Inniss takes on Stuart on downgrades

The criticism of Prime Minister Freundel Stuart by one of his own Cabinet ministers is getting sharper, with Minister of International Business Donville Inniss today suggesting Stuart’s position on the recent downgrades of Barbados was disingenuous.

In a media interview this morning on the sidelines of the Global Value Chain Analysis workshop at Accra Beach Hotel, Inniss left no doubt where he stood on the matter, and his position was completely at odds with that of the Prime Minister.

Last Thursday Moody’s downgraded Government bond and issuer ratings to Caa3, placing Barbados on the same level as Greece, the Ukraine and Venezuela, and all but stating that the home-grown austerity programme had failed. It came six days after Standard & Poor’s reduced the country to ‘CCC+/C’ on account of its limited financing alternatives and low international reserves.

Speaking at the Democratic Labour Party’s (DLP) mid-term conference at Queen’s College a day after the S&P downgrade, Stuart had said that “rating agencies can only downgrade Barbados’ credit worthiness, its ability to borrow. They cannot downgrade Barbados itself”.

The Prime Minister had also contended that the downgrades would be impactful only if Government had intentions of borrowing on the international market.

“The most they can do is to say to us that if you want to go and borrow, because we’ve downgraded you, persons who might be inclined to lend you will make the money they want to lend you more expensive,” Stuart told party DLP faithful.

However, Inniss today argued it was politically disingenuous to ignore the reputed rating agencies.

“Anytime that there is a rating agency, recognized and respected worldwide, that gives a rating on Barbados, you need to pay very close attention to it [whether] it is a good rating or a bad rating. I cannot comment positively if it is a good rating and then have nothing [good] to say when the rating is not so good. Now I am not focused on the messenger [rather] I am focused on the message,” he said.

While agreeing with the Prime Minister that Barbados had no intention of borrowing on the international market, the minister said the effects of the downgrades were more far reaching than Stuart sought to protray, as they could be telling on investor confidence in the country.

“On one hand we may not be going to the international market looking for financing and therefore in that respect the rating may not be overly significant. But I am also mindful that investors do pay attention to ratings in order to make informed decisions about where to invest and the quantity of invest that they make.  I also know that those who are domestically located and may seek usually to invest in bonds may also have to look at these ratings.” 

The Member of Parliament for St James South sought to impress upon his Cabinet colleagues that they ought to be seeking to improve upon the rating instead of criticizing the rating agencies.

“My issue is not to spend time criticizing the rating agencies or beat ourselves up on the rating to try to find ways to get a better rating. How can we move from the rating that has been issued by the rating agencies to a higher level? I think that is the conversation the country has to have. So I for one am not dismissing the reports of the rating agencies as a matter of fact they would spur me on to do better as a Government minister,” he stressed.

26 Responses to Inniss takes on Stuart on downgrades

  1. Zeus March 14, 2017 at 4:52 am

    After reading the headlines I rushed into the body of the article only to find disappointment …..I really thought inniss had cut off the prime minister’s head …..what a spin

    • Peter March 14, 2017 at 11:15 am

      Donville is calling his bluff. He knows that Fruendel can and will do nothing or else it will be RADDAPS!!! Elections gine get called. Dr. Estwick knows he is the most intelligent man there. He knows he can deliver Barbados but If Fruendel allows him , that means Sinkler will have to make way and he too can resign and mash up DEM parade. Lynette Eastmond should run in St. John. She is more politically articulative and smarter than Mara, Who knows her time is up. Young Grenville Phillips II is an intelligent person but he’s no politician. Plus he has no track record. He will be like Trump. Shooting from the hips and in the dark at that. As for BIM Neil Holder knows absolutely NOTHING about political and parliamentary protocol, so he done before he even start. Wendel Callender? Same thing. He should CAP it. Phillips. Barbadians want brave people who will face the music. Transparency. Not opportunists that are hiding and are afraid of losing their jobs. Solutions Barbados CANNOT win an entire government. He may, only may win a few seats to help control the balance there. PEP don’t even count.

  2. Harry March 14, 2017 at 6:32 am

    Donville, the PM does not understand the seriousness of his mutterings re the downgrade

  3. harry turnover March 14, 2017 at 6:58 am

    Stuart,daiz another one of your ministers talking back to you ,so wha you gine do ? you is the man in de’ HOUSE’ or wha ? show some muscle and we gine vote wunna back in.
    You tink da could happen to the Dipper,Tom or Owen or even Sandi ?
    Carson C. Cadogan wha you got to say bout dis upstart disrespecting your PM ? Darren Bravo disrespected Cameron and now he in de doghouse you tink Stuart gine put de ball in he court too or do a Sandi and tek up de ball and dun play ?

    • Carson C Cadogan March 14, 2017 at 11:06 am

      There is always an idiot in every crowd.

      • Sunshine Sunny Shine March 14, 2017 at 1:19 pm

        Right now political puppet, Donville Inniss is a better Judas then Stuart. Stuart redefines what being ignorant and conceited with it really means. But, you would not see that now string puppet.

      • harry turnover March 14, 2017 at 8:00 pm

        Carson C….you calling you buddy a idiot ?

    • Carson C Cadogan March 14, 2017 at 11:12 am

      Jesus had to deal with Judas.

  4. chris hill March 14, 2017 at 7:12 am

    Mr. Innis obviously is living in the real world and the PM’s as well as other members believe that nothing will move them from their position. Private businesses in Barbados like Goddards do business on an international standard, these downgrades also downgrades our stock exchange.

  5. Richard Johnston March 14, 2017 at 7:36 am

    If Barbados “has no intention of borrowing on the international market” how is it going to pay $1.8 billion a year to fund the debt?

  6. freeagent March 14, 2017 at 7:38 am

    Most of us will agree with Mr. Inniss that the rating agencies are not the ones to be attacked, but he Mr. Inniss was one of the parliamentarians who sat there for eight years while the economy took its nose dive. Perhaps he can get the businessmen in the government’s industrial estates to bring their rent up to date.

  7. Jennifer March 14, 2017 at 7:50 am

    Its simple, These people will just make things up as they go along.

    • Jennifer March 14, 2017 at 7:53 am

      Talk about financial jailing.

  8. Sisleen Greene March 14, 2017 at 8:47 am

    Talk about political hypocrisy, check Donville when he speaks and votes in these estimates. It’s jostling time again in his party for the Leader of the opposition’s position within a few months.
    Donville is a trickster par excellence, say what the people want to hear and you will survive any political onslaught to come. Honesty is never the policy of Donville and his cohorts.

  9. Eve March 14, 2017 at 9:03 am

    Who the tail Richard Sealy calling Characters. HE NEEDS TO CHECK HESELF. People are frustrated wid wanna and the nonsense. George Pilgrim is another idiot too. People did not have to be paid to march. Bunch of JOKERS.

  10. Sheron Inniss March 14, 2017 at 9:18 am

    The PM must know something we do not. The only country I read about that is lending us is China. I wonder what silver ware was sold? Do we have any left?

  11. Carson C Cadogan March 14, 2017 at 10:53 am

    Did someone ask why PORNville whoever that is dont shut up?

    • Peter March 14, 2017 at 12:33 pm

      Because he knows he will be your next PM and your family which is a DEM appointee will have to go

      • Sunshine Sunny Shine March 14, 2017 at 1:20 pm

        Inniss next Prime Minister Shyte. You think you want to done away with one bad to put in next wun… Stuuuuuuupse

  12. tsquires March 14, 2017 at 11:27 am

    While applauding Mr. Inniss for speaking out now, all of you are politricians (pun intended) who are only out to save your own skins, which is dishonesty to the voting public and your own party followers.

  13. David Hall March 14, 2017 at 6:30 pm

    Inniss trying to save his own tail. But too late shall be his cry.

  14. Frank White March 14, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    Way to go minister, setting up yourself to be the leader of the opposition…

  15. Mikey March 14, 2017 at 7:39 pm

    @Peter,,,, You can campaign and canvass from now until Elections call,,,, The only Party that will save Barbados is the COAP
    (CO-Alition-Party) made up of ALL other than Bee’s and Dee’s.
    Good luck to the new leaders of Barbados.

  16. Nathaniel Samuels March 14, 2017 at 9:45 pm

    Mikey, the CO-Alition-Party would be a great idea if we had people in those parties who had some traction. Name one of those party who you think can make the grade. It is all wishful thinking. At the moment the best party to lead the country is the BLP which has shown in the past that it has the ideas and the will to do for Barbados what has to be done. Of all the leaders who have come forward, Ms. Mottley is head and shoulders ahead all of them and her party will be able to collect enough seats for her party to be in charge of the affairs of this country.

  17. Honesty March 15, 2017 at 5:38 pm

    Carson Cadogan aka blind DLP, at least Donville Inniss has been consistent in his candidness. it did not start today. i have watched him since 2007 and he has consistently and persistently addressed issues in a refreshingly frank manner.

    Barbados Today has been rather disingenuous in its reporting cause I heard Minister Inniss say in the interview that he was off island last week and really did not pay attention to what was reported on the issue by PM or others. he proceeded to give his own opinion. this is mischief par excellence on the part of BT to cause political strife.

    I say to Inniss to keep on doing what he is doing in his own style. Do not be distracted by the Carson Cadogan and other pimps who cannot face reality. If you are self-serving so too is and have been all politicians. I sense your interest is Barbados’ interest as it is with the other 29 MPs.

    Vote in favour of the Estimates as it is needed to pay salaries and wages next month. do not shut down your island. Stay strong

  18. Tony Waterman March 17, 2017 at 12:32 am

    Donville as i have said long ago, is going to be the unravelling of Freundel, and to a lot of people after this story, he is looking a lot better, but!!!! he is right, although i have already said the exact same thing in an earlier post, hope more people pay attention to what Donville is saying than paid attention to what i said then.

    To Donville:- Speak the TRUTH and speak it ever
    Cost it what it will.


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