An Invisible Mottley Cabinet

Austerity is defined as a set of economic policies a government implements to control public sector debt. Austerity measures are the response of a government whose public debt is so large that the risk of default, or the inability to service the required payments on its debt obligations, becomes a real possibility. Default risk can spiral out of control quickly; as an individual, company or country slips further into debt, lenders will charge a higher rate of return for future loans, making it more difficult for the borrower to raise capital.

Source: Investopedia


One of the outcomes from an austerity program is criticism from those impacted. This blogmaster addressed the climate at play in the local environment in which BERT is being aggressively implemented by the government – The Rhetoric of Austerity.

Until there is improvement in the economy which took a precipitous dive under the last DLP administration, it is the right of the people and other stakeholders in civil society to express concerns. As always, government’s mandate is to implement policies to breath and sustain life in the economy and supporting sectors.

So far the Barbados austerity program has been following the script. The blogmaster has added our dissenting voice to those criticizing the prime minister for allowing her father to be conferred a knighthood. Against the background of the imbroglio of waiver of tax penalties to Elliot Mottley. And of recent the significant hike in the bus fare, a measure that will impact the most vulnerable in the society. Government’s remit will never change, the vulnerable MUST be protected – Pay the $3.50 or Alternatively Drink the Poison.

Another enduring criticism of the Mia Mottley led administration since the unprecedented mandate from the people on May 24, 2018 has been the size of her Cabinet. It is easily the largest in the world per capita in the world. Mottley’s response at the time of the announcement was – “Given the dire state of our economy and the tremendous work that would be involved in rescuing and rebuilding this country, the salaries of a few extra ministers is relatively insignificant given that there will be tremendous savings from the containment of wastage and the curtailment of corruption in my Cabinet”.

An effective Opposition should file Mottley’s promise and use it to measure government’s performance of the country in the coming months.  In  summary, if the Prime Minister holds the view that many hands make light work, during a time of austerity the optics of decisions and the uninspiring and demotivating influence they may be having must be evaluated AND reassessed if the situation demands it. Does the political reward of employing an unprecedented number of ministers, supported by a bevy of consultants worth the risk of voter disaffection?

The point about the size of the Cabinet is important, it will continue to generate criticism for another reason. The Prime Minister to her credit has demonstrated a high work rate since assuming the office. This cannot be refuted by a simple measure if compared to  a slothful predecessor. She is leading the CSME project, meeting with IMF, World bank and other global players and the list is long. What is disturbing is that Prime Minister Mottley has had to insert her presence into many ministries to lead the narrative or resolve ‘disputes’. Why should she have a large Cabinet if she is always exerting the influence of being in primus inter pares mode?

One example that should give the Prime Minster pause is the meeting called recently with stakeholders in the transport sector. A meeting to deal with the public backlash to the $3.50 bus far hike. Another meeting she had to intervene.

Prime Minister Mottley continues to enjoy good public support informed by the fact John Citizen is aware tough measures have to be taken. And a discombobulated Opposition. Mottley will have to tread clearly to ensure her policies do not create so much opposition that it railroads what she is attempting to do. Perhaps a midterm reshuffle is in the offing.

A word to the Prime Minister should be enough.




  • “Second to that has been the attorney general’s office, yet he has supervised a ministry that has turned a blind eye to a serving police officer shooting dead his neighbour and wounding his son only be be given b ail by the previous government and to be still out of bail instead of facing the courts.”

    Maybe this intellectual should use Google more. I give up!🤣🤣🤣🤣


  • @NO
    Cross the floor to where? To serve under the Bishop? The summer heat like it got you bamboozled, Mia has the upper hand and it is the first term of her mandate. Payne is the only one with a following in his constituency the others are nonentities and can be replaced at the ballot box, the non MP can be moved out of the Senate.

    BTW Payne has an unenviable record of some sort as the only Minister fired by two different PM’s


  • It is time Payne hang up his hat(s)


  • Payne and Mottley. Hats and


  • “Maybe this intellectual should use Google more. I give up!”

    @ Enuff

    Don’t give up as yet.

    Perhaps you could organize a consultancy ‘pick’ for the goodly gentleman, with the responsibility for providing Barbadians with “a performance report on the various ministers and advisers” and “an end-of-term assessment of the old Cabinet and predictions for the new, starting from May 25, 2018, to July 21, 2020.”


  • NorthernObserver

    You don’t cross for any other reason than your progress has been stalled.
    It is like when the VP whose wings you are riding gets cut loose. You can stay like a puppy dog or seek pastures where you maybe welcomed.
    MAM may have spots for some. From the outset she has made it a priority to try and keep as many happy as possible.


  • There are still too many ministers with ‘half day’ jobs. Some of the ministries should have been amalgamated to further reduce the size of Cabinet.


  • William Skinner

    @ David
    I politely ask : Why why was this put under an old post from 2019 ?


  • Vacation and retirement ? “George Payne (Housing) will no longer hold a ministerial portfolio, nor will Edmund Hinkson (Home Affairs), Trevor Prescod (Environment) or Senator Lucille Moe (Broadcasting). Neil Rowe is also no longer a parliamentary secretary.”


  • Will be interesting to see how those who justify the 24 support this reduction. They will support this new number until it is increased or decreased. Meanwhile those who were prophetic in seeing the need for this reduction will now see the ‘other team’ accommodate a position that allows for further reduction.

    The problem with a trial and error approach is that some errors will have a cost. It bears well to remember the adage “measure twice, cut once” especially when flawed legislation can be harmful to others.


  • @NO
    I’ve watched from the sidelines as those situations played themselves out and normally I would agree with you but not with this group as Payne is too long in the tooth and the other two MP’s wouldn’t excite anyone but their families.

    BTW Payne and Hinkson are now free to resume their pre cabinet legal battles.


  • @Sargeant July 22, 2020 10:32 PM “BTW Payne and Hinkson are now free to resume their pre cabinet legal battles.”

    The strife is o’er, the battle done


  • Who referred to some of the admittedly portly ladies of the BLP as “one thousand pounds”

    Who was in the “wrong” camp when there was a battle royale between Owen and Mia for the leadership of the BLP?

    Have we forgotten the old Bajan saying “time longer than twine”


  • @The Guardian :”The foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, has announced the closing of secret legal loophole that allowed Harry Dunn’s alleged killer Anne Sacoolas to claim diplomatic immunity. A lawyer for Dunn’s family welcomed the move as a “huge step” in securing the extradition to the UK of Sacoolas to stand trial. Sacoolas, the wife of a CIA agent who was working at the US intelligence base RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire, was allowed to return to the US days after allegedly driving her car on the wrong side of the road on 27 August and crashing into Dunn on his motorcycle.”

    Hal can you tell us who wrote the agreement with a loophole so big a British young man is dead, his family is bereaved and an American woman and her killer car escaped through a monster sized loophole. Was that incompetence? Should the head of that department still be in their position? Can you explain?


  • If our leader reshuffles her cabinet in the same way every 2 years, we are down to 5 ministers in 15 years.

    What a great future!


  • @William

    It has been a busy period for the BU household.


  • @ William
    The president has admitted that after two years of rambling, the government has lost its way. It now needs to return to the drawing board. Watch our for the victim-blaming and CoVid excuses.


  • William Skinner

    @ Hal
    Ian Gooding Edghill, a top flight tourism Executive , with proven management skills and an elected parliamentarian, chairman of two Boards, is passed over for the tourism ministry- the most important ministry at this time. And the ministry is given to a senator , Lisa Cummings, whose background remains a mystery .
    I am uncertain as to the situation with Comrade Prescod. When everybody was still calling for Arthur, Comrade Prescod was Mia’s biggest supporter. I am hoping that he “ asked” to be cut. To fire him would have been an act of almost gross cruelty by the PM.
    The major focus of any serious reshuffle , should have been a cabinet reduction by at least ten ministers and the outright firing of the current Attorney General.


  • Could it be that Precod pushing 70 with health issues has been put to pasture for the good of all concerned?

    The fact you are unaware of Senator Cummins more about you than her bio.


  • Is it standard for governments to do the mid term line in the sand thing?

    Does it make sense in a world flipped upside down to recalibrate strategy?



  • Piece the Prophet

    @ Mr William Skinner

    You noted the appending of the text to the old article too?

    You also said

    “…The major focus of any serious reshuffle , should have been a cabinet reduction by at least ten ministers and the outright firing of the current Attorney General.”

    She could not fire 10 yet.

    As de ole man prophesied dere is much infighting going on.

    De legal battle between Payne and Hinkson NEEDED TO BE SILENCED and she has silenced them FOR THE MOMENT heheheheh

    Mugabe Amin Mottley is killing both their respective voiced aspirations to be Prime Minister

    Unfortunately they have voiced the aspirations on calls dat she does *** as usual.

    Jes ask Darwin bout dat.

    More fallout is to come.

    Dem gine “cross de floor” as de ole man has stated.


  • @ William

    The reshuffle is an act of surrender. The president has finally accepted for the the last two years she has been sailing without a compass and, as a result, was lost at sea.
    Everything about the changes are mystifying. Is this now to put in place her post-CoVid strategy? If so, what is it? So, what about BERT, BEST and BOSS, are they still her economic strategies?
    Are we to assume that those minister who have been removed have underperformed some benchmark? If so, what is that benchmark? Will it be made public? Has Dale Marshall passed that test, given the appointment of a second deputy commissioner of police and the embarrassing showdown with Caswell Franklyn; and the obvious policy of keeping aa police officer accused of murder on bail rather than bring him before the courts?
    Finally, @ William, whatever happened to the hysterical changes to the constitution to appoint two senators; where are they now? One with something called an MSc in political sociology from the LSE, with experience in the UK Treasury and a crypto-currency expert?
    The nation is in crisis, serious crisis, and this is not the time to play party politics. We need new leadership, not a PR addict with pumping hands and pointing, but someone who has an eye for details and can lead from the front.


  • @Piece the Prophet July 23, 2020 7:37 AM “De legal battle between Payne and Hinkson NEEDED TO BE SILENCED and she has silenced them FOR THE MOMENT heheheheh”

    How do you know that it has not been permanently silenced?


  • @Hal Austin July 23, 2020 4:33 AM “…CoVid excuses.”

    Covid is not an excuse. Only a completely partisan person would talk about “COVID excuses”.

    COVID is real, very, very real.

    COVID19, and COVID20 and almost certainly COVID21 and perhaps COVID22 as well has hurt/will continue to hurt the economy of every single country in the world, even those dozen or so countries with no COVID19 cases…yet.

    I wouldn’t call 15 million, 435 thousand 114 thousand infected people an excuse.

    i wouldn’t call 631 thousand, 811 DEAD, DEAD, DEAD people an excuse either.


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