Budget lacks useful measures – UPP leader

Political leader of the fledgling United Progressive Party (UPP) Lynette Eastmond has described the 2017 Budget as one void of measures to attain the economic growth the country so desperately needs.

In fact, she argued that apart from increasing Barbados’ tax burden, the proposals offered by Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler Tuesday present nothing else.

“He spoke about the reduction of the deficit and basically this is going to be done through increases in taxes and selling off taxpayers’ assets. Now that is unsustainable. The sale of any one of Government’s assets is going to be a one-off transaction. It does not speak to continued growth in the economy or focusing on the areas that would really ensure that Barbados is able to continue to service its debt or pay for the goods and services that it needs,” she argued during a post-Budget debate on local radio last night.

A former Director of International Business in the Ministry of Economic Development under an Owen Arthur administration, Eastmond added that nowhere in the Budget did Sinckler show how he would regain the business lost in the all-important international business sector which has the potential to improve Barbados’ economic fortunes.

She said the country has lost about $1.4 billion in that sector over the past seven years, and more must be done to shore it up.

The UPP leader recalled that when the sector came under threat during her tenure as Director of International Business, the Arthur administration did not simply amend legislation but acted proactively. And she suggested that the Freundel Stuart administration should do the same.

“It required that we got on a plane, and sometimes I used to be on a plane every week to deal with that, to deal with saving Barbados $300 million, and we succeeded in doing it,” she said.

“But at the moment . . . the Minister of Finance is saying that they had to reduce the tax rate on the international business sector in order to ensure that none of the companies left. However, there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that any of those entities stayed because they lowered the tax rate. So, what actually happened is that the tax rate was lowered, some companies left and therefore that is why we end up now only earning $90 million in that sector.”

Eastmond insisted that what was needed was a fresh approach to the financial services sector.

“We are training young people in technology. We have individuals who have gone abroad and have developed skills in these areas and have contacts all over the world who can bring that kind of business to Barbados. These people are doing it on their own, but the Government seems completely clueless as to how to engage these individuals and to engage in this particular sector that can bring significant growth to Barbados,” the former Senator contended.

9 Responses to Budget lacks useful measures – UPP leader

  1. Samantha Best June 1, 2017 at 4:41 am

    At least we have heard from the UPP as to how we would deal with one aspect of our fiscal policy. She is correct. The budget as presented had no proposals except to tax us to the hilt and withdraw our spending power thereby diminishing our demand for goods and services,thus leading to a contraction in the economy.

    I have listened to Ms. Mottley for over two hours and have only heard superficial proposals that had no direct impact on the economy. where are their advisors? It is close enough to elections to tell the people what the BLP plans to do. We already know that the DLP does not have the answers other than tax us to the bone and effectively devalue the dollar.

    We are out to sea. There is literally no one to represent us. Mr. Arthur has to come back with a crew of politicians from all sides; stay with them for about two years, chart our path of return and then relax after leaving it in the hands of capable persons. Just as Errol Barrow had to form a new party at that time, it is time now for new blood. The current teams are tired. They need a rest.

    Reply
    • Ejd June 1, 2017 at 8:10 am

      How did she say that the UPP would deal with the economy? I have not seen where she has shown how.

      Reply
  2. jrsmith June 1, 2017 at 5:28 am

    The current team is tired , they need a rest from what , lining they own pockets , nothing has been done in Barbados since they took office…………………………. ask the (Audit General) what they are all up to , past and present……………….

    Reply
  3. Michael Allamby June 1, 2017 at 7:01 am

    There is a large number of young people in Barbados who have harnessed the economic power of technology and the internet to market themselves and who can be powerful assets in economic growth by providing them with co-working spaces and business incubators for them to help start global businesses to grow the economy. There is a simple method do do this which I have documented. It involves retrofitting abandoned BIDC spaces, community centers and other underutilized Government spaces, provided with high-speed internet connections. My suggested plan is available gratis to anyone

    Reply
  4. joan Worrell June 1, 2017 at 9:05 am

    Go for it Lynette. Get some more people like yourself on the campaign trail as soon as possible You know how to use the Internet effectively. Obama did it against the odds. Tweet like if it going out of fashion. Don’t let anybody tell you and your Party that you are underdogs. That is rubbish. The two party system must end. Yesterday’s presentation as an alternative budget was a disgrace. Not a single solution to the major problem facing the country i.e payment of the Bajan Civil Servants, whose numbers were increased when the presenter was Deputy Prime Minister . The only promise by the Opposition over the last 7-1/2 years which differs from what the DLP is doing, is the legislation of same-sex marriages and the legalizing of marijuana. Nothing meaningful at all.

    Lynette, nuff respect to you and your Party. Grenville, I am also looking forward to hearing from you.

    Reply
  5. Loretta Griffith June 1, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    Where is SunshineSunshine? I a eagerly awaiting her response to the Budget and reply. Love reading her contributions and those of Coralita.

    Reply
  6. Frank White June 1, 2017 at 6:42 pm

    When it all comes to the end, we, the black community are going to be second class citizens in a country that was once ours thanks to politicians that think just because they have a vehicle, a house and two cents in the bank, that nothing else around them matters… Lynette means well but the Barbadian mentality is not going to change for better, suffering in silence is now apart of their diet…

    Reply
  7. Stephen June 1, 2017 at 8:43 pm

    I am not a party faithful but my position and i strongly believe that if a political party promises to do good by the electorate & is elected & does not fulfill none of its promises within the first five years then they should be removed.
    We as voters have to get away from the notion that i will be a B or D until i DEAD.

    Reply
  8. Mark My Word June 2, 2017 at 1:01 am

    The time is now ripe for a third party as the BLP has no alternative plan that is worth considering, the time is now ripe also for an inquiry into all the millions of dollars spend on Greenland landfill that will never be a landfill. Go for it Lynette, you need a strong team.

    Reply

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