IMF on Barbados’ 2018–19 Sovereign Debt Restructuring

The following is an extract from the Barbados’ 2018–19 Sovereign Debt Restructuring–A Sea Change? uploaded to the IMF website this evening (21/02/2020) – David, Blogmaster


Barbados’ 2018-19 debt restructuring has made an important contribution to restore debt sustainability. It has reduced public debt and put it on a clear downward trajectory. To ensure that it stays on that path, sustained prudent fiscal policy will be required. Debt restructuring can work as a policy response to an exceptional situation—while repeatedly restructuring the same debt is detrimental to market development and access, and to government credibility (see Okwuokei and van Selm 2017: p. 168).

Barbados’ debt restructuring also provides important evidence that rarely used approaches, such as the inclusion of treasury bills and a retrofitted collective action mechanism, can make an important contribution depending on country specifics, and with the support of strong financial and legal advice. The collective action clauses included in Barbados’ Eurobonds were similarly important to avoid holdout creditors.

In an age of climate change, the inclusion of natural disaster clause in the bulk of Barbados’ new public debt instruments is a critical element of the country’s financial resilience. While Barbados appears less vulnerable to natural disasters than other Caribbean states (see IMF 2019b), climate change is likely to increase its vulnerability, and a weather-related event could have a major impact on its economy.

The success of Barbados’ underlying economic reform program BERT also contains important pointers for a successful adjustment effort, including strong ownership and the establishment of a domestic monitoring team with broad participation. Other successful reform efforts in the region, including Jamaica from 2013-2019 and Grenada’s 2014-17 IMF-supported program, also used this approach.


Finally, successful debt restructuring is a balancing act. The right balance between fiscal adjustment and debt restructuring, and between improving public finances while maintaining financial sector stability, needs to be found. Early results from Barbados’ adjustment program are encouraging and indicate that it has been able to find the right balance. However, reducing public debt to prudent levels—the targeted 80 percent of GDP by FY2027/78 and 60 percent by FY2033/34—will require sustained efforts, not only by maintaining a cautious fiscal policy, but also by aggressively exploiting opportunities to increase growth.

Read full report –


Barbados’ 2018–19 Sovereign Debt Restructuring–A Sea Change?

84 thoughts on “IMF on Barbados’ 2018–19 Sovereign Debt Restructuring

  1. @ David BU

    Please note that the IMF takes no responsibility for the views expressed in this working paper. The authors may be /are employees of the IMF but the paper and views expressed in the paper are theirs. Please also note that it is for discussion purposes only. It is a work in progress. It is soliciting comments.
    I think this needs to be said. Your caption may be misinterpreted.

  2. I also notice the very cautious language and the provisos. More importantly the sustainability of this debt /GDP restructuring depends on growth in the GDP. The point which John A and I have been making for over a year. Why not institute the growth plan from day one.
    The paper also solved one of the puzzles of this large Public Debt….the inclusion of Treasury Bills. The latter are short term and were intended to bridge a temporary gap between tax measures and tax revenue…. a cash flow smoothing mechanism .There was no need to restructure treasury bills.Simply do not reissue or roll over.

    Also notice the mention of the short time lag before going to the IMF.

  3. @VC
    surely you jest
    “There was no need to restructure treasury bills.”
    I would have expected someone of your training, experience and acuity, to be in wonderment as to how so much of the rational market (with those bodies under significant political control being irrational), adopted an identical strategy.
    If T-Bills had been omitted, a huge portion of debt would be missed, and the incidence of pain would have been exacerbated by those irrational investors holding Bonds and other forms of CG indebtedness, including creditors of SOE’s. [read the NIS value would have been diminished waaaay past the 10 years cropped]. T-Bills accounted for damn near a quarter of all CG indebtedness.
    Those rational investors, rather than renting a safety deposit box for their money, which was essentially the same as depositing it in 0% yielding bank accounts, opted for T-Bills, comforted that T-Bills had frequently been omitted from any restructure. Now, that money is gone, converted into those demons. Bonds, they were trying to avoid.
    What the investors in T-Bills did NOT KNOW, was how many of them had adopted an identical strategy?

    • Further, the former government canvassed local entities to invest in T-Bills all in the name of helping the country in which they operate to make profits. Then again the risk is the market to bear blue chip or not!

    • Some will say it is about time. Other will say we will believe it when it happens.

      Central Bank: New banking regulations needed

      Article by
      Marlon Madden

      Published on
      February 22, 2020

      Commercial banks and credit unions can expect changes to policies governing the financial services sector in the coming months as regulators seek to encourage greater financial inclusion.

      Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados Cleviston Haynes gave the indication on Friday as he knocked commercial banks especially on the vexing issue of bank fees, the lack of ease to individuals accessing financing and the difficulty some individuals encounter in obtaining a bank account due to anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) rules.
      Referring to those three issues as “main risks to financial inclusion”, Haynes said having a high level of financial inclusion was key to individual and national development.
      He said while Barbados can boast of having higher inclusion levels than the global average, he insisted that it must be preserved and improved.
      Haynes was addressing the monthly meeting of the Barbados Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre on Friday.
      In relation to the niggling issue of bank fees, Haynes pointed out that financial institutions often justify them on the basis of compliance costs and technological investments.

      However, stating that it had become “difficult” for the regulator to control all the charges instituted by these institutions over the past ten years when the last set of guidelines were issued, the Governor suggested that while the industry was “largely compliant” new rules were needed.
      “The ATM fees, the teller fees, the minimum balance fees, the paper statement fees, large value withdrawal fees and monthly service charges, just to name a few – these fees in a low interest rate environment create the risk that some persons may be charged more for maintaining an account than they are earning from it,” he pointed out.
      “We can then be faced with a situation where persons withdraw from the financial system either because they literally cannot afford to have a bank account or because they are not willing to, as we have heard them say, ‘pay the banks to keep their money’,” said Haynes.
      “We believe that we must, at a minimum, seek to safeguard the interest of small account holders, and we are looking at precedents set in other Commonwealth countries for addressing this precise problem. We expect to update our guidance shortly to industry,” he noted.
      In addition, he said, it was the Central Bank’s intention to publish key fees and charges of the respective institutions on its website similar to regional counterparts so that customers are aware of their options when conducting transactions.
      He also pointed out that the Central Bank would be giving credit unions access to the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network, an electronic system that facilitates financial transactions including payroll, direct deposit and other payment services.

      “The Central Bank will, in the coming months, extend access to the credit unions to the ACH or the Automated Clearing House so that they can do direct debits more directly and efficiently,” said Haynes.
      “The demand for mobile payment is increasing and new players want to enter the payments arena. While the bank continues to work on the legislative framework to guide these developments, the interoperability of systems will be necessary to maximize efficiency and encourage greater financial inclusion,” he said.
      He said while most residents have access to banking services, there was still too many strict requirements for some individuals to even open a bank account.
      He said while he understood banks were being careful to follow international AML/CFT rules, there were provisions for them to allow individuals to open accounts without some of the documents requested.
      In fact, the Governor said he saw no reason a secondary school leaver should be deprived of having an account due to the lack of a proof of address, or a self-employed individual such as a taxi operator or hairdresser not being able to access a loan to expand their operations because they did not have a job letter.
      “I am hopeful that the imminent passage of credit reporting legislation, which will provide for the sharing of information about loans, applicants’ credit history, will allow financial institutions to more accurately assess the risk of lending and set rates accordingly,” he said.

      He said: “Financial institutions need to establish a reasonable risk-based approach to onboarding and maintaining customers which includes dealing with exceptions and to demonstrate to regulators through proper documentation, how the international standard has been applied. Compliance with the guidelines should not mean that ordinary Barbadians should be deprived of the ability to open or maintain a bank account.”
      Pointing also to the need for increased financial literacy among the population, Haynes said the Central Bank would be taking the lead in that regard, and was in the process of developing a comprehensive financial literacy campaign in partnership with the Financial Services Commission and other stakeholders.

  4. @ NO

    Let me assure you that on matters of Finance and Economics Vincent Codrington does not jest. Rational investors? Last time I looked rationality as it relates to Finance and Economics was under the microscope.

  5. @ John A at 9 :16 PM

    Yes. Patience is a virtue. The chickens are gradually coming home to roost. It is the cost to the society that I am concerned about.

  6. Those foreign banks who have not yet found a buyer, are well advised to do so, pronto. There is a war ongoing, and they know it. Best to walk away with your undergarments intact, than discover, ‘the banker has no clothes’.

  7. And if only to underscore what Mr Vincent Codrington and John A are saying here is the final paragraph of the smartly,though one says , inappropriately named article

    “…However, reducing public debt to prudent levels—the targeted 80 percent of GDP by FY2027/78 and 60 percent by FY2033/34—will require sustained efforts, not only by maintaining a cautious fiscal policy, but also by aggressively exploiting opportunities to increase growth….”


    And now it becomes evident to ALL BARBADIANS that there is a paucity of vision and an inability to identify and then nurture the environment to increase growth

    More People waking up!

  8. @Blogmaster
    I was in Dominica recently, and the whispers said Barbados was paying for some ‘unspecified’ (I use this term because when I asked for specifics, they were not forthcoming) public expenses in Dominica. Have you heard anything like this?

  9. And Charles Jong?
    Seemed related to the ‘Loss of Ross’ or ‘Transfer of Ross’ depending upon who was speaking.

  10. When are we going to learn a very simple truth:
    You cannot produce a 2020 model car on a 1920 production line.
    Al we are doing is reinventing the wheel and swallowing a lot of hocus pocus nonsense. Our manufacturing sector has been in the fo drums for almost thirty years. Yet I read decently that manufacturing had declined by 12% . Question: declined from where?
    I am now hearing that the economy may grow by 1.5 %. Question: Grow from where to what?
    We have bogged down ourselves with a whole lot of feel good fantasies. We were told from the outset that our engagement with the IMF will realise its true results in fifteen years . On this very blog, I read about the magic of sealing an IMF deal in record time. Then I read on this blog that we can now advise countries how to get the best deal from the IMF. I am surprised that we did not publish a handbook: How to deal with international loan Sharks.
    I wish Ms. Mottley well but she would do well to distance herself from those who in vigorous efforts to defend her wants us to believe that our troubles can be solved overnight.
    Removing garbage from the streets only requires trucks. Removing the garbage from thinking is a bit more difficult.

  11. @ Vincent.

    Like you that is my concern in that what will the next level of “adjustments” entail in terms of cost inflicted on the populace. Then from the same mouths we hear about growth of 1.75%.

    Can’t understand how growth can come when the state and commerce fighting over the same dollar.

    So much for a successful debt restructuring when we $320M over budget in year one!

    Anyhow let the Koolaid drinkers drink. What I can tell you is what some said on BU a year ago is soon upon us. It’s just to find out now the level of whipping we will bear.

  12. In a low growth and relatively low inflation environment, the only way to reduce your debt to gdp ratio, is to reduce the debt( numerator) portion. This can only be done by running buget surpluses. And surplus can only be achieved when revenue receipts outstripped expenditure outflows.

    However, it is easy said than done.

  13. @40acres
    sooo….how do you plan to ensure T-Bill ‘roll over’, and for how long? Remember, ‘the stock of treasury bills had ballooned to 39 percent of GDP’. And some of the major T-Bill holders, were also Bond Holders.

  14. Normally T-bills are short-term debt ( max 365 days) with low interest rate, used mainly to smooth out the lumpiness of the budget flows . T-Bills usually comprised a relative small portion of the total debt ( <10%).

    If what you stated above is true, then the whole roll-over process is defeated. Having so much short-term debt outstanding and due in a just a year’s time, creates a roll-over crisis. Exchanging those for longer-term notes make perfect sense.

  15. @40
    you really should have read the IMF Working paper first? You are too intelligent to get caught like that.

    I noted and did not know, the “legal advisors’ were the same firm, that lawyer of YouTube fame Buchheit (sp?), hails from.


    The Met Office has issued a warning to Barbadians, to brace for more drought-like conditions and increased threat of heatwaves throughout 2020.

    So serious is the threat, said leading meteorologist at the Barbados Meteorological Service Sabu Best, that if current trends continue, authorities may be forced to declare a nationwide drought.

  17. @ John A at 11:29 PM

    Please note that Mr. B gave that talk at the forum prior to the engagement of his firm.

    @ Forty acres.

    My suggestion was that the Treasury bills be retired at their maturity,i.e not reissued. Hopefully the new taxes would have reduced the cuurent account deficit. The Treasury bills normally have a maturity of three months.

  18. @JohnA
    he is also the point person for Venezuela.
    One wonders the sequence of hires in B’dos. Given his knowledge of ‘success fees’. “Somebody” was talking with WO long before the election. I know one of their partners [WO] had been part of the ‘Fortress’ forums in years prior, he was known in Barbados.

  19. @Northern
    @ Vincent

    Taxation followed by shortfalls so we tax further which results in further shortfalls in VAT etc only to then impose more taxes to cover that shortfall.

    At some point doesn’t somebody realise that without growth this is a doomed approach?

    We accused the last bunch about trying to tax their way out of a recession, so what exactly then are this bunch doing, not the same thing?

  20. @David.

    Yes and immediately after that what did they do but increase taxation in other forms to take it back. Bus fares, land tax, user fees etc etc

    Basically government is no different to a business in that let’s say it takes $100 to run on. So I give back the customer a $10 in discounts on a few items but I still need $100 to run on. So unless I can take it back from them on other items I brek.

    Of course if I could grow my business I could of let them keep the discount. Ask yourself if we had a decent tax collection system and did not give away $400M in VAT receipts, do you think we would of needed to raise $400M in New taxation to balance the books?

    Government at a serious crossroads now they either have to shrink government expenditure or promote growth. The people can not take further taxation and then expect economic growth fuelled by the said overtaxed consumer base.

    • @John A

      We need the UWI and Accounting houses to do a study of how the new taxes have been distributed across taxpayers. The dispersion effect if you will. Some in government will argue the university tuition was given back, road tax removed etc. the bottomline must be assessed based on net effect.

  21. @ David.

    We don’t need to do all that. Anytime a budget raises more in tax than prior to it then the consumer pays.

    All the window dressing bout giving back 4 cents here and 3 cents there is immaterial, if at the end of the budget after 6 hours of tra la la the populace is heavier taxed than before.

    Growth will only come when you are given a balanced budget or a budget that at the end of the tra la la results in lower taxes to the people. That and a true growth plan for all, are the only way out for us and we know there will be no ease in taxation in the short term.

  22. @ David.

    Let me clarify what I mean when I speak to a growth plan for all. If our idea of growth will be 2 hotels and 3 guest houses that is not a growth plan for all. Unless the farmer in st Philip say, gets to sell to these 5 new entities there is nothing in it for him.

    So yes the government is pushing a one leg recovery based on hotels, but that will not encompass ALL PLAYERS in the economy. Who knows this approach may even result in the 0.6% growth the IMF spoke of, but it will benefit maybe only 5% of the populace. We need a broad base growth plan encompassing all sectors so all can benefit, not just the few maid and bartender jobs on Carlisle Bay.

  23. You should all relax. The IMF report is great. At least taxes are going up. So we have growth, which is growth in government revenue. The masses must be squeezed like lemons.

  24. Who going to benefit from all the taxes on the hotel?
    Like the room, water, sewage taxes
    Some will benefit directly other/goverment/ the people will benefit indirectly
    Ever little bit will help.
    0.6 is better than 0 0r -0.6

  25. @ John A February 23, 2020 12:36 PM
    “Let me clarify what I mean when I speak to a growth plan for all. If our idea of growth will be 2 hotels and 3 guest houses that is not a growth plan for all. Unless the farmer in st Philip say, gets to sell to these 5 new entities there is nothing in it for him.
    So yes the government is pushing a one leg recovery based on hotels, but that will not encompass ALL PLAYERS in the economy.
    Who knows this approach may even result in the 0.6% growth the IMF spoke of, but it will benefit maybe only 5% of the populace. We need a broad base growth plan encompassing all sectors so all can benefit, not just the few maid and bartender jobs on Carlisle Bay.”

    The former PM Stuart (the now enlightened soothsayer with 2020 vision who has found the roaming black cat in the dark shadow Cabinet) missed the golden opportunity to put the current BLP administration on the spot by not bringing the status of his Hyatt hotel pet project into the limelight during his recent ‘tell-it-all’ exposé in St. Philip.

    The former PM had given his official blessing to the hotel construction and promoting it to be the fulcrum for the revitalization of Bridgetown and the spinning wheel for the general recovery of the comatose Bajan economy.

    He even allowed his MoF to grant duty-free concessions on a luxury vehicle to an invisible staff member even before the erection of the first slab of concrete made from imported rock-hard cement.

    What really is holding up the start of construction of that proposed economic lighthouse on the Bay?

    Clearly not the dozing giant for a PM who was fired for sleeping on the job?

    Clearly not the Lilliputian Comissiong who has been made ‘satiated’ with his oversized slice of the pie bought from the regional talk shop?

    Is the current administration waiting on the completion of the Freedom Park before granting final approval for the construction of the hotel?

    Is the MoT going to apologize to Parliament for putting his public relations mouth (with his cast-iron promise of a February 2020 start date) before that of his boss’s official nod of approval but, more importantly, before the real investors’ green light of financing?

  26. Bumpy road ?

    “Almost 200 workers at C.O. Williams Construction are off the job.

    Employee from the workshop, asphalt and quarries, quarries, concrete and asphalt reported to the Lears, St Thomas, headquarters around 7:30 a.m. as usual, but did not go to work.

    They told Nation News they are protesting the lack of a salary increase over the last eight to ten years.

    The shop stewards declined to speak to the media until representatives from the Barbados Workers Union arrived.”

  27. “PARLIAMENT CONVENING at the Worthing Corporate Centre in Christ Church will not be the only unusual happening when the 2020 Estimates Debate starts this morning.

    Also unfamiliar is the prospect of Government transitioning from one financial year to the next with the expectation of a fiscal surplus totalling more than $600 million.”

    2020 -2021
    Estimated Current Revenue … … … 3,142,580,500
    Estimated Total Expenditure … … … 3,372,624,339
    Estimated Excess of Total Expenditure over Current Revenue 230,043,742
    Approved by Cabinet … … … February 18, 2020
    Laid in the House of Assembly … … … February 18, 2020

    There is NO surplus.
    It is 770 pages!!!!!!!

  29. @ NO

    Is there a surplus of Current Revenue over Current Expenditure? Is it possible that that Total Expenditure includes Capital Expenditure? Just asking.

    Why is it necessary to do the narrative on the Accrual Basis and the Cash Basis when a decision was made years ago to use the Accrual Basis of Accounting?

  30. @ Hants February 24, 2020 10:53 AM

    In Barbados, arrogant workers are demanding higher wages despite a lack of productivity. And at the same time, C.O.W. is failing to secure a slice of the big cake from Guyana’s multi-billion-dollar investment in infrastructure. It is obvious that the island workers live on a different planet than the rest of the Caribbean. The US, Chinese, Brazilian and German construction companies that are building all the beautiful new roads in Guyana will thank them.

    Two hours by plane from Barbados, we witness the greatest economic miracle in living memory. And what are Barbadians doing? Instead of getting involved and making a profit, they complain about workers’ rights and wages.

  31. Well as a one door shopkeeper I see 2 things that worrying my wallet here.

    One is we done pass we debt service projection by $322M

    Two is that I now reading on top of that about a $200M deficit on budgeted operating expenses vs Income. That does worry me because traditionally we does spend more and collect less than we budget every year. Then you hear bout mini budget and ” minor adjustments to keep us on our revenue path.”

    Lord don’t tell me now that is over $500M in shortfall I got to look for now. Next time I go to crane for a swim I looking for Straughn to be there charging $5 for a swim!

  32. ” The world woke up Monday to the reality that the coronavirus epidemic is going to have a much bigger impact on the global economy than investors and policy makers had assumed. Just how big, no one really knows.

    Last week, it seemed as if financial markets believed that COVID-19 would be contained. But new cases in Italy, South Korea and Iran over the weekend undermined that belief. The World Health Organization tried to reassure the public on Monday, saying the disease was not yet a pandemic because it was not spreading in an uncontained way.

    No matter, stock markets GDOW, -2.90% SPX, -3.19% and other financial markets BUXX, -0.08% TMUBMUSD10Y, -7.51% GC00, +1.58% were quickly recalibrating the worst-case scenario, one in which hundreds of millions of people would be infected, and millions would die.”

    With all due respect to the maguffees on BU it is my opinion that Estimates and economic forecasts will have to be revised to reflect corona virus, drought, civil unrest in Canada, etc. etc.

  33. @VC
    I do not know.
    I find reading such material, especially as some are double page spreads, presented as single page consecutive views, difficult. They are no accompanying “notes” [it would then be a 1500 page document!!!]

    the corona virus has been under estimated. I have been OUT of stocks since Feb 13. I had no way of predicting cross-contagion within markets nor sectors. And then you add other environmental and national issues? All beyond my limited abilities to cross tabulate and compute.

  34. @ Miller February 24, 2020 8:01 AM

    The occupancy rate of hotels in Barbados is far too low. We do not need more hotels, we need better hotels.

    If you want to invest in hotels, I recommend Guyana. Marriott is building a second hotel there at the international airport. And two new hotel towers are being built next to Pegasus. These are real investments, not the phony dreams of the blabbermouths at Harrison College.

  35. @ Tron

    You are right. The occupancy rate during the Cricket World Cup was 70 per cent, yet officials hired space on ships to accommodate people. Low grade hotels usually over charge massively. I once stayed at the Discovery and it was an embarrassment. We need budget hotels.

  36. “yet officials hired space on ships to accommodate people”

    Was that the Titanic?

    In Guyana, at any rate, nobody would think that insane hotel projects would boost the economy. The business people there know that hotels are needed when the economy is booming. In Barbados, Harrison College graduates think the other way around.

    I just wonder why everywhere the economy is booming, except Barbados, and why the islanders still think they have to explain to the whole world how the economy works. If I summarise the Barbadian view of the economy, it is a kind of socialist planned economy in which the state carries out infrastructure projects, hires people as lazy civil servants and is supposed to generate economic growth. At the same time, they complain about far too high taxes and excessive statutory regulations.

    But we can’t have the two together: A huge, expensive state apparatus to feed all the slackers, and economic growth. Barbadians have opted in many surveys for a permanent economic downturn, while other nations in the region have pushed the button on the elevator to the bel étage.

  37. Pardon the diversion.
    I saw the “Resolution” on the Barbadian Parliament website.
    Essentially in the last century, the GoB acquired land in “Maxwell”. It is now proposing to rent this land to one Mahogany Park Inc. The “change of use” relates to the addition of “something” covered under the title ‘Tourism Development’.

    It is common to lay materials before Parliament, where the land is described by legal description ONLY, (no map); where nothing is said about the Lessee other than a corporate name; where no explanation is provided as to the ‘tourism development’ feature. No timeline conditions. Other than a guarantee of ‘potentially concessionary’ rental rates for 50 years!!!

    Tell me it ain’t so?

  38. Well I really at a lost here so I going ask those that was following this debt restructuring thing and the successful BERT plan to help me.

    Now Both Mr Straughn and Chief Advisor to the State Persaud was on my TV telling me that in 4 years the work that WO did was going save us $1 billion dollars in the first year. Then the chief advisor say no Straughn wrong, it will be $500M over 4 years. Now what is $500M between friends I figured then anyhow? Then the same chief advisor fellow say that BERT will spur recovery and balance the budget based on an improved tax collection plan and other austerity measures. No problem I say, but I dont agree as nothing in there for growth, but I mean miracles can happen!

    Now be jinks I hearing that instead of saving me $1 billion in year one it cost me $322M more than plan. So does that mean over the next 3 years, as the advisor predict it will give us $822M in savings? That is the $500M he promised plus the $322 them guest wrong bout!

    Now as for the balance budget talk I see we running a deficit this year of $200M at this stage. Probably be more as project delays continue and expenses grow though.

    So my question to my divine leaders and resident party loyalist is this. When wunna say BERT and the debt restructuring were successes, please explain based on where we are today in real terms, what that claim is substantiated on in terms of current hard financial data and facts?

    Waiting with bated breath to be enlightened accordingly.

  39. @ NO

    The more things change etc……Transparency is such a nice word…..

    Parliament building has joined the ranks of sick buildings in Barbados thus the MPs have to meet at alternative sites, let’s hope Parliament doesn’t convene at one of Haloute’s Emporium since they seemed to be gambling with the country’s future.

  40. @ John A

    You guys are amazing. To any impartial observer it is clear BERT is unworkable. But, for the political stooges, it is the magic answer. It is not. The fear is, at the end of the five-year term, there will be no Barbados to argue over. But who cares?

  41. @ Hal

    We can only hope they will accept it and move onto Plan B quickly. The figures are in that clearly show what we stated a year ago was true. Even the most hardened loyalist needs to accept this now and scrap it for a true growth plan.

    I mean surely if growth is focused on as opposed to taxation, then our vat receipts and other consumer taxes will climb too. This idea of austerity and taxation on its own never worked with Sinkler, nor will it work now.

  42. @ Hal Austin February 24, 2020 5:32 PM


    You should make a distinction here: BERT’s mission is to restore financial stability. In this respect, BERT has been very successful so far.

    BERT does not involve mass redundancies in the government sector, no deletions and mergers of ministries and no flexibilisation of the labour market. We are now where Greece was in 2012, that is 8 years ago. Please also note the government’s official language: recovery only from 2025 on. So the government is not lying, it is speaking the truth.

    Our reforms in the labour market and in the administration are only really beginning with the next IMF programmes. The exciting question remains what we want to name these programmes. How about DOLORES, PANDORA and HYDRA?

    There is no doubt that our government is willing to carry out tough reforms, but the population is still too stubborn and unreasonable. We should work together on this by criticising the masses for their ambivalence.

  43. Speaking the truth you say.

    ” WHITE OAK WILL SAVE US $1BILLION IN THE FIRST YEAR. In reality It cost us $322M more than budgeted in year one!

    BERT WILL STABALISE THE ECONOMY AND BRING GROWTH. Reality this budget calling for a minimum shortfall of $ 200Million which we the tax payers will be taxed to make up.

    Wunna want me go on cause there is plenty more examples of reality vs political fiction I could list here! However the independent thinkers I am sure have now grasped our reality. Who knows maybe like Sinkler we will hear of a revised BERT plan next.

  44. @HA
    unsure why you are including me in BERT. I ‘believe’ my most frequent comments, are noting Bert is the christian name of the IMF lead, and I figure the acronym was used to impress him? I have also stated BERT is a misnomer, it should have been called ROPI (Restructuring of Public Indebtedness). And to clarify when one refers to a program outcome as ‘a pillar of growth’, it says nothing about growth itself.

    I never obsess about growth.

  45. US stocks suffered their worst day in two years after a wave of volatility swept global markets as new coronavirus cases outside China rattled investors and dashed hopes that the outbreak had been contained.(Quote)

  46. @ John A


    Imagine when at February 24 AT 4.5P PM. you could write a clear chapter and verse about the SHY$E STREET THAT BARBADOS UP!


    Look at one of your succession of well thought out and clearly presented truths!

    You said AND I QUOTE

    “…Now be jinks I hearing that instead of saving me $1 billion in year one it cost me $322M more than plan…”

    Now I ent going go to every line that you write cause IT CLEARLY IS OBVIOUS THAT YOU ARE PART OF THE DISSENTERS PUN BU but incredulously enough, THE REMAINING 2ND OF THE RENTED JACKASSES has not, in all of your submissions on Barbados Underground, made one comment about your truths!!!

    Why is that John A?

    De ole man would say dat Mugabe Mottley is surrounded by 29 jackases and Rented Jackass Number Two going tek he mouf from Mugabe Mottley pooch and mek for BU and say something bout de ole man who (supposedly) is ole enough to be he fadder (behave yuhself)

    Then you said

    “…Then the chief advisor [AND SNAKE OIL SALESMAN AVANASH PERSAUD] say no Straughn wrong, it will be $500M over 4 years…”

    My comments in the square brackets NOT YOURS!

    So why you doan get cuss but I do?

    Ohhhhh cause de ole man does call dem pooch lickers and snake oil salesmenses while you call them “…divine leaders and resident party loyalists…”!

    You could lend de ole man you Thesaurus? It is clear why I getting cuss and you is not!

    You using nice words and perfume for these RH teifing incompetent MPs while de ole man calling dem RHs!

    De ole man want to learn to talk like you and Mr. Vincent Codrington and Mr Hal Austin and Mr William Skinner, MrKammie Holder, And NorthernObserver and Commander Theophillus Gazerts and the Sage Annunaki and Artaxerxes

    And Donna and Silly.

    Wunna jes doan cuss while de ole man does get on bad.

    I need lines, 100 lines “I must not cuss and behave disrespectfully to Our leaders and Mugabe Mottley and the rest of her poochlickers”

  47. A next follow here who want banning for insurrection is NorthernObserver

    Look at this dissent fomenter

    “… NorthernObserver February 24, 2020 4:00 PM

    Pardon the diversion.
    I saw the “Resolution” on the Barbadian Parliament website.
    Essentially in the last century, the GoB acquired land in “Maxwell”.

    It is now proposing to rent this land to one Mahogany Park Inc.

    The “change of use” relates to the addition of “something” covered under the title ‘Tourism Development’…”

    Surely there MUST BE SOME INTERNET SECURITY LAW to use and catch he under?

    How can he be allowed to search AND FIND AND, WORSE, POST SUCH UNDERMINING CONTENT ON BU?

    But Charles Me Love You Jong Time ent got nothing to worry bout because apparently WHILE NORTHERNOBSERVER was snooping he unwittingly went to the Barbados Parliament website and read the INFECTED BILL RESOLUTION


    Which means that EVERYTHING ON HIS HARDDRIVE IS NOW BEING ACCESS BY THE MUGABE REGIME SPYWARE! compliments of 6c897640c7fc009ba430b0dd0c1231d8.pdf

  48. @ Pieces.

    Don’t mind the cussing the truth can take many forms, so don’t let them defer you from having your say. It’s just that I does cuss them politely! LOL

  49. @PUDYR
    they may peruse my phone as they like. Maybe they can even pay my cellular bill, causin I still have too many of my offspring pun my account.

  50. @JohnA
    in the Appendicies to the Estimates are a listing of all the loans and the bond issues. I think you one asked about this.

  51. The below is a blatant untruth when viewed in a wider context. The reality is that second hand (or used) high performance vehicles are on sale from approved dealers in Barbados at many times the real value.
    Where I live in London I can buy vehicles of three and four years, at marginal costs, and ship them down to Barbados and sell them at under Bds$50000 each, half the rice of these dealers.
    Now we have a BLP minister falling for the snake oil nonsense from dealers who find competition too tough. That is what capitalism is about, let them compete or go out of business. This government shows everyday whose side it is on.

    “With new car dealers complaining of being undercut by used car importers taking advantage of loopholes in the Customs duties, Minister of Commerce Dwight Sutherland is promising new legislation, in six months, to “level the playing field”.

    He was speaking on June 26 following a walk-through of NASSCO dealership at River Road, The City, where he made it clear the rules must be evenly applied.

    The minister spoke of the classification of import licences for Toyota Hilux trucks, noting that while authorised dealers were required to remove all accessories to qualify for the 47.7 per cent duty, some third party dealers were attracting the same level of taxes, even though their vehicles had the full gamut of accessories.

    He explained that as a result, third party dealers were able to sell fully-loaded vehicles at $25 000 less than NASSCO, the authorised dealers for Toyota. (Quote)

  52. An amendment to planning regulations may force homeowners to vacate their homes while major renovations are being carried out.

    Under a section of the Planning and Development (Amendment) Bill 2020 passed in the Senate last week, the homeowner must now obtain an Occupancy Certificate from Government’s Planning Department before they can occupy their home after renovation work has been completed.

    The legislation says: “No person shall occupy a new or renovated building;… a new extension to a building; or permit any such new, renovated or extended building, to be occupied until an occupancy certificate has been issued with respect to the building.

    “The board shall within [seven] days issue an occupancy certificate upon the completion of any building works in substantial compliance with the terms of a building permit, and upon payment of the prescribed fee. . . “ (Quote)

    Any comments on this nonsense?

  53. When was this idea given birth? Was it before the default, or BOSS or just one that was waiting for an ideal moment to emerge? In any case, a Marshall Plan is a loan, a reparation is a repayment for wrongs done. Which is it? Is it another half-baked stolen idea? So the president now speaks on behalf of the region.

    Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley is calling for a Caribbean Marshall Plan and for reparations to address “the economic decline” that the region will face as it confronts a combination of the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the inherent social and economic inequalities that continue to hinder the region’s development.

    The Prime Minister was referring to the US-funded economic recovery plan for the Western European nations that were devastated in the Second World War. The initiative was named after George Marshall, who was the US Secretary of State at the time.

    “I do believe we must make the argument that a combination of the validity of the reparations argument, the evidence that clearly shows there was no bank account left with us at the point of independence, there was no development compact and, yet, there is a legitimate expectation by our people that independent governments would right the wrongs of the past and would do so quickly by giving people opportunity in this part of the world,” she said.
    Mottley made these remarks while addressing a recent virtual media engagement organized by the CARICOM Reparations Commission (CRC) over which she has oversight as the current Chairperson of CARICOM’s Prime Ministerial Sub-committee on Reparations.

    The CARICOM Reparations Commission was established in July 2013 by the region’s Heads of Government, to pursue reparations from the former slaveholding and colonizing countries in Europe. Twelve Member States of CARICOM are today represented on the Commission.

    Mottley said the poverty and underdevelopment that Barbados and other Caribbean countries inherited from the British and other European powers at the time of independence, means that the region does not have the stability to easily move to the next level of growth while carrying large national debts and fighting the pandemic at the same time.

    The Prime Minister argued that “it cannot be right” to accept that persons and states should, with no remorse, keep the proceeds of illicit gains from a crime against humanity without seeking to create a “development compact” for the people of this region. She added that universities and commercial enterprises that benefited from slavery must also be held to account for their actions.

    “No one is asking for anything other than fairness at this stage,” she said. “Economic transformation and growth depends on an international compact for the Caribbean. COVID-19 has already led, in many instances, to a doubling of expenditure in health and social care support, a quadrupling in other cases, because all of a sudden you go from tourism sectors that are earning to tourism sectors with zero revenue and therefore lack the capacity to employ anyone.”

    She said the international community needs to recognize that what the Caribbean region will go through over the course of the pandemic threatens to undermine the medium-term viability of states in the region.

    “The combination of the appropriateness of the reparations argument, as well as the reality of the economic implosion that has taken place as a result of the global pandemic, requires urgent conversations to begin to understand that a world that was rooted in immorality or a world that was rooted in people profiting from crimes against humanity runs counter to the very things at the democratic level that we have asked both small states and large states to be able to reflect,” she declared.

    Mottley added that she was happy the rest of the world is beginning to understand now that “reparations is an idea whose time has come” and that the sensitivity to this issue is being appreciated, in particular, by the younger generation who have over the course of the last few months, seen it come together with the public lynching of George Floyd and the subsequent massive protests in the United States and around the world against racism and racial violence.

    “For us, reparations is not just simply about money,” she argued, “but it is also about justice. I do not know how we can go further unless there is a reckoning first and foremost that places an apology and an acknowledgement that a wrong was done. And that successive centuries saw the extraction of wealth and the destruction of people that must never happen to any society, to any race in any part of this world again. And for that to happen you have to first acknowledge your wrong”.

    She stated that the case for reparations for the region at this point will allow it to move to the next level, with respect to education, healthcare, and access to capital, land and housing.

    The prime minister concluded her remarks by saying that, “I’ve come here this morning to support, on behalf of our region, the legitimate cause that must continue to be the mission of those within both the public and private sector who recognize that we cannot get out of a forty foot hole on our own no matter how many decades have passed since the raising of the flag for independence; we need the assistance of the global community to right the injustices of the past, and to give us the appropriate platform, not just money, but space to ensure that we too can deliver for our people.”..(Quote)

  54. The first Creative Hub in Jamaica will open its doors on Monday, July 27, 2020, in Downtown Kingston at the old Swiss Stores Building at 107 Harbour Street. The restaurant, wine bar, retail and gallery space is downstairs, and upstairs is the new Hub space, a partnership between the Hub Coworking Ltd. and arts and culture charity, Kingston Creative.

    A Creative Hub is defined as ‘a space that brings together people who work in the creative and cultural industries’. There is estimated to be 2.2 million people working from coworking spaces globally. These people are generally self-employed, MSME’s and freelancers, who now represent 70% of global employment. Creative Hubs are critical to the development of a healthy entrepreneurial ecosystem as they encourage cross-disciplinary collaboration through an active programme of workshops, seminars, hackathons, accelerators and fun networking events. In Jamaica, although there is a wealth of creative talent, there has historically not been a focus on developing the entrepreneurial skills to grow these businesses…….(Quote)

  55. ndustrial relations issues are once again brewing at the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). If left unaddressed they could lead to industrial action, sources have revealed.

    Employees, supervisors and even managers are reportedly up in arms about some “unnecessary interference” by the board of management that they claim resulted in late payments for contract workers and the slowdown of operations in general.

    Union representatives are also closely monitoring a proposal that would discontinue the practice of salary deductions, a move which is reportedly intended to save the corporation between $200-$300 per month.

    The measures are part of a number of reforms rolled out by acting Chairman Sharon Christie who is reportedly overseas on medical leave and managing operations remotely.

    As part of the new measures, absolutely no corporation funds can be spent without the expressed approval of the board.

    “Every month, the salaries have to go to her to be approved. My salary and the other salaries don’t change and they are only a few people who get overtime money, but everything has to go to her and she is holding up everything,” one manager complained.

    “We are being asked the same questions over and over every month and the truth is that managers are fed up and frustrated, and they cannot get ahead with their work.

    “There are issues with IT software which need to be resolved, but we can’t get it,” said the source who requested anonymity.

    Among the contract workers affected by the issues were radio deejays who earlier this month withheld some of their services after outstanding pay was held up.

    “These are people who bring in a lot of money for us who certain people want to advertise with when they are on the air,” the manager revealed.

    “Our most essential areas like those who work in the television department ensuring that we stay on the air are contracted workers. Most of our videographers are contracted workers and every month, we have the same problem where the money is there, but it is being held up,” the source further explained.

    Another manager was even more fearful that the proposal to stop automatic salary deductions would place unnecessary pressure on employees and cost the corporation in the long run.

    “Even those people who agreed to work with the Government’s Barbados Optional Savings Scheme (BOSS) would have to stop work and go to the national treasury building and pay every month themselves, because the only thing the corporation is deducting is mortgage payments.”

    While CBC’s Barbados Workers’ Union representative Kent Jerson declined to comment, a source revealed that the proposal had been rejected by the union. If implemented, it would result in “disruption” from staff, the source said.

    “These workers have been through a lot and because of the staff cuts, they are now giving 200 per cent to keep the place afloat and now they are attempting to nickel and dime people out of something that will cost them $200-$300 a month,” said the workers’ rep.

    “You can’t just unilaterally do this kind of foolishness, and in practical terms, if you have two or three things that you have to pay, it will cost CBC more when people have to take time from work to pay these individually.

    The source called on the new Minister of Information and Broadcasting Wilfred Abrahams to intervene, warning that the board ought to deal with policy instead of dabbling in the day-to-day operations.

    Efforts to reach CBC’s Chief Executive Officer Sanka Price for comment were unsuccessful.

  56. ovt tweaking BEST ‘to help hotels’

    Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley yesterday announced there would be several tweaks to the Barbados Employment and Sustainable Transformation (BEST) programme, which would allow for greater buy-in from the hospitality sector.
    Last week, officials at the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) revealed they had written Government on challenges which some owners were facing in getting into the programme, which is geared at using state loans to keep employees on the payroll at 80 per cent of their salary for the next 18 months. Currently, there are 40 tourism-related businesses, just over 20 of which are hotels, accessing the one-month-old programme.
    During a press conference at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, Mottley said that after a meeting with the stakeholders on Friday, some changes would be made, which were likely to add to the 1 000 employees already retained as a result of the programme. She added that issuance of preference shares to Government as criteria for accessing the BEST programme was not something which all hotels had the capacity to do, and that Government had committed to finding suitable alternatives.
    Preference shares
    “In fairness, the programme has been in operation for only a couple of weeks and the BHTA has written to us, asking us to tweak the programme because there are others who may want to come in but are finding it difficult. For example, preference shares may not work for them.
    “There was confusion as to whether the Hilton Hotel could benefit, and we have clarified that, because it can, and that is 345 employees there alone. There are some people who are leasing properties and, therefore, for them that would not work, and we need to find a way to help those companies that don’t own assets and determine how Government will treat to them.
    “We have to ensure that there is balance between what we expect and what they expect, so it is very much a work in progress.
    “One of the reasons that we were not floored by the United Kingdom shutdown was because what we have
    done here can sustain us for the next two years. We do realise that in some instances we may have to own an equity position in some of the hotels going forward, but as I explained to the hoteliers [Friday], that is going to require an analysis of each entity’s books and we could not do that in time to stabilise employment and the hotels.” (CLM)

    Is this it? How long will it take to audit books for individual companies? Is this an admission that money will be handed out without proper accounts?
    If a company is leasing its bricks and mortar it should still be eligible, under these flawed terms, since the business is the hotel, not the property. What it also means is that those owners who own the freehold of their properties should be encouraged to sell and leaseback. By doing that they will have the cash to sustain the business during a two-year down turn.
    Do they understand the business models of hotels? I have always said out major problem is incompetence, not corruption.

  57. (Quote):
    If a company is leasing its bricks and mortar it should still be eligible, under these flawed terms, since the business is the hotel, not the property. What it also means is that those owners who own the freehold of their properties should be encouraged to sell and leaseback. By doing that they will have the cash to sustain the business during a two-year down turn.
    Do they understand the business models of hotels? I have always said out major problem is incompetence, not corruption. Unquote).

    If these people (you refer to them as incompetents) cannot even sort out the financial reporting situation at the NIS (a 2×3 fund management outfit) for the last 15 years do you really thing these same people can understand and manage such a sophisticated model of finance involving private sector players who commitment to national development is suspect?

  58. @ Miller

    Is this not what we should be discussing on BU, instead of waffle about two-party systems? It is clear the president does not understand finance and her consultants/advisers seem to get ideas from BU.
    Here we have a finance minister and prime minister saying it will take too long to audit the finances of small hotels (in developed countries no bigger than a bed and breakfast) before they get a government handout. So they will get it anyway. Are there auditors on BU who can volunteer their expertise?
    Is this a misuse of public funds? Is this the transfer of wealth from the poor taxpayer to the relatively wealthy and well-connected? Is this an issue that should have been discussed on the platforms in St George North?

  59. Singapore has charged a civil activist who held a sign bearing a smiley face for participating in an illegal public assembly involving only himself. 

    On Monday, Jolovan Wham was formally charged with two counts of prohibited assembly without a police permit under the Public Order Act, which regulates “processions” in the country’s public spaces. 

    Mr Wham, who has had several encounters with Singapore’s authorities, said he would not plead guilty to the latest charges and wanted the case to go to trial. The activist, who posted bail of S$15,000 ($11,000), was not obliged to submit a plea on Monday. A pre-trial hearing is scheduled for Friday…..(Quote)

    You may get what you wish for.

  60. Senator Caswell Franklyn
    Union leader says blame Govt for wildcat strikes – by Barbados Today Traffic December 2, 2020
    by Kareem Smith
    Collusion between the Government and the country’s main trade unions is responsible for an increase in “wildcat” demonstrations that have dominated the news over the last few weeks, says trade unionist Senator Caswell Franklyn.
    And he is urging the Government to urgently address the situation, warning that if left to fester, authorities could have more on their hands than mere peaceful demonstrations.
    That was Franklyn’s contention as he criticised Prime Minister Mia Mottley for chastising workers for the country’s volatile industrial relations climate.
    While addressing the Independence Parade on Monday, Mottley warned demonstrators not to “undermine” 79 years of stable industrial relations by participating in the
    “wildcat” action.
    “There are ways to deal with these matters and we know how to do it and we can do it without undermining the confidence that those who may be watching us from outside have in us, literally because they see all of these examples of what they view as wildcat action taking hold in this nation,” the PM cautioned at Heroes’ Square.
    In his reaction to the statement, Franklyn told Barbados TODAY it was Mottley’s attempt to “neutralise” the country’s labour movement that is now coming back to haunt her administration in the form of wildcat action.
    In fact, he said that evidence of collusion between the ruling Barbados Labour Party and the major trade unions started as far back as the March 2017 ‘March of Disgust’ against the Fruendel Stuart administration. ‘
    This, he said, was further evidenced by the unions’ decision to accept a four per cent salary increase for public servants from the current government after demanding 23 per cent from the previous administration.
    According to Franklyn, the latest example of this alleged collusion occurred in the form of “dangerous” changes to the Severance Payments Act made earlier this year that were accepted by trade unions, along with the “bogus” Barbados Employment and Sustainable Transformation (BEST) programme. These adjustments have continuously been rejected by Franklyn, who heads the much smaller Unity Workers’ Union (UWU).
    Describing the current labour relations climate as the “lowest” in his 62-year lifetime, Franklyn contended that with the trade union movement “neutralised”, Barbados’ traditionally “docile” working class was not expected to fight back.
    “It is [Mottley]’s actions that have caused this. The workers are just reacting to her behaviour… This is a labour party that has no regard for labour, forgetting that it was the masses who put her in power in the first place and it is her actions that have caused the problems in the country. The workers are only reacting to it and she is trying to throw blame away from herself when the buck stops at her,” Franklyn argued.
    “What the Prime Minister has complained about will continue to happen, and God forbid that the police would try to force the people into submission, because from there things will erupt.
    “The best thing for the police to do when they see the people demonstrating is to let them do it peacefully, because it will not go down well because people are hurting.
    “People are coming into my office and just crying. You have parents out there with children and they have nothing to feed them with, and if that is not addressed something will happen. So the Government has to take measures to prevent any kind of uprising because they are the ones that have caused it,” the labour leader added.
    “Wildcat” demonstrations have so far been launched by employees of Caribbean Aircraft Handling at the Grantley Adams International Airport; the Savannah Hotel in Hastings, Christ Church; The Club Barbados Resort and Spa in Vauxhall, St James; and the Accra Beach Resort in Rockley, Christ Church.
    The common bone of contention has been the non-payment of severance payments and other outstanding entitlements owed.
    Employees of G4S Secure Solutions (Barbados) Ltd also protested last week outside the Brighton, Black Rock, St Michael headquarters over the company’s failure to deliver promised pay increases and improve working conditions.
    On the matter of severance, Prime Minister Mottley has promised that the Government would “stand in the breach” on behalf of unscrupulous employers to ensure that outstanding monies are paid, after which, the Government would recoup the difference from the employer.
    Nevertheless, there is no word on exactly how soon the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) will be able to make those payments and Senator Franklyn has expressed doubt about the Government’s authority to demand reimbursement.
    In the meantime, the trade unionist said he has been continuously declining invitations to lead aggrieved workers in demonstration.
    “Walking around out there in the hot sun won’t put money in people’s pockets and food on the table to feed their children. I want people to get their money and I want the Prime Minister to do her duty by the people who elected her,” Franklyn concluded.

  61. @ Hal,
    It would appear that the pieces on the chessboard are been rearranged with the timely intervention of the Grandmaster Franklyn. Mia is neither a Karpov, a Kasparov or a Bobby Fischer.

    I believe that Franklyn has the pulse of the nation and has indicated that the social fabric of Barbados is likely to unravel.

    The introduction of Covid-19 is truly a blessing in disguise for Barbados’ majority population. It’s hard to believe that a Prime Minister of a country could make such veiled threats to her own race of people.

  62. @ TLSN

    I have been warning of the danger of the president now for over two years. It is a gradualist, piecemeal approach, in undermining our democratic freedoms.
    It is like cooking some crustaceans; if you put them in a pot of cold water and gradually turn up the heat, they do not react; but if you put them in boiling water they respond.
    The president knows this: first she puts her people in the right positions; then she appoints weak people who are malleable; then the crush comes.
    The Cattle Wash boys are scared; they have heavily armed themselves, but they are still not confident. The alternative is to corrupt the polity; a fish rots from the head.
    The other approach is to keep the people in a state of ignorance; if they do not understand what is taking place in the wider society they cannot protest.
    So, they must neutralise people like @Caswell, then they love-bomb the media with invitations to parties, telephone calls, etc, the myth of being an insider.
    In the meantime, the people remain in the dark. As a working journalist, I was always suspicious of invitations to private parties or to go on all-expenses paid tours.
    I got one such invitation from the US Drug Enforcement Agency once when I was at the Daily Mail, which they assumed I would have been excited about. When I said no thank you they were very disappointed.
    Look at Beale’s attack on CBC; not to improve its weak programming and journalism, but its ownership. Th Trinidadian owners of the Nation have always been keen on getting hold of CBC. No it seems other business people also have similar ambitions.
    If they want to own a TV station, why not apply to government for a licence? That is not what they want; they want to obliterate CBC, they want to control what ordinary people see and hear; they want total control.
    In the meantime, the mad people keep on ranting about themselves and their rubbish achievements.

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