Submitted by People’s Democratic Congress (PDC)
Recently, this DLP Government made it known to the people of Barbados that the economy of Barbados grew by 0.3% in 2010. But, what a patently false and objectionable noesis this has been!! What is worse too is that the 2010 Annual Economic Review states that for this same period – 2010 – the economy contracted by 0.4%. What we in the PDC firmly believe, however, is that the economy contracted by about 3.1% in real terms.
How certain sections of the local media like VOB, the Nation Newspaper, CBC, could have appeared to have unquestionably uncritically accepted that there was this level of recovery in the material production and distribution and financial affairs of this country has also got us totally bemused.
Even the former Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance under the last BLP Government, Mr. Clyde Mascoll, has had us in the PDC very dumbfounded with his wishy-washy, anaemic type of response to this notion that the Barbados economy grew by 0.3% in 2010. Part of Mr. Mascoll’s response was that that amount of growth was not even enough to deal with the problems posed by the fiscal deficit – which was around 8.8% of GDP, according to the same 2010 review.
A look at the said review would indicate that the local tourism sector grew by 3% – from the start of January 2010 to November 2010 – when compared with the previous year. This 3 % growth equates with a mere BDS $ 36 million in a BDS $ 1.2 billion tourism sector, and contrasts with a 8.8% decline in 2009 (See Tourism Arrival chart in said annual economic review 2010 for this 8.8 % decline – Strangely enough in the traded sector performance table in the 2010 annual economic review, the figure is 6.6%, and in the Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean 2009-2010, this same 6.6% decline in tourism in Barbados is referred to – so what piece of information is correct?). Anyhow, this 8.8% decline translates into a BDS $ 105 million loss in real tourism activity for 2009.
Thus, it goes without saying that it would have taken over BDS $ 140 million in tourism value added to have clearly arrived from the point of supposed depressed tourism activity at the start of 2009, right through/up to the point of growth at the end of 2010, the point where the country’s tourism sector was said by this ram shackled DLP government to have been growing at more than 3%.
Clearly the logical spin offs ( even to the extent of 1/4 of that BDS $ 140 million amount) from this NON-EXISTENT FICTITIOUS growth are at this stage not being seen, felt or heard in terms of real contributions to reversals in the declines and stagnations found within the retail, wholesale and distribution, manufacturing, agricultural, construction and financial sectors of the country.
So, therefore the government is LYING that there was a 0.3% growth in the economy last year!!!!
Moreso, a look at the 2009 review of the so-called Barbados economy showed that the economy contracted by 4.8% – we believe it to be more in the region of 6 %. Therefore, the Barbados economy lost about BDS $ 360 million in real economic activity for that period. The said review 2010 – Table 1 – Main Economic Indicators – shows that in 2010, real GDP declined by 0.4 percent – which translates to a BDS $ 32 million dollars loss to economy activity in the country in the said 2010. But these latter figures are really compounded by the recent false notion that economy grew by 0.3%. Thus, in so far as taking the latter into consideration, there would have had to be a reversal with regard to that extent of decline to the tune of at least BDS $ 400 million worth in total value added produced across Barbados, enough to realize any growth coming about in the economy.
According to the review 2010, the only other major sector other than tourism that grew was transport. So, again, there was NO WAY, NO WAY whatsoever that tourism could have produced near BDS $ 400 million in value added sufficient to simply arrest the decline in those other sectors and furthermore to replace the value added (over $ 100 million ) that was likely produced in the tourism sector in Barbados.
Finally, it is clear from particulars contained in the 2010 review that the high cost of importation/exportation, the alarming costs of living and doing business, TAXATION, and the high costs of government borrowing and amortisation in Barbados, among other relevant variables, have since the mid 2005 helped to keep this so-called Barbados economy in depression, and have helped to keep unemployment on the rise. In the case of each of those category of costs there have been increases far more than the 3% growth that has been said to have been realized in tourism in 2010, and the 0.3% that was lyingly said to have been achieved in the economy then.
Surely, the government must stop DAMN LYING about the performance of this economy.
(NB February has come and gone and Four Seasons has not restarted as Professor Persaud had said it would).