Bad news

Mottley accuses Govt of hiding latest IMF report

Opposition Leader Mia Mottley is telling Barbadians that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) prepared a report on the Barbados economy days after the 2015 budget was presented, but Government is not making the document public because it contains bad news.

She told a Barbados Labour Party (BLP) public meeting last night that the report had cease-and-desist recommendations regarding the printing of money by the Central Bank. She also pointed to increased pressure on the foreign reserves this month as a result of a combination of foreign loans scheduled for repayment this month, along with applications for foreign exchange by Barbadians and businesses.

She said this increased demand for hard currency threatened to reduce the foreign reserves significantly below what was reported by Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler in his June 15 budget presentation.

BLP Leader Mia Mottley addressing the rally last night.
BLP Leader Mia Mottley addressing the rally last night.

“If (the budget) was called one month later, he [Sinckler] could not report to you foreign reserves in good position because the Credit Suisse loan had to be paid on the 18th of June…. and that is $88 million,” Mottley claimed.

“The Barclays loan from 1991 with [former Prime Minister Sir Lloyd] Sandiford has to be paid on the 1st of July, and that is another $87 million. On top of that, there are $100 million in [foreign exchange] applications that have not been approved. That comes to almost $280 million.”

In his budgetary presentation, the Finance Minister said “foreign exchange reserves have been restored and are stable at levels adequate to protect the fixed exchange rate. At the end of March 2015, reserves were $1,135 million or 16.1 weeks of imports of goods and services, up from 14.7 weeks of imports at the end of December 2014 and further up from the 12.5 weeks they had fallen to by the end of 2013.  This 16.1 weeks is well above the international benchmark of 12 weeks of import cover.  The normal daily pattern of changes in foreign reserves has now been restored, and the foreign exchange market is stable”.

Mottley told the rally that “if those applications (for foreign currency) are processed, our reserves [will drop] to a worrisome $800 million or thereabouts, if it is all done and they do not get in money from Sandals and other people”.

Mottley claimed that much of this information, and more, was contained in the IMF Article Four consultation report, prepared after a board meeting on June 19. Noting that this is a similar document to the one made public last year, she said Barbados authorities had “clearly refused to allow the publication of that report and the International Monetary Fund cannot release it to a fellow without the permission of the Government of Barbados”.

She asked the Government, “What do you have to hide? Are you ashamed that the IMF told you – as I have told you and [BLP economic advisor] Clyde Mascoll told you – you have to stop printing money, if not you are going to put the Barbados dollar at risk; that the IMF is telling you that the arrears, the money owed by the Government of Barbados, is way too much; and for Central Government alone, it is four per cent of GDP, or over $340 million; and that does not include the monies owed in VAT refunds and tax refunds?”

Mottley said that consistent with advice coming from her party, “the IMF has told (Government) that the GDP data that the Government is giving the people of this country is unreliable, and that the Central Bank has to stop doing the data and let the Statistical Services (department) do it”.

Promising that Dr Mascoll will say more later this week about the information which has not been shared with the public, Mottley said of the IMF document: “It exists, but it is not for the Barbados Labour Party to release it, and I shall not do that. It is for the Governor of the Central Bank and Chris Sinckler to release it . . . . for all of Barbados to be able to see it”.

11 Responses to Bad news

  1. Ryan Bayne
    Ryan Bayne June 30, 2015 at 8:04 am

    It has been so for the past 7 years.

  2. Patrick Blackman June 30, 2015 at 8:31 am

    First thing since the government is broke according to you and the Mascoll, why are you not telling the people and businesses who owe over 400M in taxes to government, to pay their taxes, I would think that would also be the prudent thing to do.

    Secondly, the IMF can write any report they like on the economic outlook for B’dos, they don’t run this country nor do they set the agenda for this country. If you are so concern, make they time to meet with the government in a bipartisan way and help solve the problems of this country and stop all the nonsense talk.

  3. DAP June 30, 2015 at 10:03 am

    So why it took so long for the money Sandie borrow to be payed were you all not in power for 13 years or so after or you forgot.

  4. Angela Fergusson June 30, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    It is unfortunate Ms Mottley, to hear you remind us that your B L P party might have somehow not dealt with or forgotten to deal with an oustanding amount owed by the Barbados Government when it was led by Prime Minister Sandiford.

    I encourage every ‘I love Barbados Tax-owing person to pay up and and love a stronger Barbados. Barbados is as Strong as its’ people! Please live up to your responsibility and pay your taxes!

  5. dave June 30, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    I would like to tell the commenters above that this is Barbados and this country belongs to us Barbadians. That foolish approach to responding to issues that you are here displaying is not going to help Barbados. Lets deal with the issues at hand. This Government is not doing well and you Patrick; DAP and Anglea need to face reality. Especially you Patrick-you said that you do not live in Barbados. I think you should refrain from making statements and ask questions instead because you simply do not know what is going on at the micro and macro level.

  6. ch June 30, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    @ dave- well said.

  7. Patrick Blackman June 30, 2015 at 6:21 pm

    @dave – I am quite aware of what happens in B’dos on both a micro and macro level and I am also an economist (monetary & tax policy) so I think I can talk about economic issues. I try not to get into technical stuff because the average commenter is not an economist.The fact that I live in another country doesn’t preclude me from commenting on the issues that affect the country of my birth.

    So you are saying that Mia’s comments are going to help B’dos when she published to the world how bad the economy is and surely that would not instill any confidence in investment possibilities etc. Stick to the issues and stop letting politics and party ties cloud your statements. Because we don’t agree on issues doesn’t mean we should be silenced by you.

  8. Patrick Blackman June 30, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    @ch – you don’t have to piggyback on @dave comments you can also address me directly, I would be happy to respond.

  9. carson c cadogan June 30, 2015 at 7:32 pm

    This woman is getting more stupid and paranoid by the day.
    Nothing she says make any kind of sense at all.

    She is the World’s greatest Alarmist.

  10. villager. June 30, 2015 at 8:21 pm


  11. Tony Waterman June 30, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    @All Yuh!!!!! not going to get into any slugfest with any of yuh over this , but this i will say “”ALL Yuh not going to miss the Water, till the well run DRY”” then yuh gine all die of thurst.


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