Straughn: FX committee shows PM’s lack of confidence in Sinckler

Economist and Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) candidate for Christ Church East Central Ryan Straughn is of the view that Prime Minister Freundel Stuart has run out of both patience and confidence in Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler.

Straughn said Stuart’s decision to assemble a Foreign Exchange Working Group (FX Committee) and a Fiscal Deficit Committee, both from the Social Partnership, was essentially “outsourcing two key components of Sinckler’s portfolio to the private sector”.

The economist spoke with Barbados TODAY on the sidelines of today’s BLP National Heroes Day Picnic at the Ermie Bourne Highway, St Andrew.

“I think that it is quite ridiculous that the Prime Minister has not only asked the private sector to look at foreign exchange but also the fiscal deficit. This is essentially outsourcing the Minister of Finance’s job,” he said.
“How does the Minister of Finance come to the country to present a budget when his boss has said to the country, ‘well I am not really interested in hearing what you have to say because I have asked these groups to look at these two key areas of your portfolio?’ So right now we are at a point where a lot of strange things are happening,” Straughn said.
Both committees have already submitted recommendations to the Prime Minister for consideration.
Among other things, the FX Committee recommended a hike in cruise visitor head taxes and airport departure fees, while the deficit reduction proposals of the Fiscal Deficit Committee included the sale the Barbados National Oil Co. Limited (BNOCL) and the National Petroleum Corporation (NPC).
Straughn said that while he does not doubt the willingness of the private sector to help in turning around the economy, he was concerned that given their leanings to the development of the business sector, recommendations may not necessarily be for the greater public good.
“It is good that the private sector wants to help and you can see that there is a genuine willingness on their part so I am not going to diminish any specific proposal. All I am saying is that you need clear and decisive leadership from the Government because I can only ask you to do a job for which you are equipped to do. I genuinely do not think that at this stage that the private sector, given their peculiar focus, is equipped necessarily to deal with public policies,” he added.
The BLP candidate also expressed the view that Government was simply wasting the time of the Social Partnership committees as there was little that could be done between now and the next general election, constitutionally due within the next year, to change Barbados’ economic circumstances.
“We have had nine years and there is nothing that the Government can do in the next six to 12 months that they haven’t done already. This doesn’t diminish the willingness of the private sector to help, but it has to be done in a constructive manner,” he argued.

11 Responses to Straughn: FX committee shows PM’s lack of confidence in Sinckler

  1. Milli Watt April 28, 2017 at 8:34 pm

    I don’t agree, this is about the optics and especially the politics. the optics will satisfy the blind mice in the private sector that they were heard (whatever) ssttuuuppssseee. the politics will satisfy a pander to the masses that I am inclusive as for the Minister well he has never been under threat the numbers in the house just don’t give the PM the leverage. this will play out with the budget reflecting same of the old soup, another last ditch attempt to kick this can down the road and fingers crossed will make that and clean this mess up next year. hopefully my visa will come through for an assignment in North Korea.

  2. Mikey April 28, 2017 at 9:30 pm

    @Milli Watt, please break down all of what you have said .
    Or is this another attempt to sound brilliant but not comprehensible ???
    You guys are talking to YOURSELVES ONLY and NOT TO OTHERS.

  3. Peter April 28, 2017 at 10:38 pm

    Mr. Straughn may have a point here but I think everything in the DEMs camp comes directly from the Command Center in George Street. where Pilgrim is the Town Crier. Stuart will do nothing because he can’t. All decisions and orders comes from the Command Center. One thing is quite noticeable. Those DEMS are very fragmented. but they are united in the same colours. When the sheet hit the fan, they will go in all directions and it will be a book entitled ” Spots on the wall” written by Sheet-Flung High.

  4. Zeus April 29, 2017 at 2:12 am

    Peter you had predicted floor crossings sometime back now you are saying the dems are united lol man make up your mind

  5. Waiting April 29, 2017 at 5:15 am

    What I know is that it is a slap in both the PM & finance minister’s face for at one time the PM said that they were elected and therefore needed no help but because of the state of affairs they have caused and elections they are reaching out, but don’t take them seriously. I am just surprise at how easy these members of committees and our former PM Owen Arthur was willing to take the bait under the guise of helping the country. Take note of the Budget.

  6. jrsmith April 29, 2017 at 5:51 am

    Thats why our bajans is always sitting in the back ground, as seconds class citizens , big marker them and us……………….
    When you consider the time period , this present government was in office and having nothing to show for the mismanagement of the barbados economy..
    Our priminster has awoken from his slumber, just because around the corner is a general election and the fu,fu bajans and his party faithfuls is on his side………………………………………….
    Something to the opposition party (BLP) ,,, stop being stupid , stop wasting time on the failed government’s behalf, stop looking back , you all must prepare you all selves for the up coming election , prove to the people of barbados that you all is a government in waiting ….. you must convince the (DLP) members to switch they party vote …………………………………..
    failing to do so , means days after the upcoming election , we have the same party in government, just ponder that fate , the chance of most bajans living under tents…
    To all the 2 party system of government in barbados which succeeds each other, for the varying party terms does ,nothing for the people ,but passes from each other the failures of each other and clearly satisfy themselves and the 1% establishment ………
    Must add further the 2 party political system not only effects barbados but most of the world…………………………………….

  7. BaJan boy April 29, 2017 at 6:52 am

    Any sensible person won’t have to look far to see neither of these two along with Kellman,Estwick, LOW.. Blackett neither of them just don’t have a clue. Exactly why the country is here. They are immature,inexperience,dumb,arrogant,selfish almong with self centred ,careless and condescending. Bajans need to realize that and do one thing whenever Fundel decides to come down from his lofty chambers.

  8. Adrian April 29, 2017 at 10:53 am

    Mr Straughn if that is your take, clearly you don’t have the creative mind needed for politics.

    • DCT April 29, 2017 at 11:29 am

      Lol “creativity” … We don’t need any more generic useless politicians in power, implementing policy. We need advanced economists and financial analysts like Straughn, who has been trained in the London equity market and also at the CB in Barbados. As of right now we have a lowly educated finance minister, who cant grasp the theory of advanced economics and operates on layman ECON 101 at best.

  9. Carson C. Cadogan April 29, 2017 at 12:56 pm

    How would you know that?

  10. Helicopter(8P) May 1, 2017 at 9:46 am

    “Peter man you out dey doing it again”? One great quality Mr. Stuart has is he is a great listener and what Mr.Thompson saw in him was that! He used a very democratic style of management with his ministers which allowed them to have leverage in their portfolios but this is now a new day in Barbadian politics he may utilize a more authoritarian style of management come next round we will all be spectating this outcome!


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