Outlook is Gloomy

Dr. Kim Quimby, a Lecturer in Immunology at UWI, Cave Hill appointed to the committee to advise the government of Barbados on the selection of vaccines issued the following chilling pronouncement recorded elsewhere in the press.

I don’t think anyone can say at this time when we will get back to normal. There are just a lot of variables going on.

There is also the mutation that you have to worry about and the decrease efficacy in the viral mutation. You don’t know how long it is going to continue.

If we don’t get everyone vaccinated quickly there is an increased risk of more mutation. So there are just too many unknowns to say when we can get back to normal. We just got to do what we can do at this point…

Dr. Kim Quimby

The statement is chilling because the government of Barbados and other countries with an overdependence on tourism and services have been adopting a wait and see strategy of borrowing to protect the way of life we have become accustomed. Some will define that way of life as living way above our ability to earn (afford).

We hope Dr. Quimby’s dispassionate warning based on training is factored in government policy and promoted in a national conversation. Setting expectations is important because if we observe the behaviour of Barbadians one senses there is an unforgivable ignorance about the dire economic predicament Barbados is currently mired. We should not have to be reminded that before COVID 19 reared its head just over a year ago Barbados’ economic state was fragile.

In a recent blog F for V I S I O N the blogmaster expressed concern at the lack of cohesion between ministries revealed in the recent 2021/2022 Estimates Debate. We have posted questions how does government plan to manage the 700 million budget deficit. What is the plan to sensitize the population of the real situation. The blogmaster understands the objective of government messaging to inflate the confidence of average Barbadians at a difficult time. However, the message must be tempered with reality.

If Dr. Quimby’s warning comes true, is the current plan to protect and give hope to Barbadians a realistic one?

Some will say send home government workers. If we do, how will it impact government revenues. The economists will generously use the Multiplier Effect argument. What about the social dislocation and disruption? There will be the knock on effect to the private sector given the design of the local economy which is public sector led.

Without getting technical and using a low dose of commonsense there are inherent risks and others we have to carefully manage in the unravelling COVID 19 public health crisis which has exposed economic and social vulnerabilities in Barbados and other countries. In the same way the virus is described as novel, responses by Small Island Developing States (SIDs) will have to vary from traditional tactics and approaches to problem solving.

The biggest two problems Barbados have to stare down are managing an unforgivable debt accumulated over decades to support a popular lifestyle AND the ability to materially move the GDP needle which is challenged by the fact our main money earner is a non starter for some time to come.

The reality is that the novel problem being faced by Barbados has stumped our best and brightest. If there is a path to finding our way out of the COVID 19 induced economic maze the blogmaster remains ignorant. Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown they say. Is is easy for some to continue to harp about the missteps that created a one-legged economy. It is more difficult to offer ideas that will move the GDP needle in a significant way.

The BU space over the years has captured hundreds of ideas posted by the dull and intelligent. The blogmaster senses the political directorate and shadows in the private sector have been contented to milk unfit for purpose economic and governance models.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are now reaping the whirlwind from those stasis positions taken.

The outlook remains gloomy.

110 comments

  • David
    You have often blamed supporting certain lifestyles as causative for the high debt levels.

    It would be more precise to locate causation as a function of international capitalism, what has sometimes been called globalization operating as a circular feedback loop.

    When you say lifestyles it gives the misguided impression that average Bajans are significant actors in this false economy.

    The trenchant truism has always been that international capital as debt comes into Barbados in order to enable foreign investors to exchange local currency for hard currency for repatriation and to keep the outward flows active.

    This should be seen no differently than the ways in which central government has for decades supported a sugar industry which was losing money or a tourism industry similarly located.

    We concede that ours is a more sophisticated maybe technical explanation but a proper interrogation must go deeper, much deeper than the blaming of average citizens who are not the primary beneficiaries of foreign debt.

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  • @Pacha

    This is true to locate the root of the problem BUT as a SID if we are to competently navigate global challenges and pitfall we will have to find a way to retreat to a SID model that is nuanced appropriately. Easier said than done for sure.

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  • William Skinner

    @ Pacha
    More globalist gobbledygook. The damn simple truth is that our economy was in shambles for nearly a half century. Pseudo intellectuals gobbling up nonsense and spouting pure crap while the basic features of any economy were failing before our very eyes.
    Please take off your blinkers and accept that while no idiot would deny or ignore what you apparently think is unknown to others on BU, that the bankruptcy of ideas “located” in the BLPDLP miscreants has done and will continue to do more damage to our country than any globalist or capitalist designed harm.
    @ David , as ordinary , and as intellectually or academically soft, positions might appear, to those masquerading as the sophisticated fountains of all knowledge, is correct and more in keeping with our current reality than pure pie on the sky well known cliches , that have dominated global discussion for at least one hundred and fifty years.
    And. let me state without apology that all that COVID has unmasked , has been there and will be there post COVID because of those who we seek to lead us.
    I guess the globalist manipulations have your black brothers and sisters working for $125USD per week or even less.

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  • @William

    We have to change it up.

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  • Skinner

    This is a matter in which you have no knowledge at all. Simply locating every problem into a larger narrative, even if that political argument is true misses the point,

    Skinner you cannot always have the same political argument to explain everything. At some point you’ll need to give an explicit explanation of what is happening currently instead of regurgitating dated arguments.

    We have not seen anybody here making a similar comment directly. And if you disagree. Well, explain why Barbados is not alone in terms of foreign debt levels.

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  • Skinner

    So have you finally made up your mind that this writer is a psuedo-intellectual.

    We never claimed to be an intellectual. It is people like you who see such claims as important not us. We give not a fuck!

    Then how do you account for the accolades given us over years. The invitations to write?

    Skinner, we consider your confusion a wider expression of an arrested development.

    Liked by 1 person

  • David – It is easy for some to continue to harp about the missteps that created a one-legged economy. It is more difficult to offer ideas that will move the GDP needle in a significant way.

    Response – On the contrary, many ideas to reduce the annual fiscal deficit and foreign debt have been given now for over fifteen years, from the prior unrelated Barbados Free Press blog, then on this blog.

    Simple and common sense ideas, where even import substitution is relevant. One does not always have to look for the biggest and best, but you have got to pick the low hanging fruit first. The rest will come later. When you do not even bother for the low hanging fruit, you will get problems.

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  • William Skinner

    @ Pacha
    You stated : ” Skinner you cannot always have the same political argument to explain everything. At some point you’ll need to give an explicit explanation of what is happening currently instead of regurgitating dated arguments.”
    Answer from Skinner :I now invite you to look in the mirror !
    You still have the inability to separate a debate from personal nonsense. My giving you credit as an excellent writer and possessing an erudite mind remains. Even if I did not give you credit, that would have still been the case because others are in full agreement on that assessment.
    Simply put Pacha, you are no pseudo anything in my book ,but to declare that you alone understand the implications of global and geo political manipulations and cause for many of our problems, have been known and is known by everybody who writes on this blog. How deep do you have to dig to discover why in St. Joseph our black brothers and sisters cannot get water? What global metric do you have to use to determine that our black brothers and sisters cannot get a start up loan from a single bank in our country?
    Pray tell what do any expansive knowledge of the perpetual globalists agenda has to do with Mark Maloney cleaning out the treasury , under two administrations, while your black brothers and sisters are selling off construction equipment to feed their families and pay debts.
    Do you really understand what to regurgitate means? You have a globalist position which plays into the same eurocentric slavery driven system that you claim to denounce. I remain a “backwater” regionalist. That is where we have been forever. I believe that the future of the Caribbean lies in one Caribbean Nation State. Its a difference of thinking nothing personal Pacha. Come down from wherever the hell you think you are!

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  • @Crusoe

    The blog is clear to give credit to the BU space for generating ideas over the years. The comment you cited was more targeted to some who post to BU daily to harp on the problems. Thanks for clarification.

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  • Here is one very good short article written on a now defunct blog, but the article is an example of prior discussion and very valid now, as we are saying the very thing nine years later and often in between.

    Unfortunately, I think many of the comments on many of the articles there have been deleted or inaccessible. When I look they are not there.

    https://barbadosfreepress.wordpress.com/2012/08/13/growing-our-own-produce-for-gods-sake/

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  • Skinner

    Perceptions about having to come down supports our previous determinations about you.

    You jumped on us this morning regurgitating your tired trite when we were simple trying to take a position that would generally seem fair.

    All of your emotional arguments about Black brothers and sisters are less than persuasive.

    Don’t you see the critical link between the cleaning out of the treasury which you claim and the way we tried to explain how borrowed money is primarily deployed to support international capital flows. The country has to pay it back but the local White businessmen benefit primarily.

    Our argument was basically to defend your Black brothers and sisters who you claimed are being suppressed, our word not yours for you will come back and say you ain’t say so, economically. And to push back against a wrong or imprecise argument being made by David.

    What you will never understand is that no type of regional union could avoid these problems. No different cadre of leaders. That as long as capitalism is the global organizing principle for economy the current duopoly political structures in any single island or any group thereof will be useless as a solution.

    We find you to be a disingenuous fellow. For you cannot make the claim that a writer is psuedo intellectual and at the same time construct an artificial divide between debate and personallity If you were not insincere you would have made direct contact with our basic point and not descend into that which you suggest of us, in your own inimitable fashion.

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  • It does appear the solution to every problem by SID governments including Barbados is to drawdown on a loan from international financial institutions.

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  • The prime minister confirmed this morning during the Estimates debate this morning the economic contracted by 2 billion dollars because of COVID. Also the government has borrowed 1 billion as a consequence.

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  • Now David

    Add that information to what this writer said earlier and you’ll have a fair picture why the economy and society are how they are, and will be.

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  • Wily and a few other BLOGGERS have put forth the one initiative to start the CHANGE REVOLUTION in motion. The Blogmaster and the usual social whinners immediately jump out of the woodwork that this is not a practical solution. Wily agrees this may not be the solution but it will initiate CHANGE that cannot be put back into the bottle and force the governments hand at addressing the consequential issues and generating solutions.

    DEVALUATION is the initiator, government/populace reactions will generate the solutions. Populace will have to endure radical lifestyle changes, government will learn to live within its BALANCED TAX(Revenue) – SPENDING limitations. When spending and revenue become balanced(equal) only then can the country start to plan what the future may look like.

    TIME FOR TOUGH LOVE.

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  • @ Wily Coyote March 22, 2021 1:07 PM
    “DEVALUATION is the initiator, government/populace reactions will generate the solutions. Populace will have to endure radical lifestyle changes, government will learn to live within its BALANCED TAX(Revenue) – SPENDING limitations. When spending and revenue become balanced(equal) only then can the country start to plan what the future may look like.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Well put! That’s the most effective way of reducing conspicuous consumption which represents a massive uptake of scarce (borrowed) forex.

    The forex chickens have now come home to the Covid-constructed roost exposing the naked truth that too many Bajans have champagne taste but only mauby pockets.

    We shall see if this administration will seek to borrow foreign money to indulge Bajans in the wasteful habit of importing luxury vehicles to be driven on former donkey-cart roads badly in need of repair and improvement.

    Why not put those electric buses to greater use in trying to achieve the twin objectives of saving forex and improving the environment by reducing the Bajan carbon footprints?

    We shall see if stale water in plastic bottles will continue to be imported to throw petrol on the forex-consuming fire and block up the country’s drainage system and despoil the beaches which are the No. 1 tourism attraction.

    Why not have processed foods make a greater contribution to the indirect taxation pie?

    Liked by 1 person

  • Be Christ this should not of come as a surprise to anyone. It was clear since last year to many of us here. When I get cuss for saying that we will run a deficit in excess of $500M by March 2021 not a fellow come to my assistance.

    Not a political party or a union member was concerned then. Not a newspaper either for that matter and now in the estimates everybody sound surprised.

    Well wunna brace for what coming next. More taxation in yuh tail and yet not a single meaningful project pointing to an attempt at economic diversification so far in the last 12 months. In the meantime wave 3 brewing in Europe and France especially. That’s right the gateway from Europe to England to Barbados under threat AGAIN.

    But don’t worry we got a plan. We going borrow $1 billion to prop up the pyramid scheme, don’t mind we economy only now worth $2 billion.

    Somebody with big brain help muh here, i is only a humble one door shop keeper in de Bush.

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  • @John A

    Our economy contracted from 8 to 6 billion.

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  • Ok sorry so it shrunk by 2B and we now borrowing $1 billion to prop it up then that is the logic?

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  • Borrow and beg. That is the immediate solution .

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  • @ david

    Point is at some point somebody got to realise that this level of economy can not carry the size government we have. If we don’t do something where you think the deficit will be by March 2022?

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  • @Hants

    Problem is when you borrow you got to pay back but when you beg all you got to say is “thank yuh.”

    Liked by 1 person

  • @John A

    The government is in a hard place. Cannot retrench and struggling to conceptualize short term revenue opportunities.

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  • @ David.

    They had a year to conceptualise the obvious. Alternative energy and agriculture are 2 no brainers. What has the sinkyuh committee come up with and why havent their findings been published?

    From where I sit i see business as usual as we wait for tourism to return. How big the deficit got to get before we realise this plan is flawed?

    Liked by 1 person

  • @John A

    Did she say the report would be published? It would be interesting to know the findings of the report. Why is the political opposition not called for the report? Is this a matter of national security?

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  • @David

    “The government is in a hard place. Cannot retrench and struggling to conceptualize short term revenue opportunities.”

    What your saying is the GOVERNMENT is SHIT OUT OF IDEAS, even the GUM FLAPPING looking lam these days. Wily has the solution, DEVALUATION, fits in with the major government ideology, sit back and ignore the situation.

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  • @Wiloy

    Is devaluation a growth strategy?

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  • @David

    “political opposition”

    Wily must have dozed off recently, did not know Barbados had an POLITICAL OPPOSITION, WHO, WHEN, WHERE are some questions.

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  • @David

    DEVALUATION is indeed a GROWTH STRATEGY, will enforce painful adjustments but growth will materialize eventually. The new growth will however be inline with a REAL GDP and not the present inflated socialistic ideology.

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  • Barbados has been welcoming Canadian businesses, Banks and tourists with open arms for the last 50 years.

    It would be a good idea to beg for ( request ) help.

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  • @Wily & Miller

    We have to face reality. Barbados has never been able to be financially self-sufficient since 1966. All the talk about strengthening agriculture etc. is academic wishful thinking. After two major slumps in foreign currency inflows (2008/09 and 2020/21), we have reached the end of our tether.

    Please do not take this as a criticism of our Supreme Leader. She is fighting the pandemic brilliantly. However, she should now leave old paths and become a heroine in the history books. Even the greatest leader can do little against supernatural forces like the Wuhan plague and 10 years of decline during the DLP´s terror reign. A moderate currency devaluation of 1:4 or 1:5 would be appropriate to the low productivity of our population.

    I recommend proclaiming the republic at the same time as devaluation. That would be opium for the people to ease the pain of devaluation.

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  • We should look to Guyana with hope. After 40 years of currency devaluation, a financial purgatory so to speak, this nation is now rising to become the new El Dorado.

    Perhaps it will be the same for us. If we devalue this year, maybe Goddess Bim will also give us rich mineral resources in 2060.

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  • https://www.barbadosadvocate.com/sites/barbadosadvocate.com/files/styles/large/public/field/image/Deodat-Maharaj_0.gif

    Private sector must lead

    Mon, 03/22/2021 – 5:44am

    With countries across the Caribbean ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic, Executive Director of the Caribbean Export Development Agency, Deodat Maharaj, says that going forward the private sector must play a greater role in regional economies.

    In a recent interview with The Barbados Advocate, Maharaj said COVID-19 has laid bare our pre-existing vulnerabilities as well as reinforced the need to diversify into new sectors, new products and new markets. As such, he said it is imperative that steps are taken to change course, sooner rather than later.

    With that in mind, he maintained that the private sector has to play a central and leadership role in the economy to generate jobs, and facilitate the growth and prosperity of Caribbean people. To that end, he contended that the role of the State will be to create an enabling environment for business to flourish and thrive.

    “We were primary producers of one export product, or one main sector to earn foreign exchange before COVID-19; it is the same now. We are arguably the most highly indebted region on the planet; post COVID-19, we’re in the same situation. Thirdly, and this is vital, the State was the biggest employer pre-COVID-19 and it remains the biggest employer in most countries in the region post COVID-19. But, what is clear is that once you have one primary sector that gives most jobs and provides most of the income, you will continue to be vulnerable, whether it’s a hurricane, or pandemic. I think that COVID has exacerbated pre-existing vulnerabilities, but what it has also done is sent a sharp message that business as usual cannot continue,” the executive director stated.

    Additionally, Maharaj said that the pandemic has forced countries to embrace technology and digitalization, at a much faster rate than they would have ordinarily had to do, in order to compete more effectively. But, he said there is still more work to be done in that regard. The Caribbean Export head said while it is now possible to purchase more items online, many Caribbean business people still do have websites, which could be prohibitive.

    “What is going to happen I think, is that people who are pushing the new frontiers of business, those who are going into renewables, those who are embracing business outsourcing, health and wellness, those new economies and those businesses will flourish going forward and existing businesses, if they don’t embrace technology, and this new way of doing business, they will be in peril,” he stated.

    Reflecting more on the private sector, he said while the larger businesses in the Caribbean will be able to adjust and adapt to the new normal, the micro, small and medium sized businesses, which account for about 60 percent of the employment, will need help.

    “It is really important for them to get support from government, and for other partners to pay attention to them, because they are the ones you want to make sure can have a seamless transition into this new era and ease of doing business,” he added.

    Maharaj said that Caribbean Export is doing their part, where financing for such businesses is concerned. He noted that just recently a direct assistance grant programme funded by the European Union was approved, where businesses, which apply, can receive up to 15,000 euros on a non-reimbursable basis to support their business.

    “But I don’t think that is sufficient, obviously, and therefore what is really important is that across the region in regional institutions, such as the Caribbean Development Bank, and others, they have an important role to play in ensuring that precious finance for small and micro businesses is really readily available. And of course, government has an important leadership role to play to ensure that happens,” he maintained. (JRT)

    Source: BarbadosAdvocate

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  • @ Tron March 22, 2021 8:35 PM
    “A moderate currency devaluation of 1:4 or 1:5 would be appropriate to the low productivity of our population.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    But Tron, we have been preaching the ‘reality’ that the Bajan dollar can in any way- either under heaven or even during the reign of your Supreme superwoman- worth less than 10 mickey ‘mouses’ to 1 greenback.

    The issue is not one of devaluation to make Barbados exports more competitive but to force the well-off Bajans to live within their forex-earning means.

    Barbados’s exports can only get more competitive through a ‘revolutionary great leap’ in productivity and mercurial sea-change of improvements in service delivery standards in order to maintain current market prices or even set higher market prices. In other words, offer value for the money buyers are prepared to ‘shell out’.

    How can any Bajan administration promote any proposal of an additional 80,000 people to live permanently in Barbados when over 20% of is existing population ‘are’ already living below the poverty line in an already fast deteriorating and severely ‘overpriced’ economy?

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  • @Miller

    We have an ageing population with 0% birth rate. Do the math.

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  • @ Miller March 22, 2021 9:08 PM

    Of course, our Supreme Leader is completely blameless in the circumstances you have pointed out.

    Of course, our island must be very expensive because we are a paradise. The high prices keep the poor of this world away. If our Supreme Leader wants 80,000 new citizens, then only the financially strong upper class. They are to replace the 20% lower class in our country, who in return have to emigrate

    The current composition of the population has obviously not worked out, when I look at the economic data since 2008. So we need new blood. Once we are as multi-ethnic as T&T or Guyana, oil will almost automatically come out of the ground.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ David March 22, 2021 9:11 PM

    What math? That one from ten leaves zero?

    The new breed of Barbadians will ensure that figure always remain above zero even if to bring it down to equate to the country’s resource carrying capacity.

    Where are the jobs and ‘social’ infrastructure like the basic housing and water to facilitate 80,000 ‘new’ people in an economy that has just lost around 50,000 with pending further losses as business(es) look to cutback the employment of human capital or replace it with digital technology especially in the areas of former white collar employment?

    Would these 80,000 come to Barbados to pump gas, do maid work
    and work in shops and supermarkets and other areas where immigrants normally gravitate to as many Bajans did when they emigrated to the USA and Canada?

    Where do your existing 75,000 and growing boys and girls on the block school leavers making up the army of “Voluntary Idle” fit into your mathematical full employment model to make sufficient room for any additional amount imported or home grown unless you have in mind a return to the plantation days with marijuana the new Queen of the crop?

    Barbados is simply too overpopulated for its economic capacity, examined within the constraints of the Pareto optimality principle.

    That is the main reason for its long track record of emigration by Bajans to find greener pastures in the other places like Panama, Guyana (formerly BG), Cuba T&T and the great white North.

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  • @ Miller March 22, 2021 9:48 PM

    As I said, the plan of our Supreme Leader does not aim at the immigration of riffraff, rabble, etc. We already have enough of that on the island.

    We need 80000 wealthy foreigners to build a villa/mansion here for at least 1 million USD and spend much of the year here. That will create at least 100000 jobs for our natives.

    I explicitly deny that our resources are scarce. We have at least 500 free construction sites in our gated communities for 40000 people. For the rest, we could relocate poor natives from the platinum coast to the interior and build more golf courses and more gated communities.

    Our Supreme Leader has a great plan and I am willing to defend it as a neutral commentator.

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  • Devaluation would be a serious mistake. The solution is to raise VAT to curb spending. By excluding locally produced fruits, vegetables, footwear and clothing, you also encourage local production. Targeted indirect taxes can be used to manage spending.

    You people assume that spending is the only forex drain. It is not.

    Some people reading this are well aware of what I mean.

    By the way, as previously asked, how much forex room revenue actually comes into the island’s Central Bank.?

    The hotels can answer at the same time as they beg for more concessions.

    You cannot hit a cricket ball with a golf club and expect good results.

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  • Mottley urges rich states to donate unused drawing rights
    PRIME MINISTER MIA MOTTLEY is calling on rich countries to pledge the unused half of their special drawing rights (SDRs) to countries whose economies have been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Mottley was virtually addressing the 53rd Session of the Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, hosted virtually by Addis Adaba, capital of Ethiopia, yesterday when she made a special plea for help for the hard-hit countries.
    “I want to propose that rich countries pledge the other half of their additional and unused SDRs to developing countries if they use them to buy back their debts denominated in the currencies that make up the SDR and by an amount equal to the increase in debt from 2020,” she stated.
    That, she said, would yield significant debt reduction that would likely forestall a drop in credit ratings. If developing countries use their SDRs to buy back their debt, the offer, without any resources being spent, would increase the liquidity of the debts and investors would be aware that there is a buyer of their bonds.
    “. . . We meet regrettably again this morning on the battlefield of COVID. Our health statistics are relatively good, but our economies are devastated. Our governments’ relative success in treating the global pandemic’s health side has served to hide the true economic devastation of COVID from the world,” said Mottley, chair of the World Band-IMF Development Committee.
    She explained that while the world’s few reserve currencies were able to deploy seven trillion dollars of quantitative easing, allowing interest rates to remain near zero as they engaged in massive fiscal stimulus to offset the implosion of the private economy, others like Barbados could not do that.
    “So, while the advanced economies spent eight per cent of gross domestic product to boost their economies, developing countries could only struggle to spend one or two per cent of GDP. Public and private financing flows have either disappeared or been too little, too late. The inadequacy of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative is something for us to reflect on,” she said.
    The Prime Minister said the centrepiece of the international community’s response to COVID is the DSSI and while the advanced economies have added $11 trillion of new debt, relief for the 72 low-income eligible countries under DSSI will be around $11 billion, 1 000 times smaller.
    (AC)

    Source: Nation

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  • We have conflicting positions between Edward Clarke of the private sector agency and former president of the BCCI Eddy Abed. One is left to ask what does the incumbent president of the BCCI think? The blogmaster sides with Clarke’s more pragmatic position. We must resist Abed’s desire to sell cloth and weigh the risk to public health.

    Festival divide
    Business leaders split on having Crop Over this year
    by CARLOS ATWELL
    carlosatwell@nationnews.com
    TWO PROMINENT business leaders are at odds over whether Barbados should have a Crop Over season this year.
    One thinks a festival could prove to be a disaster; the other is of the view that it may help save the economy.
    Chairman of the Barbados Private Sector Association, Edward Clarke, told the DAILY NATION yesterday that to have the festival at the usual time “would be extremely risky and premature”.
    However, former president of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Eddy Abed, said the festival would be a bright spot in what was looking to be another gloomy year due to the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Government has yet to announce whether there will be a 2021 festival. Last year’s was cancelled for the first time as a result of the pandemic.
    Clarke said Barbados was nowhere near being fully vaccinated against the virus and had yet to set protocols for visitors.
    ‘Not ready’
    “We may need to have some kind of festival later in the year, but I do not think Barbados is ready to handle the regular Crop Over Festival in June/August. I would be very surprised if I heard that it was. The last thing we need is what is happening in Florida [where cases have surpassed two million as people continue to congregate on the beach],” he noted.
    “I know some people will not like to hear this, but we may have to find other ways of entertaining ourselves. Yes, we need something to get us going but Crop Over may end up being a short-lived revitalisation with a devastating fallout for the country. We need to find other ways to get the economy stimulated,” he said.
    Abed, on the other hand, pointed to the benefit to businesses.
    “The second busiest period for retail is the Crop Over/Kadooment period. The NCF [National Cultural Foundation] has not said whether Kadooment will happen this year and that’s very important. If that is still on the calendar, then that gives us a beacon to look forward to in the summer.
    “But if that has been cancelled, it is going to be woeful and extremely difficult to limp along towards the Christmas season in October/November,” he added.
    Both businessmen agreed that since the retail sector reopened earlier this month after the latest lockdown, it was a case of a brief burst followed by stagnation.
    Abed said there were insufficient events which could drive retail, such as cruises, fêtes and dinners, and he expected most retail stores would soon be offering discount sales as demand for items would be low in the coming months.
    “The retail sector reopened last [week] Monday and we were greeted with an unexpected rush of customers who had pentup demand. We were all extremely pleased to see that – to be candid, it gladdened my heart. However, as the week progressed, we started to see a slowdown in sales. The reality of the situation has come home to all of us, which is that there are many people still unemployed and many who have not received any compensation while they were home,” he said.
    Clarke agreed: “Initially there was a surge in certain areas the few days after lockdown was lifted, but things have settled back down; nothing fantastic. As you can see, the various supermarket lines have reduced because we now have longer opening hours and that was pleasing to see, but nothing material is happening in the economy. Things are still very, very slow.” He added that while some restaurants had reopened, they were only serving single seats.
    However, Clarke said there was still some hope once the country got the ball rolling regarding capital works projects and tourism to stimulate the economy and increase employment.
    “Once we can stabilise Barbados and have our vaccine programme fully rolled out, we need to then set strict protocols and clear guidelines for tourist arrivals . . . so Barbados can market itself as a safe destination and attract the people we need to attract back here. We have to get this done by the fourth quarter of 2021; we cannot wait until next year,” he said.

    Source: Nation

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  • Miller…how many years, how many fights we had with yardfowls about this…..as long as the diversification means those lazy ass minorities will FINALLY do some REAL work on the island and stop mooching and leaching off the Black populaiton..

    “BARBADOS’ ECONOMY MUST be diversified from tourism.

    Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley said yesterday alternatives must be found to drive Barbados’ economy, the main plank of which almost completely collapsed under the weight of the COVIDC-19 pandemic.

    “We have to diversify,” Mottley said during debate on the Appropriation Bill in the House of Assembly yesterday.”

    Like

  • DEVALUATION IS THE ONLY INITIATIVE TO SOLUTION.

    Like

  • @Tron March 23, 2021 1:29 AM
    “We need 80000 wealthy foreigners to build a villa/mansion here for at least 1 million USD and spend much of the year here. That will create at least 100000 jobs for our natives.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    But Tron, the jack-of-all -trades to your queen bee, hasn’t your proposal been enshrined in law since the dying days of David Thompson?

    Those incentives to attract high net worth individuals (HNWI) have been a major plank of both administrations stretching back to the 1960’s when your nemesis EWB was a frequent visitor to Alfredo Leforet’s west coast Sunset Crest tropical Hollywood to compete with the likes of Sandy Lane’s hoity-toity, Ronald Tree and his ‘pals’ with the deceased Claudette Colbert and her lover Ronald R. on show.

    Aren’t you going to grant some recognition to the far-reaching impact of the Tom Adams’s International Business regime of tax incentives?

    Barbados is already saturated with ‘celebrity’ owners of real estate with loads of properties on the up-for-sale market.

    Is Simon C or Cliff R no longer the magnet needed to market your plan?

    And who would do the cleaning and up-keeping of those residences of your ‘brand’ of the rich and famous if- in keeping with your ‘great leap forward’ recommendation- those doubly-slow laggards in the Bajan army of occupation called the Civil Service are sent overseas for ‘re-education’ along the lines of Chinese communist indoctrination to convert them into serfs of your Supreme President for life called the Sun Queen (La Reine de Soleil) under the republic of ‘MAM’?

    Tron, just let us come to some mutual understanding or (to put it in diplomatic speak) entente cordiale regarding the future of your dear republic.

    Bim has had her day(s) in the Sun and her glory days of whoring to live big are slowly coming to an end.

    Like

  • @MillerMarch 23, 2021 8:25 AM

    Your arguments may have some merit. Nibelung loyalty, however, means to back our Supreme Leader until the end. Until the downfall.

    After all, you will have to admit that our Supreme Leader is having the main road along the West Coast repaired. New water pipes everywhere and new road surface. Soon the West Coast will be restored to its former glory. For lavish parties and the like.

    Like

  • “We have to diversify,” Mottley said during debate ”

    Some BU regulars like Miller have been saying the same thing for the last 5 or more years.

    I still think tourist will continue to visit Barbados. There are still millions of people in North America who want to go to the Caribbean to enjoy 80 degree weather.

    If MIA is as brilliant as some of you say she will invest in ” diversification ” and still reap the low hanging fruit called Tourism.

    I gine and do something meaningful TO ME. Watch test cricket. lol

    Liked by 1 person

  • Diversification is not eliminating.

    Like

  • Amm don’t forget another favourite iof govt
    Citizen by passport that has raked in financial earning for some countries
    A road most likely to take by govt to avoid increased taxation for the people

    Like

  • MillerMarch 23, 2021 8:25 AM when your nemesis EWB was a frequent visitor to Alfredo Leforet’s west coast Sunset Crest tropical Hollywood

    Miller, I heard of Laforet, big moneyman. Who was he really and can you enlighten us more? Would be interested in that story. Some of those movers and shakers were serious international big shots too.

    Someone told me once on good authority, that a guy went along with Sidney Burnett-Alleyne, EWB’s cousin, to visit Onassis once in London.

    The guy with him was a bit disbelieving, but when the door open, Onassis flung his arms wide and exclaimed ‘SYDNEY!!’.

    Apparently true, true.

    I do not think that Onassis made his money by shipping milk nor vegetable oil.

    Like

  • DePeiza slams Govt spending plan – DePeiza slams Govt spending plan: https://barbadostoday.bb/2021/03/23/depeiza-slams-govt-spending-plan/

    Like

  • NorthernObserver

    Slam my RH, she said it did not go far enough. And she is right. Time to crank up the presses. Simmering labour protests across a broad base. A time to spend more, and right some of the many wrongs. Allow investment in vehicles of all types, all clothing and accessories, partying. That is where you will see return.

    Like

  • @ Crusoe,

    google ” fred laforet sunset crest barbados “

    Like

  • See return we so blasted inefficient you can’t believe. Let me tell you what happen to me today and I still vexified over it.

    I wake up this morning in a good mood and went down to customs to pay charges on a shipment like good corporate citizen. When I get there I see a long line snaking out the building on to the sidewalk. So I asked a broker I knew in the line ” wait they had a bomb scare?” He said no this is the line to pay duty etc on imports.
    What not me and that line.

    So quick so I move to plan B. I said well good I will drive up to the airport to customs up there and pay my money to the state to clear these goods, cause the boss lady say they need money bad. Lo and behold when I get up there I see another set up people outside standing up who tell me ” the cashier gone lunch and the cash station closed for the hour.” Thats right in 2021 that happen to me in a brek ass country hungry for money with a $700M deficit. You mean nobody in authority never hear the word RELIEF CASHIER. I mean the cashier human poor soul and she has to eat, but you mean nobody in authority ain’t stop and say to themselves ” wait if she ain’t dey who going tek de money?”

    Then we talk about raising productivity when it take a whole blasted day and a gallon of gas driving up and down just to pay to clear a shipment.

    Like

  • How in hell can barbadians live off 8.50 per hour
    Not only is the propsed wage increase insulting but once that amount because law one can bet that private Sector would find a way of wiggling and cutting corners in order not to pay the worker for a 40 hour work week
    Which means that the low income worker would not see and significant benefit coming from the 8.50 an increase which when puts next to the american dollar is all but 4.25 per hour USA increase
    Also factoring in the cost of living expenses the 8.50 does not even add up to a hill of beans
    All in all nothing to get excited about

    Like

  • @John A

    A breach of all sense. We moving digital. We are operating in a pandemic where a contagious virus in play but …

    Like

  • NorthernObserver

    “How in hell can barbadians live off 8.50 per hour”
    Good question. But I ask you to observe the cars and mottacycles in the recent videos. Observe the extensive lines to clear customs of which John A speaks above (ya think dese tings dey clearing is all gifts from away?)
    And wait, now you too want to list things in Amerkun dollers? I thought only realtors could do that?
    I will have you know Buhbaydus is an inDEEEpendent nation with our OWN currency. Stuepse.
    I see the maroon (red?) Bishop concerned about a $700M deficit. Wha he only gotta ask Chris to know dat is peanuts. Chris put two back to back spending sprees in our pooch which was each $300M MORE dan dat. And he en even had Covid to blame.
    See wha Verla tell dem, dey is not spending enuff. Did she mention a $12/hr minimum wage? I doan hear sa good anymore. I feels $500/40hr week should be a minimum. Bajans are some of the most productive peeple pun dis earf. #wedeservethis

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ david

    I give up trying to figure our plan out. I will do enough to pay my bills and no more. The young guys will have to figure out how they will make things work and run their businesses. Truth is the risk to reward ration is not there and hence few will even consider expanding. Then you add to it the nonesence I described today and you can’t help but ask yourself why bother?

    You realise today the former group know as BST is now about 25% smaller than it was before it was sold? Probably making more money though so that is all that matters to the shareholders.

    Like

  • angela cox March 23, 2021 5:41 PM

    You often make comments that cause people to go, ‘hmmmmm, seriously?’

    Would you agree no matter what rate per hour the minimum wage is increased to, “one can bet that private Sector would find a way of wiggling and cutting corners in order not to pay the worker for a 40 hour work week?”

    Are you suggesting “the low income worker would not see and significant benefit coming from the 8.50,” because it works out to be US$4.25 per hour?

    Like

  • @Northern Observer

    You are making some interesting points in a casual way which resurrects the blogmaster’s refrain about an addiction to consumption by our people.

    Like

  • @John A

    What is missing is an ethos which accepts the ‘urgency of now’.

    Our politicians and leaders in the NGO sector must accept this is not a business as usual time.

    Or leaders must finally appreciate you should not let a crisis go wasted.

    Like

  • Artax go hmmm again cause isn’t it the truth

    Like

  • William Skinner

    @ et al
    Why can’t we face it: Being bankrupt of money is one thing. Being bankrupt of ideas is quite another.
    The simple truth is that the BLPDLP is bankrupt of ideas and the country is therefore bankrupt.
    We can blame COVID but that is only one part of the problem. We went to to the IMF three times before COVID.
    Verbosity is not an economic policy; platform political rhetoric is not monetary policy.
    The government has no economic policy. First, we admit that and then move on. All evidence is that we are back to square one.
    I called for a billion dollar infrastructure program five years ago. I also said that removing the NSRL was a major mistake. Billions of tax dollars have not found the treasury over the last twenty years. Fifteen years ago I called for all self employed persons to be registered and made to pay income tax and NIS contributions. Over forty years ago progressive thinkers asked that the educational system be reformed to be in concord with national economic goals.
    We will not recover from this calamity under twenty years. Plan for the future now or perish economically.
    There are no bright sparks in parliament But that’s another story.

    Like

  • Please note, I wrote, “comments that cause PEOPLE to go, ‘hmmmmm, seriously?’.”

    And, “truth” by whose standards?

    By the way, is it me, or haven’t you noticed BU has become very serene for the past few days? You know, calm, peaceful and untroubled?

    Like

  • Here is an example of the greed that consumes us.

    A company ripe in profits, but instead of the obvious solution of hiring more analysts to cope with the work, they wring everything out of those they have, for more, more, ever more money.

    Horrible. Is this who we want to be? This is why people suffer severe illness, mental health issues, broken relationships, because of the greed of a few.

    These CEO’s are very good at one thing. Painting a pretty picture. The reality is that the picture is false and ‘corporate policy’ merely pretty speak for fitting things to their agenda of greed.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-56495463

    Like

  • @Crusoe

    The performance of a CEO is measured by how goals are achieved based on the KPIs. It is that simple.

    Like

  • Remembering Sir Courtney
    PUBLIC RELATIONS for Sir Courtney Blackman was not about optics. He considered it an integral function of management.
    As soon as I joined the Central Bank of Barbados as public affairs officer in January 1981, I was invited to sit at the conference table with senior management. He did not believe that the public relations officer should be “lost away” under an assistant to the secretary or the human resources manager.
    Before I entered the Bank in the Treasury Building, he had enrolled me in a three-week course in Trinidad conducted by English public relations guru Frank Jefkins.
    Brimming with ideas on my return to Barbados, I soon came up with a thick impressive document laying out a public relations programme for the Central Bank of Barbados.
    He studied it for three days and called me to his office. Leaning back in his chair, he said: “This is an impressive document, Carl, but I first wish to see a philosophy of public relations at this institution. You’ve put the cart before the horse.”
    I spent the next nine months drafting and redrafting a policy document underpinning the Bank’s public relations philosophy. Then, one Monday morning in November of that year, he called me in and said: “Now, we can proceed with public relations at the Central Bank.”
    My most enjoyable first six years in any Barbadian workplace was spent working with Sir Courtney as construction began on the new headquarters at Church Village.
    As head of a new Barbadian institution, which he joined at the tender age of 39, he directed the Bank through six of its most challenging years, from groundbreaking in March 1981 to its opening on September 18, 1986, when the Errol Barrow Cabinet boycotted that function.
    When he started the Bank in 1972, with a staff of five, including an International Monetary Fund (IMF) operations specialist, Rudolf Kroc, Sir Courtney brought a solid grounding in management and money, and experience in international banking on Wall Street.
    I admired his courage and fortitude in the face of public criticism. It came to the fore during those tortuous years of construction on the new headquarters, derisively dismissed by some as “Courtney’s erection” as the first of 12 concrete towers protruded ten storeys above the Bridgetown skyline, utilising a process called slip-forming, a technology applied in Barbados only once since then – at the cement plant in St Lucy.
    I will always remember his raucous laugh at the Topping Out ceremony on September 5, 1984, when the structure reached the top before the roof was attached. In the presence of Prime Minister Tom Adams and Anglican Bishop Drexel Gomez, he said to me: “I now have 12 erections!”
    Sir Courtney always thought it would be unwise to erect such an imposing structure in the heart of Bridgetown and not include a social dimension; hence the Frank Collymore Hall and the Grande Salle, which now carries his name.
    He did not settle for second best. During the closing stages of its construction, he insisted that nothing less than a Steinway nine-foot orchestral concert grand piano should grace the stage of that concert hall, named for an outstanding Barbadian man of letters.
    He graciously accepted my suggestion that a steel plaque with words by English art critic John Ruskin should adorn the entrance to the main building, now known as the Tom Adams Financial Centre.
    It reads: When we build, let it be such a work as our descendants will thank us for; and let us think as we lay stone on stone that a time is to come when those stones will be held sacred because our hands have touched them, and that men will say as they look upon them: “See, this our fathers did for us.”
    To quote the fourth Governor, Winston Cox: “The wit lives on, the excoriation has passed, and the extravagance is now hailed as foresight.”
    At the entrance of the Courtney Blackman Grande Salle is another plaque – this one of his selection – by Pablo Picasso: Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.
    After three terms of office, Sir Courtney moved on in 1987 to establish an even wider footprint in the region and further afield, including becoming the Barbados Ambassador to the United States.
    Years after his departure from Barbados, I always knew when he was back home. His trademark laugh would sail across Turquoise Avenue from No. 69, his younger brother Wally’s home. Then, he would walk across to No. 71 and we would have a lively chat.
    No one enjoyed a laugh more than Sir Courtney Blackman. I shall miss him.
    – CARL MOORE, Central Bank of Barbados’ public affairs officer from 1981 to 1999.

    Source: Nation

    Like

  • When barbadians take that 8.25 at the grocery store. The grocery would be sold at double the cost
    All have witnessed on social media platform the cost of small items including vat
    Pray tell hpw 8.25 can be called a living wage

    Like

  • CDB says recovery arduous but not impossible – CDB says recovery arduous but not impossible: https://barbadostoday.bb/2021/03/24/cdb-says-recovery-arduous-but-not-impossible/

    Like

  • Caddle defends minimum wage over private sector concerns – Caddle defends minimum wage over private sector concerns: https://barbadostoday.bb/2021/03/24/caddle-defends-minimum-wage-over-private-sector-concerns/

    Like

  • https://barbadostoday.bb/2021/03/24/govt-to-hand-sugarcane-industry-back-to-private-ownership/

    ” Labourers in the struggling sugarcane business will soon be given the opportunity to own a stake in a new company as Government moves one step closer to privatizing the industry.”

    Like

  • ” “We are now changing the sugar industry to one of Barbadian ownership,” he declared.
    ” an integrated process where there are labourers who will have an opportunity to purchase shares in a new company that is being created “.

    This is interesting. Labourers in the struggling sugarcane business.

    Like

  • Quote)
    “They want to get into the space to produce syrup and biomass as well to be part of the renewable energy transformation that is coming to Barbados. We are at the point of creating space at Bulkeley for Grow Energy and the BAMC to enter into an arrangement where the two can work together and create synergies with cane grass and sugarcane so that you have two rotations and we are looking for consistency in supply so that you can do energy going the full value chain – meaning from cane to molasses or syrup, to sugar, to renewable energy to fertilizers,” Weir explained. (Unquote).
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Isn’t this the exact ‘proposal’ promised for the ‘redevelopment’ Andrews Sugar (cane) factory designed to generate 25 megawatts of electricity?

    Which private sector venture would find the capital to build a similar outfit at Buckleys to produce cough syrup?

    Where is the money coming from?
    From the US$ 270 million secured under Sinckler the previous MoF who claimed the money was sitting in a Japanese bank account waiting to be drawn down?

    Or is it going to be under a PPP financing arrangement with the US$ 175 million to be diverted from tourism and previously earmarked to construct the Hyatt to the resurrection of an industry pronounced dead by Dr. IMF?

    Why should “labourers” want to invest in an almost dead industry when are deliberately deprived of investing in the sunrise medicinal marijuana high-value business?

    Like

  • The blogmaster observed the destruction of the river tamarind planted by former minister Estwick next to ABC highway What a waste.

    Like

  • So what? I’m all for blowing up and burning down everything the DLP built between 2008 and 2018. Especially the devil’s trident. We must next topple all monuments to the oppressor Barrow. He founded the DLP and is therefore the main culprit.

    Nothing must remind us of the DLP any more.

    ###############################

    Apart from that, good news:

    Our government has soon brought new infections to zero, all the old and sick are vaccinated. Nothing more can happen to us – thanks to our Supreme Leader and her terrific team.

    Like

  • Dont worry Tron barbados is on a self destructive course and Mia is makkng sure it happen
    Take a look at the billions she has borrowed and not one god blimme idea out of her mout and the expanded cabinet as to how the country woukd repay the debt
    So your wish might come country bells and whistles and all
    That should mek yuh happy
    If yuh think COVID done think again

    Like

  • Cox,

    Total nonsense, Barbados will flourish under Mia Mottley like never before!

    Here is my vision:
    In the first term, debt cut and victory over the pandemic.
    In the second term, going republic and rebuilding of infrastructure.
    In the third term, arrest of the opposition.
    In the fourth term, economic growth.
    In the fifth term Mia Mottley as new national heroine and on the 50 BBD note.
    Then it is 2043 and Mia Mottley will hand over to KK.

    Like

  • Tron in the fifth term the value of the barbados dollar gonna be so small
    There would be no room left to put Mia big face
    As for economic growth garss cant grow on rock long term
    Mia have a mamoth task of building an economy which would put people back to work
    As of now She has nit uttered a word towards job performance
    The Nomad program can bring in money but cannot improve the job market
    Also the much touted medical cannabis market not gonna happen as Jamaica has now shown that investors in the market has hide the tail between their legs and. Left Jamaica

    Like

  • As far as you are concerned nothing positive will happen in Barbados. Just tell your party to be ready in 2023 or before because according to you there is opportunity for a good opposition.

    Like

  • David
    That is so true pray tell what positive policies in respect to building an economy to create a sustainable economical growth environment with measures of creating employment has govt brought to table for the people those that can build confidence in the minds of the citizens
    Electric buses cannot create jobs
    Neither can creating an environment for nomads to hopscotch across the islands create a long term job environment for the natives
    So since u have placed your two cents worth of defense gibberish tell me what are the positives govt has laid out and what decisions govt made to bring down the high unemployment levels

    Like

  • TronMarch 25, 2021 6:54 PM
    Then it is 2043 and Mia Mottley will hand over to KK.

    Kourtney Kardashian?!! Good heavens no!!!

    Like

  • We are in a pandemic. Can you name a single developing country where employment increased to pre covid numbers? Why do you think governments across the world have been forced to create policies to protect the vulnerable? With 6000 jobs in the tourism sector alone what alternatives do you propose would absorb those jobs in quick time with an economy that is built significantly on tourism and services?

    Like

  • Not for me to.lay out a plan to define or create jobs
    There are plans which can be develop
    There must be a starting point by which govt can use to bring a measure of confidence to the people
    A measure which shows that govt has a willingness and desire bound by a determination to rebuild and regenerate a job market
    So far govt (has )not even before COVID
    Large countries have embarked on stimulus pkgs which have helped to bring confidence back to a weakened and unstable economy
    Those pkgs have work two fold to generate financial support for the economy whereby employers have been able to restart production and a need for rehiring
    Also put spending power into the people’s pocket which in turn goes right back into the economy
    On such a foundation productivity in the job market rekindles and refuels employment
    Govt idea of waiting and watching at this point is like shooting fish in a water barrell
    The USA job market has restarted to show life because of the many stimulus pkgs govt have thrown into the economy bringing confidence and life back to it’s job market and to the people

    Like

  • Whatever government does will never accord with how you view things. We know why too.

    Like

  • William Skinner

    @ David
    What really is the current economic policy outside of borrowing to prop up the economy which is understood because of COVID.
    In my option, there seems to be an embarrassing lack of policy. It is not an attack on the administration but a serious belief that it is out of depth , taking into consideration the number of consultants that we , the taxpayers , have to pay for.

    Like

  • William Skinner

    Opinion not option

    Like

  • @William

    There is a policy, even if there is disagreement about it being fit for purpose.

    Like

  • William Skinner

    @ David
    I will continue to look for it !

    Like

  • DavidMarch 26, 2021 5:50 AM

    Whatever government does will never accord with how you view things. We know why too

    Stupse

    Xxxxxx

    The govt has done nothing in terms of showing signs govt is capable of stimulating the economy outside of shovelling the remants of the pandemic via sick tourist and the tourism industry becoming a collection agency for hotel revenue and govt finances
    The budget spoke of shrinking revenue enough as a warning that govt is not doing enough and must do more
    My last comment was explicit and as an example that large countries understand that the value of stimulus pkgs thrown into the public domain is a good mechanism to generate revenue and slow down the voiliity of a sick economy
    Mia hasn’t got a clue as to what services a slow economy in a pandemic

    Like

  • So what do see happening for stimulating the economy
    A lot of worthless promises
    The economy is sick what it needs to pull it out of the doldrums is productivity and a heavy dose of stimulus pkgs which must be placed in the hands of the people most worthy of generating household income jobs and productivity not to mention taxes for govt all which would happen because of spending

    Like

  • William SkinnerMarch 26, 2021 6:11 AM @ David What really is the current economic policy outside of borrowing to prop up the economy which is understood because of COVID.
    In my option, there seems to be an embarrassing lack of policy. It is not an attack on the administration but a serious belief that it is out of depth , taking into consideration the number of consultants that we , the taxpayers , have to pay for.

    In far better times, prior administrations have done far worse, especially the last one.

    However I agree with the last bit, what the heck are all of those current highly paid consultants for? Not seeing anything out of them. If they get the green they should deliver.

    Like

  • Deliver what
    Cant deliver if yuh have nothing to deliver
    This govt gonna PR its way into the next election
    Them electric buses would serve a purpose for east coast fetes

    Like

  • NorthernObserver

    I guess PR its way is preferable to spending its way?
    But have no fear, the loans are here!! The one year hiatus from 13 consecutive deficit years, is ovah. Done.
    I believe, every registered corporation should be forced to buy a $5000 Covid Bond. The term doesn’t matter, for it will not be repaid anyways. But failure to purchase, could result in a $10,000 fine. I say “could’ because as usual, while all rules are equally applied, some are more equally applied than others.

    Like

  • How about a Brandy and Punnai Tax.

    You can put a 25% surcharge on each bottle of brandy. For the Punnai, every adult must record the events date and times and submit $100 for each time, paid into the BRA.

    This will also take advantage of those with fragile egos, who wish to prove themselves by submitting $3,000 every month, when it should be far less.

    There should be a fine for not reporting an event. Like $5,000.

    Like

  • Of course, there may be an issue, when one party to a marriage submits a report and the other does not. Especially when the gal down the road, or a work colleague, also submits a report. I will leave that to the lawyers to sort out.

    Like

  • Two prongs to task of restarting economy
    The passage of the Estimates and the commencement of the financial year on April 1 allow Government to reset the economy.
    It is now about three years since the election, but a year has been lost to COVID-19, and creating employment is now a major priority.
    A powerful reignition of the engines of the economy is now required.
    COVID-19 has been destructive of much of our economy. We must continue to see the virus as enemy No. 1, but we must also see it as an enemy that we will defeat if we do the right things.
    We have a good example before us. An outbreak involving 300 cases at the prisons at Dodds has been contained and eliminated by following the science and getting the prison population to do what was necessary for its containment.
    But we have to think outside the box and reexamine traditional ways of doing things and tweaking them to suit our people’s stages of developments. We need to do this especially when it comes to those aspects of life that require finances.
    On the domestic front, the HOPE project, recently started at Lancaster, St James, seems like an innovative way of getting around the need for large sums of money upfront in order to secure a home or mortgage.
    The wider spread of ownership of a piece of the rock is an important social stabiliser. Concepts such as those being promoted by the HOPE project are important to every single Barbadian because social and political stability affords all of us the opportunity to achieve our potential.
    Political instability is the enemy of progress. It can often lead to social instability when a government is unable to focus on relieving poverty, cementing opportunities to good health, and providing education and proper nutrition for its people and particularly the future generation which consists of the young ones.
    It may be too much to expect that the HOPE concept may be extended into what one might call middle class mortgages, but tweaking the concept may be to the benefit of developers, the purchasers, the mortgage financiers, banks and the country as a whole.
    Internationally, we have to find ways of influencing many of the international groups, particularly at the political and decision-making level. Ideas propagated into action by some of these paranational bodies affect our vital interests and very often such decisions are grounded neither in principle nor learning.
    The quick-changing rules relating to the offshore sector by international bodies hurt our economy, and continuing efforts to influence these bodies must be developed.
    There has to be a paradigm shift. Tourism must be promoted to every sphere of human activity. As a country where the evil of slavery was perpetuated, as well as our history of centuries-old adherence to representative government, not to mention our UNESCO heritage designation, can attract specific niche visitors.
    In a word, restarting the economy should mean that no bets are off the table. We must exploit every facet of our existence and heritage to earn vital foreign exchange.
    At the same time, we must repair and protect these aspects of our domestic affairs that enhance our people’s overall standards of living. It is a tall task, but as we restart the economic engines, our future depends on moving on both these fronts at the same time.

    Nation Editorial – 28/03/2021

    Like

  • I have always stated that the British establishment have an established history of undermining Afro-Caribbeans. In much the same way as those who have led Barbados since our independence.

    Hal will be familiar with the history of the Caribbean Cultural hub in Brent, London. What it highlights is that we as a people should not stand around in a queue in the expectation that those who are in authority have our interests at heart.

    Do not ever let your government set the agenda for your life. We know that they have always set the bar low vis-a-vis their own people. For example, they are desperately trying to block access of the marijuana industry to their majority population; yet, they are determined to offer licenses to every Tom, Dick and Harry foreign entity to exploit this industry.

    The story below is a textbook answer into how we as a people can by-pass our government and set our own agenda.

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/mar/28/row-erupts-over-bid-to-revive-londons-historic-caribbean-cultural-hub

    Like

  • More IMF aid may be coming
    by SHAWN CUMBERBATCH shawncumberbatch@nationnews.com
    BARBADOS could be in line to benefit from a share of US$650 billion as the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) boss prepares to ask her executive board to give member countries more financial help.
    Last week IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva reported broad support among members for “a new SDR (Special Drawing Rights) allocation equivalent to US$650 billion to provide additional liquidity to the global economic system by supplementing the reserve assets of the Fund’s 190 member countries”.
    The SDR is an international reserve asset, created by the IMF in 1969 to supplement its member countries’ official reserves. Barbados currently has a quota of 94.5 million SDRs.
    Professor of finance at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill campus, Justin Robinson, called for the IMF to increase its SDR allocation a year ago when the COVID-19 pandemic reached Barbados and the Caribbean.
    He told the DAILY NATION the news that Georgieva would recommend the increase to the executive board in June was the least the world’s largest economies could do in light of their domination of COVID-19 vaccine supplies.
    ‘Very encouraged’
    The current SDR allocation is 204.2 billion (equivalent to about US$293 billion), including SDR 182.6 billion in 2009 when the global financial crisis struck. The value of the SDR is based on a basket of the United States (US) dollar, the euro, the Chinese renminbi, Japanese yen and British pound sterling.
    Georgieva was “very encouraged by initial discussions on a possible SDR allocation of US$650 billion”.
    “If approved, a new allocation of SDRs would add a substantial, direct liquidity boost to countries, without adding to debt burdens,” she said in a statement.
    “It would also free up badly needed resources for member countries to help fight the pandemic, including to support vaccination programmes and other urgent measures. And it would complement the range of tools deployed by the IMF to support our membership in this time of crisis.”
    Robinson said an increase in SDRs was essential for small island developing states which had to suffer the brunt of the economic fallout from COVID-19, as well as facing a health crisis.
    “The main benefit of the SDRs by themselves is that they boost your reserves, but secondly, you can trade your SDRs with another country for a currency that you could use,” he explained.
    The head of the Department of Economics at Cave Hill reasoned that the proposed US$650 billion increase “could be significantly more”, considering that the most recent US government economic stimulus package alone was US$1.9 billion.
    “However, it’s a start and it will go a long way to helping developing countries and small island states like ours mitigate the effects of the crisis, avoid falling into a deeper debt trap and so on,” said Robinson.
    “It would be a shame if the advanced countries of the world, that dominate the IMF and the decisionmaking, could not bring themselves to do this to assist poor countries, and tourism-dependent economies like ours.
    “Especially in light of the vaccine nationalism that is being exhibited around the world, where smaller countries and countries like ours are really struggling to have access to vaccines, which are our best hope right now for moving past the pandemic and beginning to rebuild our lives and livelihoods.”

    Source: Nation

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