Prime Minister reacts to S&P downgrade

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart has reacted to the latest credit rating downgrade by international agency Standard and Poor’s.

In his response, Stuart said he is satisfied with the strategy being pursued by his administration to restore economic growth to Barbados.

The following is his statement in full.

Government remains firmly committed to the strategy for growth and development on which it has embarked. It is a strategy based on Barbados’ established competitive strengths in tourism, international business and finance, and food and beverages, and on the island’s potential for green energy. It is a strategy led by investment and outstanding entrepreneurship by the private sector, supported by government incentives and world class financial regulation and legal safeguards. The strategy is anchored on our fixed exchange rate to the US dollar, which is protected by an adequate cushion of foreign exchange reserves.


The growth and adjustment strategy has already begun to show positive results. The falling trend in foreign reserves which we were experiencing at this time a year ago has been arrested, ever since February of this year. The private sector has been given a boost with the investment that is underway in the hotel sector, the success of the cultural and sporting festivals, and the take off in the green energy sector. Tourist arrivals have stabilized, and tourist spending is on the rise. There are encouraging prospects for the winter tourist season.


Underpinning this strategy is an ambitious but necessary medium term programme of fiscal consolidation, designed to reduce the fiscal deficit to sustainable long run levels, and to make the public sector more efficient. That programme was front loaded, with the 10 percent reduction in the public sector workforce at the beginning of the year, and a suite of revenue and expenditure measures to secure a substantial correction in the first full year of the programme. The stabilization of the external accounts is evidence of the impact of the fiscal correction. It is testament to government’s strong commitment to the fiscal strategy that recently announced measures have been taken and will be taken, to bring the fiscal deficit reduction back on target.

There are those who appear to believe that Barbados lacks the capacity to execute our strategy for growth and development, and that we will be forced to appeal to the IMF to take charge of our affairs. We Barbadians know better. We have set out on a course of action, which is crafted to our needs, and we are resolute in pursuing that strategy to the successful revival of economic growth in 2015 and beyond. We are confident we will succeed because we believe in ourselves, and we know that Barbadians will take the hard decisions, in defence of our currency and our standard of living. We have been this way before, under even more trying circumstances, and we have prevailed, through steadfast determination and the will to succeed. This we will do again.




26 Responses to Prime Minister reacts to S&P downgrade

  1. Santini More
    Santini More December 21, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    Well as long as the PM with his large salary, large expense account and significant pension is “satisfied with the strategy being pursued by his administration”, then surely we average Bajans should feel re-assured….As me old Gran used to say ‘Lord come for your earth’!

  2. John Nicholls
    John Nicholls December 21, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    “We are resolute in pursuing our strategy …”Well that says it. I don’t think the many barbadians suffering will feel any comfort in this assertion.

  3. George Smith
    George Smith December 21, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    Why the still heavily dependency on tourism? The UK being run by a Tory government has no love for our islands so holiday makers from there get penalised and goes on holidays closer to home in Europe.
    Take a closer look at the Asian small countries like Singapore, and Taiwan and try to do the same.

    • Robert Holloway
      Robert Holloway December 22, 2014 at 1:25 am

      A UK visitor flight is about 8-10 hours and supposely the Air tax has ben reduced for that distance but the Asian tourist will have to fly for 13-15 hours to get to North America then another 10 hours + to get to Barbados. The product offered them will have to be top notch for that effort as they have higher expectations . I am not disagreeing with you , just saying it is a tougher market to get to you

    • Kakkoii Desu
      Kakkoii Desu December 22, 2014 at 4:35 am

      I think Robert may have misunderstood the statement. I don’t think George was speaking to looking at Asian countries as prospective tourists, he’s saying look at how little those countries have and how they have used their limited resources to make their countries successful including their “approaches” to tourism.

  4. Philip Matthews
    Philip Matthews December 21, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    It is six years that the DLP has been trying to fix the Economy , yet every credit rating under the DLP management of the Economy, has lead to a Downgrade

  5. Veroniva Boyce
    Veroniva Boyce December 21, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    If that don’t wake him up nothing will!

  6. Peter W. Wickham
    Peter W. Wickham December 21, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    I often wonder if it’s better when the PM says nothing. He recites a speech I’m sure I’ve heard before and remains completely oblivious to the issue at hand. This would be amusing if the stakes weren’t so high.

  7. Alex Alleyne December 21, 2014 at 8:11 pm

    On this path it is going to take Barbados 30 years to get back on its feet . So people all , stay in for the hard-long-ride , be it DLP, BLP or NDP or Other.

  8. Tête La
    Tête La December 21, 2014 at 8:41 pm

    Explain to me how come these people are still in office?

  9. Terence Adrian Walcott
    Terence Adrian Walcott December 21, 2014 at 8:51 pm

    Once again a downgrade reply or not , the only thing that will prove S&P to be wrong is this government being able to bring this small island out of this crisis at this point it just keeps on appearing to fail ,the outcome however will tell . I pray that we will overcome an get no worse than where we already are .Mr Prime Minister you need to get the people of Barbados to believe in you.

    • Philip Matthews
      Philip Matthews December 21, 2014 at 9:42 pm

      S&P has not been wrong about this Island’s Economy yet have they ?

  10. Hellkat Sweetz
    Hellkat Sweetz December 22, 2014 at 6:43 am

    Does this mean more taxes?!

  11. Janette Reifer
    Janette Reifer December 22, 2014 at 6:56 am

    I am just fed up with all the nonsense

  12. Derek Bain December 22, 2014 at 7:20 am

    My sentiments exactly!

  13. Matthew Greaves
    Matthew Greaves December 22, 2014 at 8:35 am

    I think we need at least one more political party with newer ideas needs to be formed in this country so to give people a wider choice when it comes to voting.

  14. Jahmai Foresight Artist
    Jahmai Foresight Artist December 22, 2014 at 8:45 am

    The DEMS are a group of pompous Jack Asses leading the country into a future of desolation anyone can see that and all these meetings on live tv oh yes sir no sir Mr Speaker Sir find a sensible solution and stop puffing up the way you all are are getting so fat you should explode, you are all full of Hott air you are all leading the country to become the crime Capitol, one day the criminals that became that way because of you will turn on you all the talking about tourism what tourist in their right mind would come after seeing the streets getting so hot like Richie Spice”s song investors backing out government selling out to China, Trinidad keep playing wunah blind bajans hmm nuff said!!!!


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