Barbados Reform Agenda Threatened by Anaemic Growth

Detailed in the recent IDB Caribbean Region Quarterly Bulletin – Volume 8, Issue 4| December 2019 is a cautionary tale.  Barbados continues to meet all targets as part of the IMF Extended Fund Facility and Barbados  Economic Recovery and Transformation plan  – the objective to achieve fiscal consolidation. HOWEVER the other story to be received from the IDB report is the fact the economy is contracting although all targets set under the IMF programs have been met.

The big challenge for the government as it was for the last government is the ability to mobilize projects to spur economic activity. In order for the fiscal consolidation activity Barbadians have had to suffer not being a vain effort, 2020 must be the year of implementation of projects currently wedged in the investment pipeline. We do not have the luxury of time fed by our procrastination paralysis malady.

There is a legitimate concern the majority of the shovel ready projects AND prospects are in the main tourism related. The expectation is after a successful implementation of the projects – detailed by the prime minister in a recent address to the nation – to float the Barbados economic boat from the rock of austerity, talk of transforming the Barbados economy shifts to building a new economy – a new economy modelled to be sustainable in a global economy Barbados has become disconnected in the last decades.

Unfortunately after years of economic and social inertia Barbadians appear to be walking the predictable path which includes being mired in unproductive partisan political discourse and a reluctance to let go of irrelevant economic and social models.

Relevant LinkIDB Caribbean Region Quarterly BulletinA Look at 2019 and Beyond (Volume 8, Issue 4|


156 thoughts on “Barbados Reform Agenda Threatened by Anaemic Growth

  1. And the biggest insult to the Black population particularly…THEY ALL SUCK ON TAXPAYERS every month when they collect their salaries…they have no shame.

  2. @ PLT
    I don’t know why we constantly berate Sandals. At this time would you say that Sandals is a bad corporate citizen?

  3. @ John A
    Just read in the Nation that the Architects have said that there is no need to demolish the National insurance building.
    They submitted a thirteen page document to government sometime ago showing how the entire area can be uplifted without that demolition .
    They also said that they found the building to be structurally strong and can be put to good use.
    The article is accompanied by an artist impression of the area as envisioned by the professional architects.
    Will this professional view be a game changer?
    Like you asked twenty four hours asked twenty four hours ago: Who makes the final decision on these things? Was the public really informed about this decision ? Were the professional people that the taxpayers educated free consulted?
    Would all the “ experts” on BU read the article or would they continue to swallow every word from their political masters?

  4. Think any of these crooks are going to listen to seasoned architects, particularly if they got a couple BILLION DOLLARS OF YOUR MONEY TO TIEF.

  5. @ William

    Well it will be interesting to see what the next move will be. Will the government push down a good building to plant grass, or will they clean it up and try to bring badly needed traffic back to the city?

    My concern is are we in the future to condemn buildings because a few people say they are “sick”, or is there a professional independent body that will have the final say? To me this whole thing is a joke and we the tax payers will be the jokers in the end once more.

    If private professional cleaners and environmental specialist went into all these so called sick buildings, how much would it cost to simply clean them up and upgrade them as opposed to abandoning them and building new ones?

    After all when we build the new ones and don’t maintain them will they not too be sick in 20 years as well?

    For a brek ass island we really need our heads examining that’s the truth.

  6. @ William Skinner January 10, 2020 8:26 AM

    William, you already know the party financing payback die has been cast. T

    The ‘winning’ people who ‘sponsored’ the last duopoly horse race are expecting the money-denominated ROI from the last electoral campaign.

    What we should be trying to find out is who (or which corporate vehicle) has been ‘tasked’ with the responsibility of demolition and how much has been contracted to complete the demolition job.

    Were there public tenders invited for a job whose cost of execution must be definitely over the discretionary limit of politicians and their bureaucratic lackeys either in the Central Government or those strategically placed on the Statutory Board assigned with the responsibility of executing this obvious form of election financing payback.

    Why not do a similar demolition, or even rehabilitation, job on the old General Hospital site and use it to house the ‘rebuilt’ Fire Service station for Bridgetown and its environs and / or for a much needed extension to the overburdened QEH?

    What the current administration (another incarnation of the Duopoly) has to deal with as matter of urgency is whether it is prepared to take the blame for the highly probable event of losing the UNESCO-awarded designation of World Heritage Site for Bridgetown or satisfy the demands of a cement mogul overly keen to turn Bridgetown into a concrete jungle of environmental ugliness.

  7. @ William Skinner at 8 :26 AM

    Thanks for bringing that good news to BU.
    I have been asking on several blogs and on BU what is a sick building and if there was no cure. Obviously it elicited a response from the architects. Where are the responses from the structural engineers ,and the Microbiologists?

    • @Vincent

      Good point, the architect will share a view regarding design, structural integrity etc. We need to hear from the evironmental professionals. Better still the reports should be made public.

  8. @ miller.

    I have asked several times why we can’t rehabilitate the solid soft stone buildings at the old hospital site with no response. Structurally they have sound outer walls and need only internal floors and roofes. That is a large parcel of state land in a prime location just sitting there.

    All we seem to focus on is hotels on beach front land while Four Seasons sits there idle. Added to that we now want to push down buildings that can be reused to plant grass. Talk about a myopic development plan well here is one.

  9. I find that in this country we go out of our way to create economic and social problems and then saddle the taxpayers with the costs. This is share incompetence.

  10. @ John A
    @ Miller
    There are answers to all these questions. This is one of the reasons that highly trained local professionals stay away from the political class or seek employment overseas. In many cases they believe and know their potential will be hampered or destroyed by the Duopoly.
    It’s inconceivable that the suggestions of a professional body of architects will be ignored and a thirteen page document showing how the area can be developed is simply tossed aside. This is the type of governance that the apologists on BU revel in.

    The Duopoly Rules

  11. @ David.

    Once The engineers have deemed the building structurally sound then all that is needed is for a competent indpendant environmental cleaning company to go in and do what needs to be done. Prior to that the engineers can recommend and address any improvements to the ventilation etc.

    Once the building has been “healed” then a maintenance contract should be given to the private sector for its upkeep.

    It ain t brain surgery here. I got to ask though why the sudden interest by a brek ass government in demolition and construction? I thought that was the last government’s speciality, with buildings like the new garbage offices at St Thomas still empty.

    What really going on hey?

  12. @William Skinner January 10, 2020 8:16 AM
    Butch whines and bribes and extorts island governments to extract corporate welfare for his companies in terms of concessions. This makes Sandals a bad corporate citizen.

    Furthermore their business model is not optimal for delivering the benefits of the tourism industry to the Barbadian economy. We should discourage vertical integration of tourism providers (all inclusive accommodation, coach transport companies that own attractions, etc.) because that encourages the growth of sector monopolies that harms both new entrants to the sector as well as innovation.

  13. @ Vincent Codrington

    Already you note the predicted response of at least one apologist.Throughout the world major environmental problems are professional cleaned up.
    We are expected to believe that a building that is declared “ sick” cannot be cleaned up.
    People are living in countries that were and are devastated by all kinds of chemical weapons and over time such destruction to the environment has been treated.
    Yet one building must be demolished because apparently it’s beyond redemption.

  14. You see if we had an opposition worth anything they would be taking that 13 page report and asking government to explain why they want to push down a good building.

  15. “Butch whines and bribes and extorts island governments to extract corporate welfare for his companies in terms of concessions. This makes Sandals a bad corporate citizen.”

    i remember when i had to put that red negro in his place..he decided that bajans who have been suffering for decades under two vile governments get too much welfare…apparently he wanted all the welfare for himself…well we have not seen him since.

    • @John A

      We need to know what the professionals who conducted the environmental assessment submitted. The building being declared structurally sound had nothing to do with what are the factors that led to the building being sick. Will ignore Williams response. We are always quick to apply labels. We all have different views which should be respected.

  16. @ PLT

    Well , if aggressive bargaining to protect ones investment is a new business model , I beg your pardon.
    I simply asked if Sandals operation here is a bad corporate citizen. Watching cricket yesterday , I saw Sandals on the Wet Indies uniforms/ gear.
    How much foreign exchange did Sandals bring into the economy?
    How many jobs ?
    Is the same Sandals now adding 67 new rooms?
    Do we benefit each time “ Barbados “ is mentioned in a Sandals advertisement?
    Do we not have unions and government regulations to get rid of Sandals if it is found to be doing unscrupulous things?
    Did we get “optimum “ returns from BS and T?
    Do we get optimum returns from the Williams Group of companies?
    Do we get optimum returns from Cheffette?
    Do we get optimum returns from the Banks?
    Do we get optimum returns from the insurance companies?
    Do we get optimum returns from all those businesses that were allowed to write off VAT and other taxes?
    Did we get optimum returns from all the estates and plantations holdings that allowed agriculture to basically die?
    Just asking, my Brother,

  17. January 10, 2020 11:09 AM

    @ John
    @ Vincent Codrington


    In the same paper(Nation) the National Trust has informed that the Liquidation Building due for demolition is a heritage building , one of the oldest if not the oldest buildings in Bridgetown with a roof that is of historical and architectural importance.
    We learned after it was compulsorily acquired that it was a “sick “ building as well.

  18. @ William Skinner
    None of what Sandals does is a new business model.

    You ha given me a long list of bad corporate citizens, but the number of bad corporate citizens does not excuse Sandals’ antisocial behaviors. Don’t be fooled by ‘corporate social responsibility’ tricks like equipment for sports teams. That is simply corporate promotion which gives them far more value in publicity than they expend in money. It’s just lipstick on a pig.

  19. @ William

    So if all this information is now in the public arena pray tell how come the opposition that we paying a big set of money too ain’ t looking after my business and asking questions?

    Then again I always said they inherited that title anyhow. They have failed us so many times I can’t count, so why should this time be any different.

  20. @ David

    As I said above the engineers need to have their say and share with us their findings. This must then be followed by the suggestions they want made for improved ventilation etc being undertaken, then we need to hear from independent environmental cleaners what needs to be done.

    In other words keep the government spin doctors far from any of the above.

    • Why are the architects now coming public when the building is about to be demolished? Did they make a statement at any time when the building was closed for more than a year?

  21. @PLT
    “We should discourage vertical integration of tourism providers (all inclusive accommodation, coach transport companies that own attractions, etc.) because that encourages the growth of sector monopolies that harms both new entrants to the sector as well as innovation”

    No wonder sane investors avoid Barbados.

  22. With the appointment of OSA as LIAT boss, our Most Honourable Prime Minister has once again demonstrated her strategic skills. Either OSA will successfully restructure LIAT or he will fail (like all others before him). In both cases our Prime Minister will win: If OSA is successful, his success is her success. If OSA fails, he fails alone.

  23. @ the Patriot Innovator PLT.,

    Please check your mail, it will only come from a name that resembles ***

    Awaiting your response

    @ Tron

    You too naughty!!!

  24. @David 20200110.1201: “Why are the architects now coming public when the building is about to be demolished?

    Perhaps because they weren’t consulted beforehand, and were a bit surprised?

    Is this document from the Architects’ public (read: available for download)?

    Please forgive me if I missed it, but I (and a few friends) would be interested in reading the report.

    • @Chris

      There is a report in today’s Nation.

      Also the Sunday VOB790 will have a member of the Architect Society to discuss‘buildings’ in Barbados.

      The Architects were aware the building was labeled a sick build for years AND that it was closed for many months.

  25. @David: “There is a report in today’s Nation.

    Much like a “light cone”, if the knowledge isn’t available it is worthless to me.

    URLs to the language, please. Thanks.

  26. @David: “You have to buy the dead tree edition.

    I don’t bother. I can read a local Bajan “atom-based” newspaper end-to-end in three minutes. And I don’t have chickens to keep.

    I was actually asking about the report the Architects submitted. Is that language available?

    It should be; if they were serious.

  27. @David: “Not online, will have to explore other options.

    Please forgive me for this. I know I am hated because of my skin color and education.

    It would be really good if those who have a position are prepared to put their names behind the position.

    Otherwise, it’s simply noise.

  28. David
    It is good to see that the BIA has stepped up to the plate and put together an alternative masterplan for the NIS Building/Fire Station/Golden Square site. We must accept that exercises such as these are subjective and open to different perspectives. However, proposals must still exhibit certain traits. Urban regeneration is not just about buildings, but more importantly about enhancing how one experiences the city. Improved wayfinding, pedestrian, cyclists and wheelchair accessibility, streetscapes
    views/sightlines, lighting, greening, recreational spaces etc. The BIA proposals clearly miss the government’s brief/vision for the site, which is to create a park dedicated to the heroics of 1937. The BIA’s proposals do not achieve this, in fact the importance of Golden Square seems subordinate to the NIS and fire station. Is the BIA contending that these two buildings are of greater historic significance? The park element of the proposals reads as a car park with some greening. There seems to be no consideration of the wider context and certainly do not capture basic urban design principles. In my opinion, the type of retail and other commercial activities being proposed by the BIA should, and more than likely, will be concentrated along Bay Street, Pierhead, Hincks Street, Nelson Street and Baxters Road. As such, I don’t see that site as viable or suitable for such activities if we are taking a comprehensive view because it does not offer the charm or intimacy of the Nelson Street area or the obvious ambience of Bay Street, Pierhead etc given the proximity of the sea/water. If this is the best the BIA can come up with, the association is not serious.

  29. @ Tron January 10, 2020 1:42 PM
    “If OSA is successful, his success is her success. If OSA fails, he fails alone.”

    OSA was fortunate enough to ‘manage’ the financial health of Barbados on forex borrowings and expansionary consumerism until his luck ran out in 2007.

    No such Midas touch can be transferred to an airline which has been mismanaged and ‘corrupted’ through too much political interference over the years of its many incarnations.

    No real foreign investor would touch LIAT with an aeronautical barge pole unless Gaston, OSA and friends take their peanuts and stuff it up their political backsides.

    These incompetent political mother Fs can’t even get the CCJ to become a genuine regional institution of fair play.

    How, then, in God’s Caribbean sky can they expect to succeed with a commercial enterprise in need of continuous injections of working capital to keep it in the air on a breakeven flight path?

  30. @ Halsall,

    As usual it is expected that you will play the race card and the reverse psychology thing

    You said and de ole man quotes

    “…Please forgive me for this. I know I am hated because of my skin color and education…”

    On the being white thing that has nothing to do with how you treat people Halsall AND YOU COME ACROSS AS BEING SANCTIMONIOUS with your submissions here on Barbados Underground

    The smarter black people among us who are equally or more educated than you are “see” that AND PUT YOU IN YOU PLACE WHEN YOU DO THAT “MASSA” THING!

    We too close to dem Lynch and Lynching days and the perpetual Trayvon Martin and “I can’t breathe” moments to permit you to come here and do that “I AM WHITE” and once I speak wunna blacks must be quiet!

    You continue with another piece of real shy$e that Carl Moore A BLACK MAN CAME HERE and exhausted ad nauseam UNSUCCESSFULLY!

    You said and I quote

    “…It would be really good if those who have a position are prepared to put their names behind the position…”


    You jes fly Bach to Barbados Underground cause you feel it is good for your advertising at this time of austerity in the country AND YOU LOOKING TO DO SOME MARKETING OF YOUR SERVICES!

    But we got your number!

    When you stand up like a man, pun Barbados Underground AND POST AN ARTICLE OR TWO, which brings your white ass out of the politically correct shadows of 3 line spanning the corridor statements THEN PEOPLE GOING BE ABLE TO GAUGE IF YOU IS A REAL MAN or just posturing with your display picture!

    We heah pun Barbados Underground have seen nuff wraiths like you Halsall, both Black and White, so we know when wunna is real or jes wants to tek pot shots at our black women.

    I WILL NEVER FORGET YOU WHEN YOU ASKED DONNA if she beats her husband.

    You dont rassle know that woman yet your jes arrived white as felt entitled to say that here to a blogger who uses her real rassle name.

    And you dont find that distasteful nor do you think it demands an apology.


    your comment about Donna beating her husband was clearly based on that white privilege thang AND I WILL NOT EVER FORGET THAT!

    As you will see before you get tired and leave LIKE CARL MOORE DID!

  31. @ Halsall

    A blogger here called Akenatenl posted an item here of which part follows

    “…Herbert was jointly charged with GEL employees Walter Prescod and GEL director Christopher Glen Rogers with possession, possession with intent to supply, trafficking and importation of 267 pounds or 121.4 kilogrammes of cannabis with an estimated street value of $534,160.

    The drugs were found on board the company’s vessel Ecstasy in June 2018.

    Charles Herbert , quote : “I first want to assert clearly to the public that we ( Charles Herbert & Christopher Rogers) are entirely innocent of all of the charges that have been brought and we have been charged with…”

    AS A WHITE MAN who likes spanning safe topics, would you care to comment?

    I Piece the Legend, thought not!!!

    Too much “noise” for you?

    Keep attacking our black women …

  32. “The drugs were found on board the company’s vessel Ecstasy in June 2018..”

    Even the boat is NAMED after A DRUG, the black man must have named the boat too.

    “…Please forgive me for this. I know I am hated because of my skin color and education…”like somebody got the

    only foolish whites and other idle minorities got time for that dumbness of hating someone for skin or education.

    the DPP want investigating by outside agencies, she is just as corrupt and idiotic as the last one now deceased,

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