Mottley: Speak out
Govt reckless spending results in another downgrade by Moody’s
It cannot be business as usual.
The words of Leader of the Opposition Mia Mottley in response to yesterday’s downgrade by international rating agency Moody’s.
In a statement issued a day after the country was downgraded by three notches, Mottley suggested this was a direct result of Government’s recent decision to raise the debt ceiling in spite of numerous warnings, as well as its overall handling of the country’s finances.
Noting that the bad news comes against increasing difficulties by Government to raise medium term money, the opposition leader said this clearly indicates a lack of confidence in the Freundel Stuart administration and its fiscal consolidation programme.
“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,” she said.
“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.”
Mottley also took a swipe at what she called “the deafening silence of Barbadians”, stating this 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…” she said.