Friday, March 1, 2024

UK ‘must be fair to region’

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THE UNITED KINGDOM has a moral responsibility to ensure that policies intended to revive its economy do not hamper the Caribbean’s economic growth.“We are very aware thatthe United Kingdom government has a responsibility to keep its economy afloat. We also believe that as a country that has supported the UK over the years – the Barbados economy and many other Caribbean economies supported the UK economy over many, many years – we believe the UK government really has a moral responsibility to make sure whatever it does is fair to us while addressing its own issues,” Colin Jordan, president of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA), told the media on Thursday.He took this position on the air passenger duty (APD) proposed by the last UK government to be increased in November, and the per-plane tax being advocated by the current Conservative-Liberal Democrat government.“It is not fair that a traveller to Barbados is paying more ADP than someone going to California. That just doesn’t make any sense. We believe we have to respect the necessity of the British Government to close its deficit. . . . [But] we do not want to go back into recession after coming out of recession. We do not want to be double-dipped,” he said at his first Press conference, at Hilton Barbados, St Michael.Jordan, who was accompanied by BHTA’s executive vice-president Sue Springer, stressed his awareness of the UK’s need to reduce its fiscal deficit and increase its revenue. But the policies adopted in so doing would have either a positive or negative effect on Barbadian tourism, he added.“We have to be aware that if the British economy collapses, rather than our arrivals being down eight per cent, ten per cent or five per cent out of the UK, they are going to be down 50 per cent. So, the UK economy needs to strong,” Jordan said.  (SR)

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