The George Brathwaite Column – Need for Growth Strategy

Fundamental changes to the way we organise production in Barbados, support productive activity, treat domestic and foreign investment, conduct the affairs of our corporations, organise and utilise our labour force and use technology and information will have to be made if we are to succeed in the post-2005 global economy. – (Prime Minister Owen S. Arthur, Financial Statement (i.e. Budget), August 2001).

The Democratic Labour Party (DLP) and the Government under Prime Minister Freundel Stuart’s leadership has been at pains to walk back on even a hint that, for almost 10 years, increased poverty and economic hardships have negatively impacted on larger than acceptable proportions of the Barbados society. Spin all they want, DLP parliamentarians and especially those relaxing in the under-performing Stuart-led Cabinet, continue to fool around with the livelihoods of Barbadians. There is unyielding and growing impatience from the Barbados public regarding the callousness of DLP Cabinet members whose performances are notable if only for a genuine rock-bottom operational knowledge of the Barbados economy.

Stuart, Sinckler, Sealy, Lowe, and other surrogates from within the beleaguered DLP have done very little to inspire confidence. The roughshod approach by the DLP to the management of the economy and the disjointed and illogical way of separating economy and society have shocked and disappointed Barbadians. After nine years, the DLP teams functioning in the legislature and/or the executive surely do not know how to make the small and open Barbados economy work for the better of all the nation’s people. The Prime Minister continues to endorse the mediocre performances of the Cabinet; he allows Cabinet Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries to do and say illogical things. Stuart has gone so far as to single out a few persons including the scapegoated Minister of Finance as being ‘eminent’ by his standards which, inevitably reflects the prime minister’s low polling on leadership.

The current Minister of Finance has been in place since 2010. Seldom has there been any credible plan on how Barbados will return to levels of more than 2% annual economic growth. More disturbing is the fact that Finance Minister Sinckler has mangled most attempts at the macroeconomic management of the Barbados economy during and after recessionary times. Sinckler’s austere domestic policy responses (i.e. taxation and increasing the national debt) have led to deep economic and financial crises in Barbados. Fiscal measures have been largely occasioned by bouts of high unemployment and a perennial state of underemployment while millions are printed to save the day. Sinckler’s policy directions have given rise to a sluggish economy unable to return to comfortable levels of economic growth.

Across Barbados, there is low morale and productivity throws up its headaches. Barbados is likely to relapse even more with the constraining 2017 budget measures taking full effect this month. The DLP daily attracts negative responses from its gluttonous tax policies and discourses of contempt which have become commonplace once anyone dares to speak out or be critical of said policies. Today, Barbadians maintain that they are overworked if they still have a job; and underpaid while constantly living fearful of losing their jobs because of the possible vindictiveness showing up under different guises.

The accustomed quality of life in Barbados is today threatened, not by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or from rating agencies, but by Barbados being pushed along a path of austerity by a Cabinet dumbfounded by its very failings. Barbadians continuously face new taxes without a requisite consideration for the growing numbers of the poor, the aged, and those unable to get meaningful employment in the country. Managing director of the IMF, Christine Lagarde recently stated that following research, there is a ‘strong commitment to protect health and education spending and the most vulnerable during challenging economic reforms’. This is commendably noteworthy for Barbadians, given that Chris Sinckler appears averse to approaching the IMF but is determined to rip the belly out from the nation’s people via high and extremely troublesome taxation measures.

This, at a time when most of the adjustments faced by Barbadians already saw the knife of the DLP tear into health and education. Cuts were generated by lower government spending and for example, Barbadian students having to pay 10 % of their tuition fees regardless of personal circumstances or family income. Indeed, Sinckler is stubborn to the fact that nowadays, small economies such as Barbados must continue with its investment in human capital because enhanced skills and training are necessary for economic and social development. There must be a realistic social safety net that provides resources and allocates income to families if they are expected to survive after having sacrificed a great deal over the last nine years.

In this year’s budget, one easily recalls Minister Sinckler rhetorically calling for our consideration on a question of how much more will Barbados sacrifice: Given the fact that it is now patently clear that our country cannot continue at current pace to provide all of the things that we have grown accustomed to, and in the magnitude that we desire; given the limitation of our economic resources, are we Barbadians prepared to make the major sacrifices necessary to ensure that we confront and correct this situation once and for all?” The answer to Sinckler’s prompt was well put in the quotation at the beginning of this column by a previous Finance Minister.

The DLP has reached the point where it can no longer hide from the populace or the electorate. Barbados urgently needs a growth strategy. Barbadians must consistently demand from their politicians, growth models and development strategies that will promote economic growth, poverty reduction, and greater productivity and competitiveness. There must be a successful economic development strategy that focuses on improving the skills of those already in the workforce and necessary training for those that will enter the local labour market. There must be drastic reductions on the cost of doing business and making available the resources business needs to compete and thrive in today’s world of technological progress.

Moreover, there needs to be a strategy that is framed around opening opportunities for the development of the private sector as the main source of growth and job creation in Barbados. The local private sector should never be ridiculed by charges of a parasitic nature, nor should government abandon facilitation through regulatory and other incentives for growth and expansion. As it stands, despite thousands were tacitly put at ease prior to the 2013 general elections, and within months the DLP axed their jobs, Barbados must look to be research-driven in formulating the optimal size of its public service. It is alleged that the size of the public sector will need to be reduced, and this must not be done willy-nilly. There is ample space for privatisation but such a program will need to be put in place not to enrich the hands of a few, but to empower the nation. Discussions and wholesome debates on privatisation must not be ambushed by the cleverness or deceptiveness of one or more political strategies. Change of government and a vibrant growth strategy are urgently needed in Barbados. The next government in Barbados is likely to be more sure-footed with a new mandate from the people.

(Dr George C. Brathwaite is a political consultant. Email: brathwaitegc@gmail.com )

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102 Comments on “The George Brathwaite Column – Need for Growth Strategy”

  1. Prodigal Son July 5, 2017 at 6:51 PM #

    @Artax July 4, 2017 at 8:26 PM #

    Carson, is this you?

    https://www.barbadosadvocate.com/news/carson-cadogan-walks-away-top-award-contribution-community
    ……………………………………………….

    Wow, Artax………….Kissing the DLP arse 24/7 seems to have taken a toll on him.

    Like

  2. Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger July 5, 2017 at 7:05 PM #

    Carson….every house you slave ministers, politicians, yardfowls and pimps from DLP go to begging for votes between now and 2018, to try to weasel yall fraudulent selves back into the people’s parliament, the voters will ask each and everyone of you about that Transport Board contract with CGI Insurance.

    Gobbledygook that….

    Just watch me make that happen, yall asses will be thrown out for sure.

    Like

  3. millertheanunnaki July 5, 2017 at 7:21 PM #

    @ Prodigal Son July 5, 2017 at 6:51 PM

    Why do you think Carson C. Cadogon(e) is called “Carrion”? The ugliest of a man is so rotten to the core that not even the hungriest of vulture or a Bajan ‘kubba’ would come as much as a 1000 metres of his political carcass.

    And he has the rotten guts to question Mia’s ability and eligibility to practise law or even to become PM of Barbados.

    We have seen mountain gorillas on the verge of death from old age and starvation in better shape than that Bajan piece of Carrion.

    Like

  4. Carson C. Cadogan July 5, 2017 at 7:21 PM #

    We have a very poor Private sector in Barbados.

    Don’t you wish we had a vibrant Private sector instead of the one we are cursed with which depends on Govt. for everything?

    “Grace plans new plant to support overseas demand”

    GK Foods and Services Ltd — a subsidiary of GraceKennedy Ltd — will open its sixth manufacturing plant next year to support demand from North America and United Kingdom markets.

    The 60,000-square-foot facility in Denbigh, Clarendon, will produce a range of conveniently portioned and packaged locally grown fruits and vegetables primarily for export markets. The new plant will also be used for further processing of locally grown products into value-added finished goods.

    Are WHITE Jamaicans more Intelligent and smarter than WHITE BAJANS?

    Like

  5. Carson C. Cadogan July 5, 2017 at 7:33 PM #

    George

    How come Jamaican business men and women don’t have to wait on the Jamaican Govt. for a “growth path”?

    They create their own.

    And you know that very well. We have here in Barbados one of the most SUCESSFUL HOTEL CHAINS in the World. Namely SANDALS HOTELS. A product of Jamaican Private sector ingenuity.

    Is that the reason why the Barbados Labour Party and its supporters hate SANDALS so much?

    Like

  6. Prodigal Son July 5, 2017 at 7:41 PM #

    @millertheanunnaki July 5, 2017 at 7:21 PM #

    @ Prodigal Son July 5, 2017 at 6:51 PM

    Why do you think Carson C. Cadogon(e) is called “Carrion”? The ugliest of a man is so rotten to the core that not even the hungriest of vulture or a Bajan ‘kubba’ would come as much as a 1000 metres of his political carcass.

    And he has the rotten guts to question Mia’s ability and eligibility to practise law or even to become PM of Barbados.
    ……………………………………………………..

    LOL, miller…………this is an epic response to the folly we have to put up with on BU.

    Like

  7. David July 5, 2017 at 7:43 PM #

    Do you mean like how the Barbados government of the public sector delivered a washpan of concessions to Jamaican Butch Stuart of the Barbados Private sector?

    #JA

    Like

  8. Carson C. Cadogan July 5, 2017 at 7:49 PM #

    You know that has nothing to do with it.

    Where is our SANDALS HOTELS equivalent? We have been in the hotel business as long as Jamaica has.

    The Barbados Private sector tried running a Hotel in St. Lucia and it was a dismal failure.

    Like

  9. Carson C. Cadogan July 5, 2017 at 7:59 PM #

    Another interesting article from Jamaica.

    Mia Mottley should read this one. Kind of interesting for her. It speaks about having a LLB and trying to enter NORMAN MANLEY LAW SCHOOL. The problems being experienced now. Of course she/he didn’t have to worry about such. Powerful family friends intervened on her behalf, wish humble Bajans were so lucky. Jamaicans fighting to get into Law school while she was fighting not to get into Law school.

    “Law school entry fight deepens”

    A storm is once again brewing over the process of admission to the regional Norman Manley Law School (NMLS).

    ……..The situation is broader than UTech; students around the region have been affected, students who earned degrees abroad on scholarships are affected, where they cannot gain entry to Norman Manley (NMLS) to complete the Certificate in Legal Education. It is a region-wide injustice,” Hall said.

    ……..As it now stands, holders of an LLB (Bachelor of Laws degree) from The University of the West Indies gain automatic entry into the NMLS programme. This is secured by Article Three of the Treaty of Chaguaramas.

    Like

  10. Carson C. Cadogan July 5, 2017 at 8:10 PM #

    Where is Barbados” Grace-Kennedy equivalent?

    Years ago COW tried to start a company canning Bajan products for export. In quick time it went belly up. Everyone who invested in it loss their money.

    Including MIA AMOR MOTTLEY’S Uncle Elombe Mottley!!!!

    Like

  11. Carson C. Cadogan July 5, 2017 at 8:13 PM #

    I should also mention that Prof. Stan Reid loss every penny he invested in the company as well.

    It was so heart breaking for him that he died soon afterwards.

    George be careful, Stan Reid was Pee-h-dee as well.

    Like

  12. millertheanunnaki July 5, 2017 at 8:21 PM #

    @ Carson C. Cadogan July 5, 2017 at 7:33 PM
    “George
    How come Jamaican business men and women don’t have to wait on the Jamaican Govt. for a “growth path”?”

    And you see, Carrion, what an IMF guided structural adjustment programme can do?

    Push both government and the private sector to get up off their symbiotically ‘parasitic’ behinds and either earn their way in the world or perish.

    Don’t you find it rather funny and humiliatingly laughable that your deceitful lying party (dlp) of two-timing hypocrites was forced to apologize (with knees on the ground and in true nigger fashion) to a “parasite” called the Bajan private sector?

    Just remember that it is the private sector who not only pays (funds election campaigns) the piper but also calls the contract award tunes.

    Unless Mulatto Maloney can get money from the Hyatt scam there will be no money to pay the dlp electioneering piper this time around.

    Like

  13. angela Skeete July 5, 2017 at 8:21 PM #

    Sandals Sandals Sandals like a hangman noose tied around the throats of the blp . God lawd wunna dead fuh trute

    Like

  14. Carson C. Cadogan July 5, 2017 at 8:37 PM #

    A while after loosing his money which he invested in COW canning company, Elombe Mottley married , guess who, a Jamaican woman and moved to Jamaica where he is living up to this day.

    Like

  15. Carson C. Cadogan July 5, 2017 at 9:02 PM #

    I am sure that you all remember a member of the Barbados Private sector started a NUDIST CAMP up in St. Phillip.

    Even that failed!!!!

    No wonder they sent George to talk about a “”Growth Path”” by Govt. because their Private sector “”growth Path”” don’t work.

    Like

  16. Carson C. Cadogan July 5, 2017 at 9:11 PM #

    Only recently one of the Principals of the said NUDDIST CAMP in the newspaper crying and saying, Ï cant get nuh Govt. work, I got all did equipment but dey in geeing me nuh work””.

    I just had to laugh. Even he begging for a Govt. job.

    Now tell me what is the difference between a man or a woman from Rotten Town or Light foot Lane who say that they some Govt. work and Private sector who want Govt. work and Govt. “”Growth Path””?

    Like

  17. Commentator July 5, 2017 at 10:33 PM #

    Jeremy Stephen couldn’t be a parasite Jepter Ince called out could he. The economic garbage spewed by Jeremy Stephen is just that garbage. BLP mouth piece E. Abed posits the new taxes wont be as bad as he first thought. Abed is a business maguffy. Stephen is not but Stephen pushing his snout where it don’t belong making predictions of economic Armageddon. The business class surprisingly are taking a cautious approach unlike their normal doom and gloom bombast. This is a welcome change from their passing the buck style which caused Ince’s timely remarks. Jeremy Stephen is not business elite he’s an employee of an institution which has govt financial nipples sore yet he spouting baloney.

    Like

  18. David July 5, 2017 at 10:56 PM #

    Commentator, Fan, waiting, Fair and Balanced, you are so dishonest using a single moniker is a challenge for you. Going down on a burning deck and see no need to change the approach although the reality suggest we are dealing with an incompetence hitherto unseen.

    Like

  19. Artax July 5, 2017 at 11:48 PM #

    Carson C. Cadogan

    Walking about Water Hall Land and its environs begging for people to vote for Steve Blackett
    and thinking about the Rasta Man from Water Hall Land who, after the 2013 general elections told the press you duped him, seems to have reduced your intelligence to the level of the other yard-fowl idiot.

    Yes, once again, I must admit your comments re: “We have here in Barbados one of the most SUCESSFUL HOTEL CHAINS in the World. Namely SANDALS HOTELS. A product of Jamaican Private sector ingenuity.” Are correct.

    Butch Stewart’s ingenuity managed to cajole your inept and gullible DLP administration into granting SANDALS 40 years of tax free concessions, to also include his Jamaican management staff and to sell Appleton Jamaican Rum as the first choice rum in that hotel, ahead of locally produced rum.

    Butch initially hired Barbadians to appease stupid Richard Sealy. But what is currently the Bajan count at Sandals?

    In other words, Carson, inform BU how many Barbadians hold management and other positions at SANDALS and if the terms and conditions of their employment are satisfactory?

    Also, inform BU about SANDALS employment turn-over rate and if the wages paid to Barbadian employees are comparable to wages paid at hotels with similar ratings?

    What you should do is ask Richard Sealy why Antigua’s PM, Gaston Browne, “repealed” the tax concessions the previous UPP administration granted to Sandals?

    Like

  20. David July 6, 2017 at 12:52 AM #

    The latest idiocy is that Bajans will have to pay! Morre if they want to install photovoltaic system or water heater because of the NSRL. Like the MoF stated, we ALL have to bear the brunt of this government’s inability to fireup the economy. Nine years of anemia.

    Like

  21. Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger July 6, 2017 at 3:39 AM #

    CLICO = Failed…policyholders were robbed.

    CGI Insurance….?.?.?.?.?????!

    Like

  22. Carson C. Cadogan July 6, 2017 at 5:58 AM #

    Well Well

    Clico was a Barbados Labour Party project. It was introduced into Barbados by the Barbados Labour Party.

    Like

  23. Carson C. Cadogan July 6, 2017 at 6:04 AM #

    DAVID

    If the Barbados Private would pay the Govt. the over $638million which it owes the various Govt. agencies in the form of duties, taxes etc. then a NSRL would never have been necessary.

    Like

  24. Carson C. Cadogan July 6, 2017 at 6:11 AM #

    DAVID

    But I dont get you.

    PRODIGAL SON posts under PRODIGAL SON/LORENZA/LORENZO and I don’t see you say anything to him.

    Then again this is a crooked Barbados Labour Party Blog.

    This Blog was set up to brown nose the members of the crooked Barbados Labour Party.

    Like

  25. Carson C. Cadogan July 6, 2017 at 6:34 AM #

    Well Well

    Whatever happen to the BLP would be candidate who was stealing from Sagicor to finance his elections campaign?

    Like

  26. Frederick July 8, 2017 at 4:35 PM #

    There is a great deal of untapped potential in Barbados. Pointing fingers and complaining will not help the situation. Each and every person can do their part to lift the entire nation up.

    Like

  27. Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger July 9, 2017 at 8:01 AM #

    http://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/98522/pay

    How can the econmy ever grow when this government is paying civil servants….NOT TO WORK….. with taxpayer’s money….paying them to cover up their friend’s crimes,, paying them so they dont sue government fir wrongful dismissal.

    Carson…this is the question you should be asking and answering, ya a a real carrion bird no joke…

    Along with the Kutappa-Harris CGI scam against Bajans, the CLICO scam against bajans will make sure this government is never elected to parliament again, singularly or individually.

    “GOVERNMENT HAS PAID more than $1 million to two senior public officers who did not drive a stroke for up to seven years.

    The two had been sent on special leave, but continued to earn their salaries.
    In what a trade unionist has described as “a coward’s way out” of dealing with matters head-on, the Freundel Stuart administration has paid former Commissioner of Inland Revenue, Sabina Walcott-Denny, her annual salary, excluding allowances, of $135 024, or a total of $540 096 over the four years she has not worked.
    Former acting Supervisor of Insurance, Vernese Brathwaite, who has been on leave for seven years, is being paid her annual salary of $98 087, or $686 609. (MB)”

    Like

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