Mottley wants discussion on economy
Opposition Leader Mia Mottley has reiterated calls for a meeting of all stakeholders on the status of the local economy.
Addressing a press conference at her office in the West Wing of Parliament Buildings, the City, this morning, Mottley suggested that rather than rushing into a budget, Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Chris Sinckler should call a round table meeting and allow for an honest and frank discussion on the economy.
She contended that the finances remain in the doldrums even after the Freundel Stuart administration introduced plans as far back as 2010 to improve the country’s fortunes.
Mottley told reporters that despite implementation of these plans, Governor of the Central Bank Dr DeLisle Worrell revealed that at the end of June this year, Barbados’ foreign reserves stood at $883 million.
“When this government began its second term in office in 2013, the foreign reserves stood at over $1.4 billion. However, in spite of borrowing Bds $450 million from Credit Suisse and in spite of oil prices dropping from US $140 per barrel to US $40 per barrel, the foreign reserves have continued to drop at this pace,” Mottley said.
Mottley pointed out that the printing of money by the Central Bank is now government’s primary source of financing.
She noted that when the Barbados Labour Party left office in 2008 the National Insurance Scheme held $1.4 billion in government paper, but this figure has jumped to $3.6 billion under the current administration.
The St Michael North East MP added that government has accumulated substantial arrears to the private sector, with over $200 million owed to the University of the West Indies; in excess of $250 million outstanding in rent to the NIS for the two government buildings, plus the CXC headquarters in the Pine.
She also called on the government to come clean with the opposition on the status of its arrears.
“So we are saying tell us what is the situation. Let us see where we are and call all of the stakeholders in a room so we can analyse where we are after having three to four failed plans. Then we can make a determination on where we need to go as a nation,” Mottley said.