Barbados Post COVID -19
[We’re] not having a Budget or anything soon because it is just too fluid [blogmaster’s emphasis] . . . The budget was not intended to have any new taxes and therefore there is no reason for an immediate budget and we therefore will wait and see,” Mottley told media managers during a meeting yesterday at Government Headquarters.
Prime Minister Mia Mottley announced this week the cancellation of the Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals (budget). Some will agree with Mottley that government’s economic policy is heavily influenced by BERT and relieving the country from the annual talk shop starring MPs and Senators is welcomed.
The use of the word ‘fluid’ by the prime minister is interesting against the background of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many are fixated on the public health requirement. Policymakers must also think about positioning the country to recover quickly from the crisis.
The blogmaster hopes the reason offered by the prime minster for cancelling the ‘budget’ is the usual political flummery. Barbados finds itself in a tenuous position after many years of economic decline. Two years into BERT the COVID-19 pandemic could not have reared its head at a worse time. It exposes what we have always known – Barbados like other countries in the region are most vulnerable to shocks (exogenous). It defines an open economy.
It is the observation of this blogmaster that commenters in this forum and elsewhere experience difficulty walking and chewing gum when discussing the issues. Of course public health safety is the priority but it cannot be the only priority.
Discuss for 25 marks how we must use another global crisis to reorder the way Barbadians do business at the household and national level.
What we have to worry about is that the virus DOES NOT force us to reorder how we manage our affairs at a national and household level. If we reorder how we manage our affairs then we would have nothing to worry about. If we continue to be lacking in vision, planning, willpower, effective leadership, active citizenship and energy we will soon regret it.
There is a tide in the affairs of men, Which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat. And we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures – William Shakespeare
This is an OPPORTUNE time to pause and reflect. This pain need not be in vain!
Donna – BU Commenter