BLP ready to take the steering wheel

The Freundel Stuart-led Democratic Labour Party (DLP) Government is currently on a road to nowhere and the latest International Monetary Fund (IMF) assessment of the island’s economic situation has confirmed this, the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) has said.

In fact, two BLP economists have cried shame on the DLP administration for its handling of the economy, saying they were concerned that things were getting worse instead of improving, despite burdensome tax measures.

BLP candidate for Christ Church East Central Ryan Straughn and the party’s candidate for the St Michael South Central Marsha Caddle spoke to reporters during a media conference today in response to the latest IMF Article IV Consultation which ended in the release of a preliminary assessment yesterday.

Straughn, an economist and past President of the Barbados Economic Society, said he was concerned about the direction in which the country was headed, adding that most worrying was the fact that Barbados’ foreign reserves declined by about four weeks in the last quarter of last year.

Ryan Straughn and Marsha Caddle

“There is nothing within the trajectory of Barbados today that suggests that a similar performance will not occur this year,” said Straughn, while pointing to the mere 8.6 weeks of import cover at which the reserves stood at the end of September this year.

In its latest report, the IMF also warned that without divestment proceeds, the overall fiscal deficit would only decline to 4.1 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in financial year 2017/2018.

At the same time, while Government is seemingly intent on achieving a surplus of 4.4 per cent of GDP in financial year 2018/2019, the lending agency suggested that it should aims instead for a 7.5 per cent GDP surplus by financial year 2020/2021.

“This report is probably the most damning piece of evidence because last year the IMF said we had turned the corner . . . . But this report shows you which corner we actually turned last year, because all of the metrics compared to last year are worse. Therefore we now have to be very clear in our mind, these policies are leading us nowhere,” Straughn added.

The noted economist said he was worried that despite the introduction of a suite of measures designed specifically to generate growth by way of boosting the reserves, reducing the deficit and lowering the national debt, currently estimated at in excess of 100 per cent of GDP, the island simply was not achieving the desired results.

He said he was even more concerned about the current cost of living, which was being made worse by the most recent tax measures, especially the controversial National Social Responsibility Levy, which was increased from two to a whopping ten per cent on July 1.

Reiterating the views of Opposition Leader Mia Mottley, Straughn said once elected, the BLP would repeal the burdensome NSRL. However, he opted not to say exactly how the party intended to replace the lost revenues.

“We must remove that which is hindering growth and therefore, that is what we intend to do. So long as we are able to do that, it means that cost of living immediately comes down and the cost of doing business also reduces,” Straughn said, adding that “over the course of 12 months or so then we would start to see revenues recover because of natural increase in economic activity”.

He also stressed that “there are other things other than taxation and spending that can generate growth,” while promising that the BLP would discuss other revenue generating measures “at a later date”.

The BLP candidate for Christ Church East Central however described the level of “burdensome taxation” over the past nine-and-a-half years as “scandalous”, adding that despite the sacrifices that Barbadians were making by paying more taxes, they were yet to see any measureable improvements in various services, including health care and road works.

“Yet the very targets they said were vital to achieving stability are all going in the wrong direction. So the simple question is this, how many plans does it take before Barbados realizes that the Government is incompetent? How many plans does it take before Barbados realizes that this is a road that is leading to nowhere?” he asked.

For her part, Caddle said the IMF statement suggested that “Barbados is even in further decline” and that the latest fiscal measures had “failed on every front”.

“It has failed to close the deficit as was anticipated [and] it has in fact taken the Barbados economy into a further recession. So this NSRL and the attendant suite of policies have in fact created what is a trinity of failure. It has failed to boost reserves, it has failed to address the deficit, it has failed to bring about real growth in the country.

“So the IMF press release joins the last ‘Doing Business Report’. In fact, it joins the last Central Bank assessment in showing that the Barbados economy continues to be in trouble, the management of it does not have much credibility and it is time for us as a country to be as concerned as all national, regional, and international institutions and experts have shown themselves to be,” Caddle said.

The two candidates charged that the DLP administration had lost all credibility, and the Mottley led BLP was ready to take the steering wheel.

“We are preparing to govern. We are not waiting until day one, so to speak, before we start looking at the issues. I think one of things that will distinguish us in the Barbados Labour Party from the Democratic Labour Party and anybody else for that matter, is that we are prepared to deal with this crisis tomorrow if and when the people make that determination,” Straughn said.

18 Responses to BLP ready to take the steering wheel

  1. Adrian Reid
    Adrian Reid November 23, 2017 at 10:44 pm

    I have confidence in team BLP,ring the bell…

  2. archy perch November 24, 2017 at 2:03 am

    Ryan Straughn already had his big ego burst by the hierachy of the crooked Barbados Labour Party. I remember his silly suggestion to privatize the Transport Board and then came the cold water on the hot air. Sraughn and all these other Johnny-come-lately Economists – including Jeremy Stephen – claim to have the answers to this island’s economic woes only because they have nothing to loose. They were never elected to anything so it is easy to be a quarterback. Being in government is a reality check. These upstarts are all clamouring for big positions in a future cooked Barbados Labour Party government but they will be disappointed. Not all Barbadians and voters are foolish enough to think that Mia can fix our problem, a woo man who has to date failed in all her calculations to the point of bluff. One of her calculations was that general elections would be in December. Huh? There is growth in the Barbados economy albeit small but steady. That is one of the positives never admitted by the crooked BLP razor tongues. Nothing happens overnight. But put us in the IMF hands and we would all be crying overnight and every night. Cut the bull folks and let us work together to help this island, instead of – by default – helping a bunch of opportunists satisfy their desires to join their former crooked piers at the millionaires ball.

  3. Bradg November 24, 2017 at 5:38 am

    Let’s get this incompetent DLP admin out of office. Had enough of them

  4. harry turnover November 24, 2017 at 6:27 am

    See the celebrations in Zimbabwe when Mugabe said he was resigning ? celebrations similar to those will occur when the bell is rung in Barbados.

  5. Carson C Cadogan November 24, 2017 at 6:36 am

    Is this the same wet nose Ryan Straughn making statements again??? The last time he made statements he was humiliated by the Barbados Labour Party Leadership.

    This is a man who does not know what he talking about. Even the Barbados Labour Party said so the last time he opened his mouth.

    And now he is back with more gooble-dy-gook. But this time he is taking no chances , he has brought Marsha Caddle along with him. He seems to think that there is safety in numbers.

  6. Greengiant November 24, 2017 at 8:05 am

    Yes I understand your thirst for power,yes I understand you want to be the first female leader, yes I understand your desire to enter politics, yes I also understand your desire to enter parliament. The BLP wants power, Mia wants to be the first female PM, some first time candidates see the swing as the best opportunity to enter politics, and of course their best chance to enter our parliament as an elected member. A guaranteed first term, work for a second term, guarantee a pension and then relax on the people of Barbados. The established political cycle customary between these two decade parties.

    ‘They’re ready to take the wheel’. Are they ready, or prepared to drive? Do they have the right capacity license? Do they have a proper, well equipped workshop, with trained, disciplined and committed mechanics to service the vehicle when breakdown come?

    If the BLP is ready then outline the plan, the location of the workshop, the size of the crew, who’s responsible for what, and of course the route the car will travel. Hopefully not through White Hill, as though they’re no pot holes, the terrain is difficult. Tell the public if you will reduce the public sector by 4,500 and enter an
    IMF agreement. Tell us the macro plan, not just the micro plans. What’s wrong with Marsha. Ryan, Clyde and company? The BLP has the largest team of economist ever assembled by any opposition party, and probably any political party in the history of this country. Can’t you present a sound economic plan for presentation by now? Are we to wait as usual for a manifesto three weeks before an election? This will prove that nothing has changed with these two dead beat parties. They’re still taking our intelligence for granted.

    I’m really ashamed of the young candidates who’ve chosen to associate with the BLP and DLP. Political parties are formed on campuses. The Barbadians who attend campus together, graduate and fail to form political parties are failing the people. You can’t be buying into these failed ideologies in the 21st century.

    • Leroy November 24, 2017 at 8:38 am

      Start your own with your own money.

  7. Carlisle Norville November 24, 2017 at 10:28 am

    Archy pearch, that prime minister of yours is a real intelligent ass .i have never in all of my years, heard of a prime minister who prides himself on being educated, allowing his cabinet ministers to run they own show,( his motto is you are ministers, you are in control, not me. I give you all the freedom you want to run your ministry( archy pearch that is what you call Good governance, your prime minister is a lawyer Q.C., not a prime minister, he has NOT got a clue ,as to the( modus operandi )of the prime minister’s office.!& then we have to put up with plantocracy mentality ( he want black bagans to go back to the jucking board, & coal pot,) he aparently does not comprehend that barbados & bajans, are in a NEW era of developent,& we are educated & brigh, & we can see through his slave mentality

  8. archy perch November 24, 2017 at 11:33 am

    Mr. Norville have you ever heard of a man called Owen Arthur once dubbed as the best Prime Minister this island has ever had.Did he not allow Gline Clarke to do his thing in his Ministry, and what about Liz Thompson sir. How did Noel Lnch become a millionaire in his Ministry Mr.Norville. The crooked Barbados Labour Party will not win the upcoming general election Mr Norville, you have a record of things. The crooked BLP is hoping to win by presenting smut and smear hit and run tactics, but Archy Perch keeping wicket this time. Your propaganda has met its match.

  9. Carson C Cadogan November 24, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    How could Mia be ready to take the wheel when in the recent past she said that , she is ashamed to be a Bajan?

    • Ann Thomas November 24, 2017 at 4:44 pm

      Oh please Carson, is that the best you could do? Really?

      Of course anything that this hapless and helpless government does is correct. All the failed plans and policies, all the pain and suffering and worse of all taking back their ten per cent salary cut when the public servants have not had a pay increase in nine years.

      Are you seriously suggesting that Barbadians should be happy with the NRSL, the 2 per cent foreign exchange tax?

      After struggling under this DLP administration, the BLP could do no worse and infinitely better. There certainly would not be the spectacle of the Minister of Finance proclaiming the success of the NRSL and officials from his ministry in his own document (this wonderful new plan that is to turn this country around) saying the opposite.

      Surely even you Carson, can see the problems with that. Have a chat with Mikey if you can’t.

      • Carson C Cadogan November 24, 2017 at 8:42 pm

        Ann Thomas, if you don’t know what to say, just keep quiet.

  10. luther thorne November 24, 2017 at 6:37 pm


    Who joining me
    Time for action to motivate

    • Carson C Cadogan November 24, 2017 at 8:40 pm

      That is the best idea you ever come up.

      I hope that you are successful with your hunger strike.

      It would be One less nuisance to deal with.

  11. Bajan Patriot November 24, 2017 at 8:24 pm

    A very wise man once said that ” Bajans have very short memories” I’m a patriot. I love my country barbados. I have never here any Barbadians say those words out loud.

    Partition politics has distroy and devide bajan alone party lines.
    Have any ever stop to think about the future of barbados? I don’t think so.

    Who many of you know why we are importing 100% of everything we consume? Did you all know that under both BLP & DLP government there sign away our ability to self support our self by inking a one sided WTO Agreement. An agreement that said we must buy a billion dollars worth of goods and services from world trade members states. Ask Bobby Morris what’s in that agreement. He couldn’t even tell you.

    Folks being P.M I no joke. There are forces in this world that will frighten the most harden leader. Truthfully. Mia is not Quility to be P.M of barbados. Neither is the current P.M

    Barbadians should change the party system to a more diverse system of leadership. No one person should be aloud to distroy a country and its people.

    I would suggest a collation government in office to force a
    constitutional revision to reform or country political system.

    Let here some suggestions from you non political affiliated Barbadians.

  12. luther thorne November 24, 2017 at 11:07 pm

    Patriot !
    I like your contributions but I ask you already what you talking bout when you talking about getting rid of BLP and DLP
    That is talk I find strange . It is either B or D as far as Barbados is concerned. What you are suggesting would be feasible if there was a cadre of persons outside of the main parties. Get rid of the two parties and bring people who have no experience around or in Government. From the outside things does look easy but you need certain skill sets. The two main parties have those two skill sets to keep a Goverment intact. Right now the DLP is facing a tough task but it does not mean they are not skilled. It is just that this combination is not getting the results we hope for. But as bad as you may think they are, it could get worst under say Solutions or CAP. The first thing them guys would start doing is fighting among themselves. Allyuh have this tendency to want to right off people and throw out this body and bring the next body.

    The only Alternative to the DLP is the BLP and now is the BLP’s time. That is how it is. Accept it. Dont mind the DLP Consortium who operate undervarious deceptive nicknames on this and other blogs. That is the propaganda Arm of the DLP that spouts Deception Lies and Ptopanganda. They have employed the strategy for many years in the various publications and on Barbados Underground Blog and others. Go there and see them as angela and all sorts of foolish names. And dont let the gender of the names they use fool yuh.
    They are BOTS similar to the BOTS Russia used to influence the elections in the US. Dont mind them. Notice how relentless the comments are under the nicknames used – everyday – EVERY blog in unison. ML cars and jobs are at stake bosie so expect anything from the BOTS. You know that BOTS is the short for ROBOTS right ? Propping up a VAMPIRE who sleeps and slèeps only to wake up when the time comes wakes up to suck the blood out of the people’ s hopes and dreams.

    I dont care what is said.
    I AM ON HUNGER STRIKE until Honourable Donville Inniss is made Prime Minister or Elections are called whichever comes first.

    • Bajan Patriot November 25, 2017 at 12:22 am

      I have no interest in partisan politics. I ask for suggestions from non political affiliated Barbadians. If you don’t have anything to ad that would help our country please ignore my post!

  13. Greengiant November 26, 2017 at 6:50 am

    @Bajan Patriot: I admire and support your dismissal of luther thorne. Our country, and by extension our youth are the way they are because of short sighted people like thorne.


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