Credit downgrades, dwindling foreign reserves, debt at 160% of GDP and uncertainty in central bank leadership and policy, it is no secret that Barbados has seen better days.
The Minister of Finance, Christopher Sinckler presented the budget while calling on Barbadians to display a spirit of unity and sacrifice. Some key points:
- National Social Responsibility Levy increased from 2% to 10%.
- 2% commission on FX sales.
- Increase excise taxes on Petroleum fuel, of $0.25 and $0.24 to gasoline and diesel respectively.
- Divestment of State Assets.
- Debt re-profiling.
The Revenue generating measures – the effects of which are all compounded by VAT- will seek to restrain consumer demand and capital outflows.
Link to budget summary: http://businessbarbados.com/press-releases/ey-focus-barbados-budget-2017/