Changes coming

Sinckler serves notice of national discourse on SOEs and social entitlements

The days of Barbadians enjoying certain social services free of cost or at a minimal fee could soon be over, so too could hefty transfers to state owned enterprises (SOEs).

Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler today warned that a serious national discourse must take place on both issues, while revealing that he now had in hand the findings of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) study of SOEs which he intends to share with Barbadians in the coming weeks.

His comments come on the heels of warnings issued this week by both the Central Bank and the Washington-based IMF that the island’s economic growth was slowing, with foreign reserves currently at a 22-year low of $410 million, or 6.6 weeks of import cover, well below the recommended 12 weeks.

Both entities are currently forecasting that economic growth will slow to at least 0.5 per cent this year, down from one per cent in 2017 and 1.6 per cent the previous year, with Government’s overall expenditure on the increase and lower than expected tax revenues from the austerity measures introduced last year, including the controversial National Social Responsibility Levy which generated only about $115 million, a long way from the $218 million it was expected to bring in from July 1, 2017 when it was raised from two per cent to ten per cent of the customs duty on imported and locally produced goods, to the end of the fiscal year in March.

In its latest report issued on the same day that the Central Bank Governor Cleviston Haynes issued his assessment, the IMF also warned that domestic inflation was set to rise to a worrying 5.5 per cent by the end of this year.

While acknowledging that the country was going through some tough economic challenges, an under pressure Sinckler, who has in the past been reluctant to make such cuts on the recommendation of former Prime Minister Owen Arthur and other leading economists, today finally agreed publicly that urgent changes were needed that would affect “the quality of the social services that we have to provide, and the cost of them”.

Speaking in Parliament during debate on a land resolution, Sinckler said it was time for serious discussion on the matter.

And while not giving any indication of the extent of the changes to be made, he said areas such as housing, health care, water and transportation would have to be reviewed.

“So the quality of the social services that we have to provide, and the cost of them, we are going to need to have a fundamental debate,” Sinckler stressed.

In terms of the 63 statutory agencies which are said to benefit from over $1 billion in transfers and subsidies, Sinckler reported that “in a couple weeks time I am going to bring and make a document of this House, a technical report that was done by a technical mission through CARTAC by the International Monetary Fund on state owned enterprises.

“We just received it today,” he disclosed, while warning that “we will see that this is not a Democratic Labour Party problem, this is not a Barbados Labour Party problem, this is a Barbados issue to be dealt with and we have to collectively as a country, to make some serious decisions regarding how we deal with major issues . . . relative to social entitlement programmes – education, health care, public transport, water and housing.”

The Minister of Finance, in the past had also cautioned that Government would soon have to consider which entities to merge and which ones to privatize. However, with the Opposition currently clamouring for Prime Minister Freundel Stuart to announce the date for the elections which are constitutionally due here by June, Sinckler made it clear that decisions would not take place “in the dead of the night at a political meeting”.

Meanwhile, in what could be seen as a swipe at the US authorities in relation to a health alert issued late last month that the island’s tap water on the south coast was not safe for consumption, Sinckler said on the contrary “queens, kings and even presidents” could consume it.

He added that the water in Barbados “is and will in the future be considered the best quality water to be found anywhere in the world”.

“The president [of the US] don’t have to drink a diet coke, he can drink water [from Barbados]. There is no bottled drink like a glass of Barbadian water. And if you want to go down the road of having some fast food, you can get a roti from Chefette, you don’t need any Big Mac,” he said after a new book recently claimed that US president Donald Trump was a regular eater of fast food.

25 Responses to Changes coming

  1. luther thorne February 2, 2018 at 11:12 pm

    The Biggest Change

    Away with the Bad Stuff


    • Big Man February 3, 2018 at 6:54 pm

      These changes will be implemented by the BLP along with the 24 hour work day the Private sector want in return for Bank Rolling the BLP

  2. John Everatt February 3, 2018 at 12:25 am

    Mr. Sinclair – Far too little and far too late. You say you only now want to review these things that every economist has been screaming from the top of every tree they could find for years now? You had to destroy the economy first before listening to the people with the knowledge and experience that you don’t have? Mr. Sinclair, what qualifies you to decide how to run this economy? People are angry and they have every right to be. You are now out of time so stop with the politics of it is not a DLP/BLP problem. Just tell the PM to call the elections now!

  3. Harry February 3, 2018 at 5:26 am

    “Time has come for” TIME HAS GONE you should have acted a long time ago and taken the required action to save this Country . Our reserves are at half of the level which they should be at.

  4. Tony Webster February 3, 2018 at 7:21 am

    Too little…and waaaaaaay too late, Sar. Dis course…or rather YOUR course…has been driving S.S. Barbados right onto the rocks ahead….for the last ten years. You jes’ wake-up?

  5. The Elephant February 3, 2018 at 8:06 am

    Vote Solutions Barbados!

  6. hcalndre February 3, 2018 at 9:07 am

    Here comes the MOFailure now that rigor mortis has stepped in. When the patient was doing badly you did nothing, not even given it a try, its too late now.

  7. Alex Alleyne February 3, 2018 at 10:21 am

    Sinkler, “Hard ears you won’t hear, own way you shall feel”.
    You saying IMF an option ?, next devaluation also an option.
    For over 5 years I keep saying the a fee of BDS$1.00 per person over 18 and under 65 years old should be charged /collected up front at all Polyclinics and the Hospital.
    Only the persons who make minimum way and have 2 children going to School will be allowed “free Bus Fare”.
    BUTCH going to be saying ….”I told you so”.

  8. Greengiant February 3, 2018 at 10:27 am

    @The Elephant: I will bet anyone that within the social and economic reform document now in the government’s hand we will find several proposed changes made by Solutions Barbados.

    That’s the party for me, that’s the party for the people, and that’s the party for the future. We made a significant change in our political direction fifty years ago when we welcomed the D L P and handed a mandate to it’s leader E W Barrow. Fifty years later our country needs new vision, under the leadership of Mr. Phillips and Solutions Barbados.

    We need to make that change now. The B L P is still practicing the old ‘rent a crowd’ publicity stunts where they move supporters to meetings island wide by bus dressed in their official colours to give the impression they have a large following. When in fact about 40% of the crowd are people who are brought there in buses paid for by the candidates.

  9. luther thorne February 3, 2018 at 10:41 am

    The job is not for amateurs.

    What experience does SOLUTIONS BARBADOS HAVE ?
    SOLUTIONS BARBADOS cannot woo any BLP or DLP supporters .
    The Breakaway Church Mentality Syndrome (BCMS) that invades SOLUTIONS BARBADOS will not work in Politics. BCMS sees church member having a lil disagreement with the pastor/ priest and cannot forgive and forget so they get up against pastor/priest and drag way some members and run down the road and open some lil thing in a school or Pavilion give it a hifalutin name like THE CHURCH FOR THE SOLUTUON OF ALL PROBLEMS with some flambouyant slow/fast talking chest thumping loud /quiet selfish dictator as leader – only his/her views matter.

    The test of SOLUTIONS BARBADOS is if they are going to remain in Politics after the next Election.

    Oh, I suspect that they will be so demoralized that they will not show their faces afterwards.
    They need to align themselves and forward their workable ideas.
    Maybe Grenville can become a Senatot I mean a Senator
    SOLUTIONS BARBADOS will contribute 25 X 250 dollars to the Treasury.

    Now the UPP is a different kettle of Fish.
    This is the party more likely to win a Seat in the next Election or the ones after.. The big test for these parties is if they will remain intact after the Elections. I can see UPP being around and growing stronger. I dont feel thaf SOLUTIONS BARBADOS will last beyond the Election night.

  10. Donild Trimp February 3, 2018 at 12:17 pm

    I have been calling for these changes for a while now. The entitlement mentality must be eradicated from Barbados. My only question Mr.Minister is what took you so long?

    “The days of Barbadians enjoying certain social services free of cost or at a minimal fee could soon be over, so too could hefty transfers to state owned enterprises”

    I do not like the waffling in the above statement. Using the word “could” is waffling. The operative word should have been “will” instead of could.

    In one breath Mr.Minister you are being practical, in the other you are being political. Sad !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Back to common sense leadership with the below revelation.

    an under pressure Sinckler ———– today finally agreed publicly that urgent changes were needed that would affect “the quality of the social services that we have to provide, and the cost of them”.

    More common sense below from the Minister.

    “this is a Barbados issue to be dealt with and we have to collectively as a country, to make some serious decisions regarding how we deal with major issues . . . relative to social entitlement programmes – education, health care, public transport, water and housing.”

    What this tells me is that there are people at the highest level in DLP Government who when they want to, uses rational thought, logic and common sense in addressing the issues germane to bringing Barbados in step with reality.

    Good work Mr.Minister. Ensures your re-election if you can get it done.

  11. luther thorne February 3, 2018 at 12:21 pm

    Ensures reelection my arse !!

    This DLP Crap Sewage laden nonsense of a Government has to go. No more tinkering. Serious people only !

  12. hcalndre February 3, 2018 at 12:35 pm

    MOFailure is doing a jingle for Chefette`s roti which is the smallest roti that is being sold any place that the Caribbean people lives. Ali and Gloria, any Trinidadian or Guyanese would want to know if its 2 biscuits put together and disguise as a roti.

  13. Alex Alleyne February 3, 2018 at 12:53 pm

    @hcalndre, its your MONEY so can ca spend it where ever you like. Leave Chefette roti right there. A boycott is necessary. It’s our MONEY he want and we the public do have the POWER.

  14. Donild Trimp February 3, 2018 at 1:37 pm

    @luther thorne

    You are amazing and at the same time intellectually weak. It is impossible for you and people of your ilk to approach issues from an objective point of view.

    How can any Barbadian oppose a policy or policies that are beneficial to Barbados in general?

    If you can see things from an objective point of view, please answer the above question using rational thought, logic and common sense.

    If you are just objecting to policies just for the sake of objecting, it would make more sense not to reply.

  15. Jonathan Nurse February 3, 2018 at 2:53 pm

    I will vote for the Barbados Labour Party and Opposition Leader Mia Mottley.

  16. jrsmith February 3, 2018 at 3:23 pm

    We are going to head for further disaster , our politicians need to be control and be (Accountable) the voters need to be in a position of strength, having the chance to be able to remove failing politicians from office if they are not working in the interest of the people………..
    Two terms of failure and not one member of the failed government was threaten to be removed from office…….

  17. luther thorne February 3, 2018 at 3:31 pm

    2 TERMS
    Dont Deserve it..

    Destroyed Barbados every time they formed the Government. 1971 -1976 Destroyed Barbados.
    1986 -1991 Destroyed Barbados
    1991- 1994 Destroyed Barbados
    2008 -2013 Destroyed Barbados
    2013 -2018 Destroyed Barbados.
    Always leaves Barbados worse than they find it


    The evidence cannot be disputed
    Performance Always Mediocre
    Why the arse should somebody vote for NONSENSE
    And People coming defending NONSENSE and not demanding EXECELLENCE talking foolisness about Party and propping personalities and names.

    That is why Barbados is regressing.
    Many are accepting MEDIOCRITY and want others to do the same. I do not care bout Party nor Personalities. If something is off , its off. Right now the hapless visionless clueless DLP is totally OFF. I care about Barbados and I think they should call the ELECTIONS NOW.

    I saw a BIG BLACK SLUG eating a big red cherry on a BIG RED COW and came to pass that on the 4th day of the 4th Month in the year of the PIG , a mosquito let go a FART.
    Go Figure !

  18. Ralph Greene February 3, 2018 at 5:25 pm

    Free? Taxes paid are not free. A change coming for true. Change this stupid, non-productive government.

  19. Buun February 4, 2018 at 7:32 am

    Always warnings from you when the damaged is already done.

  20. jennifer February 4, 2018 at 8:49 am

    I am calling on all negros in BIM to wake up and see who are your oppressors, who are your depressors, your suducers, your suppressors, your blood suckers, who continues to work for who, who elevates who, who keeps who financially hype, who keeps who at the bottom, who keeps the disenfranchised at that low level disallowing financial air etc………. Come on guys.

    • jennifer February 4, 2018 at 9:04 am

      NOTHING in Barbados is free, has EVER been free, or will ever be free. So stop all the c*nt talk bout entitlement and freeness. Put away your wilful blindness and pride and get some integrity and condemn the REAL free loaders and loafers and scoffers that these political misfits and mismanagers and bootlickers supporting. I hope all you negros wake up and curb your non essential spending given to you by………and supported by the 1% of BIM including these politicians.

  21. jennifer February 4, 2018 at 9:10 am

    As long as the simple stay simple and asinine,
    no problem.

  22. Helicopter(8P) February 5, 2018 at 4:18 pm

    Fertilizers and chemical industrial acids have to be keenly environmentally monitored by the environmentalist and ecologist.


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