Only in Barbados: The Minister of Finance’s Happiness and the DLP’s Political Deception is a Sadness for Bajans

George C. Brathwaite

George C. Brathwaite

By personal choice, I have not written recently on the social, political, or economic factors heavily impacting on Bajans, but I have observed the callous and perhaps reckless approach to governance by the DLP. The DLP regime has targeted the poor, the middle class, and there has been concerted effort by Cabinet to dismantle the gains achieved under the BLP. I am concerned, and particularly over the assault on Barbadian workers and their livelihoods. Nonetheless, the latest pronouncements and ensuing policies that have emerged from the DLP’s political machinery and from within central cogs of the Barbados Cabinet demand unfettered commentary. This I owe it to my fellow men and women regardless of their political persuasion.

I begin by stating my ‘critical’ bemusement at the ridiculous phrasing employed by the Minister of Finance, Christopher Sinckler. In his Ministerial Statement delivered to the Parliament of Barbados on Friday, December 13th, 2003, Sinckler said to the Lower House that he was “mindful” that the beleaguered DLP Cabinet had “completed the first three months of implementation” of the ‘restructuring programme’ which he had announced previously in the contentious budget delivered on August 13th, 2013. Sinckler, strikingly claimed that he was “happy to lay, along with this [Ministerial] statement, a report in matrix form, outlining the progress we [the DLP Cabinet and administration] have made to date on the implementation of the measures” announced in the August budget.

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158 thoughts on “Only in Barbados: The Minister of Finance’s Happiness and the DLP’s Political Deception is a Sadness for Bajans

  1. @david
    Alvin will probably say that one of us wrote that article and the data came from these blogs

    your blinkers are amazing!

    the dlp took over a car that is accustomed running on half tank but which got the drivers around from job to job and kept things stable. Was it sustainable? maybe not. Should the previous owners have filled the tank? Yes. But, what should definitely not have been done is taking loans to fill the tank, using that gas to drive to house parties rather than income generating jobs and pretending that the rise in oil prices would disappear and things will work themselves out.

    On top of that, they shouldn’t have tossed all the strategies ofthe past out the door, while breaking the piggy bank to buy rims and spoilers.

    It is not all their fault, but a measure of humility, economic foresight, decisiveness honest communication and cooperation would have served us better as a country and a people. I’ll deal with the unions later.

    Just observing

  2. @ David | December 19, 2013 at 7:23 AM |

    It is most interesting how this urgent restructuring project has been sidelined to date despite promising to the IADB a start-up date of April 2013.
    This is one of the major reasons the IMF is so unimpressed with this MoF and PM.

    You should note the coming job losses are not going to be part of the CRA establishment. Maybe the inevitable losses from the CRA merger would be included in the extra 500 or so projected to come about from other forms of retrenchment.
    One of the first projects the IMF officials would be spearheading would be that of the revamping of revenue collection and tax administration systems aka the CRA.

    As a result, the MoF would have very little say and act as a mere gopher and a ventriloquist dummy to the IMF.
    Here is a sample of his practising how to regurgitate his lines prepared by the IMF:
    “I also anticipate that very shortly the Fund will identify a team of experts to conduct the long overdue comprehensive assessment of the direct and indirect tax systems in Barbados with a view to advising government on major reforms necessary in both tax policy and administration.”

  3. Back in Time Jack | December 19, 2013 at 5:53 AM | Crusoe

    Your arithmetic ain’t very good boy. The DLP ain’t been in Goverment for 7 years yah jack rabbit fool. Next month will be 6 years only.
    Ah, you are very right. I was wrong
    Seven , Six years is not enough for them to get off their xxs and do something….anything…whatever…something…anything….

    And now they still flounder, must need another six years…..’dem now…dem fuheva’…. lol…What a stupid catchphrase.

  4. If the Finance Man was not so busy thinking about a cat’s botsie, perhaps we would have had some coherent action long ago.

  5. The particular legislation that amended the constitution of the government of Barbados in the mid 1990s, to suggest, that the transfers of public servants must not be altered to their disadvantage, can be avoided by the present government in the court system.

    Thus, contrary to the opinions of many people, the government can go ahead and fairly and reasonably alter the transfers of the particular classes of public servants and prove before the courts of law in Barbados that such alterations are to their advantage and in the interest of fundamental fairness

    Such arguments must center around the fact that :

    1) It would be to their advantage when they remain in the government sector and continuing getting their transfers less the alterations (and not be sent home);

    2) It would be to their advantage when they remain in the government sector and be helping – to whatever degree – to continue sharing the workloads of the government sector rather than many workers going home and the workload increasing for the remaining staff;

    3) It would be to their advantage when they are as much as possible be able to preserve whatever has been left of the integrity the milieu of government sector;

    4) It would be to their advantage when they are able to some extent maintain their families, when they are able to still get their transfers albeit in reduced amounts (rather than seeing the highly discriminatory practice of sending home some others without transfers whilst retaining many others);

    It must be noted too that the legislation under which the 1991DLP government had implemented the 8 per cent cut is still on the statue books.

    A governing system of any entity must always have at its disposal the political legal capacity in the relevant circumstances to fairly and reasonably alter – to increase or decrease – the remunerations of its members.


  6. Produce what . the BLP comments leading up into the last election said it all. CUTS ! and privatise Nobody have to be a rocket scientist to interpet what those comments meant the evidence is as plain as daylight. the people would not be it is too late to back tracked and the BLP would be reminded in due time . ac does not have a short memory.

  7. The political legal capacity of a governing system of any entity to have such capacity of course must relate to that capacity to institute fairly reasonably future changes in the circumstances to those future remunerations to be had by particular members of that entity, and must not apply to remunerations that have already been got by them over work/business already provided.


  8. The DLP has managed to propel
    Barbados into a state of almost total
    returning to prosperity will certainly
    demand new ideas, new personnel,
    and a new government not comprised
    of members of the B/DLP.

  9. The argument in support of such reductions now must be based on the fact that the nature and circumstances of the 1991 period are so different from what lead to the coming about of the said amendment as that it cannot be applied ( the particular constitutional amendment) to these existing political economic circumstances which certainly call for different political financial and other approaches methods in the process of partially resolving these kinds of political financial problems (so-called fiscal deficits, high so-called government debts, big unwieldy irrational unproductive government, etc) in government.


    • It is too late now anyway. Given the outlook and the general lack of confidence we have some very tough times ahead. Very soon we will all be on the same boat BLP and DLP. The IMF will ensure some fiscal discipline is present.

  10. @ac
    ya still ain’t produce nothing….where did the blp leadership state that they would cut jobs?

    We can see where the PM and MoF stated that they would not


  11. I wish that some of the stakeholders would forthrightly ask the MoF how many persons (workers) were added to the public purse between September 2012 and February 2013? The answer would clearly paint a picture of who should become the sacrificial lambs as we approach 2014. No, I do not blame those who received jobs nor do I underestimate the levels of deception that took place as the DLP greased its wheels to win an election at any cost. To me, the over-sized but under-performing Cabinet should be immediately halved, with the key ministries of Finance and Economic Development,Tourism, and Labour in different hands. Who will be the proposed new Governor of the Central Bank and who will replace dear old Professor Frank Alleyne.

  12. If the so-called purveyors of doom and gloom carried a stronger and more credible message than the DLP Cabinet, that in of itself should speak to the ineptitude and incompetence that characterise the Freundel Stuart-led administration. I shudder to think what will be Barbados’ economic situation by the time the DLP gets booted from office by the people. My assumption is that collectively people power will eventually remove the DEMS from their places of dispensing unemployment, hardship, and fast increasing paucity in almost all elements of Barbadian society. It is high time that the DLP Cabinet stops crying foul and at least try to return Barbados to a position of economic growth and prosperity, unless it is totally incapable which means the PM and his poorly performing ministers should make exit plans and forget about their pension plans.

    • Why are we reading that the NUPW will be asking it’s members to take a 3% salary cut to save jobs this evening? Why was this not pursued earlier so much indecision.

  13. Exactly…….and why did cow williams not hold the hand of PM Stuart and guide/advice him not to listen to IMF or anyone outside earlier, why is cow now trying to insulate the island against all outside advice why, why, why??? i see him up to no damn good, as bitter as the pill may be, no one in the DLP tried prevention, cow was too busy at the time seeing how much he can get outta bajan taxpayers so he can go on BBC and boast he is the richest man in Barbados…why do bajan governments listen to these idiots anyway…..they wanted the government, they got the government, now finally do the job the taxpayers are paying you to do……damn, why are their heads so hard…personally, i am reserving my sympathy for the very young and the very old on the island who will definitely be the most vulnerable.

  14. @ David

    After last Friday, the word coming from the NUPW and CTUSAB was that they were left in the dark on several issues, and they did not agree with the manner in which the MoF broke news in Parliament whilst negotiations/consultations were being conducted. In my opinion, the unions have been seriously compromised and they are accepting the re-definition of national interest as being mouthed by the boastful Sinckler and the deceptive Stuart. In fact, to rebuff the call by OSA to prioritise the workers and to seemingly appear not to recognise that the BLP is asking for transparency and fairness in any act of retrenchment, clearly suggest that the leadership of the unions are battling between self-interests and workers’ rights for full representativeness. The leadership of the unions seem to lean towards a predisposition with the DLP’s membership and awkwardness, more so than they do to the workers’ paying regular dues. No one is willing to rock the boat, so Sinckler and Stuart will continue with their charades.

    • On a more ‘frivolous’ note why are union leaders captured in the press of late ‘skinning’ their teets? The gravamen of the situation eludes them maybe?

  15. The charade is up George Brathwaite, they are still in denial about that one, but it’s over……austerity measures are very sobering, don’t doubt for one moment that they have gotten away with their LAST LIE.. i hope it’s just a rumour, but taking taxpayers money, if true, and buying riot gear to use against the same taxpayer will also backfire, again, i hope it’s not true.

  16. Georgi B don,t get it all twisted talking about “;booted” first the BLP must produce solutions and strong leadership as a viable alternative. This is going to be physcological as well as political battle .don.t get it twisted GB

  17. Yeah Daavid got that right and most importantly STRONG LEADERSHIPP….take note that yesterday “has been” OSA has resurfaced…….

  18. The day is Wednesday, May 29th, 2013 and the speaker is none other than the Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler. Sinckler said then that “Let me state categorically for the record. From where I sit and from what I know, there will be no IMF programme in Barbados. Not now, not June, not this year and if we act as we are supposed to act, not in the foreseeable future. And there absolutely will not be any devaluation of the Barbados dollar.”
    Okay, the statement seems fair enough, but let us see what he was saying just a little more than 6 months later.
    Sinckler told Parliament and by extension the nation that: “earlier this year, the Ministry of Finance formally requested technical assistance from the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department in two critical areas of government’s operations: Tax administration, and fiscal/operational reform in the key statutory entities which rely on central government for large transfers for their operations. … I am happy to announce that the Fund has accepted the requests and starting next month, the first team will begin its examination of the fiscal and operational challenges of some of our key statutory entities. … I also anticipate that very shortly the Fund will identify a team of experts to conduct the long overdue comprehensive assessment of the direct and indirect tax systems in Barbados with a view to advising government on major reforms necessary in both tax policy and administration.”
    Aha, there you have it. Once again the Minister’s morning words and evening song are diametrically opposed and fall at opposite ends of Barbadians’ belief systems. My next question is, how serious is the peril facing the Barbados dollar, and must we take the word of Sinckler or prefer that of the IMF?

  19. Listen to the IMF……no one is saying that challenges were not on the horizon (as i recall it was only the DLP categorically denying Barbados had any serious challenges, they had it under control, did not need ANYONE telling them what to do, particularly BUs doom and gloomers)) but if only they would come clean and stop lying, the taxpayers would have been more than willing to toe the line and assimilate…..that is why going forward, it would be safer and wiser to take direction from IMF reports. I am sure the government will absolutely NOT believe any of us if we tell them that the financial world as we now know it has finally come to an end…..we are doom and gloomers remember.

  20. Up to the end of may this year, Chris Sinckler was still making excuses, throwing blame around, and not taking the responsibility for managing Barbados’ recovery or escape from total calamity. This is what he said while he tried to cower in the shadows of what the BLP was supposed to have left or not have put in place. Sinckler said: “a lot of the deficit spending you see in this economy is structural and locked deeply into the heart of this economy. It is not just about salaries and wages in the public service though much of this growth has not been matched by productivity gains and that in itself is a problem. It is also about the high debt service costs which the country has been carrying for the better part of the last decade.”

    All I am asking BU is to measure the Finance Minister against his words and you will find much disparity, confusion, and most things that are uncertain as will be the fate of the numbers of workers that will be further sacrificed for the expediency of the DLP and NOT in Barbados’ best and national interest. I am still mindful that Barbados’ number one resource is its people and I can never accept people becoming unemployed and especially due to government ministers’ incompetence and self-manifesting frailties.

  21. All you who try to downplay and cuss OSA morning,noon and night know that he is the one that makes the DLP tremble and quake.He’s solid as a rock.
    The PM spoke recently about this not the first time Barbados faced crisis and went on to quote this,that and the third naming EWB,JMGM,OSA as big able and successful leaders who had this challenge and Barbados was able to come out of it.What the preacher man failed to note is that Bajans by and large reposed confidence in the ability of these men to successfully negotiate the turbulent times and bring us all to the safe haven where we got to up to 2007.
    The major and big difference is that most bajans and investors both local and invited had lots of confidence in all 3 of those leaders.Not so with this PM!!and ac can have the last word on my view that neither Stuart,Sinckler,Quisling Boyce nor Worrell have an ounce of credibility left and everybody know it.

  22. @ David
    …every time we hope to hear some constructive comments from the PM we are rewarded with shiite talk instead….
    …now he goes to great lengths to explain to us that ” he does not subscribe to the popular view that politicians can’t be trusted…”

    Wuh he don’t subscribe either that Leroy
    IS a leper
    …..that CLICO is a problem to be addressed
    …..that the Sandals arrangement is SHIITE
    …..that promises are contractual agreements

    Who can be surprised that he don’t know that politicians are NOT to be trusted…..
    He probably still trust the Eager 11 🙂
    He probably trusted Sinckler – that we had money…
    ..he probably believe ac’s rhetoric – one of his dozen or so true supporters….

    …and should those persons to be laid off, continue to subscribe to the view that our TOP politician could be trusted – when he promised no layoffs….?
    Perhaps it is better that he STFU….
    (Stop Talking Foolishness to Us)

    Shiite man!!…..we dead!

  23. @ David
    Let say me early , I don’t hold a brief for either party B or D; my role is an independent blogger looking at the current crisis in Bdos and commenting on the politics and economics. From the politics, the PM and MoF are winners, the losers are OSA and Mia. The BLP will continue to stumble and fall ,an urgent rebranding and reimaging needed.

  24. Notice how the BLP setting a very high leadership bar..Wunna certain that the BLP leadership can reach it? compounding the issue bound to backfire on wunna backsides. boy wunna setting wunna selfs up for a very hard fall LOL….


    Suge Knight | December 19, 2013 at 4:22 PM@ We see that you are not reading or do not trust what you are reading by PLANTATION DEEDS.
    The new Unity government aka the DBLP Unity Government of Fraud is True,
    Once you all understand and know all of this is tied up in the Land , and work your way up
    A old and dead ex speaker of the House , died and she never got her land deeds for the land , Said that there was a problem with it and money gone
    George B. as she told me now 84. All the places she have land we have the Plantation Deeds for , ,
    3 year lone , just on time for elections to rehire , another form of vote buying , let us see if the Bajans go for the bait AGAIN.
    both parties are she-it ,, open your eyes

  26. MoF announces that 3000 public sectors will have to go home. Unions are suggesting a 3 % pay cut instead of sending home workers. I’m afraid that both will happen: a pay cut AND cutting jobs, at least 3000.

  27. The Union proposal seems quite logical, because this is exactly the course many States in the United States have taken to addressed the economic crisis. Givebacks beats the alternative, wont you say?

  28. The Union should also try to negotiate a 4 year non- layoff – clause, prior to agree to government demands. It is worth a shot!

  29. got a question hope someone can help me. I thought everyone locally and internationally (if we care what they think) was of the view that the civil service in BIM is simply too bloated.

    So why would we be trying to save the jobs? when are we going to cut it the civil service if it is too big?

    “it’s too big. We need to cut expenditure. We’re sending home 3000 works”

    “No let’s all take a pay cut, so we can keep it too big and bloated”

    Well which is it?

  30. Pish, I thought the number 3000 was quite too large for a country of some 270,000 for a population. Now, would you believe though that the Civil Service in the States of Connecticut, is much smaller than that of Barbados…. A state approximately the size of Jamaica and with a population of some 4 million!

  31. @Chaucer
    You bumped your head? Neither politically nor otherwise can the MoF and PM be winning! The Opposition has been proved right, the government wrong and not to be trusted. The Opposition can stay silent as sending home 3000 will decimate the Dems and if there’s privatisation and or devaluation–worse.

  32. @Enuff
    You are a political simpleton. It isn’t who right or wrong but winners and losers. The BLP leadership is now on the defensive : Will the BLP mps
    take a personal cut , ask yourself

  33. @ Chaucer…It isn’t who right or wrong but winners and losers. ”
    Very true, and because of (among other things), ineptness, incompetence and inaction on the part of the current Cabinet, including the PM and MOF, BARBADIANS OF ALL WALKS OF LIFE WILL BE THE LOSERS.

    – more public sector layoffs within six months, or general public sector wage cuts
    – more (quite a mistake to do so, but they have made many already and the idiot MOF has already intimated as much) direct taxes
    – likely devaluation – which may now be almost impossible to avoid, even though if action was implemented as recently as two years ago, it could have been avoided, at least at this time.

    You think things bad with 3000 jobs lost? That is just the beginning.

    Yet, some people are willing to let them off the hook for not doing anything earlier and worse, either having the sheer competence to not know how bad things were getting from ever since or the political intent to not acknowledge that. Either one is unacceptable.

  34. I think someone should have told the PM stop looking at Greece and Spain, why we judge our standards on other people’s own is beyond me.

  35. @Gabriel
    “All you who try to downplay and cuss OSA morning,noon and night know that he is the one that makes the DLP tremble and quake.He’s solid as a rock.”
    STUPSE! spoken like a true political yardfowl.

    Arthur defeated in 2008 , defeated in 2013 – stop living in a fool’s paradise. The only body that trembling at the sight of Arthur is piss poor Mottley.
    Arthur held a press conference this week and did not even inform her. Mottley is well aware that Arthur is firm in his conviction that she never gets her hands on the highest office in the land. The infighting and disunity in the BLP is raging- court cases and all.

  36. “and this is as a result of the high standard of living inflicted on us mostly by the private sector through goods and services”
    definitely not r Permanent secretary- you were in the system even though not long but long enough to comprehend that the high standard of living or ‘conspicuous consumption’ to use Mr Barrow’s description was visited upon us when access to credit was made available to all and sundry and as with most things for good or ill; the exorbitant taxes imposed by Government on the importation of the items for conspicuous consumption among other things were passed on the consumer resulting in the high cost of living.

  37. The government thinks that we are all stupid and they continue demonstrating this over and over again. They treat us, the citizens of this country like children and think that we are not smart enough to differentiate between right and wrong. What is more disturbing is that they continue to taint the beautiful image of our Barbados and present our country as a country of brainless idiots. They continue to lie at every opportunity they get and quite frankly (if it was possible), I think if we want to be taken seriously we need to lock up a few of our representatives for deception

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