The European Union is providing technical assistance to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs to carry out a Cost of Service and Rate Design to contribute to a Domestic Revenue Mobilisation Programme in Barbados.
The preliminary findings of the study were shared at a stakeholder workshop recently. It was a well-attended workshop, with over 50 participants from various Government Ministries and Statutory Bodies. Seibert Frederick, Permanent Secretary, Economic Affairs, opened the workshop together with the Head of the Economic and Social Section of the EU Delegation, Janet Coto Moreno.
The Permanent Secretary thanked the EU for the support, which is timely to feed into government’s initiative to examine user fees and charges to enhance resource efficiency and improve fiscal sustainability, at the same time preserving the affordability of basic services for those most in need. It is aimed that the results of the study will feed into a Domestic Revenue Mobilisation Programme geared towards the restructuring of government user fees and charges with the view of having such charges reflect the true cost of providing the respective services across the public sector of Barbados. User fees in a number of areas have not been updated for over three decades, and may not reflect anymore the true cost of services. Such Domestic Resource Mobilisation Programme is expected to bring additional space for sustainable budget expenditures and reduce dependency on external assistance, with the ultimate objective to contributing to Barbados’ progress towards the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
EU representative commended the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs for having undertaken this and other related initiatives aimed at improving Domestic Revenue Mobilisation, such as the recent assessment of the informal economy in Barbados. She added: “I hope that the recommendations emerging from the ongoing Cost of Service and Rate Design Study would be useful for a comprehensive review of user charges and fees for services within the various governmental operations, so as to contribute to provide additional revenue and ease the country’s fiscal position, taking into account at the same time efficiency, equity and public policy considerations. The European Union remains committed to supporting sustainable inclusive development in Barbados “.
Barbados has had a formal relationship with the European Union (then the European Economic Community) since July 1976. The EU is Barbados’ largest grant aid partner for development. The study was funded through the fourth phase of the Barbados Human Resource Development Programme.