Central Bank Economic Review Jan-Sept 2020: High Fiscal Cost of Covid 19

Central Bank of Barbados Governor Cleviston Haynes delivers the Bank’s review of Barbados’ economic performance in the first nine months of 2020 and takes questions from the media and the live online audience.

Central Bank of Barbados
Text version (PDF)

130 comments

  • Barbados Today Editorial.

    Senator Franklyn, labour leadership, and Thatcherism

    In politics, there are none so blind as those who don’t want to see. Political allegiances can make the obvious obscure. Party enslavement can turn an enlightening conversation on economic policy into a personalized attack on the size of someone’s nose or the degree of the individual’s hue. Idol worship not only elevates vacuous politicians into creatures of substance, it can confuse political pauperism with self-acclaimed pedigree. We have seen it here a thousand times, and such is the nature of our politics, we are condemned to seeing it a thousand more.
    In the midst of much social hurly-burly, Senator Caswell Franklyn has frequently provided pleasing, unvarnished truth guided by his conscience, experience, and more often than not, the laws of Barbados. His voice has taken on greater significance since the mid-2018 retreat of the Barbados Workers Union and the National Union of Public Workers. Their flight into the hills has been akin to the silencing of lambs.
    Conversely, Mr Franklyn’s commitment to workers, and the law especially as it relates to labour rights and governance, is to be commended. If Barbadians have been paying close attention, they ought to have realised that he has been correct in every public utterance he has made, be it the state’s tampering with the social benefits of some of the most vulnerable in Barbados last year, the unlawful appointment of a second deputy commissioner of police, the issues related to severance payments, the near-posting of a Canadian citizen to be Barbados’ ambassador to Canada, the dubious involvement of the government in aspects of the conduct of the imminent by-election in St George North, and other interventions he has made from time to time. And this has been so not only since his elevation to the Upper Chamber, but for more than two decades. Many years ago Mr Franklyn publicly challenged a decision made by a High Court judge on grounds that were echoed months later when the Appeals Court overturned the judge’s decision.
    His public pronouncements appear to be guided by clear thought and research rather than disregard for the intelligence of Barbadians or political affiliation. Long may his voice be heard in the corridors of power in the interest of working class Barbadians.
    And at this juncture, his interventions resonate greatly because the labour movement in Barbados has become compromised, not by external attacks and intimidation, but through an internal condition that should not be allowed to metastasise.
    Perhaps, Barbadian workers have now started to connect the dots that more than two years ago saw capital and labour join forces with political gatekeepers to march on the streets of Bridgetown. When workers took to the streets supportive of the two labour unions who sought unrealistic 23 and 15 per cent salary increases respectively, their purpose was pure even if unaware of other possible hidden agenda. Perhaps they never thought the outlandish request had at its core, political intrigue and the genesis of a greater plan that had little to do with them. The workers were responding to a woeful Democratic Labour Party administration that was floundering and had lost its way. But others seized the day.
    Those that led them have concocted an arithmetic anomaly that has shown workers how a seven per cent salary increase offered by the administration of the day – and rejected – can be less than the 4.5 per cent their unions subsequently accepted from the new administration, and later topped up to five. Facetiousness can lead to fact.
    When labour’s lambs marched with capital’s lions, the former perhaps did not truly appreciate that the much maligned National Social Responsibility Levy (NSRL), imposed an up-front duty on businesses to contribute in a more equitable manner to the state’s tax collection processes. Workers would not have known that fewer than three years after the tri-partite pied pipers led them ‘a-singing and a-chanting’, that the abandonment of the NSRL would be followed by the merchant class having their taxes significantly reduced, while the working class would have theirs widely increased. While the water bills, fuel bills and supermarket bills of the marching workers went up, corporation taxes paid by their affluent co-marchers went down from 30 per cent to five. Significant tax reduction for holders of capital did not equate to increased absorption of labour in the pre-COVID-19 period. The pandemic has now given an excuse for maintaining current employment levels and more than likely further employment reduction in the private sector. The sound and fury paid off for everyone other than the workers.
    Margaret Hilda Thatcher was beloved by millions and arguably, eventually detested by similar numbers. She was Britain’s longest serving prime minister and the first woman to be the country’s political leader. She believed in the deregulation of financial sectors and the privatization of state-owned enterprises. But perhaps one trait of the “Iron Lady” that became a hallmark was her approach to labour unions. She dedicated her efforts to undermining and weakening labour unions since she saw them as harmful to parliamentary democracy and economic development. Labour unions provided nuisance value for the British leader and she was intent on crushing their influence. Others in and outside the Caribbean region, whether to be found in the private sector or the corridors of parliamentary power, view unions in similar light. They make the occasional concession to labour, but often with ulterior motive. However, there are some, unlike Margaret Hilda Thatcher, who see the strategic prudence of using a Trojan horse rather than a battering ram to breach the defences of workers’ solidarity movements. The ultimate goal of such leaders is the retention of political power at all costs.
    The Franklyns of this world are therefore very much needed now because the problems workers face have grown to be more.

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  • That copy of the Barbados Today editorial is the most exciting and intelligent piece of journalism seen in any Barbadian publication for a very, very long time. It should be taught as a seminar and debated in public, especially on BU.
    A proper analysis. Congratulations to the editor.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ Hal
    You are absolutely correct. I just read it. You would note that less than twenty four hours ago, I told you in another thread on BU that Barbados Today, is the best of the three at this time. I have been telling people to read its editorials now for the last six months or so.
    You would note also that I have always argued that the NSRL , was undermined because it forced businesses to pay taxes upfront. The then opposition argued that once the NSRL was removed, prices will drop. Far from that there has been price increases .And then the same business sector was given mammoth tax breaks. Furthermore millions in taxes were written off. Of course, the unions had refused a 7% increase and said that they “ crunched” the numbers and there was money enough to pay anywhere from 17% to 27%. increases. The same unions then accepted 5%. COVID came along; the spoilt private sector as usual refused to be creative and once more held the visionless BLPDLP to ransom by threatening not to pay hotel workers severance . The government was then forced to put $300 million into the economy on the pretense by that it will save jobs in the industry.
    Like I said hocus pocus economics and fancy acronyms. The editorial has adequately exposed the bait and switch .

    Peace

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  • @ William

    I try not to get angry, but I cannot understand how intelligent people, or people who claim to be intelligent, can tolerate these monstrous policies from politicians and business people. They seem not to realise their strength as consumers..
    The Barbados Today editorial is sound, and lacks the pretentions of the previous editor, in that it speaks in plain language. Like most things, you can nit-pick, and I will try not to. But the references to Margaret Thatcher are straight Google stuff. However, that is minor. It is spot on and relevant at this time. How many read the editorials, or leaders as we call them?
    Here we are, with a nonsensical proposed television debate around the St George North by-election, in which a senior member of staff at BT got caught up. The editor must now remind staff of their impartiality and not to be bag carriers for any political party.
    @William, you and I hope and pray that the chairman will accept that BU is his toy, but nevertheless try and turn it into an effective educative tool and not just a vehicle for the angry, frustrated, bitter, twisted, envious, ego-maniacs, foulmouthed and aggrieved.
    There should be a parental warning on BU.

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  • I have been reading the Barbados Today editorials for a long time. Well thought and well written.

    Trojan horses and battering rams- good stuff. Effective word picture.

    Making a list of Caswell’s Corrections is a great move. They should keep a running list because there are certain to be more.

    The sudden enlightenment that allowed the acceptance of the five % was always suspect.

    Is there none to stand with Caswell?

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  • @Donna

    As you and other know the Senator has been prominently highlighted on BU’s pages. The problem is that we still have too many Barbadians- especially middle and upper class- who label Caswell an empty vessel who keeps the most noise.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Agreed that the BT Editorial is well thought. On one aspect, I have previously agreed on these pages that the $300Million should not just be thrown into business, such funds should be strategically directed.

    But the whole of the piece refers to the incidence of taxation and that point is taken. There is nothing wrong with a 5% tax at the bottom line, which lent to addressing the issue of tax convergence, such that all businesses are treated equally, for regulatory purposes.

    However, indirect taxation and duties should be commensurately implemented, along with price controls on a basket of goods and services, such that the average worker is not disadvantaged.

    One area that should have been significantly improved ages ago is the collection and distribution of taxes and levies.

    How can businesses owe millions in VAT and NIS without recourse? It is shameful and it is actually outright theft. Such funds belong, respectively, to the government treasury and the national pension and health fund.

    To that point, government also needs to then pay refunds in a timely manner and also, should have absolutely no reach to the national insurance coffers.

    This area, of managing the treasury and cash flows, is as much to blame as the policies.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ Crusoe

    We cannot let the perfect be the enemy of the good. In an ideal world those highly paid academic economists at Cave Hill will be leading public education; instead they retreat behind their titles and status.
    We cannot build our future on hope and this president is out of her league. She is a campaigner, likes campaigning and we must take her out of her comfort zone. She is not at home with policy, thus the boated number of so-called consultants, in reality all feeding on the taxpayers’ cow.

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  • (Quote)
    That copy of the Barbados Today editorial is the most exciting and intelligent piece of journalism seen in any Barbadian publication for a very, very long time. It should be taught as a seminar and debated in public, especially on BU.
    A proper analysis. Congratulations to the editor. (Unquote).
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Agree with you 100(0)%.

    I, too, was clearly taken aback by this excellent piece of journalism.

    The language and ‘writing’ techniques of the author are simply superb, indeed.

    It has to be written by a person who is widely read and well-informed on national and international affairs.

    Clearly not written by a person with that “Bajan Condition” of incestuous subservience to the political directorate!

    That objectively appealing editorial should ‘raise the hairs on the heads’ of ruling political cabal and that bevy of the ‘red-arse-licking’ apparatchiks (like “Enuff”) on BU.

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  • Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean Approve ECLAC’s Proposal to Fuel a Transformation of the Region’s Development in the Wake of COVID-19

    The United Nations regional commission’s thirty-eighth session concluded today with a ceremony led by the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Amina Mohammed; the Permanent Representative of Guyana to the UN, Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett; ECLAC’s Executive Secretary, Alicia Bárcena; and Costa Rica’s Foreign Minister, Rodolfo Solano.

    (October 28, 2020) The thirty-eighth session of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) concluded this Wednesday, October 28, with countries’ recognition of the work carried out by the United Nations regional commission and their approval of the proposal presented in the document Building a New Future: Transformative Recovery with Equality and Sustainability, in which the Commission calls for forging a new, post-COVID-19 future in the region through a transformative development recovery, with greater equality and sustainability.

    ECLAC’s most important biennial meeting – which was held virtually for the first time – wrapped up its debates today with a ceremony featuring the participation of Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations; Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, Permanent Representative of Guyana to the UN and Chair of the Group of 77 and China; Alicia Bárcena, ECLAC’s Executive Secretary; and Rodolfo Solano, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship of Costa Rica, which is the country that now holds ECLAC’s presidency for the next two years.

    A total of 800 people participated in the three-day event, of whom 400 were government delegates; 55 were from UN agencies, funds and programs; seven were representatives of regional organizations; and 300 were from civil society. In addition, 24 Ministers of Foreign Affairs and 19 deputy ministers were present on the session’s panels. In all, the meeting’s transmissions drew more than 40,000 views via ECLAC’s various online platforms aimed at public dissemination.

    As the session came to a close, the representatives of 43 Member States and 9 associate members of ECLAC attending the event approved 14 resolutions in which they urge the Commission to continue its work collaborating with Member States on a comprehensive analysis of development processes geared to the design, monitoring and evaluation of public policies, and to keep providing operational services in the fields of specialized information, advisory services, training and support for regional and international cooperation and coordination.

    In particular, they approved the “San José Resolution” – in honor of the capital of Costa Rica, the country that served as host of this session even though it was entirely carried out by virtual means – in which the countries of the region welcome the integrated approach to development that has marked the thinking of ECLAC since its inception, and the relevance of the issues examined, and express support for the general tenor of the conclusions set forth in the position document presented by the Commission. Furthermore, it instructs the organization to conduct studies and formulate public policy proposals in the countries, in close cooperation with their policymakers, with a view to supporting the building of national capacities for the achievement of sustainable development.

    In her speech, the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Amina Mohammed, thanked the Government of Costa Rica for chairing the meeting and congratulated ECLAC’s Executive Secretary, Alicia Bárcena, “for her incredible leadership and commitment to the Latin America and Caribbean region.”

    “On Monday, the UN Secretary-General (António Guterres) rightly praised ECLAC’s pioneering role in pushing for a more inclusive understanding of sustainable development. This week has proven once again that ECLAC has truly established itself as the regional think tank of the UN Secretariat in the region and as a key regional forum for policy dialogue,” she highlighted.

    Mohammed indicated that the negative effects of COVID-19 in the region’s countries have constrained government responses to the urgencies of the pandemic and, in the medium term, undermine their capacity to build back better. “In this sense, the United Nations, and ECLAC in particular, have put many bold and innovative proposals on the table, such as an emergency basic income for the most vulnerable, tax exemptions and grace periods for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, a basic digital basket, a new political and fiscal compact to ensure universal social protection and a green energy transition in the region, among others,” she stated.

    “Over the past three days, we have heard the bold efforts that many countries of this region are undertaking to face the immediate impact of COVID-19 and to maintain the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as the blueprint for their medium and long-term efforts. This gives us great hope,” Mohammed indicated. “Building back better means putting equality and environmental sustainability at the center of the recovery.”

    Meanwhile, Ambassador Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett congratulated Alicia Bárcena for the groundbreaking analyses that ECLAC continues to deliver, including the document presented at this session. “We must center our thinking on some critical actions as we chart the way forward, putting increasing emphasis on implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the importance of financing for development, which is one of the focuses of this meeting,” she stated.

    Such actions include building policy coherence and institutional capacity, access to financing (which is critical to the global recovery and economic growth), the need for international financial institutions to adopt new approaches to risks and to reduce the pro-cyclical nature of financial flows to countries, and forging trusted development partnerships, with support from the UN Development System.

    “The 2030 Agenda provides the framework to respond effectively to current challenges. To complement national actions, regional organizations like ECLAC play an important role in applying the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to the regional context,” Rodrigues-Birkett said.

    In her closing remarks, Alicia Bárcena thanked the Government of Costa Rica for its leadership during this session and its vision and commitment for the next two years at the helm of ECLAC. She also praised the Political declaration on a sustainable, inclusive and resilient recovery, which the Foreign Ministers of the 33 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean signed in the framework of ECLAC’s thirty-eighth session.

    “There is broad consensus that the pandemic has exposed the inequalities and fragilities of the region’s countries. In this context, the international community must take into account the specific problems faced by middle-income countries in the region and by small island states in the Caribbean. We must bear in mind the structural gaps and the situation of vulnerability that have been exposed by COVID-19,” Bárcena emphasized.

    “We have submitted for your approval a bold proposal, with evidence, with scenarios for managing this complex time of enormous challenges. Perhaps the most profound element is the firm call to change the development model and redouble efforts aimed at a post-COVID-19 recovery guided by the principles of inclusive development, equality and sustainability,” ECLAC’s Executive Secretary told participants.

    “The document that we presented is a realistic and necessary document for action, which responds to the urgent needs of Latin America and the Caribbean. We want to reiterate that emerging from this crisis will require transformative leaderships and a capacity for dialogue and for forging political and social compacts that amass broad coalitions to guarantee universal access to health care, to social protection, to employment with dignity. A change in production and consumption modes is needed in order to build Welfare States,” Bárcena added.

    “Building back with equality and sustainability is the way forward. This will necessitate social and political compacts to ensure that these objectives become State policy, with the participation of communities, businesses, women and young people. At the same time, new forms of global governance are needed to provide global public goods, such as universal health care (a coronavirus vaccine for all), climate security and protection of the atmosphere, financial stability, peace and human rights protection,” Alicia Bárcena stressed.

    Finally, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship of Costa Rica, Rodolfo Solano, also thanked ECLAC and its Executive Secretary for the meeting’s success in the context of this new, virtual reality. He indicated that the session’s debates pointed to the need to restore axioms of the social compact: solidarity, cooperation, the fight against inequality, inclusion and innovation. “These are the guideposts along the way for our work over the next two years,” the Foreign Minister specified.

    “Multilateralism, solidarity and international cooperation are the only real way out of this unprecedented crisis, and they must become the center of our work. That is what the Secretary-General, António Guterres, indicated, and we share this view. The maxim of leaving no one behind must inspire the decisions that our countries take in the future, in fulfillment of development commitments and those of the 2030 Agenda,” Solano sustained.

    “No transformation will be possible without the component of fresh resources from international financial institutions. But these resources cannot come with the same conditions that are required today; instead, it will be necessary to foster longer maturities, lower interest rates, and more extended grace periods. In this effort, ECLAC can support countries in building the narrative that explains their fiscal obligations in terms of the transformative commitment to arriving at well-being based on the criteria of the common good,” he stated.

    More information:

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  • The central bank report did not have any surprises in it as we expected a decline. My concern is with such a drop in activity what is goverment doing to cut its expenses in a major way? If we carry on as is we will have a massive deficit on our hands and of course the tax payers will have to dig deeper in their pockets due to more taxation.

    Where are the measures to avoid this from happening?

    Liked by 1 person

  • @JohnA

    I am here reading about the harmonisation of European insurance law and reflecting on the absence of any cooperation across CARICOM post-CoVid. Here is an opportunity for cross-border procurement.
    The quarterly statements from the governor are routine, they are not meant to reveal any real information. He is only performing like a circus monkey. You may not remember when we kept monkeys in Queen’s Park. The public used to feed them and they performed.
    What is our economic recovery plan, apart from crap about tourism?

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  • @ John A October 29, 2020 8:45 AM

    Maybe that’s reason behind the hiring of additional costly consultants to tell them what is already known and recommended in numerous reports.

    Don’t be taken aback if the VAT is raised to a ’rounded’ 20% or a reincarnated NSRL finds a new lease of life under a red banner.

    As the GUV of the CB reiterated, those much talked-about construction projects must be kick-started if the Bajan economy is to be rescued from its current comatose state and returned to some semblance of sustainability to ward off social dislocation.

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  • @ Hal
    @ Miller

    So the plan is while we wait on these projects to start we will continue spending based on the estimates then? So if the Projects don’t start what is plan B?

    Somebody at sometime better wake up to the reality of the post covid economy.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ John A

    What about the 40000-strong reserved army of labour?

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  • @ John A October 29, 2020 9:54 AM

    Print money while blaming the OECD and EU for blacklisting Barbados because a former (now convicted) minister of the Crown let the corruption cat out of the ‘kickbacks’ bag.

    Just look at what took place with the public funds at the BWA during the same period of skinning the taxpayers’ cat.

    Don’t you think the OECD et al are aware of these reported cases of ‘alleged’ grand larceny?

    Somebody has to pay locally for the ICBL heist before Barbados can expect any redemption from the ‘black’ listing.

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  • @John A

    You appreciate that Barbados economy is in deep doodooo? Have you not been following events? The government cannot afford to send home workers. It cannot to allow the space to crash to destabilize the private sector at this time. Did the government not honestly opinion in his review that there are unknowns that make it impossible to be certain in planning? We can comment about agriculture and food security all we want but it will not move the macro needle in the short term given its insignificant GDP contribution.

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  • No amount of koolaid or smoke and mirrors would help.govt to move this leaking ship forward
    Debt must be paid and the govt knees would be pressed in the workers neck
    Even if govt go ahead with projects the movement would be slow and tedious to provide any breathing room.for the economy

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  • Vincent Codrington

    @ David Bu
    @ John A

    The Governor has carried out his duty and gave a clinical review / diagnosis of the economy in the third quarter. Obviously there is no growth because the economic environment has not changed.Economic strategy and fiscal policy is not his remit. His remit is to advise GoB when these policies/ strategies have potential to impact negatively the Financial System.

    John A
    Your advocacy for diversification of the economy ,and suggestions for savings of foreign currency and tax dollars are economically sound. One cannot build an economy like Barbados on construction. Construction is the infrastructure for manufactures and exportable services. These are dependent on markets. Where are these markets in the post COVID period?
    @ David BU
    I think by now we are aware that Barbados is not an island entire of itself. It is dependent and subject to external forces. No amount of grand standing and make belief can change that.

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  • @Vincent

    The economy is small and open. Through the years we could have done better but we are here now and have to manage current state. Why William does not understand that increasing agriculture output cannot materially improve the macroeconomic state in the short term but does not mean it should not be encouraged at the micro level is incomprehensible. Why another would use the analogy of a monkey to describe the Governors review stretches the bounds of reasoning and common decency.It is wha it is one must assume.

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  • (Quote):
    Economic strategy and fiscal policy is not his remit. His remit is to advise GoB when these policies/ strategies have potential to impact negatively the Financial System. (Unquote).
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    So how does the below statement fit into the above assertion?

    “Implementation of large private sector investments can serve to accelerate growth and create jobs, regenerate confidence so badly damaged by the crisis and enhance the island’s competitive position”.

    Didn’t the same Guv (and his immediate predecessor) previously regurgitated a list of ‘construction’ projects which were always in the investment pipeline like the Hyatt and Four Seasons considered to be economic game-changers even under the previous political administration but can now be classified as ‘stillborn’ projects?

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  • @ Vincent.

    Agreed the Gov has done his job and its left for the MOF and her advisors to now do theirs.

    @ David.

    The point is the size of government is unsustainable at this level of revenue with all it’s inefficiencies.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Vincent Codrington

    @ David BU at 12:17 PM

    Looking back we can always do better. Having to deal with what is before us and the intellectual and physical resources at hand, we do what we have to do. Unknown unknowns are always with us. We have not done too badly. The ship is still afloat. None of the naysayers would have done any better; and from their mouthings, much worse.

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  • Vincent Codrington

    @ John A at 1:06 PM

    The size of GoB is always unsustainable depending on the ideological lens through which we look.GoB is engaging on a counter-cyclical strategy. Reducing the size at this time will worsen the situation.It is what governments are elected to do….. stabilizing the economy and society.

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  • There is nothing special about this editorial. It is being heralded by some who are happy to see the government portrayed in a negative light. There is nothing progressive about raising issues about supporters wearing a shirt with a candidates name or face on it during election, especially when your party’s supporters turn up with placards with your candidate’s name and likeness. The “unlawful” appointment of the second DCoP was not an act of malice. Maybe a more pertinent editorial would focus on examining the pros and cons of a 2nd DCoP and whether HR issues within the police force warrants such a post to focus on these matters. The editorial could also explore the efficacy of the laws the Senator often highlights in a post-Covid 2020 Barbados. Merely repeating and at times embellishing old stories without going beyond the surface is just window dressing and lazy.

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  • @ Vincent.

    The approach now needs to be a tightening up on inefficiencies and tax collection. The ports of entry need to ensure that ALL who are importing are paying their fair share. We always see cutting back on staff being the solution. We never stop and say if we improve our revenue collection base than we could keep our staff count. It doesnt always have to be layoffs as the only answer. Goverment needs its revenue collection systems now to function more so than ever before.

    As for those laid off in the hotel sector we have to realise many will not find employment there again in the short to medium term. If Sandy Lane is now saying they need to cut salaries significantly to avoid major layoffs and they have one of the highest return client bases on the island, what situation do you think many of the smaller players are in!

    Liked by 1 person

  • Enuff
    Your lecturing to us here on BU is not resonating with the social media Barbadians on Facebook and Instagram .Our Government is getting hammered on many issues.I would never believe as I follow the issues on social media that The PM would receive so many negative comments given her popularity two years ago.You never see anything wrong with unpopular decisions taken by the Government.It will be seen in the protest vote in SGN where you still win but it will be a wake up call for the party.Let me hear your justification for a $27000/month new consultants when people are under financial stress from the covid 19 pandemic.Just remember that a gas station attendant gets $250.00/week.Then again your writings tell me, you believe in pedigree

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  • @Lest we forget could be Mottley was covering off Persaud. Looks like CDB Governors have stalled that move.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ Enuff

    You must give Caswell Franklyn credit for commenting on issues within the scope of his expertise.

    I recall, a few weeks ago, Grenville Phillips II raised the issue of ‘party colours.’ Do you know whether or not Mr. Franklyn has explained if it was illegal for his People’s Party for Democracy and Development to choose green as its colour, even though Solutions Barbados had already chosen it?

    Or do we treat the issue as a trivial, because Grenville raised it?

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  • @Artax

    The PdP has ignored Grenville on the matter of party colours.

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  • @ John A

    Some time ago we heard a lot about fiscal space. Is that now history?

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  • @ Hal

    That 40,000 must know by now that the chance of full employment under the tourism banner is not likely. If you ask any hotelier how the bookings look for winter he will tell you they were only a few but many have been cancelled. Cancellations are heaviest apparently out of the UK and Europe. America never got a hold on the virus so their presence was never really a possibility anyhow.

    The cruise ships plan to basically stay at anchor over the winter as well, so that will hurt our local service providers here too. Things are not looking good at all for the first quarter of 2021 compared to 2020.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @Hal

    You mean that famous term which no one could confirm by formula when asked. Lol?

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ John A

    Tourism, especially long-haul tourism, is a discretionary spend. Plse explain to me in simple terms (I am not familiar with economic policy) why this government is still investing its time and resources on the recovery of tourism to drive the Barbados economy? Am I missing something?
    Why are we tolerating 40 per cent of mainly young people unemployed? In any other country that would lead to social unrest, thankfully not in Barbados.

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  • John A October 29, 2020 8:45 AM
    In the current environment, [social, political, economic]; fiscal balance is political suicide. “we want more” is the anthem echoing everywhere. And if you haven’t noticed, ‘the guvment’ is to blame. Ipso facto, the same guvment must support ‘we’, for it is their policies and restrictions, and failure to deal with the pandemic, which have caused bedlum? Many opened the treasury floodgates. Now the second wave, as several predicted, could well be worse than the first, and the reserves to be tapped are less obvious or available. Keep your eyes on the French.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @NorthernOberserver

    You now understand why the prime minister is leading the regional voice to lobby for debt rescheduling for our small countries in a post COVID-19 world? This is a global pandemic that is affecting all countries. It should not be conflated with the ongoing issues with which successive governments have been battling over the years.

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  • @ Northern

    Yes I fully agree with you. We have to understand that the cost to go on like if nothing has changed will be financial suicide. We may have reserves but the majority of it is borrowed money. So if we continue as is we will basically be paying back lenders with their owned borrowed money plus interest. I can’t recall if the Governor said what the deficit was at the end of September against budget but it has to be considerable. I just am not seeing the sense of urgency I would like to see in terms of restructuring the economy to exist on a post covid revenue base. I saw in Barbados Today some economist trying to get over the seriousness of our situation, but our leaders and opposition don’t seem to grasp our situation. They also seem afraid to have an open and Frank discussion with the populace as well.

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  • Austin are you seriously suggesting that there should be social unrest in Barbados at this time? You actually care any thing about bajans and Barbados? YOU SEEM TO HAVE FORGOTTEN THAT COVID 19 STRUCK BARBADOS ALIKE OTHER COUNTRIES WORLDWIDE LIKE THE UK WITH MANY STRUGGLIING WITH HIGH UNEMPLOYMENT AS WELL.What the hell wrong with you overseas bajan bellyachers you want the government to waive a magic wand and make all the problems disappear overnight? What are your solutions know all?As far as i am concerned there is nobody on here that can do better but could do far worst as talk is cheap any idiot could say anything.As for Lest we forget i think all bajans got a wake up call with covid 19 and i am personally happy we had a decisive leader in place in Ms Mottley and not your party, s last PM because by the time they realised we had a problem the country would have been in deep doo doo.Very few bajans want to see your dems in under 15 years as as proven in the lost decade few of you had a clue what you were doing hence the 23 downgrades to junk bond status.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @Lorenzo

    I always thought you had a problem with understanding English. Read what I have said again. Inciting unrest is a criminal offence. By the way, unemployment in the UK is about five per cent.
    By the way, I would prefer if in future you talk to your mates who clearly find what you say of interest and leave me out. I am not one of your mates and nothing I post on BU is meant for you.

    Like

  • @ Enuff October 29, 2020 2:14 PM
    “The “unlawful” appointment of the second DCoP was not an act of malice. Maybe a more pertinent editorial would focus on examining the pros and cons of a 2nd DCoP and whether HR issues within the police force warrants such a post to focus on these matters.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Poor you!!!

    You still don’t have “Enuff” decency to admit that you and your crew of red johnnies were wrong and therefore give Caswell his “lawyering” jacket.

    The gravamen of the matter was not one of satisfying administrative requirements but whether the existing legislation permitted any implementation of such a proposal without the need to amend the same piece of legislation.

    Now who turned out to be the legal luminary and the legislated jackass?

    Liked by 1 person

  • Austin i think you believe you are the blogmaster.You cannot tell me not to respond to your nonsense.If you have a problem ask thr blogmaster to ban me.TRUST YOU ARE NOT MY FRIEND NEITHER AM I YOURS.You4 friendd are Skinner, CCC and the idiotic Mariposa who you can control.I care nothing about you or them.However , when you post the garbage above as a bajan living here i take great offence and i will respond to you capiche you could like it or lump .I know you do not like Ms Mottley and would be wishing the worst for her and the government but we bajans do not need your good wishes WE WILL REBOUND.

    Like

  • Another one for you, Enuff.

    Although I think it’s unnecessary for me to come to this forum on a daily basis to call Mia Mottley ‘Mugabe’ sand she speaks with her ‘hands flaring and fists pumping,’ I agree with ‘Lest we forget’ that’s she isn’t as popular with Barbadians, as she was over two years ago.

    I won’t use social media as the benchmark to measure her unpopularity, because you may discover the ‘host’ of the particular forums, have a bias against Mottley and would most likely attract people who share a similar bias. In the interest of balance, how about presenting social media platforms that are pro BLP?

    However, if you analyse Mottley’s tenure so far and you’re honest, you’ll admit she is clearly out of her depth. It seems as though she has decided to dictate policies and procedures, make all important decisions without any meaningful participation from her Cabinet members, perhaps because she doesn’t truss them. For example, she makes all the important announcements as it relates to ministries irrespective of the substantive ministers. (I’ve noticed she has remained a bit silent on crime and the economy).

    I found her ability to speak without prepared notes very impressive. But, now she does so on a regular, sustained basis, my thoughts are otherwise. How on earth could the BLP ask poor Barbadians to ‘hold strain’ in a depressed economy, yet, maintain a bloated Cabinet and a cadre of highly paid consultants? ‘Government’ has not articulated any clear post COVID-19 socioeconomic policies. We have RBPF, Criminal Justice Research and Planning Unit, Office of the AG and a former CoP as a consultant on crime (whose engagement and salary are yet to be justified), yet ‘government’ has not revealed any plans to combat crime.

    Ironically, we are in the midst of a by-election campaign, in which the general secretary of the BWU is the BLP’s candidate for St. George North. I’m yet to hear anyone on her platform, discuss issues relating to minimum wages or address the plight of employees, such as shop assistants, gas station attendants, maids, security guards, janitorial service providers and those categories of workers earning $250 per week or less.
    We prefer to discuss bush; a community center that remained unfinished under both BLP & DLP administrations, how many buses and SSA trucks were bought and if they were paid for by cash or credit; how many roads were fixed, which are all things that should be done under the normal process of government.

    There are other concerns, which I will not raise at this time.

    Mottley exhibits all the characteristics that are identified with the autocratic style of leadership. If she is not careful, she will be recorded in the annuls of Barbadian history as a ‘one term prime minister.’

    Like

  • @ David

    It is that the PdP ignored Grenville….. or Caswell Franklyn chooses his fights carefully?

    Like

  • Two points
    1) if the graphs started at 0,the astronomical increase would appear lilliputian.
    2) Baseline is important. Did yo see that 33%is like our 7%, but it never reached the old high.

    Like

  • Artax
    My stupse above was for Miller. Not you. Here’s my position, the electorate will decide next election if the money spent on consultants was worth it. I just read that the UK government spent over $100M on consultancy services related to Covid. Trudeau is engaging with BC. We all know where Bdos was in 2018 and we know where we are since Covid. Covid as a public health and economic threat is real. Taken together, I can’t see the work to be done being left alone to civil servants. We have to restructure a whole government–laws, processes, systems etc. You think all the digitisation that is happening isn’t relying on consultants? A Police Certificate of Character now takes a day, as well as a driver’s license renewal. Should we have hired Hal and Greene to do the restructure? I saw the $27,000/month story and laughed. Trawl the Parliament website and you’ll find the truth. I close by repeating my opening position–the voters will determine if White Oak’s actions are now allowing us to fare better during Covid or not. Tell me if you are hearing any policy prescriptions from any other party? I heard the Bishop asking whether housing in town would be same sex pads.🤣🤣🤣

    Like

  • @Artax

    It is a matter of principle, did the PdP select a party colour that was already in use? If yes it is unethical behaviour.

    Like

  • @ Enuff October 29, 2020 6:42 PM
    “Taken together, I can’t see the work to be done being left alone to civil servants.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    That same argument to justify the wastage of taxpayers’ monies was used by the previous DLP administration.

    you Rude boi, “Stupse”!

    Didn’t your administration promise to cut out wastage and not compound it?

    Remember the Transport Board fiasco?

    What’s wrong with Jeremy Stephens or the tens of trained economists knocking about the place and going a dime a dozen?

    Even Anthony Woody (like poor OSA) would take a consultancy pick as a way of getting back in MAM’s political good books.

    BTW, what has happened to that ‘think tank’ of eminent persons (including Sinliar the architect of the economic destruction under the same bogeyman DLP) appointed to advise your administration on ways to manage the Covid crisis?

    Like

  • fortyacresandamule

    Gross reserve of $ 2billion in local currency is misleading. A better metric to use is the NON-BORROWED reserve. This is the amount left when you subtract IMF loan and other borrowed funds, used to boost the reserve. A back- of- the- envelope calculation shows our NON-BORROWED reserve is around 40% of the Gross reserve. This is not sustainable going into 2021 given the massive drop in tourism receipt.

    Since rich countries are only giving poor countries a break in their debt obligation, what the IMF should have done in the mean time was to increase its allocation of SDR by 100% to all members.

    Like

  • @ Lorenzo
    Man, I have respectfully asked you not to mention my name like that. Do you ever read me saying who are your friends and who like and who doesn’t like you. Please extend to me the simple courtesy of not doing such things.
    This is ridiculous. I have no beef with you. You have a right to support the party of your choice. But you’re constantly overstepping your crease. Once more , I ask you to be more respectful . I just had a forty eight hours debate with @Artax. Kindly go and read the back and forth.
    Man, Lorenzo take it easy. You are not doing yourself any good with this nonsense. I don’t expect you to care about me buddy, I have children and grandchildren.
    Please leave William Skinner out of uour comments unless you are directly referring to something said by me
    . I know some may say why Skinner care about wuh Lorenzo say but I know why I have taken this route. Whether you listen or not is us up to you.
    Peace.
    Peace:

    Like

  • fortyacresandamule

    The IMF, technically, is the bank of last resort for countries. They have the capacity to print SDR, just like how central banks can print their own currencies. Allocating SDRs to especially SIDS, and more boadly, struggling middle -income countries, is a cheaper way ( its basically free reserve) to boost their reserves and stabilised their currencies.They did it during the 2008 financial crisis, today it’s needed more than then.

    Something tells me the US government is not in favour of this move. They don’t like the idea of the IMF printing SDRs. However, they don’t mind the federal reserve printing money to back-stop the global financial system. Basically, the fed becoming the bank of last resort for the global financial system, instead of the IMF. Right now the federal reserve is lending US$ in short-term swap deals, to various SPECIAL central banks around the world. Go figure.

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  • @Blogmaster
    I have to ask what is “debt rescheduling”? You saw ‘Medium to Sweet’ Wood admit he didn’t know what debt reprofiling entailed. Or was that debt restructuring? Nuff fancy words which seem to mean different things to different people. The challenge is the larger nations have all been ‘propping up’ their economies. And now the do-do is really hitting the fan. Whichever term is used, it means somebody else has to forego something. The next 8 months will be far more interesting that the prior 8. Hopefully we’ll all live to see them!!

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  • @NO

    Extending the maturities.

    Like

  • Good post by Artax.

    P.S. The party colour issue may seem trivial to most but I wonder why the PDP was allowed to choose a colour already in use and I also wonder why this simple problem has not been fixed. These seemingly insignicant actions do damage a party’s image in the minds of the discerning.

    What’s in a colour that one must use it and ride roughshod over the rights of another? And what does this say about one’s respect for the rights of others?

    Truly baffling.

    Like

  • Milluh
    You’re citing the TB to justify why the current government should not have hired specialist skills for a debt restructure or to look at economic resilience? Look I done cuz y’all Alices ain’t leaving that hole. Don’t mind all yuh pensions in foreign lands secure and wunna respective governments engaging with consultants to make sure all yuh don’t starve.

    Like

  • IMF Reaches Staff Level Agreement on the Fourth Review of Barbados’ Economic Program Under the Extended Fund Facility

    October 30, 2020

    End-of-Mission press releases include statements of IMF staff teams that convey preliminary findings after a visit to a country. The views expressed in this statement are those of the IMF staff and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF’s Executive Board. Based on the preliminary findings of this mission, staff will prepare a report that, subject to management approval, will be presented to the IMF’s Executive Board for discussion and decision.

    IMF team reaches a staff level agreement with the Barbadian authorities on the fourth review of Barbados’ Economic Recovery and Transformation program (BERT) supported by the Extended Fund Facility.
    The Government has lowered its primary balance target to minus 1 percent of GDP for FY2020/21 to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
    To help finance the emerging fiscal deficit and related balance of payments need, an augmentation of the Extended Fund Facility of about US$66 million is proposed.

    Washington, DC: At the request of the Government of Barbados, an International Monetary Fund (IMF) team led by Bert van Selm conducted a virtual mission between October 26-30, 2020 to discuss implementation of Barbados’ Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) plan, supported by the IMF under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF).

    To summarize the mission’s findings, Mr. van Selm made the following statement:

    “Following productive discussions, the IMF team and the Barbadian authorities reached staff-level agreement on the completion of the fourth review under the EFF arrangement. The agreement is subject to approval by the IMF Executive Board, which is expected to consider the review in December. Upon completion of the review, SDR 65 million (69 percent of quota, or about US$90 million) will be made available to Barbados.

    “The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on Barbados’ economy, with a double-digit decline in economic activity projected for 2020. Tourism came to a virtual standstill between March and June 2020: airlift declined precipitously, most hotels closed, and occupancy plummeted at facilities that remained open. In early July, the island cautiously started reopening the economy for international tourists, after the authorities effectively halted local transmission of the disease. However, tourism arrivals remain at a fraction of normal levels.

    “In this very challenging environment, Barbados continues to make good progress in implementing its ambitious and comprehensive economic reform program. International reserves, which reached a low of US$220 million (5-6 weeks of import coverage) at end-May 2018, are now in excess of US$1 billion. All quantitative targets for end-September under the EFF were met. The program target for Net International Reserves was met by a wide margin, as was the target for the Central Bank of Barbados’ Net Domestic Assets (NDA).

    “In response to the pandemic, the Government of Barbados is now targeting a primary balance of minus 1 percent of GDP for FY2020/21 (compared to a surplus of 6 percent of GDP envisaged prior to the pandemic, and a surplus of 1 percent of GDP at the time of the third EFF review). The lowered primary balance target accommodates the loss of government revenues stemming from the pandemic and facilitates emergency outlays on health facilities, medical supplies, and income support to the most vulnerable. Staff supports this easing of the fiscal stance and, subject to approval by the IMF Executive Board, proposes an augmentation of the Extended Fund Facility in the amount of SDR 48 million (51 percent of quota, about US$66 million) to help finance the emerging fiscal deficit, bringing total access under the program to SDR 322 million or 341 percent of quota.

    “Tabling of a revised central bank law to parliament is expected shortly; this is a critical safeguard for continued macroeconomic stability and will be a prior action for the completion of this EFF review.

    “The team would like to thank the authorities and the technical team for their openness and candid discussions.”
    IMF Communications Department

    Source: IMF

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  • Govt knocked over another consultant
    Government has hired another consultant and Opposition Leader Bishop Joseph Atherley is slamming the move.
    However, the contracting of the economic consultant for $81 700 over a three-month period was defended by Minister in the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Investment, Marsha Caddle.
    The opposing views emerged Tuesday as the House of Assembly debated a $25 million supplementary resolution related to the Barbados Employment and Sustainable Transformation programme.
    While Atherley or Caddle did not name the consultant, the resolution stated that $81 700 allocation was “to pay the contract of Dr Justin Ram as economic/technical adviser to the Prime Minister for three months effective November 1, 2020”. Ram is immediate-past director of economics at the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).
    Atherley asked when the hiring consultants would end, including of individuals who were “credible voices who are not afraid to speak in a critical fashion about Government policy and the challenges the country would face”.
    “It’s another consultant even though for a brief period. When does it end? When do we come to the place where we say we can’t afford this anymore and perhaps this money could be used otherwise and perhaps this service could be provided by some existing individual or entity? When do we come to that place?” Atherley asked.
    Caddle said in response that the new consultant was for a limited period and was intended “to put together certain arguments in some upcoming international engagements that the Ministry of Finance, Economic Affairs and Investment will have”.
    “The main activities for this relate to determining the most appropriate mechanisms… for the financing of COVID-related debt. Settling how we use vulnerability index, coming up with some recommendations to improve capacity and skills as well as execution rates in the Caribbean, because the Caribbean has an under-execution problem.
    “We have the skills and the capacity but sometimes we’re not able to execute at the rate that we would see the rates of development that we would want,” she stated. The minister said the advisor would also assist the Government in deepening its relationships with CARICOM, the Caribbean Development Fund and other governance mechanisms needed to do business in addition to helping it improve access to grant funding and look at facilitating the recommendations of the CARICOM Commission on the economy.
    She also said such contracting services would not end because as Barbados steps “fully into the third decade of the 21st century”, it has “to realise that the new structure of work, the way that we engage professional services, is also changing”.
    “…We all realise that we have to be able to engage work in new and varied ways and we don’t make apologies for that because we’re not doing it under the cover of darkness; we’re doing it right here in this Chamber,” said the Minister. ( GBM)

    Source: Nation

    Like

  • EU official defends blacklisting
    Regional Cooperation and Trade Support team leader at the European Union Delegation in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Felipe de la Mota, is fending off strong regional criticism of the EU’s recent blacklisting of jurisdictions.
    Speaking at a virtual panel discussion hosted by University of the West Indies and European University Institute yesterday, the EU official argued that there have been a lot of misconceptions surrounding the blacklisting issue which needed to be ironed out. Acknowledging that the timing of the blacklisting was unfortunate, given that it coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic, de la Mota argued that this timeline was set a while ago by the Global Forum.
    “The timing for conformity for non-compliant tax jurisdictions was set by the Global Forum itself in April and the EU listing merely reflected that inevitably. It is of course ready to continually assess the progress and take countries off the list when the Global Forum deems it so. So ultimately it is a question of a lot of misconceptions around who is putting together these lists and when and why. COVID of course had nothing to do with it, a bit of unfortunate timing maybe,” he said.
    Earlier in the session, head of the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISES), Dr Don Marshall, accused the EU of an overreach of power with regards to sanctions that would accompany these blacklisting.
    “We cannot have global governance institutions treating to the question of our international business sectors in the way they have done in the past. This is not only with regards to the illegally imposed blacklisting on countries that they deem non-compliant certain tax information exchange, but also this business of threatening to impose sanctions. The law does not give the OECD, it does not give the EU that authority; these things need to be addressed,” he said.
    Extensive screening
    According to the European Commission’s website, the list was the result of an extensive screening of 92 jurisdictions, using internationally “recognised good governance criteria”. The countries that were blacklisted were those that failed to make a high-level commitment to comply with the agreed good governance standards. Many other countries did commit to comply with the listing criteria within a set deadline, usually the end of 2018.
    Barbados was required to implement several changes to its tax exchange framework between July 2015 and June 2018 to become fully compliant with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation
    and Development’s (OECD) Global Forum-Standard on the exchange of tax information.
    Prime Minister Mia Mottley has raised serious concerns about the development and has written to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and European Union president Charles Michel. The Prime Minister suggested that the blacklisting would result in restrictions on the local banking sector.
    “They are going to get their banks and their financial institutions to put measures on us. And we say that when they try to do that most of the banks say, ‘But Barbados is too small!’ They don’t even think we are a problem for them because as far as they are concerned, we are a dot on the map. But the dot on the map means they will just say to people, ‘We aren’t banking with you! We aren’t doing business with you!’ And companies that may have been here 50 years, … 100 years, now stand to be affected,” she said during a political rally earlier this month. ( CM)

    Source: Nation

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  • I am not sure if it is related, but all the consultants the president hires seem to be men.

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  • @Blogmaster
    Kicking the can down the road….is that really what is being requested? That is what Wood thought too? It is a good angle with which to “open discussions”. Until somebody does the math, and calculates the “interest” on bi-lateral loans. And someone else realises, that down the road, the maturing commitments are such, one has no way to meet them. Then the conversation “shifts”.

    Liked by 1 person

  • It comes down to capacity to pay does it not?

    Like

  • It does. But what is “capacity”? “IF” the payee switches it expenses, it has the capacity. But will it?
    So it becomes much deeper than capacity? It is capacity while keeping, or increasing, expenses to serve the ‘social good’.
    On a micro level, I have a 4unit rental property. They want ‘breaks’. One smokes 2 packs a day ($500/mth). IF they quit smoking, paying rent would be no issue? Another has a wayward child, who used to live there, but ‘moved out’. My tenant is now paying towards that child’s (19) living expenses. Another ‘lost their job’, but that didn’t stop them from getting a brand new car in May, to replace the 1998 Toyota they had before. They all make choices, which reduces ‘capacity’? Who is to pay for their choices?

    Liked by 1 person

  • The 66 million drawdown the IMF approved will assist with the capacity building.

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  • It is added ‘borrowed’ reserves….and its $66M XDR = +/- $90MUS at he current basket valuation. Capacity remains the choices on expenditure any entity paying opts to make.

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  • @NO

    Just playing with you.

    The guys seem to be playing for time.

    Reminiscent to Stuart government post 2008.

    Like

  • @ David.

    Any time you play for time it cost you money regardless of what pretty words you use. Money will always have a price and the price increases over time. We will play for time and increase our debt service down the road as a result.

    Then again. Politics and economics dont mesh well anyhow.

    John

    Liked by 1 person

  • @John A

    We have the case study of the Stuart tenure to be reminded of the consequences.

    Like

  • @ John A October 30, 2020 4:31 PM

    You demonstrate some of the rarest type of COMMONSENSE on BU.

    You ought to be hired as the primus inter pares consultant to this administration on economic matters instead of the current bevy of academic as*holes.

    We are sure you would patriotic enough not to charge more than a ministerial salary per month for your services.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @Miller

    Problem is I wouldn’t last long enough to draw a half month salary. LOL

    I am old school where you call it as you see it and it dont depend on party or massaging the facts. Numbers don’t lie that is true, but some like to stress some and leave out some. For instance did the Governor give us the deficit to date as of the end of September against the budgeted numbers in the estimates for the said period?

    I going stand here on BU and be an armchair commentator. Thank you for your kind words though. 😁

    Like

  • @ John A October 30, 2020 5:33 PM
    “For instance did the Governor give us the deficit to date as of the end of September against the budgeted numbers in the estimates for the said period?”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Neither did he provide any up-to-date statistic on the unemployment situation, unless this is some oversight; whether fudged (as perpetrated by his predecessor) or objectively measured.

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  • John a

    If u would read you will Find the deficit

    I did not listen to the gov i just took a quick glance at the Numbers

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  • I think i saw a graph in unemployment / something to do with claims

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  • @John2

    Why not point John A to the specific page of the report? How does looking at the claim graph address the unemployment number? It must be said that unemployment stats are prepared by the BSS but an economic review of the economy is expected to frontally breakdown/address unemployment.

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  • @John A

    On page 8 under Fiscal Operations mention is made of a small deficit incurred for FY2020.

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  • This crap about DEBT REFINANCING should read FRENCH POLITICAL GUILLOTINE needs to be rolled out for most small Caribbean poorly managed and corrupt countries in order for the required financial management to be implemented. All the DEBT restructuring would not need discussing if proper managent ant the the wineing and begging would not be required. Carribean lifestyles need to be SIGNIFICANTLY ADJUSTED DOWNWARD to match their GDP abilities.

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  • @ David.

    Yes but it does not speak to a figure in relation to the estimates. So lets say for the period I budgeted a deficit of $50M for the period to September 30th and I actually have a deficit of $200M for the period. I could say I will have a ” small” deficit by year end. Small compared to what the one Sinkyuh ran? Without a baseline to compare it to the statement holds no facts. That is why i say you can mention some figures and not others and it says little.

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  • On matters like this one, I does want to come here and contribute. But this cockroach knows what is a fowl party. So I am just going to sit and listen to John A. That man keep it simple and straight.

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  • @John A October 31, 2020 8:37 AM

    Come on man. Why are you still expecting specifics. Don’t you realise that using vague language like “small” and ignoring simple baseline comparisons gives ample room to say anything that you want?

    These central bank reports of have been poor for a long time but there is a wider issue. There is an epidemic of half baked reporting coming out of institutions in Bim. It speaks to a lack of professional rigour and serious disrespect for the public audience.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ Dullard

    Spot on. An example of this fraudulence is a few weeks ago the BLP announced its membership had increased by 70 per cent. But to this day it has not said from what to what.

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  • David

    AS i said
    I just took a quick glance

    JohnA

    Didnt the estimates Get abandoned/cancelled?

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  • The estimates were laid in the house and approved as is required. The problem here is simple as it speaks to relevance. Let me explain what i mean.

    Suppose you tell me you will spend 100,000 on a house renovation but you spend ” a little bit more ” what is the “bit more” compared to, the cost of the renovation or the cost of the house? So if you over spent by $20,000 say you would of over spent by 20% on the renovation which is sizeable, but if I just say “on the big house i just work on i over spent by a little” and the house is worth $800,000, then the same $20K becomes only 2.5%.

    In other words numbers without a base like lacks relevance. So if we say we will run a ” small” deficit, what is it’s numeric value as it relates to what we would have budgeted for the period ending September 30th.

    The devil is In the details. Hope this helps to explain my point.

    Like

  • I usually like these

    Click to access 63822ff3590aff5a7ca7a79ae8f72ddc.pdf


    The current land owner Balmoral, would appear to be the late Gerald Bull of HARP fame, family (Balmoral)
    Seems the GAIA has been leasing these lands(?) prior to compulsory acquisition(?).

    I have seen this name before…..Maria Holder trust….are they now the builder for the MoE

    Click to access 41f1daf93d0ba5be655bca9e21c5dee3.pdf

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  • The estimates were approced by cabinet on oct 13th 2020

    I knew there was some kind of interyption in the process

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  • U can Find the estimates deficit there

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  • A “ physical”deficit of only 22 million dollars
    Is small compared to Barbados economy

    A – You are making to much fuss about a “good” thing when you consider our / covid situation

    A nothing burger argument IMO

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  • It is time to implement my STARVE plan. We need a wage cap for employees and a tax reduction for employers. We also need to shift the unemployed to the plantation.

    Somebody needs to absorb the costs of COVID19. And that is not international capitalism.

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  • @2
    is that physical deficit number accurate ‘decimally’?
    When A’s buddy Sinkyuh presented such numbers we knew with certainty the revenue projections were high AND the expenses were low. Now we have the IMF as watchdogs. I still “think” the revenue could be high, based on experience elsewhere; expenses are “controllable”. The GoB deserves a medal, if the revenue fall off projected is achieved. Then again, if they ‘excuse’ certain revenue generators after the fact, the current numbers do not matter.

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  • 2.54am? somebody changed the clocks early

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  • With England back in to lockdown, which is likely to continue in to the New Year, what are our tourism strategies? Is there a risk associated with opening the country to tourists from high infected areas?

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  • You manage risk don’t you? Isn’t that what the protocols are meant to do?

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  • Why is government giving Caves of Barbados taxpayer money in millions?

    Who are the shareholders of that company? If private, then it should not be done. Otherwise, every other player in the tourism industry should get handouts too.

    And , no, it is not a loan, it will likely not be paid back, just like all of the other ”loans”.

    Like

  • Stocks, shares and economic enfranchisement

    By Ralph Jemmott

    The Brass Tacks programme of Friday October 9, focussed on stock, shares and the compulsory acquirement of minority shares by majority shareholders.
    Dr Leroy McClean posed the most critical issue in the discussion. He asked what all the talk about “economic enfranchisement” was about, if local minority investors could so easily and so frequently be bought out by foreign majority shareholders?
    Barbadians were blamed for failing to invest when a former Government decided to privatise the Barbados National Bank (BNB) and the Insurance Corporation of Barbados (ICB). Shares were made available to the public but controlling interests were acquired by Trinidadian and Bermudan interests.
    In 1991, the late Tony Johnson published a booklet entitled ‘ Toward Economic Democracy: The Role of the Securities Exchange of Barbados.’ In the Preface to that text, Dr Neville Duncan stated that the Barbados Stock Exchange would be a means for “widening of share ownership in an environment of deregulation and privatisation”.
    Surely, the persistent acquisition of locally owned minority shares by majority foreign entities cannot be compatible with anything calling itself “economic enfranchisement”.
    One understands the concept of political democracy, one man, one vote.
    But there is no such thing as economic democracy in a polity based on the capitalist mode of production. Per capita income does not speak to equity and income distribution levels may be wide or narrow. Wide as in Latin America, or narrow as in Scandinavia.
    But would the difference equate to something that could be realistically described as being economically democratic?
    A caller to Brass Tacks stated that four times she had purchased shares in local companies only to have them bought over by foreign majority shareholders.
    The crux of the matter is that more often than not the foreign entity, having acquired total ownership, later sells its shares to other foreign companies sometimes below the rate trending in the local stock exchange.
    In a recent case, shares trending on the Barbados Stock exchange at Bds$3.00 per share were offered at Bds$1.78.
    Interestingly Doug Skeete, from the Association of Corporate Shareholders, admitted that majority shareholders do not always take kindly to minority stockholders coming to Annual General Meetings and asking embarrassing questions. He also stated that minority shareholders are too often not privy to the internal workings of companies in which they have only a small interest.
    None of these factors would seem to encourage Barbadians to buy shares. Between 1976 and 1986, Prime Minister Tom Adams pursued a policy of what I once termed “economic nationalism”. This was a vision of broader capital and business ownership and increased state ownership of enterprises, what the social democrats used to call, “capturing the commanding heights of the economy”. This was largely reversed by the Owen Arthur regime between 1994 and 2008. Historians will forever debate the wisdom of that reversal.
    There is the economic question as to whether Barbados is better served by foreign companies through access to more capital for expansion, better management, better marketing and so on. Then there are those who feel that the country would be better served by the ownership of some kind of National Development Bank and a Government-run Insurance Company.
    There is also the emotive issue of a sense of national pride in indigenous ownership, as Dennis Johnson put it, the joy of seeing the name “Barbados” on a building or more significantly the pride of patrimony, of knowing that there are assets that can be passed down to our children and grandchildren.
    Arthur would later claim that he wanted to create in Barbados, “a new entrepreneurial culture and a new entrepreneurial class”.
    It is difficult to see how this could be achieved if there are massive buyouts of local enterprises which are then managed by foreign elites whose prime interest would be in maximising profits and repatriating much of them to foreign shareholders.
    Certainly, corporate profitability should redound significantly to a country’s well-being,
    “significantly”…. meaning not simply in terms of providing employment, important as that might be in a country like Barbados where there is a labour surplus.
    Beyond the rhetoric, I do not know that there is much evidence of a substantive and broadbased entrepreneurial enterprise. Some days, not a single share is traded on the Barbados Stock Exchange. There was a time when Barbados could boast 30 companies trading on the exchange. Now, there are reported to be only about 18 as many have been delisted.
    Buyers lose interest when companies are repeatedly bought out, particularly where there are doubts about the future direction of acquired companies. Most Barbadians are generally speaking, poorly educated in financial matters and recent infelicities like CLICO and the losses on Government Paper have aggravated the natural Barbadian tendency to risk aversion and suspicion of capital accumulation in foreign hands.

    Source: Nation

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  • Listen to Ezra, he knows of what he speaks!

    Good consultants worth it
    By Ezra Alleyne Suddenly everyone, in fact every tweeter (do tweeters twitter?) trumps himself as an expert in the governance of this small, open economy.
    That may be a good thing. Many more of us may be taking an interest in how this country works.
    It may also be a bad thing in that much fake news information is spat across what is misleadingly called “social media”. This past week, for example, social media addicts were consulting each other on the demerits of political consultants.
    While this half-cooked debate was raging here, an independent governance institute in London was cooking up a veritable feast on consultants and remarking on the clear usefulness of professional advisers to ministers, given the developing complexity of governance over several decades. Clearly consultants, (like black lives) matter, even if they are white.
    But let me cite a Barbadian example of how the national interests were damaged for about 15 years when consultancy advice was needed. Just bear with me as I develop this point.
    In 1965, the offshore industry in the Caribbean was being born. The Cayman Islands passed an International Business Companies Act that year and Barbados followed suit that same year. International tax planning allied to the concept of offshore capital was the new financial industry.
    Barbados had more developed infrastructural facilities than the Cayman Islands and was even then a more conducive environment for such business to be carried on.
    However, between 1965 and 1979, the offshore banking industry flourished in the Caymans and The Bahamas. Barbados scarcely got any business. By 1966, Barbados was independent, sugar was less profitable as an export crop, no new offshore banks were even registered here. International business companies were very few and far between.
    In 1976, there was a sea change. Tom Adams had become Prime Minister but even when in Opposition, he began discussing with his colleagues (I was one, Johnny Cheltenham was another) a replacement industry to make up the loss of the foreign-exchange earning sugar crop. I pushed for the offshore sector.
    By 1979, as Prime Minister, Adams was further advised on how he might usefully enact a promise written into page 26 of the 1976 manifesto, that offshore sector legislation would be passed. The Offshore Banking Act was passed in 1979, the International Business Companies Act amended . . . and the rest is history which I intend to write about at length soon!
    We lost ten years. That was the first lost decade. The timely appointment of an expert consultant learned in international tax law would have solved the problem between 1965 and 1979.
    Professional advice
    We were charging individuals income tax on their earnings, and the Caymans did not charge personal income taxes. So managers who
    would live on the islands of Barbados or Caymans might, other things being equal, opt for the Caymans.
    Fortunately, the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) was exposed to relevant local and external professional advice!
    Properly advised in the main by local expertise and confirmed by external consultants, the BLP shifted the marketing focus and offered investors something the Caymans did not have. That was our anti-double tax treaty network.
    Incidentally, the story of the sterling work of the committee set up and chaired by Sir Richard Cheltenham on his own initiative to renegotiate the
    USA Barbados Double Taxation Treaty in 1984 demands attention. We were spectacularly successful in that venture!
    Now that we have a cadre of local experts, we still less count the value of their advice. Take the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) request for convergence of the tax rates on local and offshore companies.
    The out-of-the-box thinking which suggested that we reduce the tax rates of the local companies to a common platform with the offshore companies has been viciously criticised as giving tax breaks to the local corporate sector, because we reduced the local tax rate from 35 per cent to five.
    Unwise or otherwise, critics failed to see that the Mottley administration had doubled the offshore rate to five per cent to save the offshore industry from the blacklisting clutches of the OECD. The result is that the increased earnings from the offshore financial sector has softened the severe impact of COVID-19 on domestic tax collections. It has helped us to contain the deficit.
    The choice of relevant consultants over the years has enhanced the policies of the BLP.

    Ezra Alleyne is an attorney at law and a former Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly.

    Source: Nation

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  • Why would a country smaller than the size of a shoe box need so many consultants
    What does that say about the level of education and its people
    Can the constant seeking of overseas consultants by Mia be a signal that she thinks barbados educational system produces idiots who are not worthy of making the best decisions for the country
    Anyone who can find a defense as reason to which an application of rationale is supply has rocks in their head for brains
    Can anyone in good reason not see how the wrong message is being sent to a populace who boast of pride
    Furthermore the millions being spent on consultants has yet to produce benefits to the barbadian household

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  • At the ‘unhealthy risk’ of being accused of stalking you and persecuted thereafter, I am politely ‘asking’ you to explain your November 1, 2020 6:24 AM contribution.

    I agree that Barbados does not need so many consultants and we are yet to be told of the benefits that would justify the millions of dollars being paid to them.

    However, could you please ‘tell’ the forum how many of ‘government’s’ consultants are foreign and provide evidence to substantiate your claim that Mottley is constantly seeking them overseas?

    If the majority of consultants are Barbadians, how does that reflect negatively on the island’s level of education and its people?

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  • Sorry bro
    I fall into the class of idiots
    “so many ” in my way of thinking can be “one ” too many when the financial resources are applied
    Hope my answer suffice

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