A Very Sad Time In Barbados' Financial History

Submitted by People’s Democratic Congress (PDC)

Former Prime Minister Sir Lloyd Sandiford led restructuring in the early 90s

For, on Tuesday, 17 July, 2012, Standard and Poor’s – one of the three major international credit rating agencies – downgraded the Barbados Government’s financial credit rating. The Government’s foreign currency bonds status has reached junk status – from BBB-/A-3, to BB+/B, in the S&P’S rankings.

But, the PDC is not surprised that this has come about. As that, ever since the Barbados government’s last effective downgrade by Moody’s (another of the three major international credit rating agencies) in 2011, we would have been forewarning many people many times on here – on BU – and in other fora – that the Government of Barbados international creditworthiness would have been deteriorating at such a fast rate, that it was only a matter of time before it was going to be downgraded again by anyone of these credit rating agencies.

Well, that is what just happened on Tuesday – a day when, too, the Nation Newspaper was reporting big and bold on its front page, how the main public sector union – the NUPW – was bombastically ungraciously pressing for a 10% wages hike for public workers.

Arthur accused of sqandermania and padding the public service thus dismantling the work of Sandiford

Nevertheless, what this last downgrading has emphatically said, et al, is that for over the last 25 years or so both DLP and BLP Governments have been grossly and recklessly mismanaging the material financial affairs of this country.

From the time the Owen Arthur government took office in this country in 1994, 18 years ago – it was very clear that this was the position the country was bound to come. So, not constrained by the altruistic nature of the office of Prime Minister and Minister of Finance – the then noviciate Mr. Owen Arthur took it upon himself to carry the ‘triumphantilism’ of he and his party’s winning the 1994 general election further by soon engaging in an unwanton, unnecessary massive expansion of  the public sector of Barbados (employment in the public sector employment was estimated to have at one point swollen from 21.9 of the entire labour force in Barbados in 1994, to 30% of that said entire labour force in Barbados, at the end of September 2004); several ministries, government departments and statutory corporations  were foolishly inspired and/or inaugurated by Arthur (including the Ministry of Social Transformation, the UDC, RDC, FTC, the Poverty Alleviation Bureau. etc.), and public sector transfer costs (taxation) were estimated to have increased significantly primarily on purely political grounds.

The Late Hon. Prime Minister David Thompson continues to pad the public service

Especially with the VAT coming into existence in 1997, the Owen Arthur government doubled the reported total yearly amount of EVIL WICKED TAXATION THEFTS, moving them from a reported BDS $ 1.0 billion in 1994 to BDS $ 2.2 billion in 2007, mainly to support his political financial squandermania and excessiveness and some of his downright political objectives, for example, HIS ILLUSION OF CREATING 30 000 jobs, and the nebulous POLITICS OF INCLUSION.  Ironically outlandishly enough, in 2012 though, this same political nuisance Arthur can be found to be accusing, however rightly, this present Stuart Administration of increasing TAXATION to support the very unsustainable untenable political goal of not sending home  a single man or woman from the public service at this very juncture.

Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart leads the biggest Cabinet in the history of Barbados

Some BU readers may well remember the PDC article we did some time ago on BU about certain types of empty insincere recurring words, themes, and discourses that many DLP/BLP parliamentarians/candidates  in Barbados deceitful use or not use, at some times to help secure cheap political points over one another in those or other times, even though – whenever the facts have been ascertained – they prove that some of these same people who use these very words, themes, etc. would have earlier themselves indulged in similar things behaviors as those ones that they would then be later accusing some of the other political figures of doing or not doing. Well, Arthur’s case above is a dastard example of that.

Anyhow, what is most reprehensible about that public sector expansion and duplication and wastage of resources that Arthur did during his years of gross misrule – is that they started to take place only within a couple whiffs of the Sandiford Administration having managed to substantially complete the structural and stabilization program it had agreed with the IMF in 1991/2 – and which itself would have realized substantial reductions in the size of the public sector then. For example, the work force of government was reported to have fallen from 24.6 per cent of the entire labour force in Barbados in 1991, to 21.0 in 1993. There was also realized the restructuring of many public enterprises – hence, for example the Barbados Transport Board proceeded to go the route of conductor-less, fare-box buses. Also some enterprises were merged with one another – hence, the BIDC, BADMC.

Governor of the Central Bank Dr. Delisle Worrell accused of less than credible in his utterances

There was also some measure of privatization of government enterprises – Arawak Cement Plant – or divestment in private sector   companies – BET, BARTEL, and in the same Heywoods Hotel that has recently been in the news). Mr. Sandiford (now Sir Lloyd) and the IMF had instituted an 8 % pay cut for public workers, had reduced the size of the fiscal deficit of the Government from BDS $ 248 million to BDS $ 54 million, had reduced the size of the current account deficit on the balance of payments, from BDS $ 317 million in 1992 to BDS $ 171 million in 1993, and had been forced to cede greater political material space to the much more efficient private sector to operate in.  ALL OF THESE MEASURES AND MORE IN EXCHANGE FOR BORROWING AN AMOUNT IN MILLIONS OF DOLLARS FROM THE SAID IMF!

Of course, the Sandiford Government and the majority of the people in Barbados at the time had to pay a very heavy political, material and financial cost then in 1991/2 and later on for the gross and reckless incompetence of the same Sandiford Government in 1989/90 – part of this said cost being the same draconian DLP Government/IMF program.
Anyhow, back to Arthur, Arthur engaged in the highest public sector borrowing this country would have ever seen at the time, crassly moving the gross government debt from BDS $ 2.4 Billion in 1994 to BDS $ 5.4 Billion in December 2007, and thus skyrocketing the estimated government’s net claims on the public sector to as much as negative half a billion dollars in 2007. Arthur was warned by Standard and Poor’s and the IMF about the adverse consequences for the creditworthiness of the Government of this country when he and the BLP undertook massive large-scale borrowing for the ICC World Cup and its associated projects in2005/7 – chief among them the Kensington Oval Redevelopment Project.

Also, Arthur approved so many other non-income/non-revenue generating projects at such a fast pace and in such a clustered way, and esp. through the use of the BOLT system, that the rising astronomical levels of public sector debt that will incur will serve to drown out many of the productive efforts of many of the people of Barbados for some time to come. Hence, some non-income/non-revenue generating projects and, too, some of which involve very costly repayment terms are the Dodds Prisons, the Halls of Justice, the widening of the ABC highway along a certain stretch, the road rehabilitation project that started from the bottom of University Drive and that ended at Garrison, the NHC Warrens Office Complex. Also, the government’s off budget borrowings rose to staggeringly high levels, and the NIS became another political means for financing some of the borrowings – Hence the Airport Redevelopment Project funding, the Coast Guard Project. (Again, this Arthur now pillories this present government for doing similarly). In 2006 the deficit on current account of the Balance of Payments moved from a surplus in BDS $ 269 million in 1994 to a deficit of BDS $ 664 million in 2006.

What was very unfortunate about such instances was that Arthur did do so many and  more dangerous and wicked things to the political economy of this country,  despite his saying in coming to office in 1994 that under his leadership there would have been a private sector export led political economy and else in this country.

Well, too, from the time the David Thompson Administration took office in this country in 2008, it became starker than before that the government of Barbados was going sooner rather than later to reach junk bond status on the assessments of the worsening of the creditworthiness of the Barbados government by at least one of the credit rating agencies. For, the late David Thompson further unwantonly increased employment in various areas of the public sector – e.g. scores of people were employed by an expanded Drainage Unit. He incorporated the very unnecessary and useless Department of Constituency Councils and Constituency Councils, and had instituted just before his death the biggest Cabinet in the history of government ever in Barbados. Thompson also ensured that the largest EVIL WICKED TAXATION THEFTS that have so far been carried out in this country were inanely carried out in 2008, so much so that even simple bicycle owners were hunted down by the former DLP leader for more taxes. Since taking over from Thompson, Chris Sinckler would have done nothing to stop the Standard and Poor’s downgrade, furthermore he made sure that he was the Finance Minister under whose watch this was going to happen by increasing EVIL WICKED TAXATION THEFTS further in his 2010 Budget, and by increasing government borrowings.

As for the present Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados, Dr. Delisle Worrell, his role in this massive decline in the political economic state of affairs of Barbados, has been to casually attempt – however unsuccessfully – to explain away this gigantic prolonged political economic financial depression Barbados is in, rather than to find strategic solutions out of it. Also he has been less than credible in his utterances on many issues pertaining to the amount of growth of nominal incomes, payments and transfers that have been generated in the political economy and services industry sectors in Barbados, pertaining to whether or not these same sectors can be deemed as stable in their overall performances at this stage; pertaining to whether or not the rate of unemployment that exists in Barbados today is more than what the Central Bank officially says it is, etc; such and more, ever since the Central Bank of Barbados would have perfunctorily recalibrated the so-called economy in 2010 to make the fictional size of the so-called economy seem bigger than what it really is, and to mainly mask the deep-rooted material and financial problems that the government is in and the country is in.

We again call for the public to make sure that there is a Commission of Inquiry into the administrative research functioning of the Central Bank of Barbados.

Well, since money cannot make money, and money cannot cost money, other than it is foreign exchange, and since nominal incomes, payments and transfers cannot be produced without money, the position that the Barbados government finds itself in having its credit rating for foreign currency bonds downgraded to junk bond status by Standard and Poor’s; in having therefore to face the grim prospects of paying higher costs to use the US dollar here in Barbados; and in having to face the spectre of outright refusal by some persons overseas to invest in government bonds on the international capital markets, etc. is extremely scandalous and ignominious.

As that, contrary to what Standard and Poor’s has said about the reasons why the Barbados government has had its debt profile downgraded…as stated by them ….“owing to the weakening of the economic fundamentals…and that such is a function of a still very weak external environment and its impact on Barbados, and the big competitive challenges and structural shortcomings that Barbados faces, inter alia”, the real  and fundamental causes of this down grade are not even being dealt with by them. This is something that Standard and Poor’s must be told in no uncertain terms. Standard and Poor’s, in its reported explanations for downgrading the debt profile of the government of Barbados, is dealing with the symptoms or the effects of the causes of the fundamental political material financial problems that Barbados faces at this stage. So, in its down grading of the government of Barbados credit rating, it is not dealing with the underlying causes of these problems either, neither is the jack-o-lantern  DLP/the BLP dealing with real underlying substantial causes of those problems.

For some of the real and fundamental causes of the conditions and decisions that have led to this junk bond status are:

  1. DLP/BLP Barbados governments having over the years been purporting to make so many people believe that it has the ABILITY TO REPAY LOCAL AND FOREIGN DEBTS, WHEN IT CLEARLY DOES NOT. It mainly conducts that kind of atrocious deleterious debt generating business via its fiat. It is a fraudulent thieving series of subterfuges that these governments have been engaging in. No financial institutions in Barbados would lend millions to any private person or any private entity that does not have the ability to repay period.
  2. Notwithstanding their having so many marketable and saleable assets and services at its disposal, and their having so many government people with so many marketable skills and services at its disposal, DLP/BLP governments have been blatantly openly wicked and gross carrying on with TAXATION and excessive interest rate driven public sector borrowings, etc.  rather than they making sure that TAXATION, Interest Rates are abolished, etc. and rather than they making sure  that these things and people are put to maximum use in the process of the government earning more of its income on a sustained basis in this country. What backward wicked governments!
  3. The improper use of money and improper allocation of money by Government.

So there we go.

NB. All statistics used in this document have been drawn from Central Bank statistics.

149 thoughts on “A Very Sad Time In Barbados' Financial History

  1. Let the Bees win the election and have nothing to do them when they call for “national unity” so they can preside over the public service cuts and the forthcoming devaluation. Look good for the Dees in 2017.

  2. Mark and I have had some heated debates in the past, but I largely concur with what he says here.

    Bajans must remember that the BLP took Barbados from an A- S&P rating to where the DLP found it on assuming office. Which was not very far away from where we are right now.

  3. A possible solution is for Barbados :

    Oil Deposits in the Caribbean basin – largest deposit ever
    Ezili Dantò of HLLN
    July 12, 2010

    ” There is ample evidence that the oil reserves under the Caribbean Basin are on the same scale as those of the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden combined, and that they contain three thousand more times natural gas than oil. ”

    Jamaica seals deal to drill for oil next year

    KINGSTON, Jamaica, Monday May 28, 2012 – After a few years of uncertainty, it has been confirmed that the Canadian oil and gas exploration company, Sagres will begin the process of drilling for oil in Jamaica come next year.

    …”We continue to be excited by the potential of the La Concepcion prospect, a prospect mapped straddling Blocks 9 and 13, with an independent evaluation establishing a gross mean prospective resource estimate of 3.0 billion barrels,” said President and CEO of Sagres Gary Wine at the time.

    Paulwell also noted at the time that, based on the data collected to date, there were indications that there could be as much as 10 billion barrels of reserves in the Walton Basin.

    Read more: http://www.caribbean360.com/index.php/news/jamaica_news/580733.html#ixzz21GlUSwbD.


  4. A possible solution is for Barbados :

    Oil Deposits in the Caribbean basin – largest deposit ever
    Ezili Dantò of HLLN
    July 12, 2010

    ” There is ample evidence that the oil reserves under the Caribbean Basin are on the same scale as those of the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden combined, and that they contain three thousand more times natural gas than oil. ”

    Jamaica seals deal to drill for oil next year

    KINGSTON, Jamaica, Monday May 28, 2012 – After a few years of uncertainty, it has been confirmed that the Canadian oil and gas exploration company, Sagres will begin the process of drilling for oil in Jamaica come next year.

    …”We continue to be excited by the potential of the La Concepcion prospect, a prospect mapped straddling Blocks 9 and 13, with an independent evaluation establishing a gross mean prospective resource estimate of 3.0 billion barrels,” said President and CEO of Sagres Gary Wine at the time.

    Paulwell also noted at the time that, based on the data collected to date, there were indications that there could be as much as 10 billion barrels of reserves in the Walton Basin.

    Read more: http://www.caribbean360.com/index.php/news/jamaica_news/580733.html#ixzz21GlUSwbD.

  5. Dems have to accept the reality that they presided over Barbados’ economy to bring it to JUNK BOND status, that is REALITY.

    The Bees took over an economy in 1994 with the IMF in control, having their own man in an office in Government headquarters, with over 24% unemployment, with the public sector demoralised after cuts and the 8% salary cuts, investor confidence at an all time low, with things hard, hard for families to manage, people could not get foreign exchange to send for their children studying overseas, I had to ask my relatives to give my children money whilst I paid their mortgage here.

    And after four years of DLP gross incompetence, you sorry people still want to blame the BLP. The PDC has never run anything other than run out a pen.

    If you all knew these things, why the hell you came into power and spent all the money left like drunken sailors on shore leave. You Dems are really senseless people! As a consequence of your stupidity, all of us Barbadians will have to suffer more!

    • @Prodigal Son

      You have conveniently sidestepped the points raised by the PDC. Debt accumulation started way back and where we find ourselves now has been exposed by the protracted economic situation. Just look at post 9/11 period and observe the impact on the economy then. BU agrees with the PDC that successive administrations have contributed including the current one.

      What is happening now is akin to going down a hill and it keeps getting steeper and steeper before the brakes popout!

    • Managing any economy in the world today is bad news:

      Why China’s growth model is in BIG TROUBLE, and so are the countries depending on it!
      by Jack CrooksSaturday, July 21, 2012 at 7:30am
      An interesting phenomenon seems to infect the human psyche in the field of investing and economics. It’s the idea that “this time it’s different.” Regarding China, we continue to hear the nonsensical mantra that the country displays capitalism with Chinese characteristics, therefore China will continue to grow uninterrupted.
      I say to that, dream on! And I’m not the only one. Michael Pettis, a finance professor at Peking University’s Guanghua School of Management, offered this insight:
      “There is no such thing as a different kind of economics, and even a very cursory glance at Chinese economic history should have made clear that if China really does exist in a different economic universe, with its own set of rules, then this has been a fairly new phenomenon. For most of its history the same old set of rules seemed to apply to China that applied everywhere else.”

  6. PDC
    I do not believe in your no taxation policy.
    You have painted a true picture of Owen Arthur led BLP and the David Thompson led DLP re the civil service
    That is why we are where we are today.

  7. Prodigal son

    Standards and Poor’s did not blame the government policies but projected that external factors are not going to help in the medium term in lowering the debt and therefore projected a downgrade base ON WHAT MAY HAPPEN. Correct me if I am wrong.

    Government is a continuum therefore any debt that was left by the BLP government is debt to the DLP government. Right or Wrong

    30 million US every January for the Prison is paid by this government for the last government. True or false.
    Kensington Oval debt.
    Cricket world cup debt
    Judicial center debt
    All of those are being paid because we have not defaulted on debt
    Only Al Barrack debt is not paid which seems to be a political hot potato for both parties. Really is it true that Al Barrack was partners with George Payne and Dale Marshall in a building business.

  8. @ David
    The Dems phuck up the place.
    At least the Bees built assets (PDC has some outlandish scheme to finance infrastructure) while the Dems increased public sector employment, sent home the Guyanese and employment still doubled. Where are benefits of the borrowing under the Dems?
    We can only blame the BLP if what is happening now had happened under their administration. To assume that the current state of the economy would have been the outcome under the BLP is bseless especially given the fact that they advanced a totally different solution to the problem. What can not be disputed is what has occurred under this government. An increase of $3b in 14 years vs over $2bn in less than five years

  9. @enuff

    You are more intelligent than you last comment. As a country and as individuals were have been living above our means and in the current state of the global economy given its protracted nature, we are now seeing the consequences.

    Don’t you see that four years later there is still clamour for wage increases etc? No thought for pulling back lifestyles as a country and strategize accordingly. Yes the BLP accumulated assets but list the ones which today are forex generating.

  10. prodigal son

    “The Bees took over an economy in 1994 with the IMF in control,”

    The bee took over an economy in 1994 with an A- rating by S&P rating agency.

    What was the S&P rating when the bees left office.

    Talk about that!

  11. prodigal son

    “spent all the money left like drunken sailors on shore leave”

    Dont hijack that term.

    That term aptly describes the attitude of the Barbados Labour Party when in office.

    There is plenty of evidence to support it.


    Well well, I now get back from sticking a big boar PIG….two two’s ….like this here one which Aarson and a ole Joker in new clothes Gully bore…TRYING to revive.. it was DEAD DEAD…..Ladies and gentlemen….it’s lost cause ….A BIG LONG article with nuff sour faces…truly a FBI Fugitive BillBoard….(finally PDC man Mark get noticed) ……but FA WUH ?….The DLP pig …like the one now gettin mekk into souse…IS A NO MORE…..imagine a PM pitching off S&P and Moody ratings with disdain…I beg your pardon…why who will the lending community listen to…..FUNDY or S&P..? Think of these things while I gorge my fresh pig head souse…..mmmmm

  13. WHY dont PDC, PEP and the new party join up –that is merge ?
    WHY wunnah always want wunnah own church , wunnah own political party, wunnah own little this and little that?
    WHAT is wrong with you people ?
    IS Carson Cadogan a clown or what??
    In haste to condemn the BLP , he jumps back to Sand P RATINGS BUT HE AINT DEALING WITH THE RATING AT THIS TIME
    Dont care waht happens we are not voting for Freundel Stuart and the Eager 11 –a bad combination and a sorry bunch–yuh talk chalk !

    BLP =29 SEATS
    DLP= 0 SEAT

  14. David | July 21, 2012 at 12:26 PM |
    “@enuff: You are more intelligent than you last comment. As a country and as individuals we have been living above our means and in the current state of the global economy given its protracted nature, we are now seeing the consequences.”

    You are quite right in your conclusion that our past excesses or “sins’ have finally caught with us.
    But aren’t you also not “guilty” of finger pointing? Why this heavy focus on the BLP’s misdeeds leading to the present economic suck or black hole we are currently in.
    If you perceive the electorate to be generally intelligent, savvy, or perspicacious then why can’t you accept that the very reason they changed from to BLP to the DLP to mange the affairs of this country is because of their acceptance of the DLP’s claims of squandermania, incompetence, corruption and over borrowing by the BLP. They (the electorate) decided to give the DLP a chance to change things and improve their living standards by first bringing the COL under control recognition.

    So ask yourself what has the DLP administration done to fulfil the expectations of the intelligent electorate? Lower the COL? Slaughtered a fatted calf? Increase the national debt significantly? Expand manpower numbers in the public sector? Gotten involved in the same past corrupt shenanigans with Pierhead marina, Invest Barbados million dollar payments to the Chairman to finance his business enterprises? Oversaw two credit rating down grades in less than 5 years instead of 3 during the BLP 14 year reign?

    David, if you were a chairman of a the board of a large private sector corporation and the current CEO kept trying to convince you that the current poor performance of the business is due to the actions of the previous CEO whom you fired 5 years ago for non-performance wouldn’t you ask the bullshit CEO why he think he was hired? You were hired because you convinced us that you knew what the previous manager did wrong, you knew the problems and the solutions and you promised us that you can do just that no matter what; hence the largest management team ever put together in the history of the nation.

    Even at this very crucial time when we should be open, honest and forthright we are playing again the silly season games with the so-called electorate. How can you, David, could be so concerned about our state of affairs but yet we have a PM who refuses to swallow a dose of reality and advises Bajans not to worry since the assessment is just an opinion of a insignificant source and the opulent lifestyle we have grown accustomed to is certainly NOT under threat. Let’s continue as always as we have been doing for the last 18 or so years!
    God help us! Where there is no visionary leadership the stupid people get the government they deserve!

    • @Miller

      It is why the BU household struggles to remain hopeful after hearing the BLP’s offering. We however remain expectant

      BLP DLP same damn party.

      Both parties pander to their constituents by feathering their nests at the public expense.

      Both parties feed current behaviour i.e.slaves to consumer durables.

      There is little hope although they say hope springs eternal.

  15. @ David
    Why don’t you say …..look let me declare my hand….

    People…..just another bad cop pointing finger strategy……but I have always heard the proof is in the puddin (and the people have eaten before.)…not just slack talk to try to cut votes

    • @Onions

      All BU is interested in is proper governance for the people. BLP or DLP same difference.

  16. @ David | July 21, 2012 at 3:22 PM |
    “All BU is interested in is proper governance for the people. BLP or DLP same difference.”

    Yes indeed! But not in this going down. Things are not the run-of-the-mill changing of one tired and corrupt guard to another eager to get their hands on the kitty. Our own livelihood and existence as an independent political entity depend of the future path we follow.

    The current DLP appointed CEO is clearly out of his depth. A mediocre pedestrian lawyer stuck in an era of” classical’ Barbados who has won the super lotto jackpot where the fortunes of leadership is concerned.
    What was his main contribution to the last budget debate? Anything concerning the proposals and the impact on the future development of Barbados? Is he a man of vision? Have you ever heard a statement from this CEO that could give some insight into his vision of future Barbados?

    What is the man’s mirror image? A man stuck in 1970’s politics but even then we had people of vision not of mediocrity and indecision.

    Barbados deserves better if we are to see any dividends from our boastful claim of massive investments in free education to tertiary level and social services from cradle to grave.

    • @Miller

      The people will decide when the PM rings the bell and BU does not intend to stand in the way of those who want to support either party.

  17. @David | July 21, 2012 at 3:52 PM |

    Yes, indeed! “One day coming soon the people will wake up”, if we are to believe the Mighty Gabby!
    Meanwhile, back at the ranch the intelligent people of this ‘educated’ nation are being insulted in a most arrogant and offhanded manner. Even a BCC student studying primer government and politics knows that under our Westminster form of governance the PM is the only person who can call elections before the constitutionally set date.
    Why repeatedly use that as some Damocles sword over the Opposition? Does he intend to bring charges of corruption and abuse of public office against certain BLP members and past associates in the next few weeks?
    The major question is: Is he expecting a major oil find off Barbados within the next 2 months? If so, he is a political genius primus inter pares. If not this arrogant strategy of carrying the electorate to the wire with all agony and no ecstasy is tantamount to being the opposite of a genius.

  18. Is it a coincidence that our PM shares the same initials as the captain of the ill fated Italian cruise liner Costa Concordia, Francesso Schettino, who was courting and dining while the ship was heading for the rocks?

  19. @david
    I think the DLP faced the problem of imposing their philosophy and “management style” on an economy that was pummelled into shape using a completely different style and philosophy. The resultant shock (2008/9 budget) proved too much to bear. The following comatose period (2009-oct 2010) deprived the country and economic brain of enough air to stay afloat far less improve. Then (oct 2010) til now has been a valiant effort (with some creative accounting) to at least keep the image looking good. As the saying goes too little too late. Reasonable strategies, positive policy, but at a late time, on an economy that’s still partially in pre-2008 mode and with a “no wiggle room or scope for error environment.” Oh, not to mention politicians that are way out of their depth on financial/economic matters.

    The BLP started the rot yes, the DLP more than completed the erosion. Could the BLP have continued their “debt management?” Who knows. What’s for certain is we’re here. The question isn’t who’s more capable, it’s who do we trust more to keep the ship stable and/or get us out. 14 yrs on one side, 4 on a next. 4 trained economists on one side, none (sigh, Jepter maybe) on the next. Straight up decision making in one side (in the past at least and not always for the better), uncertain/slow decision making on the next.

    The electorate will decide.

  20. @ David
    I am a strong believer in EVIDENCE. As unintelligent as I my last post might have appeared it is based on FACT not speculation. If the BLP is to be given blamed for the current “sordid mess” (a favourite line of PM Thompson) give them credit for all the housing projects they conceptualised and developed and had ready to implement that the DLP currently bragging about.
    I would say this much, if the BLP had not left those FOREX in the Central Bank the Buhbaduss dollar would be devalued by now or we would be in a structural programme with the IMF. Ask the PDC and the DLP how they would have financed the building of a new prison? Wait no need to ask the Dems…………after all they are borrowing just to pay civil servants!!

  21. A lotta long talk from the BU intelligentia but please tell us if it was a mirage when the economy was booming and overheating under the leadership of Owen and co.
    All uh wunna participated joyously in the sale of Barbados land (to be used for its best value).
    Some uh wanna used to come up hey and brag about how well wunna were doing.

    Bottom line is that Owing and co borrowed when they should have been saving. Along come the DLP and could not stop the slide down the slippery slope.

    Now wunna positioning for the next round and looking for the opportunity to suck the marrow from the bones of the calf now the meat gone.

    I gine do what I can to make my few cents stay in Barbados, I gine continue my miniscule support by buying bajan here in the T dot.
    Bajans in the Diaspora must look past the bs and try to help Barbados in a tangible way.
    Leave the economic theorising and political to Old onions and Miller.

    Doan mine Bushie neither cause Bushmen doan need forex.

  22. I like the Bees
    I am not a card carrying supporter of the BLP but the country seems to run better under the BEES and my grandmother, mother and others older than I am confirm this. The DLP always struggling with the country and blaming other people. The BLP get on with the JOB–Grantley Adams , Bree St.John, Tom Adams, Owen Arthur versus—Sandy , Stuart and Barrow . There is no comparison DLP down 4 to 1
    The DLP seems to be blighted and for their sake and the country should call elections and let us have some proper governance
    Whats wrong with that /

  23. Hants
    You mad fisherman you….hope you get caught in the hail and lose a tooth (joking) Pro King is correct….and it shall come to pass ..watch..You don’t live here but chose Ole Maple….we suffering like mad down here ..and you catch trout for leisure….what’s wid dat ? We eating sardine at $2.00 a can and the lowered grade..milk is now $8.00 a litre…Why you can afford to lick your mouth in support of your inept party…..while we are about to starve..

  24. PRIME MINISTER FREUNDEL STUART isn’t bothered by Standard & Poor’s (S&P) downgrade of Barbados’ credit rating to junk status, and he doesn’t believe Barbadians should be either.

    As for Opposition Leader Owen Arthur’s call for elections now in light of the downgrade, Stuart has told him to “take it easy, that time will come”, and advised him to “prepare for the battle of his life”.

    In his first public reaction to the S&P announcement on Tuesday, Prime Minister Stuart said while he respected the international rating agency’s opinion he did not agree with it, and it would change nothing.

    “I am not perturbed by the expression of the opinion of the ratings agency,” he said yesterday

  25. @old onions,

    Brunswick sardines cost $1.09 Canadian which is $2.15 Barbados.
    And if things get tougher up here I will not be releasing any Salmon, Trout, Bass or Pike I catch.

    I know how hard it is for poor and lower middle class people in Barbados and I empathise.

    Unfortunately for them a change of Government will not help.

  26. Professor KING please do not insult the anatomy of a woman by referring Stuart as one. Please refer to him as a DICK or better so a LIMP one. Have a good night!

  27. “Debt accumulation started way back and where we find”
    debt for small economies like barbados is a necessary evil. its how you mangae the debt that is the key. debt accumulation started way back in the 60’s with the advent of’ free this and free that’ we cannot have it both ways. the price of progress is fuelled by debt. why do you think courts and standards and mannings are household name?.

  28. “Brunswick sardines cost $1.09 Canadian which is $2.15 Barbados”
    eve sardines cost $1.39 at popular and they eating good too.and you do not even need a can opener.

  29. “Don’t you see that four years later there is still clamour for wage increases ”
    are you saying that representatives of workers should be condemned for seeking to enter into negotiations for better conditions wages and otherwise which are four years overdue for their membership? rather than castigating, shouldn’t the the union be given some credit for holding strain for so long in the midst of unprecedented levels of taxation which they have had to endure and the ever increasing cost of living? isn’t it the duty of the unions to enter into negotiations with government every two years for expected salary adjustments and shouldn’t the union have gone to the tableand garner goodwill rather than condemnation had they been required to extend the olive branch? don’t you honestly believe that the unions have acted responsibly in the face of the crisis?

  30. “eve sardines cost $1.39 at popular and they eating good too.and you do not even need a can opener.”

    An where dem mek?

  31. “All BU is interested in is proper governance for the people. BLP or DLP same difference”
    but at the risk of invoking your ire i must confess that your comments are blatantly slanted for the dlp and against the blp’ only when put on the back foot do you try to put a different spin to your previous unimpartial comments.

  32. “An where dem mek”
    doesn’t matter to me when the price is right. mr barrow always used to say that bajans got champagne taste with mauby pockets and he was supposed to be a wise man.

  33. This video depicts the story of Thomas Sankara, the first and President to be wholly exalted by the people of Burkina Faso. He was in the same leage as Patrice Lamumba as well as Che Guerva. He knew that he would be assassinated by his right hand man (WHO IS STILL BURKINA FASO’S PRESIDENT TO THIS DAY AS OF 1987) Blaise Compaoré, with the help of the French. AS RECENT AS 1987 FOR GOD SAKE!! WHY?! Because he opposed the continued French Neo-colonial policies which remained the standard and dictated the fluctuations of not just Burkina Faso’s economy and political scheme, but that of the entire “Francophone Region” of West Africa. He got in the way of French imperialist conglomerates who wanted nothing more than to maintain control over the region economically as well as politically so that they could continue to control the vast amounts of natural resources that lay in the soils of West Africa. Sankara NATIONALIZED all mining,water, and transportation companies as well as the country’s agricultural sector by giving all rights to the people instead of feudal “chieftains” who subsisted on the “tributary payments” of their constituents to fund their lavish lifestyles. Burkina Faso is today riddled with poverty yet again, and can no longer be self sufficient in terms of feeding itself.

    Go across the Atlantic and the story has been pretty much the same here in the Caribbean, namely Haiti and Grenada. The French and the British have been HIGHLY successful in keeping their imperialist interests secured in the Caribbean, particularly the “Anglophone Caribbean”. British, American, and Canadian corporations are lined up across the entire scheme of the region, and are unabashedly exploiting our region’s already limited resources to give foreign conglomerates an extra boost in their finances while leaving us in a position in which we are HIGHLY VULNERABLE to the fluctuations of the global economy. By having no established republics, no single voice and unity within the CARICOM, and the pervasive sense of divisions that is fueled on every island (ie. which island culture is “best”), we have become nothing more than a region of cheap thrills. I reiterate CHEAP, because foreigners no longer spend money that contribute to our (Bim’s) real GDP growth Rather, it goes straight to the Foreign corporations that run our economic scheme.

    The truth is, Bajans and the greater West Indies wish to blind themselves with the fancies and delights of Foreign origin in order to feel some sort of self worth, thus differentiating themselves as being “upper class”, because they can afford to buy frivolously (for the time Being that is!). The leashes that Britain, Canada, and the U.S. combined have on not just the nation’s political and economic scopes, but OUR VERY PSYCHE is absolutely DAMNING. Does the Question; ‘Who can speak the Queen’s English best’ ring any bells?? But perhaps what is more Damning is that the people themselves WISH for it to be so.

    It is by NO MEANS a coincident that much of the “Anglophone-Caribbean” is in fact still under the BRITISH COMMONWEALTH, thus the very Crown of that wretched woman named Lizzy. We are indeed a sad lot, we Bajans. For we keep going back to the masters and expect a pat on the back and empty praises for being “OBEDIENT” by not making any changes to our economy, education system, government, social values, and our very Allegiance to OURSELVES!

  34. ^^Perhaps if the B.U. household see it appropriate, I would like to request that the above comment be made into an article. It is to my belief that there needs to be more provocation on all levels. That includes Socially, economically, and politically.

  35. @ Hants
    Brunswick sardines cost $1.09 Canadian which is $2.15 Barbados.
    And if things get tougher up here I will not be releasing any Salmon, Trout, Bass or Pike I catch.
    Yo Brudds….the grade of sardine is far superior…..we get some BIG Hard ole mudda sardine dat fulla pregnant rows, as mom is about to die ( Iam told)….my sister who lives in Toronto, so advised when she was here….so don’t be fooled…in Canada, these would be condemned for cat foot status.
    And Hants don’t play ole onions wid that talk….I lived a bit in Ontario myself.
    We used to eat Spam like crazy n cheap…

  36. Seeing as were talking ratings it only right to bring in some historical references first S&P

    Jul. 17, 2012 BB+/Stable/B BB+/Stable/B BBB-
    Nov. 21, 2011 BBB-/Negative/A-3 BBB-/Negative/A-3 BBB
    Oct. 22, 2010 BBB-/Stable/A-3 BBB-/Stable/A-3 BBB
    Nov. 13, 2009 BBB+/Negative/A-2 BBB/Negative/A-3 BBB+
    June 10, 2009 BBB+/Stable/A-2 BBB/Stable/A-3 BBB+
    April 8, 2009 A-/Negative/A-2 BBB+/Negative/A-2 A
    July 26, 2006 A-/Stable/A-2 BBB+/Stable/A-2 A
    April 6, 2006 A-/Negative/A-2 BBB+/Negative/A-2 A
    July 29, 2005 A-/Negative/A-2 BBB+/Negative/A-2 BBB+
    Nov. 1, 2005 A-/Stable/A-2 BBB+/Stable/A-2 BBB+
    Aug. 5, 2004 A-/Stable/A-2 BBB+/Stable/A-2
    Aug. 19, 2003 A+/Negative/A-1 A-/Negative/A-2
    Dec. 17, 1999 AA-/Stable/A-1+ A-/Stable/A-2

    Now moody who seems to update much less but further history

    12/05/94 Ba2
    04/18/97 Ba1
    02/08/00 Baa2
    10/13/09 Baa3

    In terms of rating Ba1 is highest junk bond Baa3 is lowest investment grade .

    If s&p were to go back to 1994 we probably see junk status then too.

    What has been show is what dlp called wasted project, waste of fund was judge to not have much negative effects on our debt rating . It also shows post 2009 the polices and debt gathering of the current government is deems to adversely effect the credit rating. There is good debt and bad debt. We need more of the good kind or no debt at all.

  37. The trillion dollar question is….
    What the hell they did with the $ 4 Billion spent……AND YET STILL THEY WERE BORROWING ?????…parties ?….I doubt….we may need Deloitte again…

  38. @ David
    You cannot have your cake and eat it too..DEM said that that was what the $ 4billion spend was all about debt servc..SOOOOOOOOoooooo…explain now the additional borrowing…Ok we got your back on Four Seasons…Blackman Gollop school..and WIP sin John Polyclinic what else?….THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER is DEM in their folly were spending while the economy(tourismInter Business) was contracting.. in addition they were collecting less an less Vat receipts as people (unlike Dem) were spending less…..Suddenly, their eyes were abruptly opened one day when Darcy sounded the alarm…all hell hence broke loose..In came the draconian measures, launched ALL AT ONCE ( increases in water, petrol licenses, health surg charges, professional fees, Vat,reductions in travEntern allowances)..and FINALLY the blame game of the infamous town crier “GLOBAL ECONOMIES”…when in fact they had over spent…..
    BORROWING WAS THE ONLY WAY OUT………I wrote article affa article, only to be rebuffed by the likes of the clowns and the fool hardy….now we are here again facing another BULLET….but you know what we hear……
    error errror error ….ditto ditto..

    Fa real,.. tell me how much more can we Barbadians take ?

    • @Onions

      We don’t need to rehash this argument. We all know that the government is trying to manage Barbados as if it is pre 2008 and something has to give i.e. with transfers and subsidies. In the interest of being transparent it is fair to discuss the component of the debt which is attributable to debt servicing. BU’s point will always remain unchallenged, we squandered in the boom years, we did not do enough to create revenue/forex earning projects.

  39. @ David
    You cannot have your cake and eat it too..DEM said that that was what the $ 4billion spend was all about debt servc..SOOOOOOOOoooooo…explain now the additional borrowing…Ok we got your back on Four Seasons…Blackman Gollop school..and WIP sin John Polyclinic what else?….THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER is DEM in their folly were spending while the economy(tourismInter Business) was contracting.. in addition they were collecting less an less Vat receipts as people (unlike Dem) were spending less…..Suddenly, their eyes were abruptly opened one day when Darcy sounded the alarm…all hell hence broke loose..In came the draconian measures, launched ALL AT ONCE ( increases in water, petrol licenses, health surg charges, professional fees, Vat,reductions in travEntern allowances)..and FINALLY the blame game of the infamous town crier “GLOBAL ECONOMIES”…when in fact they had over spent…..
    BORROWING WAS THE ONLY WAY OUT………I wrote article affa article, only to be rebuffed by the likes of the clowns and the fool hardy….now we are here again facing another BULLET….but you know what we hear……
    error errror error ….ditto ditto..

    Fa real,.. tell me how much more can we Barbadians take ?
    Now come to think of it there was even more available for their indiscretions….why the $2 billion in Reserves…..explain where that went and why the NIS Fund is our Savior ?……SHAMEFUL

  40. o.k onions

    seems you got all the answers for the DLP but when questioned in similar faction about the BLP all you give is :DEAD SILENCE” but wait OSA gonna have to answers questions far and way back i hope you guys got all the answers because he surely gonna need HELP! answering questions like how in gods name he put such a heavy burden on the backs f taxpayers with no way of finding resources or solutions to solving them. this election is going to be interesting because it goes back to leadership which involve the administration and management of a country the results are profound and staggering and beyond believe bordering on treason and malfeasance that a country after 14years of mismanagement finds itself struggling to pay off high debt left behind by a previous administration who squandered and borrowed any and everything that was or even nailed down.

  41. @ David | July 22, 2012 at 8:18 AM |

    “Onions; Out of curiosity can you tell us how much of he debt to which you referred went the way of debt servicing?”

    You need to explain yourself a bit here, David.

    Are you implying that the current administration borrowed (incurred more debt) in order to service old debts incurred under previous administrations. If that is the case then one can conclude that this administration has reached the zenith of financial mismanagement. This is an individual or a country’s greatest financial and economic nightmare. It is a sure irreversible path to bankruptcy. Borrowing from Peter to pay Paul is basically the strategy at work here and it happened under the watch of a political party who vehemently criticized the high borrowing of the previous administration and came to power to make a difference. There is just no excuse, David, for this kind of financial sleight of hand. No wonder S&P wrote us down to junk bond status with Moody’s to quickly follow.

  42. Why Miller class,

    Off stump gone rocketing…..Crowd uproaring…what a ball !

    David on the way back to the pavilion.

  43. @Miller

    This is the problem, simple questions to ferret information we view with suspicion. We have not had a lot of debate in Barbados about our debt mix, rescheduling, correlation of debt climb to GDP etc. Also the issue of debt accumulation in a structurally flawed economy.

    Do you agree? BAFBFP made a good point to Sandra Husbands last week. In the IB Sector we no longer have preference and others Caribbean countries are competitive on price. The landscape has changed, our arguments must be fluid i.e. cognizant of current state.

  44. @David

    2007 was great year in term of %of revenue allocation to debt service so we take this an exception

    Govt interest payments (as % of revenue)
    2005 14.4%
    2006 14.2%
    2007 12.9%
    2008 15.7%
    2009 17.5%
    2010 21.0%
    2011 22.4%
    Jun 2012 22.6%

  45. PM, you need to reduce the public service, but focus on those that have the personal resources to maintain their standard of living for 1-2 years or have employment options here or overseas, rather than those that will suffer.

  46. “Gross government debt 3 as a percentage of GDP was 77 percent, down from 79 percent at the end of 2011, while net government debt was 57 percent of GDP. External debt service accounted for less than 7 percent of current account earnings.” page 2-3, Central Bank Press Release June 2012

  47. @ David:

    It sounds as if there more very bad news in store for the Barbados economy.
    There seems to be a revitalization of the movement to close down offshore financial centres and tax havens. It is conservatively estimated that US$ 21 trillion in untaxed income reside in these “International Business’ hideouts. There is increasing competition among emerging countries offering shelter to a lot of suspect money especially that coming out of Nigeria and Russia. The traditional European shelters are not seeing much of that new loot and are up in arms with the new kid on the block like Barbados.

    You know when a man is down a lot of crap from above falls on him. The day of reckoning is really upon us.

  48. @enuff

    Why don’t you finish the point? Are you suggesting that external debt is not an issue?


    And this is the point, the space has changed so the opposition arguments must fit current challenges. Perhaps the large concentration of canadian banks may yet serve to be advantageous in the current environment.

  49. @david

    if it was that the situation would be simpler, but these are based on revenue which didn’t change much. expenditure is what changed as cause the credit rating to go down.

    Govt interest payments (as % of revenue) for fiscal year
    First column finical year
    second column percentage of interest payment relating to revenue
    third column actually payments
    fourth revenue for fiscal year.
    all figure from june 2012 six month review.

    2005/6 13.8% 298.9 2042.3
    2006/7 14.7% 329.9 2130.8
    2007/8 13.9% 343.6 2337.0
    2008/9 15.3% 396.4 2396.1
    2009/10 18.8% 435.8 2156.3
    2010/11 21.0% 507.2 2168.4
    2011/12 20.8% 527.3 2382.0
    apr – Jun 2012 22.6% 179.5 565.1

    That a 76.4 increase of interest payment in 7 years

    53.5% increase in interest rates in the last 4 years.

  50. In term of foreign payment s
    Figure are in Barbados million of dollars.

    2005/6 103.5
    2006/7 105.7
    2007/8 119.2
    2008/9 140.5 <- prison payment came on-line 15 million us
    2009/10 148.9
    2010/11 153.7
    2011/12 148
    apr – Jun 2012 39.5

  51. You know guys I just love David’s strategy…..scroll up to as you will to substantiate my point…it’s always a question back at you ..when cornered….you must always bring him answers…..

  52. The fact of the matter is that we cannot ignore S&P nor Moody’s ratings and this is a piss poor Govt that spent and spent and can’t manage debt far more our economy…..wriggling and twisting won’t cut it…..nor boomerang questions to put off track.

  53. @David | July 22, 2012 at 10:28 AM |
    “@anthony: Good, so we are back to where we started. Which transfers and subsidies do we cut?”

    Now things are really getting exciting here. This would now separate the thinkers like “anthony” from the partisan political hacks like CCC and ac.

    Go ahead, anthony, and make your submission before I let you guys know my prescription of corrective medicine

  54. @Onions

    The problem with the politicians and surrogates is that a jaundice eye is inevitable. Let us agree we have to cut expenditure for the sake of the discussion then, the question is on the table, where do we cut? Continue to throw your observations that it must be done but when you are done answer the question.

    The downgrade has a lot to do with expectations of a Barbados being able to meet foreign debt obligations given our major market in Europe continues in turmoil.

  55. May I remind you David that your infamous name sake now permanently residing in his parish of choice saw it fit to up and take $ 10 Million and gave to CLICO….on the premise that …..a showing of confidence by the Gov’t of Barbados that all is well…..THAT IS AN AMOUNT to which we were privileged….Was there more? We wont know as the report WAS NEVER READ….it called controlled hemorrhaging David….Is that to which you ask?

  56. My prescription for the solution in this case

    refinance government’s debt. take all the high interest loan before pay them this should save some million in interest.

    Now that the easy part in expense to cut

    Now its the hard stuff. How do we cut expenditure. What should be cut ?

    In term of wages are all department operating as efficiently as they could ? Are they over staff ? are they understaff ? are they staff incorrectly ?. Solve these issue may save some millions

    In terms of good and supplies. Are we buying correct are there more efficiently way are we making the best of government ordering of bulk materials. Is inventory management being done correctly? Save some more millions here.

    For the transfers and subsidies the same as two items above. Maybe integrate they purchasing into good supplies and get more savings.
    save some more millions here.

    For capital project identify which ones would save the government or it subsidiaries money and implement them due haste. the main replacement program from iadb has been sitting an doing nothing for almost 3 years. If that had been implements bwa power build would been reduced anywhere between 30-60% due to less water needing to be pumped. The renewable energy programs are most sitting and doing nothing. retrofit offices in start savings.

    push for ict everywhere in government is will save time and money and get the job done faster

    Now if we expense exceed revenue there are two solution cut expense which we just discuss and increase revenues. let go to that

    international business should be encourage to come more. we earn from tax plus employees sending in country.

    If the bodies warning we not in compliance see what it would take to get compliance and get it done.

    For tourism are we really everywhere we should be. the bta needs to step up there online presence more. if we want more tourist here we need to advertise more You know the old saying you gotta spend to earn. we have many graduates from the caribbean hotel and tourism management course at uwi bahamas that would push new ideas/market in the bta which we need.

    push the sport tourism we have some great facilities teams would love to use when it winter in their countries,

    push our sea island cotton it just sitting here doing waiting to be exploited.

    push the drug manufacturing capabilities in barbados. There no reason why they can’t make almost every single drug used in the eastern Caribbean. this would cut down medical expenses.

    push more home port of cruise ships. we getting money from ticket to landing fee, fuel purchasing , provision purchasing , port tax, etc.

    there many other industries we could push forwarding to earn more income. Time for them to stop complaining and actually get up and do something.

  57. @ Anthony | July 22, 2012 at 11:49 AM |

    I concur generally with your prescription for change. However, the focus on the external factors to boost tourism is just one side of the tourism problem equation. There are many, many housekeeping matters that need to be sorted out back at home before any overseas marketing drive can begin to stem the tide of deterioration in our number one income earner.

    As far as expenditure cuts and reducing transfers and subsidies the following measures must be introduced within the next 6 to 9 months:
    Sell shares in the Air & Sea ports to local investors, committed Bajans in the Diaspora (Hants, Sargeant and the like to step up to the plate and put their money where their mouths lie) and our Trini brethren and the Int’l investors.
    Privatize the Transport Board.
    Close the BADMC & BSIL and implement the Keith Laurie Sugar Industry Rescue Plan.
    Privatize the Government Printing operations.
    Sell CBC.
    Get rid of the UDC &RDC.
    Privatize or close down the NHC.
    Privatize the Drainage Unit & NCC
    Disband that non-productive agency called Invest Barbados and transfer its mandate to an arm under the supervision of the Ministry of Foreign Trade. The existing responsibilities currently under the Ministry of International Business should also fall under a revamped Ministry called “Foreign Affairs, Trade & Business. The remaining responsibilities for international transport would go to the Ministry of Tourism. One whole ministry and agency disappear without loss of effectiveness but huge cost savings.
    Increase user charges for all services provided by government to those who can pay.
    Eliminate constituency councils.
    Immediately introduce a 50% charge for tertiary (UWI) education. An immediate increase of the student revolving loan fund (bond can be floated) to allow students to borrow and repay at low interest rates on assuming employment or parents/ guarantors are in position to repay.
    Stop all Island scholarships for studies outside the region unless field of study is crucial to the country’s development and not available regionally. (No more funding for doctors, lawyers, accountants or civil/electrical/ aeronautical engineers).

    Decriminalize the use of marijuana and save foreign exchange. Keep down the cost of a smoke to reduce crime and keep the boys and girls “cool and relaxed” and allow the herb to be used for medicinal industrial, cosmetic and personal beauty purposes.

    These are just some of my proposals some of which can be fleshed out when the criticisms flow in.

  58. Well said Miller and extension.. Anthony…..with the exception of Marijuana….we could sell off CBC instead of NHC….more empathy needed here…

  59. @ old onion bags | July 22, 2012 at 1:10 PM |

    Admit it would be rather difficult to privatize NHC and still ensure government exercises its social responsibility of providing shelter for the disadvantaged. But what are we going to do about that corporation in its present state? Can we expect that agency as presently configured to manage (collect rents and maintain properties) the ovens and bird coops that the present administration in cahoots with Jada et al erected in the last few years on land previous earmarked for ‘self-help’ housing development.
    As a compromise to protect and meet the housing needs of the ‘not-so-well-off’ this agency could remain but not in the business of building houses for the middle and upper middle income earners.
    A hybrid entity incorporating the social goals of the RDC &UDC can be set up but without direct ministerial control.
    How do we, Onions, go about achieving this synergy and efficiency objectives without hurting the vulnerable where housing is concerned?

    OK Onions, the ganga thing is just reflecting what is happening out there. We need to save forex by whatever harmless means. You are a man with his ears on the ground out there on the streets and you know we have major issue with mary jane. The present system ain’t saying anything to manage it. Why not try the same method as with your JWB?

    • @Miller

      Don’t you ever get the impression that many of these arguments we have are circular? Wasn’t the NHC about to be declared insolvent under the last administration? We keep going around in circles. Many of the suggestions you and Anthony have introduced require national consensus from the unions and other stakeholders. They are not cold decisions which can be made. Last administration flew a kite on hiking bus fares and water rates and what? It is tiring to be honest to discuss these issues.

  60. @ Miller
    Let us consider Coverley…..Govt’s role limited as a facilitator….very little investment on this one…almost all these houses are funded thru a private concern. By selling over the admin role and continuing as with Coverley more efficiency could be highlighted. CBC sell all but to 51 %remaining control….I am not sure about UDC and RDC….I would not restructure them.Let’s start slow.

    • What are the budgets for UDC and RDC? We just don’t get it. If we want to correct the structural problem we have to cast the beam at education, health, public sector wages (public service).

  61. @ David | July 22, 2012 at 1:56 PM |

    Not this time around, mate! We are at a stage similar to an alcoholic being admitted to the A&E and the doctor telling him one more drink and you will go into an alcoholic coma.
    If we don’t take these harsh decisions now they will be taken for us. Remember there are just 14 weeks of forex import cover and the bucket is not being refilled at the rate necessary to keep the bailiffs away. That is key and will be the catalyst for change as it was in 1991/92.

  62. Education and Health ? …..huh..can anybody explain the rationale behind our PHD Milk selling at $7.99?….Look we courting troubles and got some evil instigators…..I know there are some people (like US Virgin Isln) that would like all natives to flee….more and more I see this … some want this land for themselves to live like Lords …Pricing is one means…

  63. “Admit it would be rather difficult to privatize NHC and still ensure government exercises its social responsibility of providing shelter for the disadvantaged. ”

    Not necessarily true. Develop a system similar of non-profit Housing Associations (churches, community groups etc) to manage NHC units and provide welfare assistance to those in need. These associations would be responsible for maintenance of the properties and would be offered incentives to redevelop and develop new housing with a mandatory percentage assigned to ‘social’ housing. Result would be a good tenure mix of renters, owners and rent-to-own.

    • @enuff

      Although that idea needs to be fleshed out it is that non traditional thinking that is required. So many have become absolutely beaten up by the same old thinking.

  64. right now de fight against the herb will always be losing one and govt will continue to waste precious resources and manpower fighting this plant and the tighter it gets crime and tribalism will prevail,Govt should let go CBC but that is ah propaganda machine so nobody aint want ta let it go i would also let go transport board

  65. look there is no plan that is going to please anybody right now this is the softest and easiest plan there is all the other plans going to create additional burden on the govt cutting most of the expenditure would be in govt jobs creating additional burden on social services increasing unemployment revenue saved in one area would have to go into the social safety net of the country, privatization also would result in high unemployment because nobody going to want to hire additional help in an economy this is stagnant and furthermore there would be loss of additional workers talk about complicated no easy answers there is no magic wands if you think things are bad now try all of the above plans there would be cat piss and fire , similar to greece. personally it would be better to let this plan continue any further drastic action would only make matters worse with all the other plans selling privatization soon they would’t be any thing bajan to talk about everything would be foreign owned you guys need to chill and don;t let the buggy man( creditor) ran yuh out of your house for a dollar, they would get there moneymaybe not as fast as they want it but they would get it. but then again all OSA fault that these creitors beating us all over the head with the big stick.

  66. Nobody has answered me yet ….why is a litre of PHD selling for $ 7.99?
    This is nonsense to the utmost…it is cheaper to buy a gallon of milk at Pricesmart coming all the way from Virginia dennnnnn, than from a cow here?
    Is this what a so called CARING Govt will sit idly by and watch ?So Mr. Benn why do we need to pay you or Estwick ? Its a free for all ?

  67. well trim some of de fat at some of theses statutory boards and as scrupie say trim that fat ass cabinet ease back some of them perks for them big civil servants let them go and live in their houses and stop paying rent for them and cuddear if ya giving them cars at least let them buy de gas na problem is govt top heavy them telling hold strain and them aint holding nun

  68. onions Benn aint got na teet he is bare talk the reason why PHD milk cost so much is because Govt allow it to be so

  69. True dat EQUAL RIGHT……give some of them a bus pass like in Cuba…mota car what!…..mek DEM exercise off the POP BELLIES…
    No Parliament food neither…..mek DEM roast breadfruit in the Parliament yard and hook mullets in the wharf..I bet Geese would catch D most …lol

  70. @onion bags,

    Ever considered buying a cow or goat? Yuh cuh graze dem on yuh lawn and use the manure as fertilizer fuh de kitchen garden.

    • @Hants

      Most if not all of the Heights and Terraces where Onions lives have Covenants which sanction stocks in the backyard.

  71. i hate ta hear them talking bout cut back, and as de late tompy get in he play he aint want to drive in de same car Owen had he went and got ah brand new Mercedes ,all this talk and de top heavy civil servants got they houses and cars rent out living and driving in de Govt sponsored ones all de bills paid laptops bought and blackberry’s paid for ,as far as i am concerned they aint got ta cut from de bottom de man that carrying home less than $1800 ah month tell de big shots things tight i paying some ah wunna over $10,000 ah month LIVE OFF OF IT .

  72. @ David
    Truth be told the concept is not new, just new to Barbados. The association are operated as social enterprises i.e. ‘third sector’ organisations with a volunteer Board. Not-for-profit does not mean no profit is involved but that profit is re-invested in expanding or improving the housing stock.

  73. @ Hants
    We had a big white goat when I was a boy…used to get about a gallon from her daily….looks like we go have to change those covenants soon and I make no apologies for this one…….raise chickens too ..

  74. @old onion bag, ” raise chickens too.”

    I would offer my expertise but I hear the weight per bird I achieved in eight weeks takes only 6 weeks these days so my methodologies would not be efficient.

  75. David, Anthony, Miller etc

    Are we just re-arranging the deck chairs after the Titanic has struck the iceberg?

    • @Simple Simon

      Some believe this to be the case given the fact we have lived above our means for several years now and continue to this day to be in denial. However to your question, hope springs eternal.

  76. Covenants brings about ah new kind…..how ta put it ah middle class look ta bim and de ordinary bajan don’t like it cause they feel if they could and i said could afford house and land for the least ah hundred and thirty grand they should be able to do wha they feel like with it

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