Tread carefully!

Government too bent on fiscal adjustment, warns Arthur

Former Prime Minister Owen Arthur is telling Government it needs to be careful not to put too much emphasis on fiscal adjustment.

He warned today that continuous modification of taxes and expenditure could have contradictory implications for growth.

However, the Independent MP said it was “sensible” of the Minister of Finance Chris Sincker to be cautious about the country’s economic recovery.

Former Prime Minister Owen Arthur
Former Prime Minister Owen Arthur

“The more recent information we’ve seen indicates that the economy would have fallen since 2008 by as much as over 27 per cent. So a one or two per cent growth does not restore the economy. The economy is not yet vibrant or viable but it obviously is bottoming out and I suppose that the Government is going to claim credit for that,” he stated.

The former Minister of Finance however cautioned Sinckler that he could create confusion with his announcement of an April 2015 budget.

He pointed out that the Finance Administration and Audit Act, introduced in 2007, clearly stated that the annual budget should be presented in March every year.

However, in his speech Sinckler said he had deferred the budget until April.

“Therefore, he [Sinckler] might have inadvertently sown the seeds of future confusion by not being aware that there is a 2007 Act that makes provision now for one budget debate in March so I hope they get that right and that next year what we have to discuss would be as the law now prescribes,” Arthur added.

He also said Government needs to make a decision soon on its relationship with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Arthur told Barbados TODAY that the Freundel Stuart administration was sending mixed signals by using the IMF’s “menu of policies”, while stating it was not accessing financing from the Fund.

“I can’t advise Government of what to do but . . . generally, countries that follow IMF policies have access to IMF financing and you put yourself in no man’s land if you’re following IMF policies but don’t access IMF financing so the Government sooner or later would have to make a strategic decision as to exactly what it is doing,” he said.

Arthur, the Member of Parliament for St Peter, was speaking on the heels of today’s presentation of a ministerial statement by Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler.

15 Responses to Tread carefully!

  1. Rusty Ralph
    Rusty Ralph December 17, 2014 at 7:52 am

    Adoring this Mr Arthur. Free to speak his conscience and offer advice from his wealth of experience. Partisan politics, as practiced by these two parties, is severely stressing my sweet country.

  2. Ken Debajee
    Ken Debajee December 17, 2014 at 9:38 am

    mr arthur, thanks for your service, but take a vacation nuh, go get a fishing rod and catch something

    • harry turnover December 18, 2014 at 9:40 am

      Who are you ? a fisherman ? or you just get way and running up and down barking at passing cars and bicyclists .Hope you realized that there is a law for people like you.

  3. Frank Gilkes December 17, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    To ignore a man of the caliber of Mr Arthur, Barbados would be making a serious mistake, A true statesman speaking for Barbados.

  4. kay-rani rosita December 17, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    He is no longer the Prime Minister of Barbados. Did anyone request his opinion?

  5. John Nicholls
    John Nicholls December 17, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    We respect and welcome his comments whether solicited or not.And as usual they are insightfull and clinical. It is unfortunate that we have not matured as a nation to appreciate intellect and so we see some simple minded comments such as shown here emerging

    • harry turnover December 18, 2014 at 9:34 am

      Agree,tell that yard FOUL that .HE does not realized that dem are sinking Barbados ALL by themselves.

  6. linda freeman December 17, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    They are some persons that just see a story and comment regardless of what or who he is now he knows what he is talking about yes he can go and catch fish but Mr Arthur still wants the best for his country and until we can can see pass DLPand BLP and think country we will continue to stick our heads in the sand I only hope that within a matter of months some of the same people here commenting and telling Mr Arthur take a vacation or go catch fish I hope against all hope you all won’t be catching your asses come April 2015 enuff said I out

  7. Vicky Briggs
    Vicky Briggs December 17, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    Love this man

  8. Cheryl Maynard December 17, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    With Mr. Arthur experience and wealth of information why not may a comment, he is giving his option on the topic. You can either take it or leave it but to say “go fishing” or “take a vacation” is rule and disrespectful. Why don’t you do us a favor and YOU keep your comments/opinions to the topic at hand or maybe you don’t know anything about the subject matter.

  9. E. Jerome Davis December 18, 2014 at 12:32 am

    What are the ramifications when a government does not adhere to an Act of parliament? Mr. Arthur said that the 2007 Audit Act states that the budget should be held in March. Did we have a budget debate in 2014?

  10. Pat December 18, 2014 at 2:21 am

    it is time for the political parties to come together for the common good. Remember together we stand divided we fall.

  11. devere smith December 18, 2014 at 2:51 am

    Interesting comment

  12. Tonya Marshall-Browne December 18, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    We as Barbadians need to see pass this partisan politics and realize that a man of Mr. Arthur’s caliber is speaking based on his experiences both in Jamaica and in Barbados. Mr. Arthur is a trained Economist and was a former Minister of Finance of Barbados as well as a Prime Minister give respect where it is due. Some of you would not want people disrespect your former leader Late Hon. David Thompson like this so give the man an ear and the respect that is due.


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