Press Briefing by the Minister in the Ministry of Finance (Dec. 18, 2021)

Over the past two weeks, some Barbadians have received $47 million in income tax refunds and reverse tax credits.

Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Ryan Straughn, made this disclosure today, during a virtual press conference to update the public on important economic matters.

Mr. Straughn also warned Barbadians not to be lured into scams where people were trying to get their personal information and finances.  He noted that over the last few days, individuals sought to associate him with some type of scheme, which he denied any knowledge of. He added that as far as he was aware, that scheme was false.

“No matter the circumstances that you may face, the decisions you make with your own personal finances are important, and to the extent to which persons may seek to lure you into some scheme, I think you need to be able to exercise some restraint….

“I want to encourage Barbadians not to provide any information to any of these entities that…the precise intent is to capture your information to use it, certainly to your detriment…. The intent really is to defraud you of whatever monies you may provide to these entities, and I really want to encourage you to desist from these things.”

In urging persons not to fall for these schemes, the Minister continued: “Rest assured that the Government of Barbados will be seeking to ensure that wherever these scams are perpetrated, we will try as much as possible to find these persons and have them brought before the law courts.”

Meanwhile, as some Barbadians prepare to celebrate the upcoming holidays, he called on members of the public to continue following the public health protocols, and access the vaccines which have been provided.

Mr. Straughn said he was “absolutely confident” that Government had taken the right policy mix with respect to responding to the needs of ordinary Barbadians at this time, and gave the assurance that “we shall continue to do so”.

He told his audience: “I want to assure Barbadians that the public policy of this Government has always been very much people centered and focused on how best we can create a space for us as well as the rest of the society, to be able to make it through this global pandemic. We have been successful in being able to keep as many businesses as we could open, in spite of the fact that we’ve had to introduce public health measures….”

The Minister also noted that Government had to provide significant relief to thousands of Barbadian families who had been significantly impacted by the pandemic over the past 21 months. He added that Government was committed to continuing to provide those necessary resources to assist, until the economy recovers.

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