We are IMF bound, warns Arthur

There is no doubt in the mind of former Prime Minister Owen Arthur that Barbados will turn to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for help to tackle its fiscal problems.

Speaking during debate on 2017/2018 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure, Arthur said the move was inevitable, warning that the island simply could not tackle its $3.3 billion debt crisis on its own.

“A debt refinancing obligation of that order or magnitude cannot be accomplished without the help of the international financial community.

“And Sir, there is a powerful reason for us to engage with the International Monetary Fund.  We are not going to get over the debt unless there is some institutional arrangement that gives credibility to the creditors of Barbados that the Government of Barbados is not acting unilaterally on the matter,” he said.

Noting that Caribbean countries that engaged in debt refinancing or debt exchanges were doing so under the auspices of the IMF, the former Prime Minister, who recently assisted Grenada with its IMF programme, said while a relationship with the Washington-based lending institution would not be easy, Barbados had nothing to lose.

“When I hear of all the things that we need to do I say to Parliament that Barbados cannot turn its back on having its debt restructured under a Fund programme  . . . .  It cannot turn its back on the $750 million it can borrow under the Fund at one per cent.”

Government has repeated said Barbados would not seek help from the global monetary agency, with Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler repeating the pledge at a recent news conference.

“We do not at this time believe it is necessary for Barbados to enter into an International Monetary Fund programme, whether stand-by or structural adjustment or whatever terminology,” he said.

It is a position that is at odds with the man who was recently tipped to head Government’s economic advisory council.

Arthur today reiterated his position that an IMF programme would make it easier for Barbados to access policy-based loans from the Caribbean Development Bank and other international agencies to bolster the restructuring exercise.

“Sir, this is not going to be easy. Weeping may endure for a night but joy can come in the morning,” he told the House.

15 Responses to We are IMF bound, warns Arthur

  1. James Austin Bynoe
    James Austin Bynoe March 15, 2017 at 1:31 am

    Wa you really doing doe?

  2. Angus Benn
    Angus Benn March 15, 2017 at 3:39 am

    It looks as though that the minister of finance and Mr Arthur already decided what the government should do. What I see happening here is that Mr Sinckler tell Mr Arthur to talk and tell the country to go to IMF. So in order to convince the Prime minister and the other minister. Because the prime minister already said that he would not be borrowing no money from the IMF. This is something that the two of them discuss. Remember people will more listen to Mr Arthur than Sinckler.

  3. Greengiant March 15, 2017 at 5:42 am

    Dream on man, the government will ride out this year and let whoever forms the next government deal with the IMF program. Then the next government won’t be favorable with the people and will be a one term government. @ Angus Benn

  4. Monica Headley
    Monica Headley March 15, 2017 at 6:03 am

    Angus Benn go and read The book by former Prime Minister Sandiford and see why Owen Arthur is saying this and why when you have no other options because you wait too late, you have no choice nut to go to the IMF. Go and learn and stop letting people school and scold you. Stuart was advised to go to get a loan for debt consolidation and economic stabilisation every since. He refused to go. Like if you owe $15000 and you do not try to pay it off and it become $30000 and you refuse to pay it off and then in becomes $45000 and on and on. You either have to sell assets or borrow to repay the debt or both. When you go along, the debt left for your children. You get the point yet?

  5. Tony Webster March 15, 2017 at 6:05 am

    @ Angus Benn: something there in what you say: “Holy Tortured Convoluted Contortions, Batman”!! Any way yuh slice it…or dice it…or who gi’-out de bad news…or who hol’ de scalpel…we gine gotta tek some painful cuts. And someone got de iodine-bottle open…already. Mind yuh, dat sting of iodine…is far betta, that walkin’ pon one-foot, neh?

    All of the tribulations ahead, are unavoidable. We simply have to ask oursleves whether it is necessary, in order to pass anything worthwhile…viable…and sustainable…to our children who will recite our National Motto and The Pledge, and to raise their voices in singing our national Anthem…with Real Pride, and Real Industry.

    Of course we can re-invent Barbados. A leader…a Real Leader…shall take us forward. And please doan forget to Pray for Your Country.

  6. Arthur Collymore
    Arthur Collymore March 15, 2017 at 6:11 am

    Apart from a few economist that support the DLP, any respected member of the profession knows that this is the best option for the country at this time. There are some in our region whose situation were not as bad as ours who went to the Fund & their economies have resurged. For the last 7 years Stuart’s stubbornness has been destroying this country. On our present course, we will get there whether or not we go voluntarily or are dragged kicking & screaming. The Caribbean laughing at we.

  7. David E Hall
    David E Hall March 15, 2017 at 6:19 am

    If that is true Tell the government to say that. Right now the DLP have said they not going to the IMF they not devaluing the dollar nor cutting support for the vulnerable and no doubt they will soon be accusing the BLP of planning to do those things; whilst in their heads they are determined to do all that they vowed not to do.

  8. Kevin Cave
    Kevin Cave March 15, 2017 at 6:46 am

    All that stopping this country from catching back it self, are these foreign agreements that restricts us from doing certain things and the fact that the ministers don’t want to mash people’s toes by making the necessary cuts and tax adjustments.

    Simple solution was, create and generate revenue, while cutting spending and maintaining taxes.

  9. hcalndre March 15, 2017 at 8:31 am

    How can the “16” Dems agree on every single issue that is put on the table? I can`t ever get that understand, I know that their main object is to do the 2 terms so they can secure their pensions and anything else is secondary. Their margin of victory was slim so for any of them including the PM to make one bad move would have capsize the boat. Owen say that the better way to go is to the IMF but Stuart says to hell with IMF and S & P because he has a friend indeed in the Chinese and I wonder if they will get the drugs/medication from them.

  10. Philip Matthews
    Philip Matthews March 15, 2017 at 11:50 am

    Well, no more wasteful Spending Can happen, only the needs and not the Wants will happen

  11. NonResident Bim March 15, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    I agree with Mr. Arthur’s debt consolidation suggestion to go the IMF. It doen’t take a Solomon to tell you to pay down high interest
    outstanding debt with a low interest loan

  12. Maria March 15, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    All this and to think the government just went back for 10 percent back in their pockets how low can they go only to have a bigger pension at the expense of the taxpayers Lord help us this ship is sinking faster that I thought

  13. Bajan First March 15, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    If it was agreed that the 10% salary reduction was for a specific period, even if it was not restored at this point it would still have been due! If elections were held and the present crop had all been discarded they would all still have to be paid a lump sum equivalent to 10% of their monthly salary for each month that it had not been paid from the date it should have been restored to the date they are replaced!

  14. Carson C Cadogan March 15, 2017 at 8:53 pm

    Who is the “WE” he is talking about?

  15. jus me March 15, 2017 at 10:14 pm

    Singing a different song den las time,
    musta bust he foot kicking de can down de street.


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