Barbados owes over $14M to regional development fund

Barbados owes in excess of US$7 million (Bds$14 million) to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Development Fund, making it the second most indebted to the regional facility, which was established by CARICOM governments to provide financial or technical assistance to disadvantaged countries.

The revelation was made today during a CDF meeting at the Accra Beach Hotel at which it was also disclosed that for the period ending December 31, 2016, the fund was owed US$57.2 million, with US$40 million of that amount outstanding from Trinidad and Tobago.

The CDF’s financial statement also indicates that the largest culprits are the so-called more developed countries (MDCs), namely Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados ($7.4 million), Jamaica ($945,534) and Suriname ($4.4 million).   

Guyana is the only MDC to have paid its entire pledged contribution of US$7.3 million.

The so-called less developed countries (LDCS) of Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines owe US$4.3 million, with Kingstown’s total debt amounting to all of US$166.

CDF officials fear that the fund is approaching a “critical” stage as more member countries are expected to request assistance.

It was for this reason that they called on the MDCs to pay up, a plea echoed today by CARICOM Chairman, prime minister Dr Keith Mitchell of Grenada, and the CDF’s board chairman Sherwyn Williams, when they addressed the sixth meeting of contributors and development partners.

CDF Chief Executive Officer Rodinald Soomer said while he was cognizant of the economic constraints facing CARICOM nations, it was crucial that they pay what they owe in order for the fund to continue meeting its obligations.

“We receive contributions from a lot of the LCD members of the CDF, not much from the MDC members, which is perhaps one of the reasons prime minister Mitchell emphasized so much the need for us to have the MDCs come to the table, especially now. We are mid-way in our cycle. It is becoming critical for us to start getting these programmes formulated and implemented.

“We have enough resources to respond to request from one or two of our member states . . . .We will need to have the resources coming rather quickly if we are to be able to respond as we should for the rest of 2017 and into 2018 . . . so we are reaching a point where it is becoming critical for us to complete the replenishment of the CDF,” Soomer said, adding that while he was certain the MDCs were not hiding from their responsibilities, “something will have to give”.

At the end of December last year the total fund balances were recorded at US$119.8 million, an increase of about 5.75 per cent over the previous year. Total expenses reached US$4.82 million, which was 14 per cent lower than it was in 2015. Meanwhile, operational costs were US$9.8 million last year, down from the US$12.6 million in 2015.

In 2016 the CDF disbursed loans totaling US$5 million to Dominica, Grenada, Guyana and St Vincent and the Grenadines. Grants totalling US$2.2 million were disbursed to Guyana, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda and Dominica.

16 Responses to Barbados owes over $14M to regional development fund

  1. John Everatt September 27, 2017 at 12:16 am

    This is not surprising. The MoF criticizes companies for being delinquent on VAT payments while the government owes millions to NIS and also to persons trying to get their income tax refunds and owes much more to everything from garbage haulers to contractors to find out that they also owe millions to CDF is certainly no surprise. I hope that those who purchased government bonds will accept more bonds in return at maturity. Where did the money go? There is no transparency therefore this will only come out after the election when another party takes the reins.

  2. Alex Alleyne September 27, 2017 at 6:46 am

    Now the rest of CARICOM know how it is with LIAT.
    “put-up or shut-up”.

  3. seagul September 27, 2017 at 6:55 am

    Whenever a government runs a massive fiscal deficit and the government has to go and create money by borrowing money to finance that deficit that creates an inflation spiral in the country.
    So-call developed…wake up folks.

  4. Loretta Griffith September 27, 2017 at 10:09 am

    Almost every day you are seeing stories of Barbados uncontrolled debt level.
    How come with all the taxation that is being imposed on us, we are in so much debt and seem to be going further and further the down the drain and the so-called less developed countries don’t seem to have this level of debt and prospering?
    It’s time somebody get rid of ego and do all that is in the interest of country and not self.

  5. hcalndre September 27, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    Barbados is up to date on all their payments, they say and it is heading in the right direction.

  6. Helicopter(8P) September 27, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    So here we see how our home grown state leaders in the Caribbean are looking through the cristal ball. At first it was the critical thinking of Jamaican leadership, and then the Trinidadian’s back in 1959! Caricom has too many hangups. Until the day comes that all states can trust the other in tranparency and good measure, life will exist as is!

  7. Jae September 27, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    Why is this debt not being paid? The day will come when we too will need assistance.

  8. Donild Trimp September 27, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    @ Loretta Griffith –
    Things would be different if the dishonest tax dodgers and businesses in Barbados would pay their taxes.

    You all want lighted roads, you all want painted roads, you all want pot holes repaired and on and on with your griping and complaining, yet most of you with your dishonest selves refuse to pay taxes. You all want sending to jail.

    How the hell you are going to get these things done if all of you with your lazy asses refuse to pay taxes and always looking to get something for nothing !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Have pride in your country and pay your taxes so that we can have some money coming into the treasury..

  9. Belfast September 27, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    Heads or Tails. Who gets the $14 Million ? ….the CDF or Al Barrak lawyers.

  10. Belfast September 27, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    LDC ,Less Developed Countries. Should Barbados not be included among that lot? In the past 8 years, we have slipped ,from being a potential First World Country in a few years time, to be the parrow of the Eastern Caribbean.

  11. Calloutlies September 27, 2017 at 8:01 pm

    I truly hate to hear people like you Donild Trimp. This Government has collected more taxes than any other government over the same period since post independence. Still all those things you spoke about are in the worst state possible. Oh to meet persons like you in face to face debate with facts.

  12. Helicopter(8P) September 28, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    One Boeing helicopter which can be benificial in crisis such as this one in the Caribbean at present;will cost under estimate $70 million Barbados dollars on purchase.

  13. Loretta Griffith October 1, 2017 at 5:06 am

    Donald Trimp you surely could not be speaking to me where paying of taxes are concerned. All my life I have been paying for me and probably somebody else.
    I was never a tax dodger. Whenever the government makes an imposition I am among the first to go and pay in full, then to find out later that it was not necessary as those who paid half did not have to pay the other half because the MOF has rescinded the imposition.
    I have said and will continue to say that I don’t mind paying my FAIR SHARE of taxes, but not Peter paying for Paul and Paul paying for ALL. They are persons out there who brag about not paying INCOME TAX and yet they have houses and apartments rented out. In this country it is who you know.
    Like you, I too marvel at the persons who are always complaining and want all the freeness, but refuse to pay one cent in Income Tax. They are forced to pay VAT because it is collected on goods and services and even sometimes not even that reach the Revenue Authority.
    This brings me back to the NSRL and why I favoured that LEVY because it cannot be manipulated as it is collected at source. However, let me be very quick to say they should have been a reduction in the said VAT after the imposition of NSRL.
    I think Country and not self. I also feel we need a serious economic revolution in this country even if it means getting rid of all the seat warmers on both sides of the fence.
    It is my view that no one should be allowed to hold a ministry for more than one term without facing the electorate as there is no ACCOUNTABILITY and we should demand this from all the
    parties seeking our support. I feel very strongly about this.
    All of a sudden everybody wants to be a politician. What is the catch? Only if those of impeccable integrity would come forward to serve and not be served. Enough said!

  14. Donild Trimp October 1, 2017 at 10:14 am

    @ Calloutlies – “Oh to meet persons like you in face to face debate with facts”.

    A face to face debate with you with facts? Please let us arrange this ASAP and don’t be coming with any gobbledygook crap to waste my time.

    Just respond with your window of availability and I will take it from there.

    CBC will be my preferred platform.

  15. Donild Trimp October 1, 2017 at 10:44 am

    @ Loretta Griffith –
    My sincere apologies to you as I can see from your response a level of intellect that is rare on this forum.

    I do not know you but it is not difficult to tell you are in the upper echelons when it comes to intelligence. I always admire a person who uses rational thought, logic and common sense in a presentation. Something I always emphasize to my students.

    I have to say thanks to you, Jennifer and a few others who contribute here for a ratiocination that is usually absent from these forums.

    Respect due.

  16. Loretta Griffith October 2, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    Donild Trimp apologies accepted, but I am just an ordinary citizen with limited intelligence who tries to be OBJECTIVE .
    Thanks for your compliments.


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