IMF issues fiscal warning

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is again warning that Government needed to urgently implement a “sizeable and credible” fiscal adjustment programme in order to get a grip on the stalled economy.

This latest recommendation came on the heels of mounting calls for the Freundel Stuart administration to enter into an official programme with the Washington-based lending institution to avoid possible devaluation of the Barbados currency.

Although the now fired Central Bank Governor Dr DeLisle Worrell warned last month that the dollar was at risk due to the dwindling reserves – which had fallen to a 14-year low of 10.3 weeks of import cover – Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler has repeatedly assured that there will be no devaluation.

The latest assurance came today at a news conference during which Sinckler admitted the fiscal deficit was still “too high”, but said the island was not facing a “doomsday” scenario.

However, sticking to the position issued in its staff report of May last year, an IMF spokesperson told Barbados TODAY while the economy appeared to have turned the corner last year, fiscal adjustment and public sector reforms were necessary to drive down public debt, preserve external sustainability and improve investor sentiment.

“In our view, the recommendations in the staff report, the need to implement a sizeable and creditable fiscal adjustment effort to reverse the increase in public debt and put it on a decisive downward trajectory have become even more urgent,” the IMF spokesperson said.

In its report last year the global financial institution said the fiscal situation here remained challenging despite ongoing Government adjustment efforts.

It added that the financial year 2015/2016 budget deficit was broadly unchanged at about seven per cent of gross domestic product (GDP).

“Revenue measures, though raising revenue by one per cent of GDP, fell short of the target due to implementation delays. On the expenditure side progress on reducing transfers to state owned enterprises was also slower than anticipated, partially attributed to the unbudgeted debt service of one enterprise and transfers to support infrastructure investment financed by external sources,” it said then.

The IMF is scheduled to visit Barbados in May ahead of a board meeting in July.

20 Responses to IMF issues fiscal warning

  1. BaJan boy February 28, 2017 at 3:28 am

    Sinkler poor fellow ain’t got a clue and won’t admit that he is a square peg in a round hole and the people suffer…

  2. Sunshine Sunny Shine February 28, 2017 at 4:59 am

    He has no idea that firing Worrell is not going to take away the nasty stain that is on him. Not a good image for a person in his capacity when people think that your words cannot be trusted. The IMF is not in the business of producing bluff and powder puffs. Sinckler can continue painting pretty pictures and discrediting the IMF but the IMF has Barbados under its radar.

  3. Tony Webster February 28, 2017 at 5:19 am

    Hmmm…is it mere co-incidence, that our I.M.F. friends …feel it necessary to give us (indeed, to yet again repeat) this advice… directly on the heels of MOF’s little show yesterday? Hmmm…some goriliphant over at M.O.F., needs to swing and come again.

  4. Angus Benn
    Angus Benn February 28, 2017 at 5:20 am

    Some body not listening to the IMF. I think that the best thing for this government to do,is to call election Right now and let the people decide. Mr Arthur cannot help you all now. It is too late now. The longer you all wait it would get worse for the party.

    • Kim Smith
      Kim Smith February 28, 2017 at 5:47 am

      So true

    • John Nicholls
      John Nicholls February 28, 2017 at 6:33 am

      But OSA is fundamentally opposed to printing of money so guess he would have a philosophical problem to start with.

    • Rawle Spooner
      Rawle Spooner February 28, 2017 at 7:19 am

      Forget about any elections that ain’t going to happen so they better come up with some new ideas.

  5. Ferreira Claude
    Ferreira Claude February 28, 2017 at 6:42 am

    Sinkle said “don’t worry” .

  6. Gittens Hallam
    Gittens Hallam February 28, 2017 at 6:49 am

    Dem complain about not having money I know Owen or the rest he hireing ain’t gonna work for free

  7. jrsmith February 28, 2017 at 7:03 am

    Why is or what is the real issue with the barbados government and the (IMF),
    Why dont they want the (IMF) to get involve , why , why , why, why,why,why, ?????????????????????????????????????????…….

  8. Mark Adamson February 28, 2017 at 7:07 am

    Both DLP and BLP governments have – over the years – been putting in place many political economic and financial policies and programs that have been helping to bring this country to its knees.

    As for this Mottley led BLP they do not have a vision, a cosmology, a blueprint that can be used by any social movements/organizations to help reverse the mal-effects of the very serious structural and processual problems that this country faces.

    With these particular social, political, economic and financial problems having become so deeprooted and extensive, it warrants the said BLP to have long been coming up with a very organized
    and integrated plan, cosmology, blueprint, and that is consistent with the severity of these problems, to eventually present to the majority of the people for their possible/understanding and acceptance.

    But, no, this intellectually and politically backward, bankrupt, decrepit and discredited BLP thinks that by simply criticizing and
    criticizing particular political economic and financial policies and
    programs of this inept DLP government, that this approach –
    however failed and flagrant it has become – will be decisive
    enough to help make the majority of voters support it right into
    the next general elections.

    Well, they are TOTALLY, TOTALLY WRONG!!

    For, thousands upon thousands of people have come to realize that this BLP – which, as stated earlier, helped to create many of these said raging problems – between 1994 and 2008 – do NOT have any solutions to these serious structural and processual problems.

    So, by grossly and recklessly having helped to create a plethora of these problems, and not acknowledging it, and by failing to come
    up with solutions to these long running problems, this perpetually decadent BLP is essentially after executive governmental power for their own personal, familial, cronistic, corporate, financial gain, far more than pursuing the public good and fundamental fairness.

  9. Troy February 28, 2017 at 7:31 am

    IMF and World Bank …the world’s two largest Loan Sharks with a very dark agenda. There is no country in the world that after taking their money ever was the same. These guys require their pound of flesh. And anyone who dares stand in their way suffer the consequences. Leaders are snuffed out, State Enterprises are sold off….( BNOC)….then the people of the country are enslaved for generations having to pay high taxes or face devaluation of the dollar. Wake up people….the IMF calling the shots now in Barbados…Mr Sinckler is merely a pawn in this game, so was Mr. Worrell…and he was sacrificed …..thank God he still has his life. Mr. Stuart knows the nature of the beast, that’s why he avoids issues and mumbles his rhetoric, but he dares not speak out against who’s really running this country.

  10. Alex Alleyne February 28, 2017 at 8:47 am

    IMF & WORLD BANK are just “economic hitmen”. STAY FAR AWAY FROM BOTH of them.

  11. Oats Walton
    Oats Walton February 28, 2017 at 10:15 am

    Wake up Barbados this economy is STALLED. Read the IM F advise and get the facts don’t be fooled. This is serious. Save our beautiful Barbados quick

  12. F.A.Rudder February 28, 2017 at 10:45 am

    The policy of performing Government’s economic business is not a rum shop or veranda discipline. Our denomination of currency has economic ties to the U.S.D valuation. It would not be beneficial for trained practicing economic advisers to sabotage an other friendly democratic country’s economy by advising misinformation. There is no value in that economic principal within the global village. International companies owned by US cooperations would mostly feel the effects in services, especially in day to day operations especially in the Air and Marine cargo industries. These two main industries depend on local manpower. Customs and immigration share an interdependent workload in today’s shipping industry. Devaluing of currency make the every day task just a bit more strenuous for the average worker to make ends meet in today’s environment. My conclusion is; the Barbados Senate Members should have acted proactive on what measures the Minister of Finance and the Governor of the Central were taking to keep the Barbados Denomination currency in a stable axis. The devaluation of currency also brings about negatives to the banking system. International banks will find it hard to maintain members as more and more people opp not to put their earnings in foreign banks located on the island.

  13. seagul February 28, 2017 at 12:31 pm

    Why should IMF impositions and hot air deflections be accepted and not exposed????????????????
    There are never any constructive suggestions from this corner-

  14. Donild Trimp February 28, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    The IMF is bad news for Barbados.

    If history is any indicator of what happens when a country adopts the IMF’s policy, it would be wise to take a hint from that history.

  15. Ernesta Catlyn February 28, 2017 at 7:12 pm

    We have had IMF programmes implemented here before. Of course, the wise leaders of those time took heed and involved the IMF before things ‘got too dread’. I somehow think that this is not Chris’ doings however – I think this is Freundel. I believe the PM is the Controller. He strikes me as someone who is risk-aversed; I think Chris would have been prepared to try other policies if he had been the one in control. Don’t forget that historically our PM has also been the Min of Fin, so this means that Chris cannot turn to right or left without the PM signing off.

  16. Aneta February 28, 2017 at 11:02 pm

    A lot of long freaking talk. I said since 2010 that we in the dark murky hole well into 2019. This administration is inept. When a horse foot is broken you put it to sleep. We need to put the dem to bed. Dem need rest

  17. Donild Trimp March 1, 2017 at 8:04 pm

    Aneta, when you put the DEMS to rest who or whom do you awaken from their sleep?

    The problem with Barbados is that who ever holds power going forward will face the same problems the current Gov’t is facing today.

    Barbados is a corrupt place. A banana republic. The Barbadian citizenry does not respect the Gov’t of B’dos.

    People renting from Gov’t and refusing to pay rent. Businesses operating in B’dos and owing the Gov’t millions of dollars in taxes and refuses to pay the taxes owed.

    What kind of Gov’t operates in such a manner?

    A bunch of jokers.


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