The Grenville Phillips Column – Violating the Prime Directive

Dr Michael Howard’s many questions were recently answered by the Barbados Economic Recovery Team (BERT) economist, Dr Greenidge.  Hopefully he can answer our single question.

Let me first state that BERT’s austerity-based solution will likely work.  The austerity is supposed to be very severe, for as long as it needs to be until it works, which is expected to be many years.

The severity and duration of the foreseen suffering of the Barbadian public was the only reason why we designed a non-austerity alternative.  When we tried to share it with the last administration, we were promised that the only way it would be heard is if we entered the political trench.  We naively believed the promise, entered the trench, but were never allowed an opportunity to be heard.

To our knowledge, two other entities independently designed non-austerity plans, resulting in three non-austerity plans on the proverbial table.  But Solutions Barbados was the only entity that entered the political trench.

We now have a new administration and a new promise by a new Prime Minister.  Her first directive was that all ideas should contend.  Therefore, our question is: why has BERT not allowed a review of any of the non-austerity plans?  If it was an oversight, then since Dr Greenidge seems to be the BERT spokesperson, can he spare 2 hours to meet with us to assess our plan?  If he is too busy, then can he authorise a non-partisan accountant and/or economist or a panel of them to review our plan?  If it was not an oversight, then why is BERT violating that prime directive?

I am fully aware that Dr Greenidge’s traditional training would not likely have included non-austerity methods, much a surgeon’s would not likely have included alternative natural methods.  Therefore, let me suggest an analogy to hopefully spark his interest in what he may not know.

Let’s say that there are two main approaches to treating cancer.  The traditional more popular surgery, drugs and radiation (chemotherapy) which traumatises the body, and the alternative-health natural remedies mainly consisting of herbs, diet and exercise, which do not traumatise the body.

The traditional medical practitioners have convinced the Government that theirs is the only way to treat cancer, despite the proven success of alternative-health methods.  Therefore, traditional practitioners receive all of the national health budget and prestige, and are viewed as credible.

Traditional medical practitioners are not normally trained in alternative health methods.  However, rather than learn about them to improve patient-care, many use their prestige to irresponsibly ridicule what they do not understand, and dismissively reject alternative-health practitioners as persons on the fringe.

When we were facing economic ruin, the traditionalists recommended the only thing that they understood, namely, traumatic austerity.  Others designed alternative non-austerity non-traumatic solutions.  Dr Greenidge is urged to resist the temptation to be close-minded on this critical matter.

Since I may not get another shot at this, let me try to reason with him.  This may be a hard task since he may still be euphoric that an agreement appears to have been reached with the IMF, and he has the support of the private sector and unions, who are trying to convince us that the austerity that we are about to experience in exchange for an IMF agreement is unavoidable.

He should be aware that IMF personnel also agreed with our non-austerity plan, but they thought that it contained a fatal flaw.  They said that it depended on the unions’ support, and based on the unions’ adversarial relationship with the DLP administration, they thought that the unions would never agree.  However, we met with the NUPW, BWU and CTUSAB, and all three agreed to participate.  Therefore, the IMF’s singular concern was effectively resolved.  Mr Greenidge, please allow both ideas to contend – for the public good.

Grenville Phillips II is a Chartered Structural Engineer and the founder of Solutions Barbados.  He can be reached at


  • David why dont u just leave me alone
    Mia saud she found a mess and from my observation she created a bigger mess
    Btw i hear Hyatt does not want any part of a country whose debt portfolio is in default
    The picture of her and Doyle shows her looking like a robot on a threadmill


  • @Mariposa September 15, 2018 8:48 PM

    Since when can clueless and poor Barbadian taxpayers make up for forex? You sound like Big Sinck, the least gifted man of the whole Caribbean.

    You mix up revenue in trashy Barrow-Dollars and real Dollars. Outside Barbados you can use a Barrow-note to sniff cocaine but nothing else.

    However, the former ministers could make up … telling the Barbadian public everything about foreign bank accounts and foreign villas … The former ministers love the black masses in Barbados so much that they prefer to stay away in Florida and other places of the white North.


  • Oh now I see why Sinckler keep bring more and more taxes each budget

    I has been revealed by the brilliant one


  • Look i done with John Tron you guys see money as the only bargaining chip in transactions hence you belive that a 10 million dollar loan plus interest is not a good deal
    Well take a look at the bargaining chips the IMF used in order for a country to secure a loan
    It is not simple arithmetic that places a number on percentage
    The country has to repay the loan with interest and during negotiations the IMF makes sure they are holding all the cards which would secure the safety and integrity of repayment of the loan whereby the country is locked into many repayment models for years


  • Btw can anyone provide information as to how much govt is paying to have these ugly vehicles removed from the street
    Also if these vehicles have licensed plate numbers cannot be owners traced and be fined


  • @ Mariposa September 16, 2018 7:25 AM

    From the CS loan facility:
    “Borrower to provide Lenders with a full copy of the Staff Report for the 2013 IMF Article IV Consultation on
    Barbados as soon as it becomes available, as well as an update on the Borrower’s plans for implementation of any specific recommendations included in the report.”

    Don´t you get it, Mariposa??? The CS loan WAS a hybrid IMF loan!!!

    Barbados is now in the FOURTH IMF-cycle after the THIRD IMF programme failed between 2013 and 2016.


  • This is above my pay grade so I look forward to hearing from the financial maguffees on BU.

    “Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley has just revealed plans for Barbados to delve into a national digital payment network.”


  • I could have mismanaged an insurance company, become wealthy and have the GoB repay the policyholders

    I could have started a business, bribe civil servants to evade duties, become wealthy and have the GoB increase taxes on the masses to recover revenue

    I could have refused to pay my taxes, become wealthy and get a waiver

    But, foolish me, I did everything that I was supposed to do and they kept coming and taking until they crushed me, until I was no more

    Take it all – Break me – Show me who is the boss – Make me wish I never was


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