Economy needs emergency surgery – Walcott

The Barbados economy is in dire need of emergency surgery to keep it alive, says Opposition Barbados Labour Party Senator Dr Jerome Walcott.

Speaking in the Senate this afternoon on the 2017/2018 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure, the medical doctor painted a gloomy picture of the state of affairs, warning if corrective action were not taken urgently, the economy could collapse.

“The Barbados economy is now in a most precarious position since we became an independent nation. The foreign reserves are less than half what they were in 2009, the national debt is almost double what it was then, our economy is smaller [and] the printing of money by the Central Bank is almost scandalous. It is absolutely clear that poor policy choices and indecisiveness are responsible for where we are as a country,” Dr Walcott said.

“The Barbados economy is akin to a patient who needs emergency surgery to save his or her life. And  . . . rather than taking decisive action and doing what is necessary, we are prescribing bed rest – continue as it is, continue the status quo.”

Without providing details, the former Minister of Health accused the ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP) of engaging in “distractions, DLP alternate facts, denial and deception” relating to the state of the economy instead of taking the necessary action to bring it back on track.

Stating that “the horse has already bolted”, Dr Walcott said the DLP administration had ignored expert advice over the years and must now face the Barbadian public with answers to a number of questions.

“What will a government that is notably slow on implementation now do? How will fiscal stability be now obtained? How will this deficit be further reduced? Tell us, we are waiting to hear, we need to hear.

“How will you go about expenditure reduction so that it is rational, so that it is targeted, so that it is strategic, so that it is economic and certain that it is not political?”

Contending that Government was addicted to spending what it did not have, Dr Walcott said besides the need to rein in expenditure, the administration ought to address pressing issues, such as housing and bad roads.

He also wanted to know how the administration planned to pay the millions of dollars it owed in arrears to a number of individuals and local entities, including the University of the West Indies and the National Insurance Scheme.   

“The problem is simple. We have a situation where a government acted too late, made bad policy decisions, focused on increasing taxation with no real growth strategy and the whole thing has failed. You had the 18-month plans, the sacrifices that were made, the austerity measures have been introduced and the cash flow and economic crisis continue,” he complained, while describing the amount allocated to the cash-strapped Transport Board for the 2017/2018 financial year as “ridiculous” and “woefully inadequate”.

He also took issue with the amounts allocated to other vital institutions including the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and the Sanitation Services Authority, saying there were simply not enough.

13 Responses to Economy needs emergency surgery – Walcott

  1. Arthur Collymore
    Arthur Collymore March 21, 2017 at 1:06 am

    Not when the leader of govt business in the Senate yesterday admitted that the patient country is ill but not in a grave enough state to warrant elective surgery.

    Reply
  2. Ryan Bayne
    Ryan Bayne March 21, 2017 at 4:34 am

    I agree.

    Reply
  3. Boyce Jr Angus
    Boyce Jr Angus March 21, 2017 at 6:02 am

    These ppl mad…….the left hand do one thing the right do something different…. Smh

    Reply
  4. jrsmith March 21, 2017 at 6:14 am

    What is new ,Mr Walcott this news is so yester year where were you , our country was in a mess since leading up to 2008 , 2008 was an excuse good for the politicians and since then they have used it ……
    Our present government cannot lay claims to anything since they took office , forgot , increasing taxes and gun and drug culture…….

    Our country Barbados infrastructure has a failed look and feel of 3 decades ……………………………………

    Reply
  5. Kim Smith
    Kim Smith March 21, 2017 at 6:19 am

    Correct, i hope bajans understands that who ever gets in got to clean up this mess so we must except to see brooms and mops for a while.

    Reply
    • Boyce Jr Angus
      Boyce Jr Angus March 21, 2017 at 7:19 am

      Correct Kim ,I really hope ppl understand that cause its not gonna be simple ,not after so many years of botched policies

      Reply
  6. Santini More
    Santini More March 21, 2017 at 6:27 am

    Correct. We need to amputate the DLP from Government.

    Reply
  7. Tamina Darkies
    Tamina Darkies March 21, 2017 at 6:33 am

    Wen this government is going to book its surgery plz do tell

    Reply
  8. Ossie Moore March 21, 2017 at 9:41 am

    Lord mek a way! The lady I have loved since a teenager is living under some stressful conditions. I ask God that he may allow us to live out our retirement in a decent and humane way! Hear me O God!

    Reply
  9. BimJim March 21, 2017 at 11:17 am

    When pot calls kettle black you have to wonder if either is – or both are – insane. THE BLP is PART OF THE PROBLEM, whether they or their yard fowls want to admit that or or not, and we the people need to be rid of BOTH of these Colonial-age “institutions” that have brought a once-respected and thriving independent country to its knees.

    I knew and respected Errol Barrow, and I suspect that if he knew how BADLY his successors were going to pull his vision apart he would have bothered to waste his time.

    The days of statesmen emerging from our current “Labour” Parties are LONG GONE, it is past time that they were BOTH “run out of Dodge” backwards on mules and replaced by just about anybody.

    I cannot believe that fresh faces and fresh ideas could do any worse than this pair of arrogant, entitled, ignorant, superior, distant, useless and idea-bereft groups of greedy career politicians – including those opportunists who have left to start their own Party.

    We need to be rid of ALL of those who had anything to do with the current “Labour” Parties, those who “learned the ropes” from the “old hands” – how to lie to and manipulate the voters with “harmless” lies, promises that are never intended to be fulfilled, and then extract the maximum in taxation from their already empty pockets.

    OUT! OUT! OUT! should be our only cry in the streets. Let us RID OURSELVES OF THIS CANCER, in BOTH “Labour” forms, and start anew. They no longer care about the common man, these days they just use that label as a vehicle to impose legalised highway robbery with not a single care for careful planning, savings or budgeting.

    We were once the leader in the Caribbean, we can be again – by showing the rest of the independent islands that they CAN be rid of such disgusting “leadership”, and that honest people DO have a place at the helm – to become statesmen and women with their eyes on the horizon for the benefit of the nation – and not on their own pockets for the benefit of their own wallets.

    OUT! OUT! OUT!

    RESIGN! RESIGN! RESIGN!

    Reply
    • Jennifer March 21, 2017 at 2:18 pm

      @BIM JIM – You are 1000% on point. There is not much which can be said after your onslaught. And the populace cannot see it. These two parties only cause the OTHERS to strive. But it look like black people don’t want anything but a house, car, and wukking up with a rum. But the big question is who do you put there????? These ministers are self serving, non-productive, non-strategic, lack ingenuity and is the bearer of the reverse robin hood ethos. It is a bad thing when you have no trust in the people who is suppose to be leading the state. I am convinced that they are there to keep and to the devise ways to keep the divide going between the haves and the have nots. 95% to 1%. This Mr Walcott may be correct but he is one who help to row the boat into the Bermuda Triangle too.

      @Kim – Them is not cleaning up a thing. And if so to who’s detriment??????? This will be all down hill.

      Reply
  10. jus March 21, 2017 at 6:35 pm

    IF Barbados so full of Learned Doctors, why so many who can afford it do not ,nay, they REFUSE , to deal with them, and go abroad for PROPER treatments.

    Reply
  11. Ossie Moore March 23, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    I will say as any Bajan Moore will call a spade a spade! Dem wearing hawker pouches like vendors years gone by especially de one dem a call Mr GQ! Alright den BimJim!

    Reply

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