The article published in the Nation Newspaper dated Wednesday, June 23, 2021, headlined, “BCCI: Price Fall Within Months” gives the incorrect impression that President of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), Mr. Anthony Branker, is in support of price controls. The erroneous quote “Not ruling out price controls, should that
tool be needed to stem the rise in the cost of living in Barbados” attributed to Mr. Branker was neither made nor insinuated.
The BCCI’s position on this issue continues to be that the implementation of price controls
will be a retrograde step and, therefore, the Chamber does not support any move towards
There are many factors that must be considered when suggesting this type of measure. While the idea may sound pleasing to some, there are varying factors and disadvantages
that could derive. For example, free markets mean that prices are influenced by supply and demand and they allow consumers to be discerning in making their choices of products to buy and businesses to patronize. The implementation of price controls has been shown to lead to lower supply and therefore potential shortages and the creation of black markets with highly inflated prices.
Introducing price controls in Barbados may also suggest that local businesses are the cause of price hikes, even though as well documented by international media, the primary cause
of price increases are the rising costs of freight, raw materials, and finished goods across the world, which are beyond the control of the local private sector.
The BCCI remains conscious of the obvious elements that lend to price increases an d are also very mindful of consumers’ challenges and needs. The President and by extension the Barbados Chamber remain firmly against price gouging in any form. On the issue of price increases, the belief of the Chamber is that other options should be explored and discussed to the mutual benefit of consumers, government and the private sector.