Cuts to the tune of $150 million will be made in public expenditure if the Democratic Labour Party is returned to office, warned Kerrie Symmonds last night.
“You need to know tonight, because you won’t hear it from DLP television and you won’t hear it from the Prime Minister, that tonight the DLP has committed you to having to undergo painful cuts to the tune of $150 million in public expenditure, if returned to office, starting from the April 1 this year.
“Why? They were supposed to be doing cuts at $75 million a year. They did not do any cuts this financial year, because Chris Sinckler thought it was better to look out for the political fortunes of the Democratic Labour Party and superimpose those above the recovery of the economy.
“No expenses ain’t get cut out this year … but this year ya gotta make up. You and you, all of wunna backside waterline wid licks. $150 million in cuts are waiting for you if you ever so ignorant as to put the Democratic Labour Party back in government again,” the candidate for St. James Central declared.
But Symmonds warned it was not the only financial trouble that Barbados was dealing with at the moment, and accused Prime Minister Freundel Stuart of being a “minister of laziness” and not reporting to the nation on matters surrounding the $84 million loan to pay public servants, the University of the West Indies’ $159 million debt, the future of the local rum industry, among others.
“I would have imagined that a report to the nation by the Prime Minister of Barbados would have begun by saying we are borrowing to pay 7,000 public servants and how they are borrowing $7 million a month to pay them, which means that $84 million is being committed to borrow to pay staff, and that is something of magnitude that a Prime Minister would want to explain and tell us about the arithmetic, the mathematical computations that can be done to explain to accept that it is feasible and sustainable…”
On the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill’s debt, Symmonds said the campus had been relying on loans from St. Augustine in order to pay staff.
“You need to know as well that for the last 12 months or so, that UWI … has been forced to borrow from its sister campus in Trinidad to pay staff and that the wage bill on the Cave Hill campus is $7 million a month, but that they get $1 million from your Government and every month they are rolling over a $6 million dollar debt.” (LW)