Ready to walk

Sinckler would rather step down than devalue Barbados dollar

Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler Tuesday said he would quit rather than oversee a devaluation of the Barbados dollar.

With Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados Dr Delisle Worrell suggesting the possibility of devaluation amid a worrying decline in foreign reserves, and with Guyana recently suspending trade in the Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago dollar, the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) has been demanding answers from Sinckler and Prime Minister Freundel Stuart.

However, Sinckler made it clear today there was no way the ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP) would devalue the local currency.

“There is not going to be a devaluation of the Barbados dollar under this administration. If the next administration wants to devalue the dollar if they become the Government, that is their business. I would resign as Minister of Finance, but there will not be any devaluation of the dollar,” the Member of Parliament for St Michael North West told the House of Assembly.

The BLP has also suggested that the economic situation is so dire that the DLP-led administration would be turning to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout programme.

However, the Minister of Finance said that was not the case, insisting he had not authorized any discussions with the international lending agency.

He also suggested that contrary to Opposition rhetoric, the economy was growing, and he accused the BLP of spreading panic.

“What is the purpose of panic in an economy that is growing? What is the purpose for panic in an economy where unemployment is going down? What is the purpose for panic in an economy in which we have adequate resources to defend our currency? They may not be at the highest possible level. For sure, we have lost investment grade and we do not like that. Repeating it all of the time could depress Barbadians, but it suits some people’s purpose,” the minister said.

“If the deficit is not going down fast enough we would say so. We have never hidden anything from the public of Barbados where the economy is concerned,” Sinckler insisted.

The man who controls the country’s purse told Parliament that the Central Bank Governor would present his latest report next Tuesday, following which Stuart will address the Chamber of Commerce on the economy.

It is only then, Sinckler said, he would speak on the economy.

“I get a print out of the country’s reserves every day. It is not healthy for a Minister of Finance to note every decline or rise in foreign reserves. He can easily die of a heart attack based on the fluctuation of the reserves. When we receive the report from the Governor of the Central Bank, Stuart will give a full report on the economy. I will then speak to the people of Barbados and Parliament when the facts are out.”

In response to critics who say he not only lacks the necessary training in economics, but that his homegrown economic policies have been a failure, Sinckler recalled that former Prime Minister Erskine Sandiford (now Sir Lloyd) had been ridiculed by his many detractors because it was claimed he had no formal training in economics.

However, he said the then Prime Minister had stuck to the task of defending the dollar through a period of dwindling foreign reserves, and had declined to subscribe to the “economic theology” of the IMF, holding fast instead to homegrown solutions to economic problems.

nevilleclarke@barbadostoday.bb

24 Responses to Ready to walk

  1. Patrina Drakes
    Patrina Drakes January 17, 2017 at 11:18 pm

    His quitting would be no help after the fact. He should have been fired for his disregard of the advise given to him from the central bank governor and suggestions from economists who saw where the economy was heading if drastic steps weren’t taken.

    Reply
    • Gearbox1964 January 18, 2017 at 2:30 pm

      I agree.

      Reply
  2. Carolann Schwartz
    Carolann Schwartz January 17, 2017 at 11:20 pm

    But if this government keeps plunging the country’s economy into the ground, what do he really think will happen? And is he causing this problem so it would look bad on the other party if their lead next? This seems like a cat and mouse game this government is playing with our dollar.

    Reply
  3. Peggy Stoute Morin
    Peggy Stoute Morin January 17, 2017 at 11:35 pm

    Hey, what do you care, Chris? The pension’s already in the bank.

    Reply
  4. Earl Crichlow
    Earl Crichlow January 17, 2017 at 11:42 pm

    Stupes….. I would like he to quit all now!

    Reply
  5. Movement of Concerned Citizens
    Movement of Concerned Citizens January 17, 2017 at 11:50 pm

    Hey dude, you’ve already presided over the biggest “internal devaluation” in the country’s history; so do us a favor and quit while you’re at it. The money already has no value. Went to the supermarket lately? #VoteDEMout

    Reply
    • Arthur Collymore
      Arthur Collymore January 18, 2017 at 12:14 am

      What foolishness. Paltry growth, uncompetitiveness, growing debt & deficit, declining reserves, low productivity, unemployment figures in the double digits, shattered confidence, 18 downgrades, a PM that is asleep, little to no foreign direct investment are all meant to inspire confidence in the Barbados economy? You can begin walking & take the rest of DEM wid yah.

      Reply
  6. mervin kellman January 18, 2017 at 12:12 am

    He should quit politics altogether. He has made no useful contribution to the well being of Barbadians during his tenure as a member of Parliament. He is destined to be remembered as the one who broke Barbados. Devaluation or not the people will most willingly accept his resignation asap. Good riddance Chris.

    Reply
  7. JimDone January 18, 2017 at 2:25 am

    Barbadians want the economy to be in a state where devaluation is not a topic that has to be discussed at parliament; you say there will be no devaluation of the Barbados dollar; u know full well the foreign reserves are unlikely to run out completely by the time the DLP is kicked out next year; but what will be the state of the reserves by then?

    Reply
  8. Hewers of wood January 18, 2017 at 5:39 am

    Don’t care how much pension they got in the bank, THAT WILL DEVALUE TOO along with the others. hahahahaha

    Reply
  9. Hewers of wood January 18, 2017 at 5:41 am

    So if they know what good for them they will stay and go down with the ship just like on the titanic and as a GOOD CAPTAIN and crew would do.

    Reply
  10. Sue Donym January 18, 2017 at 5:59 am

    Many Bajans would rather see Chris Sinckler step away briskly than almost anything else – except seeing the entire DEMolition squad dismantled simultaneously.

    Reply
  11. hcalndre January 18, 2017 at 6:42 am

    Yes Chris, the economy is growing! I had an old aunt would have said that the economy is growing like a cow`s tail, down. You said that you would resign, whether you go or stay, the patient would have already died. What you should have said is that you will give up the pension that the taxpayers will be providing for you.

    Reply
  12. The Negrocrat January 18, 2017 at 6:48 am

    RESIGN NOW CHRIS.

    Reply
    • Gearbox1964 January 18, 2017 at 2:31 pm

      Better yet…please ring de bell Fundel!

      Reply
  13. Kim Marshall January 18, 2017 at 8:26 am

    Well you can’t say the man does not know some economics. This is why he can put his job on the line as he knows devaluation is not an option for an economy like Barbados.

    Our country imports many raw materials and intermediate goods. So if currency depreciates, the cost of production increases and the country does not become more competitive.

    We have borrowed extensively in a foreign currency so the value of our international debt (expressed in domestic currency) increases as soon as the currency depreciates. Example: If the currency value declines by 20 percent, the value of international debts immediately increases by 20 percent making it very difficult for the government, firms, and households to pay back their debts. Some firms and households (and possibly governments) may go bankrupt pushing the economy into a recession.

    We import many of our essential products such as food and fuels, so currency depreciation can produce high inflation. The prices of these imported products increase but people cannot stop buying them. High inflation, in turn, creates an environment of financial instability and uncertainty and leads to lower economic activity. (from http://www.theglobaleconomy.com/guide/article/105/)

    Devaluation is therefore not a viable option for Barbados so I ask the minister to then state what is his plan for tackling our debt and government spending more than it earns rather than making declarations about stepping down if he oversees the devaluation of the dollar.

    Reply
    • harry turnover January 18, 2017 at 11:20 am

      Kim Marshall…you really don’t know what is going on. DEM laughing at you and afraid of you at the same time cause you might be one of many to vote DEMS again……and DEM don’t want to win the next election.
      He knows about economics and taking over 8 years to fix problems with no solutions in sight ? and you expect him to say otherwise about a devaluation ?

      Reply
  14. Peter January 18, 2017 at 10:05 am

    Kim Marshall You sound like a DEM lackey. Absolutely everything you wrote is practically inaccurate and somewhat defensive of DEM. Man, face the facts. Chris Sinckler will HAVE NO OTHER CHOICE BUT TO RESIGN !!!. He has and he knows it, done so much guesswork and errant damage to this economy well supported by the Central Bank’s governor, that he will have no choice. He’s paving the way to resign very discreetly. Pilgrim knows that too that’s why he’s picking on Mia.

    Reply
  15. harry turnover January 18, 2017 at 10:39 am

    This man has been tampering withe economy for about 8 years now in an effort to get it on the right path and up to this day HE STILL CAN”T GET IT FIXED.
    This Government is doing EVERYTHING possible to ensure that it loses the next election for they know devaluation in an IMF deal will be the ONLY way out.
    He ,however, is telling the TRUTH when he says devaluation WILL NOT HAPPEN under the DLP as they are CONFIDENT of losing the next election
    He and DEM will continue to plunged the economy further JUST TO MAKE THINGS HARDER for the BLP next year by saying that the BLP if elected has plans to devalue the currency under an IMF deal.
    Hope it doesn’t backfire like the layoffs .
    Remember… NO LAYS UNDER the DLP before election…….LAYOFFS after they won. Hope the next election goes according to their plans

    Reply
  16. Sherlock Holmes. January 18, 2017 at 10:50 am

    I am not a mincer of words, i strongly believe sir that you have failed and miserably so.Mr PM a reshuffle is in order and i suggest you do so quickly starting with Mr. Sinckler and a few others who need a change of scenery. Maybe such a move will create some rejuvenation in confidence.

    Reply
  17. Zena January 18, 2017 at 11:18 am

    We all know Chris, that you, De’ liar and FS, have failed this country, and by speaking it in parliament, you’re trying to find a cheap way of escaping. This is something you needed to do long ago. But now your pension’s already in the bank, you don’t care. You and the whole bunch are heartless. You took this country Barbados and run it into the ground for your own personal gains, but always remember God is always still in control. YOU CAN GO RIGHT NOW.

    Reply
  18. harry turnover January 18, 2017 at 11:44 am

    Sinckler …I doan mind all a dat pretty talk.I is one man among MANY that YOU can’t fool.
    You and certain people know that ..that is ONLY a stunt you trying to pull and that the ONLY way out NOW and when wunna do further damage before the bell rings is going to be a devaluation under an IMF deal .
    Everybody knows that wunna en gine devalue the dollar to save Bdos ,wunna prefer to damage the economy to such an extent that that the ONLY option would have to be a devaluation when all ya get wipe out in the next election.

    Reply
    • Gearbox1964 January 18, 2017 at 2:35 pm

      This gov’t trick a lot of foolish people leading up to the last election…so they feel they can continue to fool people all de time.

      Reply
  19. Ann Thomas January 18, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    Please Minister Sinckler, don’t feel constrained to wait for a devaluation to leave office, you should have left long ago. And do Barbados a favour and take you cabinet colleagues with you.

    You have presided over the worse economic performance in this country bar none. No talk of rebalancing the economy and new GDP information on the size of the economy and growth is going to help you unless it is backed up positive effects on the ground. Your policies have failed.

    The acid test is simple – where are the jobs? Where is the significant foreign direct investment without the sweetheart deals? We understand that incentives might play a part, but not the sweetheart deals a la Sandals? What has happened to Pickering, to the Pierhead project, to the new cruise terminal?

    What will surprise us is to wake up and find that the roads have been fixed properly, the Sanitation Services Authority has new trucks and garbage is being collected promptly again, without the assistance of the private sector, that the West Coast Sewage project has started and proper work is being done on the Bridgetown and South Coast plants, that new buses have been bought and the Transport Board is providing a better and timelier service. We will also be pleasantly surprised to find that pensioners do not have to leave groceries at the check out counter because they cannot afford them.

    Don’t wait to do any further damage, leave now.

    Reply

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