Wake up call
Barbadians need urgently to sit up and take stock.
This was the reaction from Opposition Leader Mia Mottley to news of another downgrade of Barbados’ rating by Moody’s.
“We cannot expect to continue to do the same things over and over and get different results. Yesterday’s further downgrade by Moody’s by a staggering 3 notches must jolt us into our true reality,” Mottley said in a press statement this morning.
“We were warned that increasing our overall debt, especially our reliance on short-term debt, will lead to a further downgrade. Yet the Government continues recklessly to do so. Two weeks ago we increased the Local Loans Limit to $4 billion and now today we are increasing the limit under the Special Loans Act by $1 billion to $2.5 billion.
“We were warned that continued Central Bank financing of our fiscal deficit will put pressure on our exchange rate. Yet the Central Bank continues to do so.
“We were warned that increasing our fiscal deficit and missing our targets for fiscal consolidation will lead to a further downgrade. Yet the Government continues unashamedly to do so.
“We were warned that declining foreign reserves will lead to a further downgrade. Yet the foreign reserves dangerously continue to decline in spite of the Government’s borrowing to prop them up,” she said.
The Opposition leader also noted that the downgrade comes against increasing difficulties by the Government to raise medium term money and challenges with a recent 2019 Issue of Bonds. While describing the situation as regrettable, she said it was a case of the market “reflecting their lack of confidence in this Government’s management of the economy and its fourth attempt at fiscal consolidation”.
“How many more people and institutions must speak, through their words and actions, before Barbadians tell this Government that the message is clear from everyone who assesses our economy? How many more Barbadian workers, families and businesses must be sacrificed before we recognize that all Barbadians must stand up and call a spade a spade.
“The definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result,” she said.
“Our economy is in crisis and NO ONE has confidence in this Government’s policies nor in its ability to lead us out of the crisis.
“The deafening silence of Barbadians is the greatest ally to this Government’s incompetence. The voices of all Barbadian patriots in the private sector, union movement, academia, church, civil society and among our general population must now be heard for it cannot be business as usual,” she warned.