Wrong path

Reginald Farley and David Simpson
Reginald Farley and David Simpson

Barbados is headed into the hands of the International Monetary Fund on its current economic path.

This warning was issued this morning to the Freundel Stuart Administration by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados.

President David Simpson pulled no punches when he addressed a news conference this morning at the organisation’s Hastings, Christ Church headquarters, insisting that if Government failed to implement the “necessary” austerity measures, the IMF would do it for them.

Simpson argued that the Government could not continue spending as it currently is, and recommended sending home some public servants, considering that wages and salaries were the highest component of public expenditure.

He said the institute was “very” concerned about the high deficit and the Administration’s inability to cover its revenue. The chartered accountant noted that since Barbadians could ill afford to bear any more taxes, Government would therefore have to examine other means of narrowing the “massive” deficit gap.

“There is need for some cuts, but underlying all of that, Government needs to become more efficient in the deployment of its services and its functions and where there may be products across Barbados; and I would admit to you, within the private sector it is necessary to see this change in productivity and inefficiency and the benefits that can be had from that change in terms of cutting expenditure,” observed Simpson.

“Wherever possible, Government should move to a point of allowing certain state-funded entities to start to move towards becoming self sufficient in terms of the generation of revenue.”

He reasoned that Government needed to do an analysis of what it cost to run some of these entities and base on that cost, determine and share with the public, what it was costing to provide these basic services that “we believe are a necessity, but also share that some measure of the cost may need to be transferred to citizens as they are able to access these services”.

He said there were public officers who did not contribute anything to the daily operations of the Government and taxpayers should not be required to continue bearing such a burden.

Simpson said if the burden remained on Government’s shoulders, it would call for further taxation “and I don’t think anyone of us wants to see any more taxes coming out of our pay cheques or pay packets at the end of the week or the month going forward”.

“The Central Bank governor has identified some bright spots. [But] the challenge remains that all of us knows some of the things that need to be done. But it is going to come down to who is going to have the will power to do what has to be done, regardless of the consequences for them as politicians, for them as political parties, as … leaders nationally,” asserted the ICAB president.

“If we continue on the current path and we don’t take the steps that we need to, as was alluded to earlier, the IMF or any other entity, would put them in place for us,” he cautioned.

The ICAB head was of the view that it was better that Barbadians swallowed “all of the bitter pills now”, for the sake of a better future. He said citizens were already “swallowing a bitter pill now, and why not take all now” so things could improve later.

Simpson said Barbadians must start paying for certain aspects of health care, especially those who could afford to, adding he believed the taxpayers should not continue to subsidise public transport and the University of the West Indies.

He said he believed it was time those who benefit from education began paying for it. Simpson also suggested that high-net-worth patients who received concessions at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital should be required to invest in a wing of the hospital. (EJ)

6 Responses to Wrong path

  1. Harrry Bishop April 16, 2013 at 7:22 am

    I wish that some of these persons that attend the uwi FREE would stop advocating that present students pay their way .on the issue of lay offes you will create more hard ships on families than ever before why not talk about shorter work week .yes cut to income but some will still have money to help provide for family.let them come with a plan to be discuss at townhall meetings so that all can have a sense of what is needed to move on.

  2. Freeagent April 16, 2013 at 8:28 am

    Right on David. I agree with your proposals. We can no longer support a welfare state. Those who can afford to pay for services should be made to pay for them.

  3. Zee April 16, 2013 at 8:33 am

    Does anyone remember what Erskine Sandiford did when we were faced with the same problem? Everyone was up in arms…then we adjusted…and we escaped the IMF. Although, taking 8% of civil servant’s pay may not work this time…

  4. Norm Harvey April 16, 2013 at 9:27 am

    I have long wondered why the Govt. hold onto CBC TV. ?
    this is “in my humble opinion” the Pinnacle of waste . This should be made a private enterprise, with allotted time & Privileges for public and Govt. affairs. Next ! Can we continue to compensate the Spouses of Past members of Govt. ? the wives of former Pm’s. How much are we giving them and why ? let’s introduce The use of natural Gas electric generators, install more clean energy products (solar & wind) , encourage the people to park some of those cars,or pay higher road tax ” But most significantly, show the nation how serious you all are, By Taking A Pay Cut Yourselves. In closing, let’s ask this one question , Which Nation On this Planet, has ever benefit from the IMF ?

  5. Marmar April 16, 2013 at 9:55 am

    It cannot be this bad; two months ago everything was sooo GOOD. LOL.

  6. Brimstone April 16, 2013 at 10:36 am

    David is correct…. simple adjustments will put us back on track….. for the civil servants, we need to remove the appointment system and use the performance appraisal system both ways, i.e. employer of employee and also employee of employer…. we also need to remove most of those in the super salary scale who really do nothing on a daily basis,,,,, privatize those we currently subsidize and make them revenue earners and employ professionals to do so…..the free days of education should be over, we need to tie financial aid to attend UWI to an index which determines the applicant’s hardship criteria and then we can decide the amounts to be allocated, this however will certainly exclude the higher ups and better offs who will have to pay their children’s eduction bill…. in previous years those who attended UWI had it free, but we can no longer afford the luxury, and you may recall those who studied abroad we bonded to work for a couple years for the government, and this never occurred….the government also needs to collect the outstanding monies due BWA by the private sector groups for hotels, and divest the remaining hotels in its portfolio, which leads me to the Four Seasons Project. Government needs to recover all funds from this project, y sale or otherwise, the funds belong to the civil society for future pensions….the Agro industry needs to be revitalized, and we need to administer the CAT TAILS to those guilty of preadial larceny to allow farmers freedom of spirit in cultivating the land….we also need to institute an enormous luxury tax on the importation of items which are produced locally, specifically foodstuf for hotels and fast food chains…..there also needs to be a cap on real estate development of accessable land and property cost….. while this may seen attractive, we are losing much needed arable land for cultivation, and the high prices usually rules out the average bajan from owning a reasonable comfortable home….. We can do our adjustments ourselves, but the miscreants in our society does not want change since they will lose their status quo and power base, the IMF however couldn’t care less, and we will suffer more accordingly….. I hate to say it but there is a 1=4 on the horizon, we are at the point of no return, so it is now or forever hereafter — devaluation…. I have lived and worked in the like of Trinidad, Jamaica and Guyana, the big three of years ago, and I dont need what I saw ther for my little rock….. Hope we survive *****


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