New day

Govt promising to embark on ‘ambitious deficit reduction’

Forget about Government’s Medium Term Growth and Development Strategy (MTGDS) and get ready for the Barbados Sustainable Recovery Plan (BSRL) 2017.

Nearly four years after he unveiled the revised MTGDS as the main strategy that would take Barbados into the year 2020, Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler today effectively announced that the Freundel Stuart administration was ditching that programme to make way for the BSRL which he described as “one of the most ambitious deficit-reduction programmes in the country’s history”.

In a ministerial statement to Parliament back in December 2013, Sinckler had announced that the MTGDS would, among other things, reduce the country’s fiscal deficit to below two per cent of gross domestic product by 2020/21; achieve a more comfortable level of debt sustainability; strengthen the Net International Reserves position to at least six months or 24 weeks of import reserves cover; reduce the cost of doing business and the cost of living; enhance international competitiveness, national productivity, efficiency, service excellence and business facilitation; expand and accelerate public and private investments and preserve a strong social safety net.

However, with the economy still worryingly in the red with the fiscal deficit estimated at $279 million for the first six months of the 2017/2018 fiscal year, the country’s foreign reserves having plunged to 8.6 weeks of import cover or $549.7 million at the end of September and Government debt having soared to 144 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product, Sinckler today announced that the draft BSRL would be laid in Parliament next month, again with a view to tackling the many problem areas addressed in his 2013 ministerial statement.

At the same time, the embattled Minister of Finance sought to assure that there would not be any “wild slashing of social services or ‘beheading’ of thousands of public servants to achieve arithmetic objectives”.

Before an audience that included the Director of Economics at the Caribbean Development Bank Dr Justin Ram who recently called on Government to bite
the bullet and seek help from the International Monetary Fund, Sinckler was also adamant that public servants would not be made to bear the brunt of any new fiscal adjustments.

“We have to study the implications of all our actions. And I believe that having examined the situation carefully and completely, Government is now in a better position to roll out a comprehensive plan to tackle these issues head-on,” he said, while promising that the BSRL would be a targeted, inclusive and decisive plan and that it would benefit from wide public discourse, even as Government moves to quickly advance phase one of the programme’s initiatives.

The BSRL, which was first announced by Sinckler in his May 30 Budget, was structured and developed by three working groups coming out of the August Social Partnership meeting, involving Government, trade unions and the private sector.

The plan calls for the establishment of a local competitiveness commission, as well as a technical unit to drive the process of implementation.

Under the BSRL, a new national energy policy is also to be implemented to accelerate Government’s objectives of making Barbados energy independent by 2035.

The plan also makes provision for appropriate tax reforms, the transformation of Customs into the umbrella Barbados Revenue Authority and the implementation of a single taxpayer information technology system.

25 Responses to New day

  1. just observing November 10, 2017 at 11:23 pm

    I think it is time Mr. Sinckler realises that he is just not getting it right. He needs to stop toying with the economy and hand over the reins to a more capable person.We are tired of his trial and error.You have to know when to let go. The economy is in enough trouble already. Sinckler, move on!

  2. Breadfruit. November 11, 2017 at 12:46 am

    More junk fuh Mia to trash in a few months.

  3. Breadfruit. November 11, 2017 at 12:48 am

    NRSL wasn’t supposed to eliminate the deficit and bring a little surplus?

  4. Zeus November 11, 2017 at 3:47 am

    When and where has miss mottley proved that she can turn around and economy ….some people with this mia will do this and mia will do that …how great mia is …miss mottley was a minister before show me her track record

  5. Zeus November 11, 2017 at 3:56 am

    A simple issue of wheather she is qualified to pratice law or not she cannot clear up having persons trying to explain and defend that issue …is this the same person that continue to challenge the PM about talking to the nation lol….great leaders lead from the front it is time to show her greatness with this simple matter … controversy is the barker report stay tune

    • hcalndre November 11, 2017 at 8:07 am

      @Zeus; I`m trying very hard to find a reply to your questioning of Miss. Mottley`s credentials, but first I want to ask you for the PM`s track record and say what is his achievements as a lawyer and politician up to this date and also the MOFailure`s record. Miss. Mottley is a qualified attorney, have held numerous positions in her party and I have yet to hear anyone looking for her to rip her head off for their money as an attorney. As far as I see that piece of paper seems to give the right to be crooked. The leader for the past 10 years seems to be leading from his bunker because he has hardly been seen in public since he retained office. Mia let that LEC be their topic of choice for the bad handling of the economy in the coming election.

  6. archy perch November 11, 2017 at 4:48 am

    Mrs Mottley-I submit- can turn around this economy. She can write The Barbados Economy on an effigy of the globe, spin it, and bingo the economy is turned around. You guys have no imagination? The woman is a brilliant qualified lawyer for cry it out loud. Her daddy was on the radio recently telling me so. He said that even though he himself might not be able to practice law in the UK, he can practice in Barbados and so can she…diatribe to that effect. In other words this banana republic accepts anything. All of a sudden, Me owl can’t represent and defend herself, she has to get daddy to do it.Go sit the darn exam and get this over with.How as Prime Minister will you be able to ask anyone for qualifications for sensitive jobs within your office when you yourself ain’t playing by the rules.

    • hcalndre November 11, 2017 at 8:18 am

      @Hi archy; are you the archy the Merry men sang about? say the next PM of barbados is a seamtress or a well digger, would he/she not have the right to ask someone for their credentials? You have seen what the Cave Hill graduates and lawyers done to barbados.

  7. Harry November 11, 2017 at 5:50 am

    Archy perch is this your contribution on the state of the economy really?????
    based on the facts anyone can do better that the miserably failed MOF.

  8. BIGSKY November 11, 2017 at 6:06 am

    Barbadians too will be ditching the MTGDS and the BSRL for the GROTG as soon as elections are called.

  9. Tony Webster November 11, 2017 at 6:32 am

    “Ambitious”?? That one left on the Last train for San Fernando….a loooong time back. Time to get your memoirs in draft shape, Sir.

    I forget but how to spell “Idiot”…or “integrity”, or “confidence”…..cud you help us mentally challenged voters out here who are praying for the day when we see the soles of your shoes , walking (quickly and with purpose) into the political sunset.
    Lawd…please have a nice, candid, adult chat wid dis nice gentlemun.

  10. MARIA Holder November 11, 2017 at 8:10 am

    I am not sure who can turn around the economy, but after giving persons nine years to try and they have failed over and over again the time has come to move on. Only in the Caribbean do persons fail and fail again and refuse to step aside. Caribbean leaders appear to have no shame and no dignity.

    • hcalndre November 11, 2017 at 8:31 am

      Maria Holder you are so right, it seems the worse your performance is in barbados is the better and you`re accepted, given titles like Sir and Accolades and some of them don`t have the decency to step aside, step down or resign for the good of the party or country.

  11. Greengiant November 11, 2017 at 8:51 am

    Economics is a try/fail, try/succeed practice. Ask Owen, ‘he learnt after his Jamaica experience’. That’s why Jamaica as a country have mastered the method of tackling economic recovery.

    Barbadians don’t have the experience of working through economic sacrifices like the Jamaicans, Trinidadians, and Guyanese in this region. That too is a major problem.

    That’s why we will continue to just criticize, believing that the responsibility of the recovery is that of the Ministers alone. We need to curb our taste for some unnecessary items that require foreign exchange. They’re things we all can do to assist in this economic recovery, but we place the economic problem squarely at the feet of the minister of finance, and fail to look at our contribution.

    • hcalndre November 11, 2017 at 12:14 pm

      @Greengiant are you saying that the people should eat and wear sh—-, so that the politicians and a chosen few will have it all while the people stand by and watch. Investigative reporting would bring to light how many vehicles and other properties these people own and at the same time you`re accusing the ordinary person for the state of the economy.

  12. Breadfruit. November 11, 2017 at 9:22 am

    If de economy did tun around and booming who would be getting the praise?

  13. Milli Watt November 11, 2017 at 10:09 am

    I suspect he want to confuse me into voting for he lololololol

  14. Ann Thomas November 11, 2017 at 11:37 am

    This is as much nonsense as “Easter is coming”.

    Are we now to believe that after how many failed attempts, a 19 month fiscal consolidation programme that was working, then was not, that this minister in this government, can now come up with anything that is workable? Give us a break!!

    Lest you forget, we had a Medium Term Fiscal Strategy, a revised Medium Term Fiscal Strategy, a Medium Term Development Strategy, a revised Medium Term Growth and Development Strategy, the 19 month fiscal consolidation programme and now the National Economic and Social Development Restructuring and Enhancement Programme.

    All that came out of those programmes was more suffering for Barbadians, increased taxes upon increased taxes, reduced funding for the things that really matter – sanitation, transport, roads.

    Let me give you a hint, Mr. Minister. The only plan that you can come with now that will work is a plan for the elections.

    • Breadfruit. November 11, 2017 at 12:53 pm

      Step to de front of de class.

  15. Lorenzo November 11, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    GreenGiant,are you an idiot,who is suppose to formulate policy,not the Minister?Therefore if the policies continue to fail who is to be blamed?When are you dems going to accept responsibility for anything,it is sickening every time something happen like the fall in reserves people like you instead of maning up always like children looking to blame other people.Mr Sinckler in any other country or under Mr barrow,Mr Adams,or Mr Arthur would have been fired every sincebut this current PM does notfire anyone.

  16. Jus me November 11, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    Anybody understand the meaning of the word
    You drowning and clutching at straws, altho in Ms Mottley case you got a whole hay stack to clutch at.

    Whatever,it ent gonna help you one iota.

    Which brings us back to terminal.

    This lil ole rock been stole blind,
    Money gone, reputation in tatters,
    Worldwide known as corrupt,locally totally proved corrupt.
    Devoid of properly administered law and order.
    Tribalism rife.
    Cos it was good ent no guarantee it ever to be good again.

    Anybody taken a good look round lately, we is a mess.
    Sewage in the streets,rife crime,killings like rain.
    Politicians indifferent to it all, just water off de duck back.
    Every body in poverty and working they butts off just to stay so,tax to the eyeballs for the pleasure of being poverty stricken.

    En voting in a new Mafia is seen as a Cure.
    Man gimmee a brek.

  17. luther thorne November 11, 2017 at 6:27 pm

    A whole heap of shiite.
    These guys really making sport
    This DLP is full of bad minded people who can never get it right because they are tribalistic and do not like people generally. This bad mindedness informs their decision making which becomes
    Spiteful and hurtful . This is a simple explanation but a true one. When you hear a minister on the call in programme say that people going to reggae on the Hill so they should be able to pay solid waste tax. You know how theythink about people. When a minister can call persons enemies of the state only because they express an opinion you know how they think about people. And when they undermine UWI in the many ways they have, you know they have demonstrated how they feel about people. These politicians do not really like people . They like to use people. We need people in Government who are not hand to mout and who are not depending on politics for a job or to get rich. Ministers should be paid a stipend. The Civil Servants run the Public Service. The Politicians run all about the place ” talking”. They crave all the status and anyone who appears to be a challenge to that status they labeled and seek to victimise. They make political decisions. Barbados needs people who not have to depend on tax payers money for a salary. People who work for the country so that every one could benefit and not for themselves. Goverment Ministers should be paid a stipend.
    I do not see why we need such a big cabinet 18


  18. Bunn November 12, 2017 at 7:39 am

    A nother, nother, nother promise? You mean more taxes! Go and tell it to the Devil.

  19. Bunn November 12, 2017 at 7:45 am

    If the first plan did not work after all these years, how do you know the new plan is going to work if you have never implemented it before but it is guaranty to work, yeah? Go and tell it to Devil!

  20. Solutions Barbados November 13, 2017 at 9:24 am

    This is guaranteed to fail again. This administration has no clue what to do about our country’s financial problems. How interesting it is that this so called BSRL recovery plan was released while the IMF was in the island doing a review. Any coincidence? I think not. We need to say a big fat NO to any IMF assistance. We don’t need their money. We will not give up our sovereignty to an IMF fiscal policy. This BSRL is obviously being sold to the IMF as a home grown strategy just in case Barbados needs IMF financing. Watch for it.


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