Mademoiselle Prime Minister Mia Mottley to Deliver Mini-budget – shifting from the rhetoric
Since being elevated to office on 25 May 2018, the Mia Mottley government has moved at a frenetic pace- or so it seems- when compared to the the former Freundel Stuart administration which was characterized by sloth. It should be obvious the path being pursued by the government was planned before winning the government. The speed at which it has assembled a team to support government tells a story of preplanning.
What does it mean?
The new administration gets an A for preparation and the willingness to wrestle with the many nettlesome issues affecting the country. The pundits have fodder for debate why the former administration was unable to secure the support of stakeholders in the social partnership and wider civil society. This week for example, we learned that the NUPW National Council agreed to a low single digit wage increase for public sector workers. In a sentence, the former government was unable to lead the various parties to achieve positive results, a prerequisite of a leader.
It is only the most loyal supporter of the Democratic Labour Party who continues to reject the position that after ten years at the helm of government the economy refused to positively respond. Twenty plus downgrades from international rating agencies, declining foreign reserves since taking office, running annual current account and budget deficits, inability to deliver wage increases to public servants, there has been a visible deterioration in physical infrastructure- roads, buildings, sewage plants, supply of water, inadequate bus and garbage collection service, unable to enact transparency legislation, declining confidence and misuse of the NIS Scheme unable to public recent audited financials, unable to respond to Auditor General concerns, increase backlog in the case load of Barbados Courts which attracted frequent uncomplimentary remarks from the CCJ, to name a few.
The failings identified had as an undergird a pervasive lack of discipline how the affairs of the country were managed by the former government. The electorate responded by its 70% response vote at the polls that enough was enough!
For the first time many Barbadians will be transitioning to a reality that it is not business as usual. The feel good factor of jettisoning a non performing government will disappear in the coming days as more austerity measures are delivered. The blogmaster anticipates that Prime Minister Mia Mottley will will move quickly in her term to implement draconian policy measures to achieve improved results in the three year time horizon promised to get to light at the end of a long tunnel. On cue a mini-Budget is scheduled for Monday.
There is the danger Prime Minister Mottley faces that the unprecedented mandate she received at the polling booth last month can be eroded in quick time if the recovery path she has committed the country goes off track. We are in the hurricane season and all that it promises, oil price has been increasing, OECD countries have been curbing flight of southbound capital along with other external influences. Then there is possibility of bad policy formulation because of a misread of the symptoms of the local economy.
All eyes will be on Mademoiselle Prime Minister Mia Mottley next week as she makes the shift from communicating the political rhetoric of the political campaign trail to delivering a policy statement which will impact Bajan households in the pockets.