Rash and dictatorial behaviour!
That’s how the Leader of the Opposition Barbados Labour Party Mia Mottley has described a ban placed by the Governor of the Central Bank Dr DeLisle Worrell on the Nation newspaper.
The move came on Thursday in response to a front page story by the newspaper, which alleged that 60 bank employees would be sent home due to financial difficulties.
In an unprecedented move, The Governor responded by banning the Nation newspaper and its journalists from all events hosted by the Central Bank, while accusing the newspaper of lacking professional integrity.
The Nation has since sought to clarify its report, while admitting that the number of people to be laid off at the Central Bank was not definite as its headline suggested.
However, the Opposition Leader has expressed outrage over the Governor’s action.
Mottley, in a press statement, also weighed in on the contents of the troublesome story about pending layoffs at the Bank saying, “any restructuring of the Central Bank must start with this Governor”.
“However, we recognize that for any meaningful action to take place in Barbados it MUST involve the collective voices and energy of those other special interest groups and individuals to whom society also looks for guidance and whom we know can apply the necessary pressure.
“The Barbados Labour Party remains ready to provide leadership on this and other matters. But as we have been saying for the last nine months, we wait to see from where else will the voices of outrage emerge. We want to hear what the private sector and the Chamber of Commerce, the trade union movement, the academics, the Church and the rest of civil society have to say on this latest matter, for this is not an isolated event,” Mottley said.
She also commented on last week’s press conference by the Governor saying, “it had more confusion and uncertainty to Barbados’ economic policy when an atmosphere of confidence must be built.
“At a time when the exact opposite is required he spoke on fiscal policy, with the proposed recommendation to remove the VAT. Fiscal policy is not his job. That is for the Minister of Finance. The conduct of monetary policy is the Governor’s job.
“His press conference this week was also littered with statements of and references to the pronoun “we”, as if he is part of the Government Executive. He is not a Minister of Government nor is he their Public Relations Adviser. He is the Governor of the Central Bank.
“Mr. Worrell would do well to remember this when he seeks to give Barbadians foolish and embarrassing excuses for why the Government went for the $450 million Credit Suisse loan at the end of last year. For without that loan, our foreign reserves would now stand at a staggering $650 Million from the high of $1.47 billion one year ago.
“Finally, a Governor of the Central Bank performs a public role and has neither the right nor power to ban any journalist or news house. Mr. Worrell is clearly overwhelmed by the magnitude of the assignment at hand and is not displaying either the cool head or the steady hand that his job now requires.
“Elsewhere he would either have stepped aside or been set aside,” the Opposition Leader added in her press statement .