barbados are relatively simple.

We published our solutions for rigorous public scrutiny on 1 July 2015, so that through discussion, they can be improved.  We especially welcomed discussion with those who thought that they would not benefit from the proposed solutions, because we tried to design them to benefit all residents and citizens of Barbados.  They have now become our promises to the people of Barbados.

1.  Improving Governance

The general inefficiency and indecision within the public service is the main problem hindering Barbados’ development.  The obvious solution is to implement a continuous improvement management system, where every year there is measureable improvement.  However, both established political parties have embraced a management system where there is continuous decline.  Every year, our public services are managed worse than the previous year.

  1. To address Government’s inefficient public services, all Government departments (including statutory corporations) will be required to attain and maintain the highest international quality management standard – ISO 9001.  Priority will be given to those departments that regularly interact with the public.  People should receive efficient and competent service from each government department. [Link to ISO 9001 Implementation Plan]

  2. To address Government’s indecision, the lifetime pension arrangement for politicians will be abolished.  Parliamentarians will receive pension contributions to their pension accounts only while they are in office.  Making important but unpopular decisions should not be delayed until enough first time politicians qualify for their pensions. [Link to Abolishing Lifetime Pension Implementation Plan]

  3. To address the lack of civility in parliament, the parliamentary privilege that allows politicians in parliament to defame individuals without consequences will be abolished.  Parliament should be the place where exemplary debates and discussions are held.  [Link to Abolishing Defamation Protection Implementation Plan]

  4. To address civil servant apathy, the power to hire, fire and discipline civil servants will be returned to a non-political body.  All civil servants will be appointed on merit alone, by a non-political professional commission.  We cannot expect civil servants to be anything but apathetic if they believe that there is no hope of being promoted, unless they are in favour with a particular political party.  Further, frustrated civil servants is the likely outcome of being poorly managed by an incompetent political appointee. [Link to Civil Service Apathy Implementation Plan]

  5. To address political victimization, a discussion will be held with civil servants on whether they should join political parties, and any proven case of political victimization, by any civil servant, will result in the offender’s immediate dismissal, and forfeiture of their pension.  This should protect civil servants from being victimized when the government is forced to lay-off staff.  We are all well aware that when the Ds are in, the Bs get sent home, and when the Bs are in, the Ds get sent home.    This initiative should also protect any person, regardless of political affiliation, when they try to obtain government services.  However, this policy would need to be agreed with their respective Unions.  [Link to Discouraging Political Victimization Implementation Plan]

  6. To address the problem of nurses and teachers who no longer passionately care, and feel trapped in an unfulfilling job, counselling followed by either promotion (for qualified persons), early retirement with full pension (for older persons), or educational grants for an alternative career (for younger persons), will be provided.  Barbados depends on the continual influx of nurses and teachers who genuinely and passionately care.  [Link to Health and Education Implementation Plan]

  7. Statutory corporations will be managed by a Chief Executive Officer, who will report to the Permanent Secretary.  Boards will be abolished since they appear ineffective at preventing questionable expenses, providing audited accounts, or addressing the major concerns of the Auditor General.  Therefore, they appear to be an unnecessary layer of bureaucracy that can be more effectively handled by the Permanent  Secretary.  [Link to Statutory Corporation Implementation Plan]

  8. To address the unwillingness of the Opposition to work with Government in proposing solutions given their concern of a snap election, the Prime Minister must call an election one year in advance.

2.  Improving the Regulatory System

  1. To address the quality of government’s regulatory system, the qualifications and experience of regulatory posts will be high.  Professional posts will require chartered or equivalent professional qualifications, preferably at the level of Fellow.  The regulators must be at least as qualified as the persons whose work they are regulating.  Barbados is too small a country to risk regulatory failures.  [Link to Regulation Implementation Plan]

  2. To address the prolonged settlement of insurance claims, the insurance industry will be regulated to ensure that property and injury claims are either settled within 3 months of the incident, or they are adjudicated by a third party.  In special cases, the adjudicator may allow the insurance company additional time to further investigate a claim (for example, in cases of suspected fraud, or exceptionally complex claims).  If a person has a valid insurance policy, then they should be paid, at least partially (i.e. the full amount which is not in dispute), within one month.  [Link to Insurance Claim Settlement Implementation Plan]

  3. To address the problem of arbitrary regulations, all Ministers will have advisory committees consisting of independent representatives of relevant organisations.  [Link to Advisory Committee Implementation Plan]

  4. To address the problem of regulations being unknown or unfair, all laws and regulations of Barbados will be published on the Internet.  Further, if any Barbadian citizen or resident thinks that a regulation is unfair, then they may request its review by the advisory committee who shall make a recommendation to the Minister.  If the Minister rejects their recommendation, then the advisory committee may appeal to Cabinet.  Cabinet decisions shall be final.

  5. To improve the effectiveness of Permanent Secretaries, all Permanent Secretaries and their Deputies will be trained in Project Management.

3.  Improving the Criminal Justice System

When offenders commit crimes, the police normally investigate and charge them.  Then they are prosecuted, and they may be fined and/or jailed.  However, it is the taxpayers who currently pay for the justice system.  With the increasing number of inmates at HMP Dodds at around 1,000, the cost of charging, prosecuting and looking after the offenders for the duration of their sentence has become burdensome.  The main reason for Barbados’ expensive justice system is to address the actions of offenders.  It is time that the offenders pay for their justice service.

  1. To address the high cost of crime to the taxpayer, on conviction offenders will be fined 10 times the replacement value of the offence, and HMP Dodds will be reserved for violent offenders who must both serve their sentences and pay their fines.  Therefore, if someone steals a cell phone, and a similar new cell phone costs $700, then they will pay a fine of $7,000 on conviction.  It should be cheaper for an offender to buy their own than to steal someone else’s.

  2. After persons are charged, but before they are formally tried, the offenders will be allowed to consult with their lawyers and pay a pre-trial settlement of 3 times the replacement value of the offence, where one part will go to the victim, and two parts to fund the justice system.  Otherwise, the fine on conviction will be 10 times the value of the offence if found guilty, where 2 parts will go to the victim and 8 parts to fund the justice system.  The minimum pre-trial sentence will be $500, and the minimum trial sentence will be $5,000.

  3. To address the problem of violent crime, violent crime will attract a minimum 3-year prison sentence for the first offence and a minimum 10-year prison sentence for subsequent offences.  They will also attract fines of 10 times the value of the offence.  Therefore, if a first offender used a knife during the robbery of the $700 cell phone, then on conviction, he will spend at least 3 years in prison and must also pay the $7,000 fine.

  4. To address the concerns of bribery, a 3-month amnesty will be provided for both the payer and receiver, where each of them can confidentially pay a fine of the value of the bribe.  Thereafter, the fine will be 10 times the value of the bribe. The statute of limitations on bribery and other corrupt practises will be Barbados’ date of independence.  All investigations, charges, and prosecutions will be confidential.  However, convictions will be made public.

  5. To address the concerns of corruption, whistle-blower legislation will be enacted immediately following the bribery amnesty, where the whistle-blower will receive 10% of the resultant fine.  Therefore, the whistle-blower will receive the full value of the bribe or other corrupt offence.  However, to reduce the risk of malicious unsubstantiated accusations, the whistle-blower may be liable for defamation if there is no evidence of corruption.

  6. To address the stigma attached to charged persons in a small country like Barbados, only the charges and court cases of those convicted will be published.  Publishing any such details of innocent persons will attract defamation fines.  Defamation will not attract a prison sentence, and the damages will be quantified based on loss of reputation and profit.

  7. To address the mixing of violent offenders with non-violent offenders in prison, prison will be reserved for violent offenders (separated into first time and repeat offenders) and those who refuse to pay their fines.  The fines can be paid by instalments, and work opportunities will be found for those not employed in order to facilitate their payments.

  8. To address the proliferation of guns used to commit offenses, all persons involved in the illegal distribution of a gun will be charged with the same offense as the final user.  Therefore, the importer, distributor, seller, and renter will all be charged with: murder, manslaughter, attempted murder, rape, theft, threats, illegal possession, or whatever the final user was charged with.

4.  Improving Government Procurement

Internationally, government procurement of goods and services represents a significant share of national corrupt practises (between 10% and 30%).  Once a country has been negatively branded as corrupt, then it can take at least one generation to change that perception.  Therefore, such negative branding should actively be avoided.

  1. All government contracts, where the full value of the work is over $25,000, shall be publically tendered through a fair and public prequalification and tender process.

  2. The tendering process shall be managed by a non-political tenders committee.  Members of the committee shall comprise of representatives of professional organisations with effective disciplinary sub-committees.  It should be noted that civil servants do join professional organisations.

5.  Improving Education

When secondary school students graduate, they should have at least one marketable skill and feel useful.  They should know how to survive on their own; otherwise, we have done them a disservice.  We must provide the environment where they can build a strong foundation on which to support and carry forward the legacy that is Barbados.  Secondary school should be more than an enhanced day-care for teenagers.  All students should at least know how to cook, make marketable products from raw materials at home (eg: coconut oil from coconuts), perform basic accounting, perform basic maintenance on manufactured products, and speak and write well.  Further, none of Barbados’ diligent students should be deprived of a University education because of their inability to pay.

  1. To address the problem of unskilled secondary school graduates, the school curriculum will be revised so that secondary school students spend their first three years learning the more exciting, easier-to-learn, and more marketable practical aspects of the subjects.  The final two years will be spent learning the more challenging theoretical aspects for the CXC examinations.

  2. To address the high cost of UWI education to taxpayers, the UWI tuition for a first degree will be paid in full for those who qualify with 7 CXC General passes (I and II) and 3 CAPE passes.  The tuition will be for the normal duration of a marketable Bachelor degree.  A marketable degree is one in which an average of at least one quarter of the graduating class of the past 15 years has been able to obtain employment in that field.

  3. To further address the high cost of UWI education to taxpayers, any student who is accepted into an accredited degree programme at a foreign university, that is less expensive than UWI, may be fully funded.  However, they or their sureties will be required to refund all costs with interest if they do not return within 10 years of graduating.

  4. To address the concerns about the quality of teaching, secondary and tertiary level students will complete confidential course evaluations and will have their promotion exams audited.

  5. To address teachers’ concerns about violent disruptive students, such students must leave the classroom so that the others can learn.  The disruptive student will first receive counselling.  If there is no change in the student’s behaviour, then they will be enrolled in the National Youth Service for two weeks where they will receive additional counselling.  If there is still no change, then they will be enrolled in the National Youth Service for one year and will have to repeat the school year.

  6. To address teachers’ concerns about non-violent disruptive students, repeat offenders must visit the geriatric hospital to care for the elderly at least one hour after school each week-day, for a duration of 2 weeks. Young offenders can spend the hour reading to sight or memory-impaired residents, while older offenders can also assist with feeding and exercise. After two weeks, they should learn compassion and some of our collective wisdom, and our elderly may appreciate interacting with our children. Students will not be allowed to return to school unless they have a note, signed by the duty nurse, confirming their attendance the previous day. This should ensure the parents’ cooperation.

  7. To address the management problems within the schools and the Ministry, all schools and departments within the Ministry of Education will be managed in accordance with the international Quality Management standard, ISO 9001.  This should result in complaints being permanently addressed, wastage being minimized, innovation among teachers and administrative staff being developed, and productivity among all employees being higher.

6.  Improving Transportation

  1. To address the high cost of public transportation, the public transportation system will be privatised and fairly and well regulated.  Permit owners will be charged 10 times the value of each offence, and they will forfeit their permit if their vehicle has attracted more than 3 dangerous offences in one year (letting someone on or off between bus stops is not a dangerous offence, but speeding, overloading, reckless driving, etc are).

  2. The existing public transportation system will be limited to transporting school children in uniform and will be available for charter.

  3. Pensioners will be allowed to travel without cost on the privatised system.

7.  Improving Health Care

It can be challenging to eat healthy food when it costs significantly more than the unhealthy alternatives.  The unhealthy high fat, high salt and high sugar foods are linked to heart disease, diabetes and cancer.  These make our health care too expensive for us to afford.

  1. To address the high cost of health care to the public, taxes will be removed from all healthy foods and a health tax will be applied to all unhealthy foods consumed in Barbados, whether imported or locally manufactured.  Therefore, those who choose the more expensive unhealthy foods will pre-pay for their health care.

8.  Improving Welfare

  1. To address the inequities in the welfare system, all households (whether in an owner occupied or rental dwelling) will be allowed a subsistence amount of water and electricity without cost.   Rates above this minimum will be increased to fund the initial subsistence amount.

  2. To address wastage in the welfare system, each welfare recipient will be issued a debit card that can only be redeemed at the Barbados Agricultural Society, and is topped up weekly.  The BAS will be audited annually to improve the management of this system.

9.  Improving Business Development

Business development can be facilitated by knowledge, and by funding that does not financially ruin the individual while they learn from their failures.

  1. To address the lack of knowledge, secondary school students will learn how to develop and manage a home-based business as part of their school curriculum.  A national workshop will be televised, and will be freely available over the Internet, training families in step-by-step methods, how to start and properly manage a home-based business.   The national workshops should benefit persons with insufficient family income, or employees who feel trapped in unfulfilling jobs.

  2. A new national development bank will be established to assist small businesses.  Transactions can be performed at the various post offices across Barbados, over the Internet, and at ATM’s.  Unsecured micro-loans (up to $5,000) can be provided through overdraft facilities.  Larger loans can be obtained with securities.

  3. The BIDC will facilitate businesses wishing to invest in Barbados, and export from Barbados.  BIMAP will facilitate the training of ISO 9001 auditors.

10  Improving Taxation

  1. To address the inequities in the income tax system, individuals will pay a flat tax of 10% of their gross income with no deductions.

  2. To address the inequities in the corporate tax system, all businesses competing in Barbados’ market will pay a flat tax of 10% of gross revenues in local currency received (not invoiced) with no deductions.  The percentage of gross revenues received in approved foreign currency by the Central Bank, will be taxed at 0% during the first year, and 2.5% thereafter.  All taxes are due within one month of the previous month’s receipts.  Late payments will attract a penalty of 10% for one month.  VAT and NSRL will be abolished.

  3. To address the non-payment of taxes, all taxes of any type owed to Government by individuals and businesses will be forgiven.  In exchange for starting with a ‘clean slate’, all individuals and businesses should pay their taxes promptly.  All businesses will be audited.  Blatant cases of refusal to pay taxes will attract fines of 10 times the unpaid balance.

  4. To address the ethics concerns of professionals, professionals will need to show evidence of membership in a relevant professional organisation, with a code of ethics and an active disciplinary committee, in order to register in Barbados.  The registration fees will be 10% of what they currently (2015) are for the first month when they are due.

  5. To improve the tourism product, all inputs used exclusively in the tourism property will be duty free.  Any duty free items diverted for non-tourism or personal use will attract a fine of 10 times the market value of the good or service.

  6. To address the inequities in the land tax system, taxes will not be applied to either land primarily in agriculture, or residential land with 1 large fruit bearing tree maintained in at-most every 5,000 sq-ft of unimproved land area. Taxes will be applied to occupied unpainted houses, unoccupied houses, vacant lots not in agriculture, and lots with less than 1 fruit bearing tree in every 5,000 sq-ft (max) of unimproved land area.  The tree must be capable of bearing in order to qualify.

  7. To address the inequities in the duty free sector, duty free purchases will only be allowed using foreign currency.

  8. To address the high cost of solid waste disposal, separating domestic and commercial wastes into metal, glass, paper, plastic and organic wastes will be mandated, recycling and reuse will be encouraged, and a solid-waste tax will be applied to all manufactured products and packaging consumed in Barbados, whether imported or locally made.  A tax rebate will be available to all importers and local manufacturers who ship the waste packaging and waste products outside of Barbados.

  9. To reduce wasted resources, public workers should not be required to pay income taxes.  Currently, the private sector must pay additional taxes, which are then given to public sector workers, who then give it to the Government.  The accounting bureaucracy and costs required to manage the taxation of an estimated 25,000 public workers can be avoided.

11  Improving Agriculture

  1. To address the main disincentive for farmers, Government will share the theft risk.  Farmers will be reimbursed immediately for thefts, and an effective praedial larceny section will be established within the Royal Barbados Police Force to investigate and charge offenders.  The fine will be 10 times the market value of the crops and/or equipment reported stolen.  Fraudulent accusations will attract the same penalty.

  2. To address the stealing of crops by monkeys, the interior and sides of gullies will be planted with fruit trees.

  3. To encourage small farmers to plant more, tractor services will be available to all small farmers, and an efficient collection system will be arranged for export crops.

12  Improving Infrastructure

  1. To address the high maintenance cost of Barbados’ infrastructure, maintenance will be a principal design and construction criterion which will be enforced in the management of building contracts.

  2. A Ministry or Department of Maintenance will be established to maintain Barbados’ infrastructure.

  3. To address soil erosion of agricultural lands clogging drainage structures, the edges of fields bounding the road will be planted with Khus Khus grass.

The Way Forward

Our current plan follows.

  1. Subject the policy solutions described on this page to rigorous scrutiny for the sole purpose of improving them (ongoing).
  2. Develop implementation plans for the scrutinized policies (ongoing).
  3. Develop drafts of the legislative and regulatory amendments, revised school curriculums, and ISO 9001 quality management procedures that support the implementation plan (ongoing).

You are welcome to contribute to these efforts by commenting on the drafts when they are published.  Our aim is not to spend months after the elections still planning improvements, but to start implementing from the first months.  Please note that if your suggestions are found to improve any of the plans, then they will be modified.  If not, then they will be implemented as is.

To demonstrate our usefulness from the start, we will be providing solutions to topical Barbadian issues.  These solutions will be published on our Topical Solutions page and/or our Blogs and Notices page.  The solutions will include proposed implementation plans for the various Government agencies.  We hope that now we are in the political trench, our suggested solutions will be considered – for the advancement of Barbados.


92 thoughts on “Policy Solutions for Barbados

    • 1. Barbados because of its size and population only need a PM deputy PM and 8 ministers , constituencies should be reduce to 24 the speaker and his or her deputy of the house should be civil servants with the required qualifications and non partisan.

      2. All mortgages should have a maintenance amount added to its principal to be used five years and there after , at a reasonable rate to be determine by a committee to beset up by the Ministry of Maintenance to keep all properties in good condition , this should also apply to all Government Buildings.

      3. Capital punishment should be used for rape , murder , and any form of child abuse .

      4. The Government should lobby for the USA to stop the NAR from selling guns to Caribbean nationals or shipping them to the Caribbean .

      • Dear Jeffrey:

        We numbered your submission for ease of responding.

        1. Perhaps. This will need more discussion.

        2. It is better to build low-maintenance buildings.

        3. How do you define capital punishment – hanging, flogging? Please explain.

        4. This is a national problem that we have not addressed. Thank you. We will include it in out Topical Solutions page once we have given it some thought.

        Best regards,

      • , constituencies should be reduce to 24 the speaker and his or her deputy of the house should be civil servants with the required qualifications and non partisan.

        Even 24 Is too many. We need one per parish. With the salaries saved we could employ 50 more nurses or police or teachers. Most of them in the house only get fat and do nothing.

    • Preventing civil servants from joining a political party is unconstitutional …breaches there right to freedom of association ….

      • Dear Just Saying:

        This policy was designed to protect civil servants from victimization. If they do not want this protection, then we are willing to drop this policy – but we want to hear from them.

        Best regards,

      • Just Saying

        It is not unconstitutional to restrict public officers from joining political parties. Please refer to section 44. (2) of the Constitution.

        Sent from my iPad

    • I have many comments but I will only give those on education as well as a general comment.

      I believe that requiring disruptive school children to carry out the tasks mentioned in 6 relating to improving education may be unconstitutional. This would fall under forced labour. Refer to 14:2-3 in the Conatitution.

      Also, the idea of a marketable university degree in the way defined does not align with university education. For instance, a degree in history provides many transferrable skills that allow employment outside of history such as in businesses that require research. The same can be said for a philosophy degree. The idea of marketable communicated by your party promotes the idea that degrees train for narrow job fields which may be the case in Medicine or Law but need not pertain to most fields of study (including Medicine, Law and other so-called professional degrees). This narrow “job marketability” view of education is one that harms the education system and the general approach to education in the Caribbean

      I also do not understand why running a business is the requirement for becoming a potential candidate in this party. Does running a business badly allow one to have more skill and acumen than others who may not be business owners but who have experience in responsible leadership positions or roles? Businesses and many entities thrive on hiring such leaders who are dilligent, creative, ethical and responsible leaders. You may be doing your search for solutions a disservice by maintaining this criterion.

      Best wishes

      • Dear Kristina:

        We welcome any comments you may provide. Our responses follow.

        1. The students will have a choice of suspension of attendance at the National Youth Service.

        2. When Barbados had access to additional funds, the Government could have funded any course of study that the student desired. However, we can no longer afford such luxuries. Students are at liberty to study any subject that they wish. However, the Government is not obligated to pay for any such subject. Our priorities are marketable degrees. When the economy improves, then the priorities can be widened.

        3. Running a profitable business in a responsible manner appears to be the best training for managing the national economy. Running a business badly is irresponsible. We have tried various other categories of persons (eg single professional lawyers, doctors, economists, teachers, etc) over the past 50 years, with disastrous results.

        4. Please note that on 1st February 2017, we plan to widen our candidate selection criteria to include any person with any type of management experience.

        Best regards,

  1. I have long given up on what passes for good governance in this country. If you are serious about what’s in your manifesto (solutions), I would be most willing to offer what little skills I have to your cause. I am not interested in becoming a candidate but you will need workers to assist you in reaching Parliament. I can be one of those workers if you would have me. By worker, I mean volunteer; I am not looking for remuneration.

    • Dear Caswell:

      Thank you. We are very serious about quickly implementing our solutions and intend to ‘hit the ground running’. For that to happen, we require rigorous scrutiny of our solutions with a view to improving them.

      All that we require at this time is for readers to try to improve the solutions already presented, and identify any critical national problems that require our immediate attention. For your information, We plan to present solutions to topical national problems approximately weekly, so that the public can understand how we plan to govern. First on the list is the seaweed problem.

      In time, we will provide more detail on how each solution may be implemented, based on our current knowledge. We will appreciate any suggestions of improving the efficiency and effectiveness of each implementation plan.

      Best regards,

  2. This is refreshing! Hopeful, even! My interest has been peaked after reading your solutions. I have a few questions to ask about some areas and a few pointers to add to them. I do not desire to be a candidate, but I can volunteer to assist where I would best fit, based on my qualifications.

    • Dear Juanita:

      We would be happy to receive any pointers and answer any queries. After the elections, we will mainly be focused on implementing.

      Best regards,

  3. I think that a 3rd party is what is needed here in Barbados. I did not see transparency in government addressed in the solutions. This is addressed by every party’s manifesto for every election however never followed through on. Hopefully this new party has something more to offer on this front than others have in the past.

  4. You stated that ‘”The general inefficiency and indecision within the public service is the main problem hindering Barbados’ development. “. Is this so? I fear that you have already started with some presumptions, stereotypes and vague generalities which will only result in ostracizing and marginalizing 25 000 (?) public servants. The Public service is a easy whipping boy and bogeyman. All aspects of the Barbadian society – private sector, civil society and even some external factors have contributed to the current state of affairs. You further stated that “To address political victimization, civil servants will not be allowed to join political parties.” Where else in the free world has this been done -pressing public servants from joining a political party of their choice. Isn’t this unconstitutional?. The constitution allows freedom of association. I am sure you mean well, but your analysis of the problems and your proposed solution seem quite simplistic and targeted at the usual suspects.

    • Hi Anon:

      Thank you for your perspectives. We see it differently. The 25,000 or so public servants are valuable resources that are being badly managed. Once they are managed within the liberating ISO 9001 standard, then they should be exemplars, and highly sought after by the private sector.

      It is important that our public service be de-politicised. If you have a better solution to accomplish this, then we welcome it.

      Best regards,

    • nextparty246

      Presently, public officers are prevented from holding office in a political party. It is not unconstitutional because the Constitution itself makes an exception. You might be able to argue that the exception should be specific because every public officer’s job does not bring him into to contact with Government policy.

      Mind you the law is more observed in the breach. I recall that a teacher was the ruling party’s candidate in ST. Joseph, and the public service commission did nothing.

      Sent from my iPad


      • Dear Caswell:

        We do not want to force this measure upon civil servants. It was designed to protect them – it also gives them an excuse if they are pressured by their political party to behave in a partisan manner, and protects them from political victimization when another party forms the Government. If civil servants wish to remain members of political parties, then we welcome their input. They are encouraged to discuss their views here.

        If they are generally in agreement, then a constitutional amendment can resolve the issue. If they are not in agreement, then they can join a political party, but they are likely to be more at risk to losing both employment and pension when they succumb to pressure from their political party.

        Best regards,

  5. @ Grenville
    shiite man….
    …mean the very first man that volunteer to join the movement you putting on hold…?
    Besides Caswell is a KEY man… If you and he still speaking after 6 weeks then you are DEFINITELY prime ministerial stuff…. 🙂

    @ Caswell
    Look Caswell, You are hereby inducted. Your membership number is Number 0007
    Call Grenville as soon as possible to arrange a meeting.

    • Hi BT:

      There is no ‘on hold’. As draft plans are prepared, they will be presented for rigorous critical review – and we covet Caswell’s customary analytical approach.

      Best regards,

  6. My man you plan to register as a going concern with publicly audited statements of affairs ..?

  7. Grenville, greetings and best of luck with your venture.

    I know that you are a man who puts words into action with vigor and if anyone can move the third party dynamic then surely you can.

    However, you need to have Caswell and others more seasoned with public discourse and legal issues review your Solutions Manifesto post haste. Several comments there are non-starters in any democratically operated legally strong system and surely therefore in BIM too.

    The one mentioned above re civil servants and party affiliation is on top of that list.

    Additionally, I said on the BU forum: ‘the statement: ” If the Government or Opposition parties follow our advice, then WE WILL LEAVE THE TRENCH AS QUICKLY AS WE ENTERED IT – the CHOICE (my emphases) is theirs” is absolutely not the tone to encourage a popular movement…But to fulfill his goal to LEAD …he must get his messaging properly tuned.”

    Politics is a tough game and you cannot ostracize a large group of people with well-meaning but badly crafted words; otherwise your campaign will end before it starts.

    Be refreshing and spirited as you are now, but use all the experiences you have gained to make this effort a strong and well-coordinated one so that although you are a political novice you can hit the road running like a real pro.

    You should recognize my email so if you believe I can offer any input to your benefit then by all means tap me a note. privately.

    • Dear DW:

      We are grateful to have Caswell reviewing our Solutions. It seems that civil servants joining political parties is seen as problematic. However, the measure was desifgned to protect them. I would like to discuss this issue with public servants to verify their actual position. If they want to be able to join a political party, then we will change our position and they may do so, but they will have to live with the consequences – as realised when the 3,000 were sent home.

      You might as well know that we would much prefer to have the existing elected officials govern responsibly. If our reluctant entry can serve to shock them into governing properly, then for us to remain in politics would be redundant. The goal is to have all Barbadians benefit from having effective solutions implemented. Our formation, and continued existence, is only possible because of their gross failure to govern responsibly. Whether we continue as an organisation is entirely up to them.

      Best regards,

      • I am so impressed It is hard to put into words the joy I feel of the possibility of this party winning the elections and these things being implemented. This is what our country needs after so many years of poor governance and the growing branches of corruption. Tired of the status quo. A lot of these solution/future policies I’ve been studying for years but was unable to articulate them in this manner.

        One thing I would like to add.
        A recall election (also called a recall referendum or representative recall) is a procedure by which voters can remove an elected official from office through a direct vote before their term has ended. Recalls, which are initiated when sufficient voters sign a petition, have a history dating back to the ancient Athenian democracy [1] and are a feature of several contemporary constitutions. In indirect or representative democracy people’s representatives are elected and these representatives rule for a specific period of time. However, if any representative is not properly discharging their responsibilities, then they can be called back with the written request of specific number of voters.

        Solutions Barbados is the way forward!

  8. Your views and solutions are very refreshing, however the Barbadian electors who you are trying to woo, will not take too kindly to this proposed new party,if we start to see some of the very people who have placed us in this predicament, starting to jump ship and being thrown a life raft by you, after they qualify for that covet pension.

  9. You have provided some simple solutions which could improve the efficiency and reduce the corruption which are our biggest problems.Your approach is unconventional which is good but you may need to get on board some persons who have some experience or knowledge in key areas of government which need to be addressed, although I could be wrong and all that may be needed is intelligence and the ability to learn quickly. And make no mistake, you will have a lot to learn as is evidenced by the next paragraph.

    1. The idea of prohibiting civil servants from being members of a political party may prove unconstitutional. I don’t have a new solution to the problem but I believe you will have to deal with partisan civil servants who present difficulties within the organization by the use of disciplinary action. Performance appraisals should provide your ammunition. – proper appraisals with documented evidence and procedures being followed in a timely manner.

    2. With respect to your proposals on insurance claims. Claims for injuries for instance should not be settled before the full extent of the injury is known and has been treated for more than a few months. What could happen is that once the insurance company has accepted liability that they advance a livable sum to the injured party to cover them until full settlement is reached.

    The fault does not always lie with the insurance company but with those doctors who delay in writing reports, especially those at the QEH Orthopedic Department who delay for many many years. This causes whole families to suffer unbearably since the breadwinner is unable to work.

    3. Also the NIS is a horror story with the same doctors not writing reports for years. The applicants are ill or injured and unable to work receiving nothing for years from the NIS into which they have paid.

    4. Another issue you need to address is payment for persons whose property has been compulsorily acquired by the government. This process drags on for several years. This is illegal, I’m sure.

    5. Please seek the counsel of the Principal of the Government Industrial School with respect to the needs of our troubled children. He has plenty to say. Facilitate prevention by diversifying and bettering our educational system and curriculum and facilities. Hire more teachers and train them properly. Facilitate intervention by hiring more social workers to rescue our children when necessary. Prevention and timely intervention are both cheaper than cure. If we hire more teachers and social workers we will most likely be able to hire less policemen, prison officers and court officers. make this a priority.

    6. I look forward to the broader framework covering all areas of government.

    7. Fear not, for most of the ministers in the current administration are less intelligent than you are and have made greater gaffes. Don’t let the ridicule that they will undoubtedly unleash on you deter you. Press on! Many of us will support you.

    • Hi DMJH:

      I took the liberty of numbering your issues, and I will refer to those numbers for a clearer response.

      1. The measure of not allowing civil servants to join political parties is designed to protect them – it also gives them an excuse if they are pressured by their political party to behave in a partisan manner, and protects them from political victimization when another party forms the Government. If civil servants wish to remain members of political parties, then we welcome their input. They are encouraged to discuss their views here. If they are generally in agreement, then a constitutional amendment can resolve the issue.

      2. Insurance companies should be regulated to settle non-contentious claims, or the non-contentious part of a claim within a specified period of time. If delays are due to the slow or non-performance of a few doctors who are managed by the insurance agency, then insurance agency is at fault. They are advised to better manage the doctors under their control rather than giving that poor excuse to the adjudicator.

      3. If the same doctors are not writing reports for years as you claim, then why are people being sent to those same doctors to be added to the back-log? The solution is too obvious to mention.

      4. Delayed payment for compulsory acquisition is a problem that we did not address. Thank you for raising it. We will add it to the Policy Solutions page. The Government should only take possession of land to be acquired after payment has been made in full – not before.

      5. We believe that changing the secondary school curriculum to allow students to leave schools with marketable skills should be sufficiently effective. A troubled child is empowered if she believes that she has the capability to prosper without being dependent on others who may ‘trouble’ her.

      6. All areas of Government will be addressed by being managed to the highest quality management standard, ISO 9001. I believe that this is the main reason why Singapore is doing so well, despite starting far behind Barbados. We politicised our civil service, they professionalised theirs.

      7. In order to have our suggestions considered, we have been directed to descend into the murky political trench, knowing full well what awaits. The trench is where the bloodiest and most sickening political battles occur, where no mercy is shown to those who do not agree, and no care is provided to the politically wounded. It is a place where you risk the death of your professional reputation. We do not believe that persons should have to enter politics as a prerequisite for having their opinions seriously considered. Therefore, we are here to change the political environment and demolish the vile political trench for the benefit of us all.

      Best regards,

  10. Political Party and Gang by definition are interchangeable words. NO Political Party in the region is prepared to have a legal presence, as a charity, a firm, a club, a PLC or Ltd since is allows them to exist without the fear of a legal challenge to their wrong doings as a group.

    They are going concerns since they receive monies and the pay bills. Truthfully their activities should be taxable, but yet they avoid this kind of scrutiny since they do not have to keep account of their financial affairs and have such exposed to the Public.

    Any properly registered body that seeks to gain access to the public’s purse would be the first in the region to do so and could expect to be a bit more attractive to the non-voters like myself

  11. I applaud your efforts to make a change and will certainly support all the way up to electoral level. I believe by now many large companies whose fortunes rise and fall with whomever is in government should see this as an opportunity to free themselves from that cycle.

    • Hi BAFBFP:

      Perhaps they are. We would appreciate knowing a more effective method that is suitable for Barbados.

      Best regards,

      • Special interest groups directly determining who will represent them in Cabinet. Those involved in Education should vote for their representative, the Minister of Education. … so too the Environment, Defence, Healthcare, Culture etc. No more Lower House, no more Upper House … no more Political Parties as they will be made illegal

      • Dear Anon:

        We are not looking to remake the country, rather, to solve the main problems that are hindering Barbados’ development.

        Best regards,

  12. With regards to the Education component I believe that if you are only discussing secondary or tertiary education proposals, one would have failed to address the issue of primary school education and more specifically refashioning the dated system and incorporating critical thinking as well as nurturing creativity and innovative thought. You need some real educators on board, “not teachers” there is a subtle difference that all these years hence we have failed to recognize and therein has been our failing.

    I’ll give you an example of what i mean by teacher and educator.and trainer to regurgitate and nurturer of creative thought.

    A lagoon is inhabited by many fauna and flora. Mangroves are trees which (i) grow in saline ecosystems and (ii) defy the interactions of sea against land effluent – intertidal regions and (iii) have the most interesting of root structures that permit them to exist in such a turbulent environment.

    For “the desert to blossom like a rose” how does a mind at tertiary level, having be nurtured and primary level, in a secondary environment that permits the actuation of said nurturing move to a point of interpretation and implementation where we create the equivalent of an inverted mangrove for the benefit of the desert?

    Your vision is commendable and without a doubt this first pass has had great thought but if you carry this down to the empirical level, there is a strong possibility that Barbados will reach out to Third Party Candidates in 2018.

    And while I have yet to reread your submission IT ISI IMPERATIVE that the Power of Recall is enshrined into any Third Party’s mandate.

    If you F Up I want the power to canvass for your recall xxx Redacted xxx.

    We Bajans are tired of being led by the visionless, ON BOTH SIDES OF THE coin and we want men and women who are competent and dont just talk pretty

    • Dear David:

      Thank you for your comments. We can aim to improve the primary schools also. However, we would need to audit the Common Entrance exam results in order to efficiently identify the required improvements.

      The power of recall is a useful idea to address grossly ineffective leaders. However, there is a risk that a good leader implementing very unpopular but necessary plans may be caught in the net.

      The Candidates are all competent people. They will be presented on the Candidates page.

      Best regards,

    • Dear David:

      Please note that since this is not an anonymous blog, all comments must be reviewed. This is due to recent charges brought under the Computer Misuse Act and the Defamation Acts.

      Best regards,

  13. Grenville, I am concerned. by the instant rush to defend the indefensible rather the very same malady that besieges us today which forms the basis of your current foray into the political trenches.

    Let me explain that remark on your “rush” Like many others in other social commentary blogs I believe that recall has its place, particularly in a country where ascension to the political halls carries with it some Luciferian hounds that were able in the night to have killed GOD and replaced them with a cadre of people WHO WILL BROACH no dissenting opinion.

    But even here in this blog, before you have ascended to those heights you (a) qualify ineffectual leaders with the tag “grossly” as if to say that while one may be ineffectual, BECAUSE they are not “grossly” so they may remain (ii) a good leader …may be caught in the net which would again cause me to revert to my rave about GOD being dead for unless I missed that event I would say this no political seat should be assured to ANYONE and if you get caught in the vagaries of recall so be it, we are not giving anyone a carte blanche here.

    This is quite simple Grenville all have sinned saved One and I am sure that He is not going to be on your Candidates Page.

    You have made what is a simplistic evaluation of the process of revamping the education system if what you are proposing lies in an audit of the Common Entrance Exam to see what need improving.

    We are talking about 3 years away and I would have felt a few things (i) the competent candidates have been chosen for their competencies (ii) there are those among the candidates who are educators and can speak to this policy more soundly than you have.

    Finally while it will be very hard to balance, even now in its infancy there will be a need for there to be verbal essays with the candidates which commence with them speaking here as opposed to you answering each and every blog entry.

    I want to see the Candidate who is anticipated to be the next Minister of Sports speaking here as you do, so that we are not looking at appointing another popular DJ artiste from Broken Hearts Club, I want to hear them right now, without all of the grooming, to find out all the raw stuff and the mettle of the man and women whom it would seem you fear that Recall in the hands of the people might eliminate them overnight

    It is a strange thing to fear the Power of Recall because of some anomaly, as opposed to having such confidence in the Competencies of the Candidates which overcomes that possibility.

    But it is something that I have long understood that undergirds all those who would be King, they employ all means to ensure that they can never be removed from power.

    The more things change the more they remain the same…n’est-ce pas?

    • Dear David:

      1. We acknowledged the recall proposal as a useful idea. However, we did not think that it was a priority at this time. However, please propose how it would work and we can include it in our proposals for public scrutiny. To reduce the risk of unnecessarily distracting elected officials with recall attempts initiated by fraud, the organization that submits a petition for recall should pay all costs of the recall election if the recall fails.

      2. The most effective way of identifying deficiencies is by auditing.

      3. I currently speak for the organisation.

      Best regards,

  14. Quite recently, I found myself the brunt of a statement where the word “egregiously” was misused by a big up.

    The party who floated the remark seemed to have been reading the Thesaurus that morning and wanted to show their mastery of the English Language.

    Needless to say her use was totally incorrect..

    I would say that such power of Recall would come into play in two circumstances

    (i) where the circumstances of representation by the politician is so “shocking, appalling, terrible, awful, horrendous, frightful, atrocious, abominable, abhorrent, outrageous” that to have them remain as the peoples representative would be a Sin against the People an

    (ii) where 30 % of the specific electorate within his/her constituency, petitioners who must have voted ONCE in their lifetime, feel that the Politician has performed so “egregiously” that nothing but Recall will serve to redress their incompetence or acts of fiduciary infelicity, then it is to be a right of the electorate.

    I call it entrenched accountability through which the people truly have rights.

    If it is not to serve the people in the House of Parliament then there must be a watchdog that keeps said politician on their tippy toes.

    I will await the candidates page

    • Dear Steve:

      At this time, the other persons need to prepare themselves for negative aspects of this venture. How do they know what these negative aspects are? Well, I have agreed to be the ‘lightning rod’ that attracts them – and I have.

      Best regards,

  15. I was just wondering Grenville, how does one “prepare oneself for the negative aspect of Politics?” In fact your second question which leads off from the first “about how do they know what these negative aspects are? seem to both be obvious and incredulous.

    All of the men are going to be accused of being womanizers, old whores, tieves, homosexuals (I redacted the bajan word so that you would not have to do that) being on AntiRetroviral Drugs, HIV positive, with 3 months to live, tieves ( I said that before didn’t I?) and persons who cant keep their hand out of the credit union, the church, the PTA and all other committees that they have served on with “a friend of mine who knows him like that”

    All of the women will be you know that bad word that you are going to redact if i put it here, wuffless, sleeping with everybody, frigid, frowsy and all the other things

    It seems to me like if the team is yet to be composed, which is an ok thing, but if they are already there then unlike you, they don’t seem to have the gonads to come here and take the heat.

    Like i said before I dont think that Jesus is going to be running as a candidate hre and all of you are going to have comments levelled at you here.

    Of course, unlike Barbados Underground, when you post here, every statement is moderated so, if you so desired, you can deny publication of anything that you dont like.

    • Dear David:

      The negative consequences that you mentioned were foreseen. Persons who have treasure their reputations need not fear them. We were referring to the unforeseen consequences, which have been realized, but which I will not describe here.

      Best regards,

    • Dear David:

      We do not disallow unfavourable comments. However, we will redact the words or phrases that may violate the Laws of Barbados. The redacted sections will be identified.

      Best regards,

  16. 1. I think one of the major issues with Barbados is lack of funds coming into our island and high spending. We are at a point where we need ideas to be implemented successfully for us to realize gains as a nation.

    2. Healthcare needs drastic measures in terms of reducing the debt and upgrading not just the hospital but also the polyclinics. Medical Tourism can also be looked at. It is my idea that a “nominal” fee of 20 can be charged by every citizen each month to go towards healthcare. With the last labour force survey of Dec 2014 it stated we had 126k of employed persons in the last quarter of 2014. This would generate 2.5 million BDS a month and 30 mil BDS a year.

    3. Drs in the public sector need to held at a higher standards. Do we regulate consultants showing that they need to spend a specificed time at the hospital every week? How do we keep track of it? How do we show that we mean business and if the minimum amount of time is not spent it will not be tolerated?

    4. A&E is another issue – Maybe opening polyclinics from 6am to 10pm would have less persons running to A&E! Non emergency persons who present at A&E after 10pm can be referred to a polyclinic, leaving the staff to adequately deal and discharge or admit emergency cases.

    5. I think the point with the reduction of taxes is a great idea. I think the more the government tries to tax the less tax is earned.

    6. With less taxes, hopefully the cost of living would be reduced
    1. enabling us to compete with other tourist destinations in the future
    2. allowing locals to have more discretionary income to spend and reviving the economy.

    7. Another point I have is that we seem to be growing houses and not food. We should be able to produce some of our foodstuff locally instead of depending on imports.

    • Dear Concerned Citizen:

      I took the liberty of numbering the issues that you raised, to facilitate a more convenient response.

      1. We agree. That is why we are sharing our solutions in the hope that they will be implemented with dispatch.

      2. The problem is that the more that the government receives, the more it tends to find ways to spend it. Then we would need additional “fees” or taxes for the increased spending, and the cycle will continue.

      3. The Doctors need to be better managed within the highest quality management standard – ISO 9001.

      4. The ISO 9001 system should automatically solve such problems. ISO 9001 is not static, but a continually improving management system.

      5. We agree.

      6. We agree. People can also invest in their home-based businesses.

      7. We can do both, but we should do both properly.

      Best regards,

  17. Every society must be an economy first, the flat tax is reasonable however abolishing vat is not feasible, to push your social plans you need money, Your flat tax and 15% vat is a good mix.

    • Dear Anon:

      Reduced tax rates have normally resulted in higher revenues in Barbados. If the flat tax yields the expected revenues, then the VAT – which is an unfair tax as currently applied, should be phased out.

      Best regards,

  18. What are your plans to address the civil justice system? I am involved in a civil case which was filed in 2012 and to date the judge has only heard the claimant’s case.

    • Dear Margaret:

      With the civil justice system also being managed within the ISO 9001 environment, such inefficiencies should be rare.

      Best regards,

  19. Education is my passion but I have to agree with an earlier contributor. Primary Education is the key to turning around the current system. The curriculum is lazy and needs to include Art, IT, Music, Agricultural Science, Woodwork and Home Economics. In addition the the Common Entrance Exam, which primarily focuses on the academically inclined- should include School-Based assessment this can be incorporated with the other subjects mentioned as well as Social Studies, General Science, Health Science and Spanish to formulate the final grade of a student leaving the Primary School System. This demonstrates in my opinion, a fairer assessment of each student’s abilities.

    On the subject of teachers, all of the new ones would only be accepted into the Primary system after completing a two year course at Erdiston Teachers Training College which would include a term’s assignment to a school.

    When we upgrade our Primary School System, we would help to facilitate change in health with respect to our eating habits. Home Economics would include the teaching and practicing of healthy eating and also the learning of traditional Bajan dishes which in the past were taught by our grand-parents.

    Woodwork would see boys and girls but boys especially be able to use their hands thus also encouraging creativity, IT is self-explanatory as this is the world in which we live, agriculture also gets those children who have a love the outdoors, plants, animals and not necessarily academically inclined see that they can contribute to society in a positive way.

    Art and music appeals to the creative child and he/she should not be made to feel unimportant because of their God-given talents or abilities or as the Science world would say their intelligence.

    There is so much more I could contribute in regards to Secondary School Curriculum, which I agree with you definitely needs revamping as well. Transportation will also factor into the changes as well. However, for now I hope this will help and you call on me if you need any more solutions. I am willing to volunteer.

  20. I believe you have made a great first step. I suggest organizing the information into individual threads so that they can be commented on separately. It will allow for more targeted feedback and improvements to the policy statements.

    • Dear Michael:

      We shall shortly be uploading our implementation plans, which will be be one page per policy. That should facilitate separate comments as requested.

      Best regards,

  21. I am concerned about the 10% tax on the gross income of businesses. Those businesses, such as restaurants and retail stores with material inputs, will face difficulty surviving such a charge. Do you really mean to tax their gross income? If so, please clarify the rationale for this basis of tax.

    • Dear Lisa:

      The intent is that this tax will eliminate the need for any other corporate tax. It is not a tax on inputs or expenses, which is currently the case, but on revenues only.

      The rationale for what is essentially a sales tax is that it is fair and relatively easy to check. Currently, profits are taxed. This can result in a situation where a company with significant revenues pays no taxes, while a small business with significantly less revenues pays burdensome taxes.

      Best regards,

  22. “More experienced professionals normally find that the simplest practical solutions are often the most effective. The least experienced professionals normally propose very complex and less effective solutions due to their recent academic training and lack of practical experience.” Yet, you claim that persons studying overseas need to return before the 10-year mark. Why?

    In the very first paragraph, you seek to attack the young who train but still want to speak about change. It is absolutely incorrect analysis to suggest that persons who recently completed studies “normally” have less effective solutions. This is a MAJOR issue with we have it Barbados as recently highlighted by Eversley in “A Bajan Paradox.” I was here every since, who he or she feel he is because they just finished university. Need I remind you that some of the wealthiest persons today dropped out of university at various levels because that same research was larger than the scope of their courses. Some of them have been grabbed by companies before their results have come in, but we in Barbados keep looking to discredit time in training.

    I will tell you the same thing that a BLP candidate who lost in the last election. Hardly anyone is going to sit and read the information on this page in an era where 15 second Instagram videos and memes are the main mode of communication. An era where mainstream media has taken to youtube to compete with YouTubers and Snapchatters who have amassed multimillion subscriber numbers. Therefore, you have already made two mistakes with this dated, out-of-touch approach and this is before analyzing the information presented. Yes, my response may be long but this is a medium that you are obviously comfortable with so I will proceed.

    One major thing that immediately scares me is your taxation ideology. Anytime I hear the proposal of 10% (tithe) I am immediately thinking Christian fanatic instead of a politician. Thus far, all of those ‘parties’ have been miserable failures and rightly so. Flat taxes are a naive concept in such a dynamic economy that seeks to create social safety nets and build vulnerable startups. Even though Lisa pointed this out, you have still sought to dismiss her observation with a very simplistic view of the situation. This begs the question of if your initiative of a new political force will be a democracy or autocracy. Given the recent firing of Maria Agard from the BLP I am definitely not interested in that style of management or governance.

    Your submissions on the justice system also seem rather strange, harsh and unreasonable in the response to matters of petty crime. You have spoken about separating violent and non-violent offenders but have not elaborated on how to do so. I suspect that I know which side of the argument of the legalisation of marijuana that you will be on given your commentary.

    You haven’t even touched on many progressive issues that would result in the saving of resources and the earning of foreign exchange. In keeping with the status quo, you have marginalised several industries including the tech, creative, cultural, sporting, specialised high-end education etc. I have not seen anything speaking about using our service industries.

    In order to make your cause appeal to a wider group of Barbadians, you would need to do better than this and not seek to marginalise persons who are looking for another option. You have to be willing to listen, take on board at this early stage and not merely rebut everything which is proposed that goes contrary to your submission. Especially when it is proposed by persons who have studied and worked in a particular field. Isn’t that one of our issues with governance in any case?

    • Dear Ezra:

      Thank you for your correspondence. Our responses follow.

      1. Recent Graduates

      It normally takes approximately 10,000 hours of training for an individual to iteratively work through his/her mistakes and operate at an expert level. While there are many instances of university drop-outs becoming successful entrepreneurs, they did not deviate from this rigorous training. Bill Gates had amassed an exceptional amount of computer programming time before he dropped out of university.

      My comments addressed the typical university graduate who does not have much experience. That is why many professions require university graduates to go through years of supervised training before they are allowed to work independently. With the current state of Barbados’ economy, Barbados needs persons who have operated at an expert level.

      2. Taxation

      While it is popular for persons to criticise a flat tax, they rarely explain why it is not an effective and fair solution. The current system taxes net profits. However, this system ensures that those with accounting resources pay very little tax, and those without pay an exorbitant amount due to their lack of knowledge. The flat tax on outputs removes all of the current inequities and is perhaps the simplest and fairest tax system available.

      The safety nets are a separate matter. A government must attend to all citizens and residents, and must provide support to those who are unable, for whatever reason, to function effectively in the national economy. Currently, the resources for such persons are poorly managed, and the solution is to manage such services in accordance with ISO 9001.

      3. Penalties

      A review of court imposed penalties for petty crime over the past year shows that our proposals are not harsh, strange or unreasonable. Many times, the courts have exceeded our proposed 10-times-the-value-of-the-offense.

      On illegal drugs, we propose that offenders be fined 10 times the value of the amount. Prison should be reserved for violent offenders.

      4. Other Industries

      All industries should thrive in a fair and well-managed economy. When it is not well managed, then interest groups must lobby for attention. That is the status quo, where only the politically favoured get consideration, and the rest of us must suck salt, like it or lump it, or endure whatever other euphemism you may prefer.

      Best regards,

      • Dear Sir

        Please make it clear that the Ezra referred to as your correspondent is NOT Ezra Alleyne who is a former Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly; and who is a frequent commentator on public issues

        Ezra Alleyne

  23. Mr Grenville, I have read your policy solution and so far informative but I’m a bit concern as to your policies so far making a dent in the minds of the average bajan to correct and ease their plight, to many Barbadians at this time are suffering and hurting and so far no word really as to how you’re going to address any ease to their personal pocket, no polices as to job creation and keeping people fully employed, no policies on lowing our debt and keeping it at manageable proportions, the lowing of the high cost of living, and the list goes on.

    Bajans at this time want to hear and know how your going to make a correction to ease their suffering, and lead this country in to prosperity that their can be proud citizens again of their political party or government,your policies are commendable but not to make any dent to catch the attention of the masses can you please give a more insight or would this be known at a later date.

    • Dear Mark:

      Our implementation details will follow shortly. However, please note the following Policies that describe how we plan to invest responsibly in our most valuable resources – our people.

      1. Immediate relief is provided to the most vulnerable in Section 8, where each household is provided a subsidence amount of electricity and water.

      2. Our students will learn at least one marketable skill at secondary school, where they can generate income (Section 5).

      3. Each household will be trained how to start a home-based business (Section 9).

      4. All taxpayers will be provided with additional disposable to invest in their home-based businesses with the revised tax system (Section 10).

      Best regards,

      • Dear Mark:

        You cannot be serious. Please reveal which “any other party” would agree to, say, abolish their lifetime pension arrangement, or give up their power to appoint senior civil servants, or enact whistle-blower legislation, etc. The other parties can simply agree to implement the ISO 9001 quality management system, but they have not – neither have they offered to.

        Best regards,

  24. God bless! Following your directive I must say I’m encouraged by your openness and pragmatism; very hopeful. Solo reply policy gives coherence to the exchanges, adding substance to visitors’ time and efforts. I’ll certainly return.

    (1) If pension for members of parliament are accepted balance dictates that term limits apply to every body; they’ll probably be less burdensome than risks of infelicities.

    (2) Two-party systems allow dedicated long term planners to wait out the electorate, as the cycle does its rounds, 10yrs. Locally.

    (3) Is it worth revisiting the yearly elections that older persons refer to fondly as a panacea? It offers a few little merits. The more involved voters are, lesser causes for valid complaints. God prosper your ideals! Uplifting should be second nature to us, knowing our history.

    • Dear Everette:

      In response.

      1. We think that term limits of 2 terms should apply to the Prime Minister only. This should force the party to seriously consider succession planning in the second term of any Prime Minister.

      2. Agreed. That has been Barbados’ experience over the past 50 years.

      3. Yearly elections are not being considered. They will likely result in very little being implemented well, as both parties will constantly be in election mode

      Best regards,

  25. Hi Mr. Phillips

    I made some comments to you and asked for some clarity during today’s call in program but my internet dropped out before I could listen for your response. So forgive my repetition.
    Several commenters above are as concerned as I regarding the lax/inefficient judicial system. I agree with only some of the adjustments you propose to the penal system but the more substantial concern is speed at which the system moves and I need real clarity on how ISO 9001 (with which I am moderately familiar) will address this.

    Secondly, export is one of the components of industry that requires tremendous propulsion if we are get avoid the current flamingo reliance on Tourism as a foreign exchange earner. I would be interested to see a brief overview of your plans to energise this sector as it relates to the trade restrictions, treaties, learning curves fro new entrants etc.

    Thirdly, how will you enter politics without being political. You have to get elected. That requires political behavior if for no other reason than to garner the interest or assuage the fears of a very selfish and simple minded electorate who appear to be happier bowing to platitudes than digesting facts.

    I would like to humbly suggest that if you do not intend to pursue this course for the long haul that you do not start. You said it yourself that chances of election may be slim, but that does not mean you should quit if you fail this time around.

    This tree of governance requires constant shaking that may take sometime before the fruit falls and what this country needs more than anything else is “HOPE”. To my mind that is what you guys represent.

    A final commentary. Please review very carefully the promises you make and the timelines you offer for implementation. There are somethings that have to be done now and other that have to wait until the first things are done. It is much easier to move a car into a parking space that to move a cruise liner into a berth in port.
    An economy is a very large ship.

    Thanks for your attention

    • Dear Jeff:

      1. The judicial system needs to be properly managed. ISO 9001 is an effective international quality management standard. It is effective because it both identifies and solves the root causes of non-compliance. We are offering to oversee its implementation.

      2. For all businesses, including tourism, we plan to significantly reduce the tax burden so that they can be competitive. For small businesses, we will show the workshop participants how to negotiate the various trade agreements. Please attend the workshops on starting and growing a business if you can, otherwise please review the workshop presentation when it is published.

      3. We must be political when entering the fray. However, we do not plan to do the typical political activities to get or remain elected.

      4. We must pursue it because we are on the brink of economic ruin. We have the examples of Guyana and Jamaica. See the Presentation in the ‘Blogs and Notices’ page, delivered on 7 April 2016. We do not have the time to grow a party. It is either now or we devalue and then it will be too late.

      5. Our implementation plans should be uploaded this weekend. The timelines are realistic.

      Best regards,

      • Grenville

        If you only knew how piss of people, including me, with this ISO 9001 crap. You need to put forward your own ideas.

        Sent from my iPad


      • Dear Caswell:

        I am sure that we can agree that the public service is badly managed. With that agreement, would the solution not be to manage it better? If we agree with that solution, then we need to identify a proven and effective quality management standard relevant to the public service. We have identified ISO 9001 as the best option. Please propose your recommended option.

        Best regards,

      • Grenville

        Instead of this hairy fairy nonsense about ISO 9001, speak to the specifics. The biggest problem and the greatest cause of discontent in the Public Service is the Public Service Act Act that was passed in 2007. The rules that were replaced by that act were far better than what currently exists.

        For my sake, how does ISO 9001 deal with the Government stacking the Public and statutory boards with its incompetent supporters. The old regulations had a way of dealing with that.

        Sent from my iPad


      • Dear Caswell:

        To stop the ‘bleeding’, we plan to remove the power of appointing public servants from politicians. Also, since the statutory boards have generally not led to improved management, unprofitable statutory corporations will revert to being managed by permanent secretaries and their senior staff, who will be trained in project management.

        Once the ‘bleeding’ has stopped, then we need to address the mess (inefficiencies, wastage and incompetence). That is where ISO 9001 is critical. If you manage outstanding employees poorly, then they can soon become average-to-poor employees. If you manage poor-to-average employees well, then they can soon become outstanding employees. We have no intention of ‘clearing house’. We have, not B and D employees, but our fellow Barbadian citizens who are crying out for better management so that they can all become outstanding employees. ISO 9001 is the answer my friend. However, in this you are correct – implementing ISO 9001 in the current politicized public service that actively encourages apathy, wastage, incompetence and inefficiency, is doomed to failure.

        Best regards,

  26. Hello

    I think the idea of a third party is good but as a visitor to this lovely island may I ask how you propose to extract fines from prisoners who obviously won’t be working whilst detained and probably, in many cases, have not held consistent employment – hence why they commit crimes in the first place\?


    Roger Manners

  27. How about a flat tax IF very high net-worth individuals can prove they give no less than X-amount (of annual philanthropy) to causes that directly support the most- vulnerable in society?
    That way if you have someone worth billions they may love Barbados, but can benefit from the country’s flat tax and the most vulnerable aren’t catching their tails while the most wealthy living sweet. And for giving they’re limiting their taxation.

    • Dear JC:

      When the Government raises tax rates, it tends to receive less revenues. When the Government lowers tax rates, it tends to receive higher revenues. Therefore, Governments who wish to receive higher revenues should lower tax rates on individuals and businesses.

      We are proposing a deduction for charitable giving. Who should benefit from charitable giving? The most vulnerable.

      A problem arises when high taxes force most Barbadians into this “most vulnerable” group.

      Best regards,

  28. Can someone bottom line the problem and the solution for me? I understand that Barbados is not working effectively as defined by the government’s ability to level the playing field and to provide competitive opportunities for its people but what root cause is being offered and what are the corrective actions proposed from a business perspective?
    In my opinion, Capitalism has not worked in the traditional sense for Barbados and all we have done is to hide the white plantocracy and replaced it with a black plantocracy.If you are like me and hail from some place like the Pine nothing has changed 40 years in and you are still barely making it.

    Each government cries ” Barbados first , Barbados first ” when as per Donald Trump and the legacy of the Democrats in relation to the status of black Americans we have done nothing to create an economy of scale that will provide a playing field for young people to use those 8 CXC ( sorry I am an “O” and “A” levels guy) to hit the ground running.

    We need to create an economy and it is not a Barbados only economy, that is too small, we need a regional economy meaning Barbados, St Vincent, St Lucia, Guyana, Surinam, etc) and we need visionary leaders,

    We need Cooperatives so that people have shares or profit sharing to give them a piece of the action, we also need to market education abroad and we need to educate our kids based on a demand formula, Don’t educate doctors to have them leave the country or let you die because you cannot afford their fees demand a return on the investment. Pay in relation to what you are going to get back and the university must demonstrate an ability to do basic research that supports the growth and expansion of new businesses, in particular, the food sector.

    Are you aware that a power engineer starts out in Alberta at $110,000 Canadian a year? Who from the Barbados government is out here talking to Western provinces that need to be trained people and we have some of the best in Barbados? Its equally good by the way for plumbers, electricians, etc.

    Wean the citizens off of that steady diet of “free” we have gotten used to as a means to gain political power and enslave the masses. Restrict government to getting the bumps out of the road and let people become more entrepreneurial and drive their own success.

    Bajans also have to be re-educated to respect our regional partners we are prejudice and selfish; we need these relationships for the long haul and we are killing them off

    Please get this right everyone should not have to be in the true north fighting -20 C in January

  29. some really good ideas, i would like to see bim set up a duty free manufacturing zone,this would encourage and attract small industry, creating competitive products which then could be used for export bringing in much needed forex.these jobs would be fair paying and plentiful.also some percentage of goods produced in this zone could be (exported) sold into barbados proper , the vendor paying a lower duty (tariff) due to jobs created

  30. now getting here.
    good stuff.
    i would like to look at the area of policy intersection of agriculture, youth and gender.
    as goes our population, so go our farmers: they are aging , and there isn’t really much succession planning going on, bar the Ministries agripreneur program, and work from smaller ego’s.
    this needs to be addressed at the policy level, including funding for the stipend for farm hands listed by grease hall.
    black belly sheep… as with chicken and pigs, the solutions have been tried and they work.
    mr. paul spoke not a lie, on his most recent outing. but the problems remain 10 years later.
    policy interventions.
    agriculture in schools, which brings technology to practical experience with dirt.
    a focus on under and un-employed youth: doing things like chickens and sheep that improve home food security, and also offer income.
    import substitution: it won’t happen unless government leads….
    and before i go, let’s talk about the markets.. the temporary permanent one on Fontabelle… and well… fairchild street.
    what is the vision?
    p.s: what about the eye ward, the old min of ed… nee the nursing school?
    how will we attract sailors needing a chandlery?
    can we get more marine protected areas, laws with some teeth and funding for monitoring?
    ah gone.

  31. Your outline of solutions is a breath of fresh air. I have been going through the websites of the parties vying for votes in this elections and have struggled to find a detailed plan of what their vision is. Yours is detailed, practical and implementable and written in language the layperson can comprehend. For this I thank you.

    My one critique is that your Education plan is entirely impractical given the current educational framework and infrastructure. For such a plan to work average class sizes would have to be reduced from 30 students per class to 10 students per class. Practical skills based subjects can only be taught if the schools have the resources (materials, equipment & technology) to use. A student can’t learn how to cook if the school doesn’t have a home ec lab. Neither can he/she learn woodwork/ metalwork if the school doesn’t have a woodwork room. A present students doing IT in Barbados are at a severe disadvantage given the inadequate IT infrastructure.

    Also, CXC’s constantly evolving syllabi does not facilitate only addressing the theoretical aspects in 4th and 5th form. For many subjects, for example, English, Mathematics, IT Physics, teachers start introducing concepts from as early as 2nd form because the demands placed on students due to the increasing number of SBAs makes it impossible for the content to be covered in the two years. CCSLC is structured in such a way that every year for most foundational subjects children in forms 1-3 have multiple SBAs that diminish the amount of time the teacher has to reinforce concepts in children’s minds.

    It’s a not bad idea. However, for it to be implemented with any degree of success the way public education is administered in Barbados would have to fundamentally change. Classes would have to be smaller, meaning that more teachers need to be hired. Infrastructure and equipment would need to be put in place to facilitate these ‘more exciting, easier-to-learn, and more marketable practical aspects.’ And given that many schools are bursting at the seams this may necessitate relocating some schools and building new compounds. The decision would have to be made whether it is better for a child to go into an exam with an artificial reflection of their ability that subtracted from their learning or if it may be more advantageous to permit the child to do the 3rd paper in the exam so that their class time could be focused on learning content.

  32. Having no opposition is bad. Bajans will find that out soon enough. I have to say though that’s a million times better than having a set of mind addled Jesus freaks running the country.

  33. “The Way Forward” should be adopted by the present Government of Barbados. Each ministry / department should study the relevant solutions offered, with a mind to implementing those aspects with potential to improve the level of service and reduce expenditure.

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