Barbadians told to ‘lower expectations’ as Budget Day approaches

Barbadians have been warned about setting their expectations too high as Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Chris Sinckler gets ready to deliver Government’s Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals this week.

Former chairman of the Barbados Private Sector Organisation Alex McDonald suggests the Minister of Finance is caught between a rock and hard place, especially in light of the upcoming general election, constitutionally due within the next year.

“It seems as if you have an embattled Minister struggling to put together a coalition of the willing, dealing with an economy which he has said is challenging [and] a global assessment which is downgraded, and a Prime Minister wh0 has said that doesn’t mean a lot, we are still going on,” McDonald said on Sunday’s Starcom Network’s Down to Brass Tacks programme.

“You are operating for the first time, in my memory, where there have been very sharp criticisms from within the Cabinet itself about the direction of policy. [This is] compounded with apparently a sharp split between a Governor of the Central Bank and the Minister of Finance over policy.”

Tuesday, May 30, is Budget Day with Sinckler set to make his presentation at 4 p.m.

Leader of the Opposition Mia Mottley  is expected to reply the following day, Wednesday, May 31, at the same time.

The debate on the Budget will commence immediately after and conclude on Thursday, June 1.

Given the current circumstances, McDonald said how the Minister navigates in this Budget prior to an election will be interesting to see.

“The reason that the politics of the issue has become an issue is because it is not the first budget that you are delivering in your term. It’s not the second, it’s not the third.

“By the time you get to your fourth or your fifth budget it becomes a political issue, which is how you are positioning yourself to win a Government and if the budget is a stringent one it sends a signal as to what your analysis is of your chances and of the depth of trouble that your economy is in,” McDonald added.

24 Responses to Barbadians told to ‘lower expectations’ as Budget Day approaches

  1. Jason Bennett
    Jason Bennett May 28, 2017 at 5:54 pm

  2. Nikki Bayley
    Nikki Bayley May 28, 2017 at 6:00 pm

    …but it can’t get lower

  3. Sunil Brome
    Sunil Brome May 28, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    Presuming we have any real expectations at all.

  4. Tony Webster May 28, 2017 at 6:28 pm

    Lowering our expectations is indeed par, right now? To expect anything better,I strongly recommend we raise our eyes, and voices, upwards, from where help, if not miracles, surely comes. To put a finer point on it, you cud also sharpen your indelible pencil. Sorry, inedible. Yes, no joke.

  5. Grimmjaw Jaggerjack
    Grimmjaw Jaggerjack May 28, 2017 at 6:28 pm

    What expectations anybody has at all …….stupse

  6. Justin Moore
    Justin Moore May 28, 2017 at 6:50 pm

    I expect about three new taxes and funding for at least two worthless projects.

  7. Mark Adamson May 28, 2017 at 7:06 pm

    Below is a copy of a Facebook comment I made earlier in response to some things I was hearing on the said Getting Down to Brasstacks call in program and where the said Alex McDonald was one of the guest panellists.

    Indeed, if the vast majority of contributions to that call in program are anything to go by – in terms of a guage of how forwardlooking and serious the vast majority of adult Barbadians are about solving the fundamental social, political, material, and financial problems facing this country and all of its major social, political,
    material and financial sectors – then Barbados is really on its way to becoming a virtual failed governmental system after the next 3 to 8 years.


    I am here listening to today’s Getting Down to Brasstacks program.

    Mr Sanka Price – as moderator – is making the point that it makes
    no sense for the panellists and callers to be speculating on what
    will come in the Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals, but
    that the focus of these persons’ contributions – budgetary related
    or not – should be on broad areas of the political economy and
    services industry sectors of Barbados – including the government
    sector – that are in need of financial, structural and other reforms
    to achieve greater efficiency and effectiveness in their short/long
    run performances (paraphrase).

    Whilst the reality is that the general public of Barbados will not know what policy measures are going to be announced by the
    Minister of Finance, the essential point that the discussion has
    NOT been dealing with so far is what are those fundamental
    political, financial, development and approaches and strategies
    that are absolutely necessary for Barbados at this stage:

    1) a new model of governance;

    2) a new model of development;

    3) a new model of institutional finance,

    given that any Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals by the Minister of Finance that fail to address those fundamental areas of concern will indicate a profound and continuing failure
    by national opinion shapers on Barbadian development policy and initiative.


  8. Cecilia Carew
    Cecilia Carew May 28, 2017 at 7:08 pm


  9. Oriel Haynes
    Oriel Haynes May 28, 2017 at 7:19 pm

    How lower do you want me to go. Cause I scraping the barrel when it comes to that.

  10. Eddy Murray
    Eddy Murray May 28, 2017 at 7:31 pm

    Why worried when there is nothing to worried about.

  11. Adam Tyler Mallett
    Adam Tyler Mallett May 28, 2017 at 10:26 pm

    How about asking what their expectations are in the first place ?

  12. Joan Worrell May 28, 2017 at 11:32 pm

    If this is a summary of the reasons given by Mr. McDonald for Bajans to lower their expectations as budget day approaches, the editor has deleted all the reasons apart from “”The Minister of Finance is between a rock and hard place,” Paragraphs 1,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 and 10 don’t mention anything relevant to expectations. As a matter of fact I think most Barbadians have an open mind on how the budget contents will affect their day to day way of life. I can just imagine the amount of steuppppsse that are heard when young people read the above article. No wonder they have little or no respect for some managers at business places.

  13. Peter May 29, 2017 at 7:47 am

    This, in my opinion, presents itself as the perfect opportunity for Ms. Mia Mottley to deliver her/ BLP Budget and showcase a manifesto conducive to the BLP’s plan to take Barbados to state of economical recovery with a plan to enhance development. This will allow Barbadians to better evaluate the difference and make a more well thought out decision when they go to the polls. I can actually visualize her earning more political points and support.

  14. Peter May 29, 2017 at 8:09 am

    Having read this BT report, Mr. McDonald seems to be speculating. and for want of a better word, guessing. Let me justify my claim here. Third Paragraph… “It seems as if…..” key words here … “seems” and “if”… Paragraph four. He speaks about ” an apparent sharp split among DLP Parliamentarians over the rift with the Central Bank and the Min. of Finance. I think, and I’m speculating here too that with all the recent political rhetoric expounded by the DEMs ministers as though in election mode, like Sealy promising 14,000 new jobs, a new hospital, an improved bus service, more tourists, and a lot more, Min. of Finance will try to fool everyone and deliver a sparklingly low taxed budget and lots of other benefits, never mind he’s telling Bajans to look out for rigorous times ahead, His plan will be like an election hand-out. and Christmas hampers and Bajans will fall for it. Their command center is busy planning.

  15. Susan Renee
    Susan Renee May 29, 2017 at 8:39 am

    what is lower than the gutter

  16. Joan Worrell May 29, 2017 at 10:01 am

    Both command centers are busy at work. Neither Mc Donald nor you have given reasons for Bajans to lower their expectations. Every time a Bajan buys a newspaper or turns on the radio to listen to the news, he/she expects to read/hear bad news. Nothing positive makes the headlines and something positive takes place every day.

  17. Gloria Wiggins
    Gloria Wiggins May 29, 2017 at 11:04 am

    Lower expectations!!! Boss man we all in the gutter already,no one with sense expects anything good from all ya… Wunna full of wunna selves so much and wunna head so far up wunna “you know what’..We have no high expectations of you all and what you all are going to do.Man look,i gone….

  18. Joan Worrell May 29, 2017 at 11:49 am

    @ Peter
    Do you remember these words quote ” I am not meeting with the incumbent Prime Minister at this time. Wait till the Government is changed in one month’s time and I will meet with the new Prime Minister”. Who said those words? Who was disappointed when the incumbent Prime Minister was re-appointed as the Prime Minister by the majority of the elected members? Who was subsequently fired by his bosses for supporting one Party agsinst the other? Do you expect and impartial view from that individual? All he is doing is to build straw men to knock them down tomorrow night on tv.

  19. Milli Watt May 29, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    I got this budget nominations for an Oscar already in best picture (the budget), best actor (Sinckler), best supporting actor (Stewart), best score (the tax) all in comedy. It should be UNFORGETTABLE according to Nat King Cole lololololol

  20. Peter May 29, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    Joan, I see your point. but remember what was said was said and that is now history. I think that there is mere speculation coming forward and only Sinckler can prove them wrong. Read casrefully what I wrote. There is a smoke screen being shown out there I do not dismiss the DLP as non-thinkers. Mia and the BLP needs to think outside the box. Think ahead, and show Barbadians what the BLP is bringing and not what they plan to bring. People change plans. Remembert that. She too has a storm from within Who knows what Owen Seymore will do? or Gorge or his werlltrained junior Dale and wait some other folks like Patrick Tpoppers, Lynette who may try something. I’m not worried about Agard. Duguid will do her. So sayeth the folks in that constituency. They want someone who has the besty opportunity to represent them not someone who has a health concern and may well cause a bi-election.

  21. Joan Worrell May 29, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    And thank you Peter for reminding me of things which a quinquagenarian is liable to forget . lol

  22. Charming Forde
    Charming Forde May 29, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    Lower what expectations? Should i not expect to be taxed out of the few dollars that i have remaining at month end?

  23. Ralph W Talma May 30, 2017 at 2:38 am

    1. I think @Peter has his finger on the pulse with his three statements above which I believe to be absolutely spot on. Well said Sir.
    2. This is the opportunity for Ms Mottley to tell the people the unpalatable truth about the state of the economy. They will respect her for it, and her Party will gain therefrom.


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