Economic burn

Estwick rejects Committee’s economic action plan

Time will tell who is wrong and who is right!

This was the terse response issued by outspoken Minister of Agriculture Dr David Estwick today in response to the latest economic action plan, which is currently under active consideration by the Freundel Stuart Government.

The new plan, which includes proposals for dealing with the island’s ballooning debt, does not take into account Estwick’s controversial US$5 billion United Arab Emirates-funded plan, but a much more conservative debt restructuring programme — one which seeks to yield $112 million annually in interest savings, which Estwick is neither convinced is based on the best economic advice nor can yield the desired fiscal turnaround.

However, saying he has been burned enough by his own Government, he has now resigned himself to the position that he must allow his political colleagues to learn the hard way.

“They [Government] are free to choose whatever they want to do. Time is the best evaluator of reason. They have to find a way to attempt to discredit me, but I know that we cannot get out of these economic challenges without restructuring and the financing of the national debt,” he told Barbados TODAY.

“Let them proceed. Time is the best revealer of who was right and wrong. I proposed domestic debt restructuring, foreign debt restructuring, a combination of the two as well as the entire debt via the sinking fund strategy . . . . They are on their own,” he stressed, adding, “I have nothing more to say on the matter.”

The latest debt restructuring proposal is outlined in a 30-page report submitted to the Prime Minister last month by the Fiscal Deficit Committee of the Social Partnership, which was mandated by Stuart on March 3 to make recommendations on the way forward for the economy of the country, whose foreign amortization and debt service is estimated at between $300 million to $400 million annually.

The report specifically suggests that as a means of tackling the bothersome debt issue, Government should cut the coupon rate and extend the maturities on Treasury Notes and Debentures by 200 basis points to yield the $112 million in savings.

This approach runs counter to Estwick’s sinking fund proposal for wiping out the country’s entire debt and restoring economic growth and sustainability. However, the committee’s proposal, which comes amid concerns about the island’s dwindling foreign exchange reserves which fell to 10.3 weeks of import cover or below $700 million last December, is more in line with recent suggestions by former Prime Minister Owen Arthur and Opposition Barbados Labour Party economic advisor Clyde Mascoll for there to be a debt exchange, which allows the island to surrender its existing debt and bond instruments and replace them with a different maturity.

The report also acknowledges that the cross default clause on the Credit Suisse Loan would require immediate repayment of $317 million.

“Government should view the cross default clause as an obstacle to be overcome, rather than an absolute barrier,” the report says while warning that the necessary restructuring should be done concurrently with financing from multilateral agencies, which it said typically takes six to nine months to negotiate.

The move is expected to reduce the annual income of the National Insurance Scheme, which currently holds Government debt instruments, by $60 million, but is not expected to have an immediate material impact on the NIS’ cash flow, since the NIS currently reinvests interest in Government paper. However, the committee acknowledged that it could lead to medium term adjustments to its contribution rates, or a reduction in benefits.

Commenting on the proposal today, Estwick was still not satisfied that Government was heeding the best economic advice.

21 Responses to Economic burn

  1. Sandra Madea
    Sandra Madea April 25, 2017 at 12:48 am

    The people lost all respect for you so hush u still voted for everything dem put on the table stupseeee.

  2. h.callender April 25, 2017 at 2:02 am

    Then Estwick is a real “Yes man”. The “16” has tried every trick they know from taxing the things that the people must used to selling of Bonds that look more of a Ponzi scheme to me, so the people that buy them must be thinking of Clico, hope not, when pay time comes. This party say that the economy have turned around and they saw light at the tunnel but the train has not arrived yet.

  3. Antheia Springer-Williams
    Antheia Springer-Williams April 25, 2017 at 2:15 am

    Hmmm, take it light!

  4. Sunshine Sunny Shine April 25, 2017 at 2:57 am

    Sorry Estwick but you are a bare joker. Your loyalty to this make believe, gone to the dogs administrative party and their policies is just as dumbfounded and perplexing as your purport that you know what is best for the economy. Shut ya darn mout. Xour window of opportunity has passed.

  5. harry turnover April 25, 2017 at 5:39 am

    Mr.” doan mek rain ” Estwick……yours is a BILLION DOLLAR LOAN which would come WITH DOs and DON;Ts and certain privileges to a FEW……theirs’ is a PLAN…..if you were GENUINE ya woulda DISTANCE yaself from DEM a long time ago… shut ya DAMN ‘ doan mek rain ” mout

  6. Greengiant April 25, 2017 at 6:23 am

    Wasn’t Toppin fired by his political leader years ago? Did any of them tell us why he was fired? Isn’t the said Toppin still a member of the opposition?

    So, since Estwick has gone public, yet remain in the cabinet why are barbadians being so hard and nasty towards him. There’s nothing wrong with having different opinions, and as he said only time will tell. Too many of you want to pull the government down to force an election and would probably wish Estwick to entertain such thoughts. I will tell you all though that no politicians close rank together and protect wrong doings from their members like the BLP. Everyone else battles for second place when it comes to this.

    So don’t simply sing the hymns raised by the lady leading the choir, we don’t have to sing the refrains of neither BLP or DLP, they both have the same songs their members of old sang to our grandparents. They’ll just reuse old hymn sheets, we need a new choir, new songs, different lyrics and choir leader to restore our voices. We in this country needs the confidence to sing again and we won’t get it with these two parties. Again I urge you to be careful what you wish for.

  7. Sherry-ann Mayers
    Sherry-ann Mayers April 25, 2017 at 6:30 am

    After all he’s one man in a party wanting to do things different, he out numbered, all the rest just want to get as much money as they can now, we the country would pay for it

  8. Eddy Murray
    Eddy Murray April 25, 2017 at 6:59 am

    Mr. Pitbull you still voting for every bill so, stop barking and bit.

  9. Leroy Parris April 25, 2017 at 6:59 am

    Hey, for a very long time now you have been complaining but it seems to me that you are not doing anything about it. As I remembered when I was a boy years ago, I climbed a Breadfruit tree. When I tried to go back down I wasn’t sure how to do so. What did I had to do to get down was to JUMP. Surely I am sure you have found yourself in the same position as I was back then….Yes this is the best time to climb down, start jumping Mr. Estwick. Go on.

    • Leroy April 25, 2017 at 10:00 am

      Lol, funny but great advice, however, he better jump to the ground and not onto a lime or dunks tree.

      But in all honesty, all these dlp members I want to go down with their ship, everyone Donville,Sinckler,Fruendel et all have a hand in the sinking of Barbados

  10. Lilian Lloyd
    Lilian Lloyd April 25, 2017 at 7:07 am


  11. Arthur Collymore
    Arthur Collymore April 25, 2017 at 7:27 am

    Although you deserve to be criticized for supporting policies that you knew were detrimental to the economy, I believe that you desire what’s best for the country. One sees the conflict that raging in your soul & ask the question, Why are you still wid DEM? These issues are so important to the country’s well-being that the minister should have seperated himself years ago. It has now become a question of Mr Estwick’s credibility.

  12. Alex Alleyne April 25, 2017 at 8:11 am

    “Time will tell who is wrong and who is right”. So true Mr. Estwick but that will be decided by the VOTERS at next election. Enough is enough.

  13. jrsmith April 25, 2017 at 10:18 am

    Is it going to be a task trying to convince bajans they must , change they way and give consideration to , why, who , and who deserves they votes……..
    The same thing comes every election, the government has now woken up with the taught ,time will tell who’s wrong and who’s right . ,,,,,(about what ) ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,we have nothing done by Government to compare anything to… If bajans haven’t got it right yet they never will .,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,.
    Bajans make no mistake , what will happen waking days after the election and realizing the said party is back in power , think about it ……. we have nothing to protect ourselves , we need to be able to remove from office automatically the (MPs) who dont worth a hill of beans, a voters right is what we want against our politicians…. now , now, now, now ,now, before the next election………….

  14. jrsmith April 25, 2017 at 10:22 am


  15. Bobo April 25, 2017 at 12:30 pm

    JR Smith –When was the last time you read your Constitutional Rights, all Democratic countries have ”Rights” to remove Politicians , the problem with locals, since independence Bajans were never taught their Rights and they have never seek out their Rights.

    After 50 long jack-ass years, this is one of the reasons why the country Barbados needs a change, a government run by Humans who are interested in their country and the interest of the people, in which the locals will be participating ,in public affairs.

  16. Ric April 25, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    Mr. Estwick please keep your mouth shut. I speak for myself when I say that you have no principles and you are just spewing hot air. You have no shame and you are a classic example of what the Indians in the old Western movies would call a “fork tongue” You criticize the government of which you are a member of the cabinet and you vote for the said economic programmes that you say won’t work. How dare you take us Barbadians for fools? As long as you continue to sit in that cabinet you are just as culpable and responsible as the rest because of the principle of collective responsibility. If you had any type of principles whatsoever, and if you were sincere in your opinions, and if you honestly felt so strongly about what you say was the “wrong path” the government was taking then you should’ve left the cabinet. You don’t have to leave the party, but the cabinet and sit on the back bench and make your criticisms from there. But to continue to sit in a cabinet that you continue to criticize is totally wrong and you deserve nothing but the strongest repudiation for your selfish and unprincipled actions. But it also begs the question how you can get away with doing this and the answer is simply because Mr. Stuart knows that the pension of most of his DLP parliamentarians is threatened if he were to do the established Westminster norm and fire you from his cabinet. That neither you nor Mr. Stuart have the testicular fortitude to do what is right and the principled thing from both sides of the spectrum says a whole lot. The people of St. Philip West deserve better but their loyalty to party and not country is the only thing that will allow you Mr. Estwick to continue to perpetrate this unprincipled nonsense. The people of Barbados deserve better and hopefully on the morning after the coming general elections, Barbados will matter more to the people than party.

  17. Milli Watt April 25, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    this country sound like an employed fool who has spent too much and the debt collectors at the door to evict and utilities about to get cut off. Debt restructure what……..let it FAIL. If this crowd it would have put an austerity plan in place to let the creditors know it was serious and then sit down with the people to pay the DEBT. I like what I hearing. this place goin write off just now at 155 Km/h…pure carnage

  18. Mikey April 25, 2017 at 5:13 pm

    Estwick should be the first person to lose their seat in the next GE.
    He ego is “two big” to resign from DEM.
    They will ALL lose their seats next time around

  19. Kevin April 25, 2017 at 8:01 pm

    Cant a member of government disagree with the methods used but still vote for them on everything. Yes. Ask Ronald Toppin, ask George Payne. People behaving as if Estwick is the only person that does it.

  20. Greengiant April 25, 2017 at 9:15 pm

    Thanks mate @ Kevin. Our fellow barbadians do have the shortest memory. When memory was sharing our fore parents turned up late. Topping, Payne and Ms. Thompson did the same thing. I can also remember the father of an opposition member when he was an MP used medical attention as reason to be absent for a critical no confidence vote against a PM.

    The particular PM had rolled out the red carpet for the absent MP to establish his private school when the PM was an education minister. So while we foolishly want to destroy each other these two parties sleep in the same bedroom most times.


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