Middleclass the Forgotten Group After ‘Staying the Course’

The newly elected Barbados government took the unprecedented decision on 1 June 2018 to suspend domestic and eternal payments on debt.  Credit rating agencies were predictably swift to respond by adjusting Barbados’ credit rating to selective default (SD).

Even the most ardent of Democratic Labour Party (DLP) supporters would have admitted the economy was in a free fall and the 28 May 2018 general election confirmed the prevailing sentiment. Never in the history of Barbados has a political party fail to win a seat in parliament, the BLP won all but 2 ‘boxes’.

The decision by the government to default resulted in the holders of government treasury notes and debentures taking a LOW haircut with maturities on the investments extended by 15 years. The good news story is that the local debt restructuring – if we accept the official report – has resulted in the national debt shrinking from 170% to 125% of GDP__ government has announced that by 2033 the debt should be 60%.

This blogmaster freely admits the BLP was dealt a bad hand on the 28 May 2018 and some hard decisions had to be taken to stabilize the economy. We can debate the how. The previous Freundel Stuart administration has justifiably earned the label as the worst government Barbados has experienced by a wide margin.

While listening to Senator Caswell Franklyn debating the Debt Holder (Approval of debt restructuring) Amendment Bill 2019 in the Senate this week doing a good job to remind that Chamber the misery government’s austerity policy is having on the poor, it reminded this blogmaster of the forgotten middle earning class. The decision by the government to restructure the domestic debt has impacted this group of persons who were encouraged to invest in government’s gilt edge securities by successive governments. You are reminded that for almost 10 Rh years under the Stuart administration the middle class – the majority with a mortgage, car and education loans – were asked to hold strain.  BOOM the first thing the Mottley government did was to yank a belt that was already fitted tightly around the waist of the middleclass Barbadian.

A middleclass Barbadian should be synonymous with being an educated Bajan. Middleclass Barbadians understand decisive decisions had to be taken by the Mottley government to meet head on the economic challenges facing the country. Here is what this blogmaster does not understand. We have the largest Cabinet in the history of the country and given the current state of affairs in the country several will be elected for a second term. We have a BU commenter who is quick to advise he doesn’t have to read and spell for the BU family.

The following blog retrieved from the BU archives should explain the grouse of this blogmaster.

Unfunded Government Pension a Worry

Fiscal Problem In Barbados ! eb2d17288e33d24ec34a90fd04dca0d0 Dr. Justin Robinson recently shared some interesting information on Facebook, he attempted to breakout government expenditure and revenues – see the presentation, ‘facts on the Fiscal Situation in Barbados last 20 years. A focus on Transfers and Subsidies‘.

Successive governments have been challenged by the size of the transfers and subsidies allocation and it has become more so in the last decade given the fiscal challenges being experienced. Although out of the scope the blogmaster used the opportunity to question the chairman of the NIS about government’s non NIS pension liability. Private registered pension plans AND the NIS receive input from actuaries to inform the level of funding required to ensure they are able to meet future obligations.

It is an open secret the pension plan which covers statutory agencies, members of parliament and other public sector agencies continue to be a significant pension expense for government. From arms distance the fund appears to be ‘under-funded’. This is the interesting point of the exchange on Facebook with the Chairman.

Unfunded Government Pension a Worry

If the blogmaster overestimated the ability of some to understand the thrust of the blog, Hants may be able to read and spell fuh wunnah.

114 thoughts on “Middleclass the Forgotten Group After ‘Staying the Course’

  1. What’s there to explain. Both governments have acted for decades like the NIS Pensioners Fund is their peronal piggy bank to invite their briber friends and other foreign blights to raid it by the hundreds of millions of dollars each and every time. Tiefing Cow and the covetous minded Williams family believe NIS Pension money belongs to them.
    Hence the reason pensioners and those with disabilities are now suffering and unable to survive. That is the long and short of it. Not much else to say.

  2. Lol..same shite government who wrote off a BILLION DOLLARS that their friends and business partners/bribers STOLE from the people, yep same useless nuisances wrote off hundreds of millions in tax dollars their tax evading family/friends/bribers REFUSED to pay in to treasury, same shite government refusingto lock up anyone for those thefts, including those who ripped off the pension fund cause the useless government got to PLEASE AND PROTECT THE THIEVES. Yet here they are complaining. Got some nerve. They think everyone lost their memories.


  3. To clarify what Senator Franklyn has been suggesting:

    “I am being asked what I would have done. What I would have done is to collect the over $1billion dollars in VAT that was outstanding rather than writing it off. I would get it by selling the properties of people who own them. You writing off debt for them but you aren’t writing off debt for the people who can least afford it.”


  4. Yes the senator bravado rings true for thousands poor and some middle class
    However “too late shall be the cry”
    The govt response to the senator shameful and disgusting report on what the poor is undergoing was speechless rather than responding to the Senators thrashing
    A minister of govt swept away Caswell comments as if to ignore them by asking the senator what he would have done
    This govt has perfected the art of smoke and mirrors to a “T” even in parliament
    What a god dam shame

  5. What we are seeing is a govt boasting about reserves and a govt which cannot connect to social and economic realities that are crippling the barbadian households
    When Caswell open his mouth and spoke it should have been an eyeopener to govt that their measures which only support a few would be a full fill prophecy which eventually would rip barbados apart

  6. @ Mariposa

    It is now about 18 months since the Mottley government took control from Stuart’s administration. It is true that the Stuart/Sinckler DLP was out of its league.
    However, when does the Mottley government take full responsibility for the management of the economy? We now have the two leading economic ministers (Straughn and Caddle) making economic statements that are as bogus as Father Christmas.
    One, that the economy is now in the black; and the other, that government will no longer access the capital markets. The first is just bad economic analysis and the second has left unstated that government has abandoned as large infrastructural projects. If that is the case, then they should say that.
    Here is the Barbados Today report on Straughn’s speech, if reported accurately. Caddle’s statement is so ridiculous it needs no comment:

    the first time in several years, the Barbados Government has earned more than it spent, said Minister in the Ministry of Finance Ryan Straughn.

    Straughn made the revelation in the House of Assembly today on a bill to reform Land Tax, the final element of the Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) programme needing lawmakers’ approval.
    In quoting the Central Bank’s Economic Report for the first nine months of the year, Straughn said:
    “For 2014/15, the fiscal deficit was 7.6 per cent, and this figure was in parentheses, meaning it was a negative balance. For 2015/16, that figure was nine per cent, in 2016-17, 5.3 per cent and in 2017-18 4.6 per cent.
    “This was when the previous Government kept increasing taxes and there was never any indicator as to how they were spending the money, and the debt build-up was choking the life out of the economy.
    “However, starting from 2018/19, we had a deficit of 0.3 per cent, almost a balanced budget, something that we have not seen for some time but in the last column, which covers April 1 to September 30 this year, the number is 2.8 per cent without parentheses, so for the first time in over a decade, we are running fiscal surpluses.

    “This means the Government is paying its bills, with a little bit left over as you have to keep the cashflow going and keep projects going.”
    Declaring that some critics would object to the Government operating at a surplus, Straughn added: “The truth is, we have been doing old work while trying to do new work, and we are running surpluses because we have to pay arrears the last Government left behind with no money to service, so we have sought to reform the way we manage public finances through execution of debt restructuring, as well as modernising our systems across Government looking at all our processes to see how we can better and more efficiently serve the public, and we shall continue on this path.”
    The Minister in the Ministry of Finance sought to explain why Barbadians still have not seen any new buses or more new garbage trucks which the administration had promised despite the reforms to the tax system. He said the economic recession in the latter part of the past decade meant that companies did business differently now.
    Straughn explained: “Since the global economic crisis of 2008/9, people have not really been keeping items in inventory; the only way people will start work is when they get their deposits.
    “We are conscious that we need to improve the services and we shall.
    “Our mission was to fix the problems we found, we have done that and are still in that process, so we will continue to stay the course and despite what people may wish to infer about the performance of the Government, the Cabinet took the responsibility to solve these problems based on what people would want from their Government.

    “We appreciate that some people are still disappointed as some systemic issues have not moved fast enough, but the surpluses will allow us to repay all those things so we can continue to improve those services.”

  7. @ David.

    So What have they done in 18 months to rectify it?

    Increased taxation tremendously, removed discounts on land tax after increasing them by 40% in some cases and double for many the price of water. They also increased bus fares by over 50%. Not one of these measures will encourage economic activity.

    They forgave $500m some say in tax liability in the form of vat, than imposed $400M in New taxes. Why didn’t they give the vat liabilities to a foreign debt collector to collect instead? Don’t know ask them.

    In the meantime statuary boards still have not brought their financials up to date, so our revenue estimates therefore are no more than an educated guess.

    On top of all if this the middle class who are the ones that build the economy have been decimated by increased taxation and losses from both government paper and clico.

    If only we had an opposition that would come out and tell Bajans the truth, instead of being what appears to be a bunch of political seat warmers.

  8. Also how can you claim to be in the black for the first part of the year when in the same period wunna wrote off $500M worth of your receivables in Vat receipts?

    Or nobody didn’t remember to make an adjustment on receivables for that either?

    Then again this is the same crew that claim they restructure $500M in debt and save $1B in the first year alone and 4B overall! Then the left side of dem month say they save 27% in the fx debt restructuring. So now apparently the below is the new formula.

    A 27% saving on $500M = $4 billion

    Lord help me here cause I only went school at Brumley and the $15 calculator only does go to 8 digits. Lol

    • @John A

      You may not be aware but this blogmaster lives the satirical style of The Onion treating to certain topics. Do not get tie up!

  9. Yeap a govt of smoke and mirrors
    Aint that the truth
    Going forward expect govt to bring out measures similar to those of the eighties and nineties in an effort to stimulate the economy
    Tax refunds would be come the norm of putting money in peoples pocket as trickle down economics become the driving force to create growth
    Meanwhile govt austerity measures would continue to create a larger than large poor society

  10. It is now about 18 months since the Mottley government took control from Stuart’s administration. It is true that the Stuart/Sinckler DLP was out of its league.


    So one was out of its league and one is unconstitutional.

    Whatever this set does will need to be confirmed when we get a constitutional Parliament.

    None of the Dudleys are worth anything, zero is zero!!

  11. If you play by the rules, working to earn a living and saving to provide for the future, taxes take a piece of your earnings. If you win a state lottery, you owe tax. But if you get lucky in the lottery of life and land an inheritance, you owe no federal tax. That isn’t fair, is it? Extending the federal income tax to include inheritances would end that inequity.
    Extreme inequality is troubling for various reasons. It fosters gross and wasteful consumption. More importantly, it undermines the principle of political equality: Nearly unencumbered transfers of wealth permitted under current law perpetuate those imbalances, creating dynasties of the rich and hampering economic and social mobility….(Quote)

    Barbados urgently needs an inheritance tax.

  12. @Hal

    “Barbados urgently needs an inheritance tax.”

    Is this your attempt at SATIRE, should read BARBADOS URGENTLY NEEDS A STUPIDITY TAX , which would balance the books overnight, providing RH politicians can figure a way to COLLECT.

  13. All I can say is that in over fifty years on earth I have never been acquainted with so many people who speak to me of their empty food cupboards.

    Before this year the only people I knew that told me of “burning bellies” were strangers on the street.

    Now they are in houses down the street or speaking to me on my telephone. It is very stressful, because I could hand the stranger ten dollars and move on but I cannot do the same for neighbours. I have to see their faces and hear their voices daily. And I cannot afford ten times ten times seven.

  14. Hal,

    I don’t think we pay taxes on winnings here. At least we didn’t when I took revenue law. Nearly all of my study time was spent separating winnings from earnings with the help of English case law.

  15. @ Wily

    I do not understand. Plse explain


    It was a quotation from a think-tank report. The point I was making was about an inheritance tax, which I know a number of senior BLP people oppose.

  16. I did not even read the article that claimed we were in the black. Let out a long steupse and moved on. These people obviously think we cannot add, subtract, multiply, divide or even count.

    The lies are getting more brazen.

    I guess they think we are from Middle America,.

  17. @ Donna

    You are right. It is disrespect. One wag even said (on another Facebook blog) that he has confidence in Ms Caddle, that she is highly respected, and he believes her. Plse recall Jonestown for how unquestioned following could lead to walking off a cliff. We must apply our critical skills to these claims.
    The game is no longer what the DLP did, it is now firmly what the Mottley BLP is doing and plans to do.

  18. @Donna

    Nobody told you what BERT means to the Barbadian household yet? Well it means at month end the below applies for most of us.

    Barely Enough for Rent +Transport.

    If you doubt that ask anyone you speak to ( except a politicain).

  19. @Hal

    Owing to Government of Barbados is unable to collect present VAT, presumably wrote off $1B because it was un-collectable, what makes you thing MORE TAXATION will offer any additional revenue. If government is unwilling to pass INTERGRITY LEGISLATION why do you think they’ll pass an INHERTITACE TAX as you point out primarily a consequence for BLP ELITE.

    You obviously believe in Santa Clause, the TOOTH FAIRY etc.


    Bajan middle class is not yet being financially squeezed sufficently, as Wily hears no LOUD WHIMPERING, when the crescendo becomes deafening, maybe then and only then will the Bajan middle class populace stand up and possibly be heard.

  20. @ David Bu

    Ii we keep kicking the can down the road for the next GOB to resolve’ and the next generation to finance ,what do you expect? We are simply playing the expletive. Did you read the advice the former MD of IMF gave in Davos to emerging economies re foreign consultants?

    • @Vincent

      This is not the first time international development agencies have shared this advice. A few years ago the IADB has reason to advise the same post Haiti earthquake. Hard ears we don’t want to learn.

  21. @ Wily

    Oh ye of little faith. Some day our officials and politicians will become competent. I have faith that the people will remove lawyers from their politics and clean up the swamp, but time is short.

  22. @David
    While listening to Senator Caswell Franklyn debating the Debt Holder (Approval of debt restructuring) Amendment Bill 2019 in the Senate this week doing a good job to remind that Chamber the misery government’s austerity policy is having on the poor, it reminded this blogmaster of the forgotten middle earning class.
    The Gov’t has an “austerity” policy? Who knew?

  23. Hal,

    Soon they will be thinking that they could shoot somebody on some avenue and not lose one vote.

    An inheritance tax would be good as long as it is set to capture the very wealthy and not the average person passing on a few hundred thousand dollars worth of property.

    Some people will always be more wealthy than others. Some people earn their wealth fairly and should be allowed to keep it. But I find that much of the wealth is gained by exploitation. And the wealthier such people become the more power they have to exploit.

    This vast inequality has the people up in arms. The number of protests is rising. When will it reach Barbados?

    I know a whole lot of people who are complaining for hunger that never did before.

    One image that has stayed with me is that of a Nation photograph of Freundel at a sumptuous buffet at the same time that he was telling the people that the measures he was implementing were affecting him too. It was a deliberately placed image, I’m sure, but it was a true image.

    That picture was worth a thousand words. And probably many thousand votes.

    And so it shall be again.

  24. John A,

    I was not aware of the acronym but it fits what I am hearing from many.

    I must admit here though that some of my people are suffering from the effects of the bottom feeding lawyers and the injustice system. Others from lack of work and others from the cost of living.
    Various problems all with the same result.

    Burning eyes and hungry bellies!

  25. (Quote):
    “@ Mariposa
    It is now about 18 months since the Mottley government took control from Stuart’s administration. It is true that the Stuart/Sinckler DLP was out of its league.(Unquote)

    Ms Many pokies- aka “ac” the anonymous asinine clown hiding behind a blue and yellow mask- do you agree with that “Independent” Hal Asstin’s assessment that the Stuart’s administration “was out of its league” having been saddled with a minister possessed only with the fine art of lying but who could not even tell difference between a decimal bull and a percentage bullfrog?

    Is this ‘know-it-all’ Asstin acting as the spoke-person for Stinkliar who has disappeared, conveniently so, into the ether of political oblivion?

  26. John A,

    Barely Enough for Rent +Transport.


    Once upon a time you could put down your car and catch the bus as a cost cutting measure.

    But that was once upon a time.

  27. Hidden in the Business Authority missed by miller, the blog mechanic, yard chickens and yard fowls was “”””two economic researchers conclude ”external economic forces”’ and not a profligate Government”” was the reason for Barbados recent years of foreign reserves declines.””””

    Surely Guyanese Tarron Khemraj, Professor of Economics at New College of Florida and Darrin Downes, Chief Economist of CBB are in a trance..

    It was rammed down the country’s collective throats that the Stuart Admin printed money when they felt like and pocketed most sending us up shite creek.

    The authors said their paper benefited from comments by another Guyanese economist Colin Constantine and does not represent the views of CBB. In other words these are independent thinkers not lackeys and pooch lickers like the ones stinking up the underground.

    The economists said they were “””skeptical, however regarding the conventional explanation of the decrease of in CBB reserves international reserves which cited the pivotal reason for the loss of foreign exchange was the direct financing of government by CBB or money printing.””””

    They concluded the main reason why Barbados finds itself in a situation of acute foreign exchange shortages every ten to twelve years was the result of””””external factors.”””””.

    That cant be so can it. That isn’t what Straughan, Mottley, Caddle, wild koot, nutty professor avinesh and dem tell we making we swamp Fruendel and sinkler 30-nil.

    “””The proposed monetary dependence model explains that the build up of liquid assets is a signal that the government and central bank are leaning against global headwinds while trying to maintain social goals at home,””” the researchers found.

    The researchers said “”””although we found evidence in favour of CBB money printing contributing to the decline in international reserves the results are much stronger in favour of the monetary dependence thesis.””””

    “”””Furthermore the model of monetary dependency proposed herein is applicable beyond Barbados. The latter thesis implies external economic forces are responsible for the foreign exchange pressure in an economy on the periphery.”””

    The scratch grain pelt down in the yard now is the time for the yard fowls to gather and pick.

  28. @ David.

    The best way I woukd explain it is it’s like a fisherman throwing a net to sell fish. If he selling by the pound the individual fish size don’t matter, it is the total weight in the net that counts.

  29. Middle class are not the forgotten group, middle class forgot their role.
    The middle class used to be resourceful.
    Now they are a bunch of lazy, entitled, vapid complainers who worship false idols.

    Complaint number 1. Food prices too high
    Food prices are high if you want to shop in supermarkets for everything, if you don’t cook and buy lunch everyday and if you expect to eat chicken everyday. I have no issue with the price of food because I do most of my shopping in Cheapside market. I don’t eat corn flakes or any of those empty american breakfast cereals, I eat steel cut oats, they are cheaper, more nutritious and taste better
    Real problem: Laziness and champagne taste in mauby pocket

    Complaint Number 2. Gas prices too high
    Yes gas prices are high, so address consumption. How many of these complaints are from households where the husband, wife and adult children all have their own cars. I have returned to car sharing and saw immediate saving. The truth is many of the cars sit parked most of the day. The only adjustment required is better planning and willingness to “share the inconvenience”
    Real problem: Again laziness, a sense of entitlement and plain stupidity

    Complaint Number 3. I can’t save any money with all these bills
    My favourite of the lot. Bills refer to necessities (light, water, gas) not credit card bills for things bought on amazon. I have never paid one red cent in credit card interest and the banks keep offering to increase my credit limit. Many who complain about bills are including maxed out credit cards that they only make the minimum payment on. I know of a family where the mother and adult children all have maxed out credit cards. The mother’s card is maxed out because she lets the children us hers after maxing out theirs.
    Real problem: Laziness, needs vs wants, worshiping false gods

    when people get away from “God” and start worshiping false idols the devil (in a white dress) appears and brings misery. The misery of the middle class is punishment, deal with it.

  30. @ John A
    @ Hal

    Food for thought.

    “ The highest growth rate in Barbados for the past two decades has been a mere two per cent and, according to an international banking official , this has to change.”

    Therese Turner-Jones of the Inter- American Development Bank’s Caribbean-Country Department.
    Nation Newspaper Friday November 15th. 2019

  31. Redguard,

    That may be so for some. Those are not the people of whom I speak. They shop at Popular Discount and Cherish and the markets. They are not lazy. They never worked for government but are self-employed and at one point successful. Their customers now have no money. They do not have any credit cards. There is either one car or no car. They did do quite a bit of travelling but the tickets were actually paid for by savings from shopping in the country to which they traveled.

  32. @ William

    Barbados has been under-performing the global and regional economies since the 1960s. We have lost our way. I repeat: after the 2008 global crisis, I was interviewed on the BBC Caribbean Service with the then governor of the central bank, Marion Williams, and some guy from Trinidad, when Ms Williams said that the global crisis would not affect Barbados. I almost collapsed.
    There is a long list of these bogus claims by some of our leading economists, but who cares. Al long as they have PhDs they must be experts. There is no need for them to defend their positions. You also get it here on BU. Make a statement then duck.

  33. And when will the punishment start for the lazy, greedy business class?

    To them the “devil in white” appears as an early Santa Claus in red.

    Giveaways galore!

  34. @ Hal
    I’m waiting to see how the apologists will counter that fact. Remember they were calling Arthur a genius. So as you have said repeatedly, we don’t appreciate serous argument. How can we talk about great management and growth when the economy has never grown more than two percent over the last twenty years ?

    • So far no contact made with the fact we have a public pension expense that is unknown. Embedded is pension for MPs.

  35. Donna

    Those who you describe are the exception

    In the last decade the government took away investment deductions, RRSP deductions, home mortgage/improvement deductions, increased land taxes and VAT and barely a murmur from the middle class. The unions who are supposed to made up of the middle class sat by and did nothing. Why, because the members didn’t really value those things

    But let them try to do something about the cars and you will see the true nature of the middle class.
    Let them devalue the dollar to its true value $1US to about $5 Barbados, and you will see blood in the streets. And not because the peg is important, but because flying to Miami or New York to shop will be finished.

    The gains many in the middle class have made will not be passed on the next generation not because of government policy but because of the fraudulent lifestyle they have lived and encouraged their children to live.

    • @Redguard

      Barbadians were never a demonstrative people in the mould of a Jamaican or St. Lucian for example. Added to which the middle class is a tenured people read employeed by the government or private sector. In the other islands the self employed segment is bigger.

  36. All I can say is that in over fifty years on earth I have never been acquainted with so many people who speak to me of their empty food cupboards.


  37. @ Redguard

    You have no ounce of credibility in your above comments.

    You would like to lump all local middle class in one pot to suit your Agenda.

    @ Donna explanation seems much more realistic especially when added to recent comments by Caswell Franklyn who amis interacting daily with many people who are suffering based on the similar feedback.

  38. Quot homines?Tot sententiae.

    What are the main issues this blog intended to ventilate?I thought it was intended to discuss the plight of the middle class during Barbados period of austerity.

    • We can discuss anything constructive. Are you not concern as a taxpayer or Barbadian we have a burgeoning public sector pension expense?

  39. “I was interviewed on the BBC Caribbean Service with the then governor of the central bank, Marion Williams, and some guy from Trinidad, when Ms Williams said that the global crisis would not affect Barbados. I almost collapsed.”

    when she said that those with knowledge knew she was the dumbest ass Barbados ever produced as a central bank governor and it would be only downhill from there all the way and i remember that was sometime in 2006-07 and beyond when IMF and Standard & Poors and every credit rating agency was practically begging both dumb governments to cut spending etc or suffer the consequences…………and that is exactly what happened, because those who came after her turned out to be even BIGGER, DUMBER ASSES.

  40. @ David BU at 2:45 PM

    No I am not unduly concerned about the expense. I expected it.
    We have an aging population. We should have been concerned when there was a failure of stakeholders to make and pay in their contributions. Acceding to poor management and irresponsible behaviour. Making short term knee jerk decisions,with consequences down the road. Those are in the past. Do you see any attempt to correct these failures? We are engaging in the same managerial behaviour and superficial nonsensical analyses.

    Going forward, we should make sure we have a fully employed labour force; that they and their employers pay in their contributions; and finally that the Political Class pensions be given a ball hair cut.

    How you like muh?

  41. @Redguard “because flying to Miami or New York to shop will be finished.”

    Some of us, maybe the majority of us have NEVER flown to Miami nor New York to shop.

    Some of us, maybe most of us have no car. Why do you think that every ZR, Transport Board bus, and yellow bus are packed full both at morning and evening rush hour?

    Some of us grow our own food, have done so from the time we were at elementary school.

    Can you provide the references for your statements above?


  42. @ David BU

    In case you missed it. Politicians Pensions Scheme should be reviewed. They are too generous. Existing pensioners should not be changed but future pensions should be given a hair cut.

    • @Vincent

      Should we not be concerned about the inability of politicians to hold themselves accountable? How can we accept them imposing austerity measures on the populace and giving themselves a pass?

  43. @ William

    Minister Caddle, speaking on behalf of the government, recently said it would not borrow on the capital markets for the next four years, in other words until the next general election, and not a single word from our economic experts or opposition parties, even though this statement was full of policy implications.
    Instead of discussing if this means the government has abandoned infrastructural investments for the next four years, we got in to a discussion on BU about whether or not a government that has defaulted on its debt can access the global capital markets. This is a proper and legitimate question to raise, but in policy terms it is not the fundamental issue.
    But then again we have had White Oaks and the tip-toeing round the debt restructuring and no proper explanation. Then we get the policy contradictions: noise about climate change, then proposals for a so-called concession at the airport while we continue with the over-crowded streets with carbon monoxide poisoning of the population; an offer of cash payments for squatters, while silent on the rights of the property owners; redundant workers still waiting to be paid off; chaos in our schools and nothing about youth crime or indeed the mess in the criminal justice system or educational reforms; arrogance about the Bahamas, and nothing about how the Bahamians are treating the Haitians.
    On May 25, 2018, I, along with most Barbadians, was glad to see the back of the incompetent Stuart government; then when the prime minister and attorney general came before the press waving bits of paper I thought we were finally going to get something done about the lack of integrity in the public sector, then Donville Inniss got arrested in the US and a leading corporation was accused of bribery, and this new government that was meant to clean up the mess pretended, and continue to, that this had nothing to do with them. See no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil. Of course the Clico mess continues.
    The report sheet so far is not very good.

  44. @ David BU

    Has it not occurred to you that the politicians are doing the best they can? The Electorate chose them from a limited slate of candidates. We ,the citizens, must shoulder our responsibilities as well.
    Do you know if they are being undermined and sabotaged? Not scaremongering. Just want you to examine all possibilities.

    • @Vincent

      John Public can only make decisions based on what is known. More important is the fact we have to hold our leaders accountable. This is our civic duty.

  45. @ David BU

    You are doing your part. Do not waste your energy trying to make others do theirs. Worry will get us nowhere fast. Relax.

  46. @VC
    “Surely MPs pensions are minuscule wrt our financial mess?”
    wasn’t it your handle who told us the macro was the sum of the micros?

  47. @ NO at 4 :27 PM

    My retorts are not transferable. Different question. Different context. Different subjects. LoL. Good one!

  48. @ William

    When we were growing by 2% those could be deemed the good old days!

    In the DLP reign many years there was no growth and when growth did occur it was under 1 percent. The first 18 months of the BLP has shown us 4 quarters of continous decline, meaning we are now in recession as of the end of September. So where has that left us?

    Well if we accept that over the last 10 years true inflation has averaged 3 percent annually, then that means on average today the cost of living is 30% higher than 10 years ago correct? No wrong!

    The 3 percent compounded over 10 years means the cost of living is in fact 35% higher than in 2009. So people have received no real salary increases over the same period and the last budget took $400M in New taxes out the economy. So your $100 from 2009 can only buy in 2019, $65 worth of food. Along with this we have no growth plan on the horizon that will ensure that future growth will outstrip inflation. So in another 10 years the $100 from 2009 may only be able to but $42.90 worth of food.

    So yes we need to get growth in excess of inflation which would mean a total reversal of our current economic model and taxation system.

    Will it happen? Sincerely doubt it as the task would be offensive to the IMF.

    So in summary prepare to get poorer in real terms while government proceeds to tell you how good ” we got em”.

  49. Barbadians celebrated when the saw the backs of the past govt
    Now they have seen the front of present govt and it is ugly
    Four more years of smoke and mirrors
    A little tweeting her every now and then a few crumbs might fall off the masters table
    Did any one listen to Caswell comments about the banks and made mention of the credit Union which takes advantage of the people
    He came close to saying that the Credit Unions have become the new terrorist of financial institutions preying on those who have lost their jobs and could not make their payments
    He also made mention of lawyers who lay awake like thieves in the night raking up as much money on the vulnerable borrower who can least afford to pay the principle plus incurred fees doubling what is owed to the banks

  50. @ Mariposa

    If this is true, it is a case for the banking regulator. Has s/he gone missing in action? Either the regulator does not know what his responsibilities are or, if the legislation does not give him the authority to intervene, then he should be having this conversation with the appropriate minister.

  51. Caswell made those comments therfore one would think that Caswell is in better position to help write legislation that would give govt enough power to placed fines or legal action against predators institutions like the credit Union

  52. Can anyone tell what is of importance to Mia visit to Africa
    Today another stabbing occurred between two youths both boys
    What in the hell is happening in barbados
    Where is Mia when the country social enviroment is getting closer to hells hole
    The country is in deep doo doo and the chief cook and bottle washer cant be found
    30-0 equals waste of taxpayers money and time

  53. @ Mariposa

    She is doing her bit for the environment. Unscripted speeches, photo opportunities, hand waving, a dislike of the details of policy, punching above her weight, playing on a global stage, while neglecting home – welcome to politics 2019.
    You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but not all of the people all of the time.

  54. Hal. November 15, 2019 7:07 PM

    @ Mariposa

    She is doing her bit for the environment.


    Guess yuh right leaving her footprint in every country
    But unable to bring nothing back. to help the country

  55. De ole man has decided to go pun a Barbados Underground sabbatical of sorts.

    And to sit AND WATCH as the people who care for the country come out and talk ABOUT THE DEATHS, THE FLAILING ECONOMY, THE POSTURING ABOUT GROWTH and the general calamity that has befallen Barbados

    I said I would keep me RH quiet and watch if, and how, the voices of Patriots would rise up and how the general conversation would get guided as it seeks to placate an ALREADY DOCILE BAJAN POPULATION!

    I looked at this title and I said that it was a brilliant fallacy to have included the word forgotten

    De ole man first went to de dictionary to find the word forget.

    “…to fail or neglect to become aware at the proper or specified moment: forgot about my dental appointment…”

    For one to forget something, ONE FIRST HAS TO HAVE BEEN AWARE OF IT FIRST!

    Imagine asking a 6 month old baby to recite the names of the 66 Books of the Holy Bible just after it is christened! purely based on its proximity to the Reverend during baptism!

    Remember that song many of us sing on old years night?

    “…Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
    And never brought to mind?
    Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
    And auld lang syne?”

    AULD LAND SYNE is Scottish for old long song as in the song that these set of BLP and DLP politicians have sung to us for years.

    And which lullaby we ingrunt sheeple seem to love tremendously as we continuously engage THE SAME PRACTICES OF VOTING FOR ILLITERATE SWINE, TERM AFTER TERM, AND WONDERING how de RH we get heah?

    I gone back into hibernation until there comes some sort of real serious challenge against the Mugabe Regime where real men and women get up and say THIS SHY$E MUST STOP!

  56. @DAVID

    Your BAJAN political HERITAGE is showing, Wily’s $1B instantly translated to $2B, Bajan mathematics learned via FREE EDUCATION. No wonder the country is a FAILED STATE.

  57. @ Piece

    And which lullaby we ingrunt sheeple seem to love tremendously as we continuously engage THE SAME PRACTICES OF VOTING FOR ILLITERATE SWINE, TERM AFTER TERM, AND WONDERING how de RH we get heah?





  58. The IMF keeps telling govt what a great job they are doing saving money to pay debt
    The IMF has shown that there only interest is to keep govt feet to the fire throw govt an occasional dog bone pat them on the head and remind govt that the austerity measures are the best medicine prescribed for the people
    In meanwhile the grass is growing and the 🐎 is starving
    By this time next year thousands of barbadians would be homeless as unpaid mortgage loans and over due rent payments cannot be met because of these long term austerity measures all built on a foundation to target govt jobs

  59. The great Bush Tea was a great advocate of the cooperative movement. Where communities work in unison in order to build and maintain their local economies. This surely has to be the model that is appropriate for our island.

    For example, take our reliance on the state or private companies to provide our homes with electrical power. As a community, it is possible to manufacture or to purchase plant that will serve the entire community yet we rely on foreign owned companies to do this for us. We are a sun- kissed island; we should not be reliant on others to service our energy requirements.

    • The cooperative philosophy which gave impetus to the credit union movement originated from a community spirit that does not exist any longer.

  60. @ mariposa

    The simple way of looking at it is to keep the IMF happy we must suffer. Their program has no growth plan in it hence 4 quarters of contraction and increased taxation.

    How they view things is the GOB is spending too much, so to correct this imbalance they must spend less while at the same time tax more.

    I have never heard of an IMF plan that says let us improve the economy so that governments current level of spending can be covered by increased economic activity.

    • @John A

      The blessing of the IMF supports the expectation market confidence will come eventually. The global model is one where international financial institutions and other entities listen carefully to what the IMF says before decisions are taken by them.

  61. @ David.

    All the IMF does is provide funding and discipline to a country that was incapable of managing its own affairs.

    Had we not put politics before the economy in the last 10 years and done what we should of, there would of been no need for the IMF. But we had a PM who was a financial illiterate spouting nonesence like ” credit ratings only matter if you looking to borrow money.”

    • @John A

      The IMF provides balance of payment support but as you know the IADB, World Bank and other agencies required for concessionary/developmental take the lead from the IMF.

  62. @ Piece the Legend,

    Everyday I read BarbadosToday and Nationnews online.

    The Ministers and the Ministers in the Ministry of…. are good at ” sweet talk ” and ” long talk “.


    “Straughn added: “We are relooking everything we do with respect to business in Barbados and that includes logistics, and transportation is a critical part of that.

    “At the end of the day if you can’t move people, if you can’t move goods or move information and move garbage it means that the country would be in gridlock.”

    In the meanwhile the PM in Ghana and ” A delegation comprising the country’s top healthcare officials is currently in Ghana tasked with bringing 120 nurses to Barbados’ shores by the end of January, Minister of Health and Wellness Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic has revealed.”

    The frequent flyer PM ” got this ”

    I just writing foolishness cause I stayed up late at night .lol

  63. There will be no new buses brought in as the plan is to slowly phase out the TB. You will see more permits issued slowly as the bus fleet declines.

    You call that ” Back door privatisation” lol

  64. @ Baje

    In my alter ego I am quite a nice person (or so I am led to believe heheheheh)

    When Mamie Till demanded that Emmett Till’s body be returned for Mississippi, she did not tell them what she was going to do with his corpse.

    She did not mention that she was going to show his skull, cracked with an axe, his eye gouged out, his tongue ripped out, a hole from one side of his forehead to the other that you could see daylight through.

    50,000 people walked past his coffin Baje, 50,000 saw the former face of a 15 year old whose penis had been cut off.

    Are you feeling me yet, Baje?

    My style here on Barbados Underground is not designed to get friends or pen pals.

    Nor is it crafted to curry favour … the purpose is to get people to see what the issues are, who their choices are, what their competencies are AND WHO NOT TO VOTE FOR!

    You said and I quote



    It has taken a while for people to realize what de ole man (and a few others here) saw at day one of the coming of Grenville Phillips aka Bedroom Policeman aka Iso TALIBAN

    I have said it about Walter Blackman AND I HAVE BEEN SAYING IT ABOUT MIA MUGABE MOTTLEY!

    It takes time for people to comprehend what de ole man is saying WITH MY NASTY LANGUAGE but like the shock of Emmett Till’s battered face, after a while, 50,000 people passing by start to see the disfigured corpse that Mugabe and Grenville Phillips represent.

    And after a time Baje all of you start to see WHO ARE THE PUPPETEERS THAT ARE PERMITTING GRENVILLE PHILLIPS TO promote his message day after day after day!

    I am your “Mamie” who displays this decaying political corpse with its festering injuries and ignominious death gashes WITH THE PERPETUAL HOPE THAT SHE SHOCKS ALL OF US TO WAKE UP BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE!!!

  65. @ John A November 16, 2019 8:52 AM
    “There will be no new buses brought in as the plan is to slowly phase out the TB. You will see more permits issued slowly as the bus fleet declines.
    You call that ” Back door privatisation” lol..”

    And that is exactly what the Dr. IMF-prescribed BERT programme requires!

    The (full) Privatization of the public transport system in Barbados.

    This is the same administration that requested bids from private sector players to finance the importation and operation of 70 or 80 electric buses which should been on the unprofitable routes since August 2019.

  66. 80 Transport board buses could have been on the road working everyday.

    Management and maintenance at the Transport board has been abysmal.

    I would hope that government did not have the money to import parts and pay mechanics to maintain and repair the buses and it is not contrived tiefing , lazinessand wuflessness.

  67. @ Piece the Legend November 16, 2019 9:31 AM

    From your ‘reference’ to “Mamie” we can glean you, Master Piece, to be a cognoscenti steeped in Black American history with special emphasis on Southern black culture in which Onstott and Horner would see you to be a trusted source of inspiration.

    We would not be surprised if you are also an aficionado of that giant of a man called Paul Robeson.

    Here is a blast from the Al Jolson’s ‘black-faced’ minstrel imitation past:

    My little Mammy.
    The sun shines east, the sun shines west,
    I know where, the sun shines best!
    It’s on my Mammy I’m talkin’ about, nobody else’s!
    My little Mammy,
    My heartstrings are tangled around Alabammy.
    Mammy, Mammy, I’m comin’,
    I’m so sorry that I made you wait!
    Mammy, Mammy, I’m comin’!
    Oh God, I hope I’m not late!
    Look at me, Mammy! Don’t you know me?
    I’m your little baby!
    I’d walk a million miles
    For one of your smiles,
    My Mammy!

  68. @David.

    Yes and my point is had we managed our affairs properly we would have needed none of them. We all knew what was going wrong but we had no power to change. So Sinkler sent too many bajan dollars to chase too few USD and the rest is now history.

    My question is what has changed to stop it happening again? Answer nothing!

  69. @ Blogmaster;
    “As it relates to the Transport Board, I know they are in the process of acquiring about 50 buses.

    “The tendering arrangement is being completed at the moment, and I anticipate that sometime in the middle of next year we should be able to see those buses coming onto the roads of Barbados,” He told journalists.”

    As the No.1 investigative journalist of the fifth estate why aren’t you exposing this vehicular ‘act’ of doublespeak transporting a heavy load of confusing BS?

    What kind of buses is the junior MoF of a mutt referring to?

    Is it the electric buses promised by a previous chairman of the TB to be recharged from alternative energy stations scattered across Barbados or the cheaper 50 diesel-powered buses which are contributing to a warmer Barbados and its high incidence of asthma cases among the young?

    Who will be financing the cost of getting these buses fuelled by whatever means on the profitable routes currently monopolized’ by a myriad of ‘private sector’ ZRs?

    • @John A

      This government has been in the chair about 18 months, a relatively short time to right the wrongs. That said there are some worrying signs that Mia has an eye on the political.


      This blogmaster cannot prosecute everything. The best strategy for BU is to pick a few pillar issues to sink the blog teeth and prosecute relentlessly.

  70. @Miller

    You call his statement ” the kick the can down the road and hope dem forget approach.”

    Very popular approach with today’s politicians. 😊

  71. Cut MP’s pensions??????!!!!! Does that mean that we should demand that MPs relinquish one of their TWO PENSIONS, one eligible after two consecutive terms and payable, if I remember correctly, from the age of fifty???? And this whilst they are still young enough to work, usually at well paying jobs using the connections they have developed often as a result of being MPs!!!!!!

    Would it not be better to follow the law (or recent interpretation thereof) and grab at the meagre pensions of the invalids who are unable to work? Is it not better that a lowly maid should beg the bank to refinance her mortgage and struggle to survive on slim pickings?

    The prime minister was of the view that “this should never have happened”.

    Minister of Labour Colin Jordan promised reversal within a few weeks. It took many inexplicable months!

    Last thing I heard is that they are going to develop a new policy on pensions. Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Ryan Straughn forcefully reiterated that the invalidity benefit is a pension, “MAKE NO MISTAKE”. And people would have to refinance their mortgages.

    I am not sure who exactly he is referring to. WHO is going to have to refinance their mortgage? Will the banks be ORDERED to accept less than a quarter of the previous monthly payment? That would be all many could afford on a shoestring budget. Is this reversal only temporary, I wonder. Will they take another run at it?

    How much do we pay in total pensions to these few MPs at present and is it more than the total pensions we pay to the few hundred invalids?

    It would not surprise me if it was.

    So…. if we are looking to save on pension payouts with minimum suffering where should we be looking?

    And that’s why it’s important to look at the generous pension policy for MPs, Vincent!

  72. DavidNovember 16, 2019 11:39 AM

    This blogmaster cannot prosecute everything. The best strategy for BU is to pick a few pillar issues to sink the blog teeth and prosecute relentlessly.


    I do believe you have found the magic formula!

    As we move on to the next thing EVERYTHING becomes jumbled and forgotten. No follow through.

    That is what allows Trump to get away with everything. Distraction, distraction! Too much to absorb for anyone who has to make a living.

  73. @ the Sage Annunaki

    You are truly a very learnéd man

    It takes a rare skill to move so effortlessly through, climes, and languages, and political systems, and poets and religions and myths and enlightened meditations.

    I genuinely believe that you ARE INDEED ONE whose belief is so profound in The Causeless Cause that you have surpassed the various Appelations of Diety and understand truly what Jesus the Christ meant when he said

    In John 10:16

    “…other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd…”

    May all men be drawn to the One Almight God, selah

  74. @ John A

    You are correct. The IMF is nothing more than a sophisticated loan shark. Lend you money and breaks your knee caps if you don’t do as it says.
    Questions for all those jokers who were talking about the “new” IMF:
    Did it buy us one garbage truck ?
    Did it buy us one bus ?
    Did it create or save one job ?
    Did it bring us one major investment?
    Finally nobody needs a degree in Economics to understand the vital role transportation plays in any well functioning economy.
    Just do O’ level Commerce. That basic fact would be mentioned in the first two pages of any textbook.

  75. @ Simpleton

    When the Sage Annunaki mentioned DNA and Quaker heretofore, he did not do so to say that religious beliefs could be tested simpleton.

    The reasoning is thus.


    The DNA challenge to John specifically, is a gentle goading that would, if taken by John the Quaker, and Historian, and explorer, and Agriculturalist and all sorts of things, expose him to the possibilities that his DNA MIGHT NOT BE SO PURE AFTER ALL and the possibility existed, AND WOULD THEN BE CONFIRMED “that his daddy ent he daddy, but he daddy doan know”

    Periodically you do prove the Honourable Blogmaster right though


    Doan cuss de po’ ole man I ole enough to be you fadder so respect me gray hairs ok?


  76. @ William.

    The IMF has for decades operated under the formula that one must reduce expenses to meet ones income by austerity.

    Never once that I can recall have they implemented a program that says let us increase economic activity so that we can surpass our current expenses.

    That’s is why ANY program ever brought by them to a country has led in contraction of the economy. But when we prove we can’t do the job then we must take the poison we are given.

  77. @ John A

    I love BU for a its rotating of debates that quite often have been resolved. The issue of the IMF Washington Consensus was long resolved by Olivier Blanchard, a former chief economist, who effectively apologised for the policy. Why are we now trying to justify bad economics from the IMF?

  78. @Hal

    I would like to ask the same question. When i hear politicians saying things will improve now that we have the IMF on board I have to laugh. They are the biggest hindrance to economic growth out there. All they bring in financial discipline to an undisciplined country.

  79. Do you mean discipline, or punishment for being incompetent? @ John A, I worked with a group of exceptional colleagues, but for the purposes of this discussion, two stand out: Gillian Tett (PhD Anthropology, but never describes herself as doctor) and Martin Wolf (MPhil, economics and ex World Bank), debating IMF policy and the global crisis, along with dozens more, internally..
    It was Tett who was the major reporter on the financial crisis a decade ago. A keen anthropologist’s eye to the workings of fund managers.
    In fact, the CEO of Pearson’s, the then parent company, once asked me what I thought of the seminars. My reply was it was like working for a think-tank that published newspapers. It was a fair assessment.
    I say that to say the debate about austerity is dead. The president is getting very terrible advice. By the way, has there been an impact assessment of the decision to withdraw from the global capital markets? How was this decision made? In Cabinet, or did it come from Prof Persaud, or from the fertile imagination of the president?
    Do the highly respect ted Ms Caddle and Mr Straughn agree with this policy? If so why? If not, why are they still in the Cabinet?

    • @John A

      Why are practically all the countries in the world members of the IMF? When did Barbados become a member? Why do countries- mainly the so-called developing (third word countries) the ones to have to drawn down enter their technical surveillance programs? Are you sure blaming the IMF is the way to go? How about what Barbadians see in the mirror?

  80. @David

    If You notice I said earlier on we have no one to blame for having To go to the IMF but ourselves. That was my first statement.

    However for those having now gone to try and say our economy will pick up under their leadership is misleading to say the least. I am not saying it may not improve AFTER we are out of their program but only time will tell.

  81. @ John A
    @ Hal
    @ David

    Just read David’s view. That is exactly why we have visited them three times since independence and yet our economy has never exceeded growth of two percent in the last twenty years! Now to my recollection the non economist Sinckler had his stint during that time and also the giant economist Arthur.
    What does that simple fact tell us . As the ole people say: same difference.

    • @William

      The answer is simple, successive governments read elected by Barbadians have not done the job, including your former leader who was a member of the ‘duopoly ‘.

  82. @ David
    The problem isn’t that “successive “ governments didn’t do their job.It really is that apologists keep defending their failures and join them in trying to manipulate the masses, into believing that there will be “joy in the morning”.
    As Hal repeatedly states , we need a level of public discourse and forthrightness that is absent . He knows that forty years ago ,we as young men , were exposed to progressive thinkers . Today there is no compass for the youth to follow. We are into theatrics and hocus pocus economics.

  83. Everyone one knows that those countries IMF has micro.managed their social enviroment has deteriorated
    .Presently those seeds are being planted aas well as being reaped as barbados crime rate continues to increase with aan added dose of gang related murders and violence and death among our youth
    Any one who would like to think differently has marbles for brains
    The writing is on the wall

  84. @William

    It is my understanding that Sinckler did an MA in trade (an economic discipline) at Cave Hill. I rest my case.

  85. The IMF purpose is questionable. The democracies (versus dictatorships), all elect persons to govern. Then these elected persons financially drive their economies into the ground, and cry “help”. The alternate option is bankruptcy. If that happened, maybe the same citizens who elected them, would not sit idly back and allow those elected to financially destroy them. The only reason destruction isn’t met more strongly by the population, is because the IMF will be there to bail them out.
    So now the complaint is about austerity and its pain. Admittedly, the only solution austerity provides, is comfort to the IMF that they’ll get their money repaid. The benefit to the country is avoiding all out bankruptcy, which in the longer term, maybe no benefit at all.

  86. @ NorthernObserver

    You said and I quote

    “…The democracies (versus dictatorships), all elect persons to govern.

    Then these elected persons financially drive their economies into the ground, and cry “help”…”

    De ole man would modify you submission slightly and I beg you indulgence to do so.

    “…The democracies (whic is in fact a de facto dictatorship), are all elected by a set of obviously retarded persons, to pretend to govern.

    For, every election term, this electorate, in a frenzy of pretend democracy, fuelled by the customary fetes and community brams, euphemism for political meetings, elect a set of incompetents ON THE BASIS OF IMPOSSIBLE MANIFESTOS.

    Then these elected persons, PEOPLE WHOSE BRAINS ARE COMPOSED OF THE MATTER THAT ENSUETH OUT OF THE NORTHBOUND END, OF A SOUTHBOUND COW, proceed to financially drive their economies into the ground, and they, the electorate, cry “help”.

    And, SOMETIMES, after driving the economy through 24 downgrades OR 6 SHORT OF THE MINISTERS AND SENATORS THAT MUGABE APPOINTED, these incompetents ALSO CRY, and go to the IMP sorry IMF, for “help”

    Which comes in the form of more RH suffering for the ingrunt electorate…

  87. @PUDRYR
    never confuse a dictatorship with a government elected every X years, where the transition of power has been free of violence. It may appear their time in power maybe akin to doing as they please. Yet as you know, indentured servitude and slavery were not the same.
    As GPII reminds us, there are 11 parties, plus a number of candidates who ran without a political umbrella. Choice existed. Never underestimate the privilege of choice.
    Your conclusion as to the cranial capacity of fellow citizens, is your conclusion. And their actions are unfortunately similar to many around the globe when faced with similar choice.

  88. We have about 80% of government projects being failures under both BLP and DLP and a civil service particularly at the top, that has gotten lots of money for failure.

The blogmaster dares you to join the discussion.