IMF Makes USD21 Million Available to Barbados

The following is the latest IMF Update – Blogmaster

May 7, 2021 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 fifth review of Barbados’ Economic Recovery and Transformation program (BERT) supported by the Extended Fund Facility.
  • In this very challenging environment, Barbados continues to make good progress in implementing its ambitious and comprehensive economic reform program.

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 May 3-7, 2021 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 fifth review under the EFF arrangement (Press Release 18/370). The agreement is subject to approval by the IMF Executive Board, which is expected to consider the review in June. Upon completion of the review, SDR 17 million (or about US$24 million) will be made available to Barbados.

“Barbados’ economy remains severely depressed by the ongoing global pandemic. Tourism came to a virtual standstill from April 2020 onwards and remains at a fraction of normal levels. Economic growth for 2021 is premised on a modest recovery of tourism in the second half of 2021. Risks remain elevated, including in light of the impact of recent volcanic activity in neighboring St Vincent. 

“In this very challenging environment, Barbados continues to make good progress in implementing its ambitious and comprehensive economic reform program. A new central bank law was adopted by parliament in December 2020—a critical safeguard for continued prudent macroeconomic policy. International reserves, which reached a low of US$220 million (5-6 weeks of import coverage) in May 2018, are now at a comfortable level of US$1.3 billion. Quantitative targets for end-March under the EFF were met except for the performance criterion on central government transfers and grants to public institutions, which was exceeded owing to measures to address the COVID-19 health crisis (including the vaccination program executed by the national hospital).

“The Government of Barbados is targeting a zero percent of GDP primary balance for FY2021/22 (compared to a deficit of 1 percent of GDP in FY2020/21). This fiscal stance reflects a projected modest recovery in tourism and facilitates COVID-related emergency outlays on health facilities, medical supplies, and income support to the most vulnerable. The authorities’ long-term debt target of 60 percent of GDP will be pushed out by two years (from FY2033/34 to FY 2035/36) to reflect the impact of the pandemic on the economy; the authorities remain firmly committed to reducing public debt over time.

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

IMF Communications Department
MEDIA RELATIONS

PRESS OFFICER: David Sharrock

Phone: +1 202 623-7100Email: MEDIA@IMF.org

@IMFSpokesperson

147 comments

  • I like to have the first post on a new page because I am a boss setting the tone with the flavour for your ear. This is a plate from the crate of old school dancehall roots called “Money Move” to get you in the groove by a man called B.Levy.

    Money is a zero sum game where the winners net the losers out. When someone makes some, somebody else loses it.
    Just like the Military Industrial Complex dubious wars and rumours of wars where scammer jammers want profits from the under pretence of false evidence false flags false propaganda and alleged biowarfare with alleged antidotes for world domination like satan

    Like

  • I thought that the economy was supposed to be on a growth trajectory by now and tourism was supposed to be in rude health given the “pent up demand”?

    Traditional tourism is gone forever both in scale and scope. As the Dullard said last year, Barbados tourism in the short to mid term will be dictated by public health mandates in London, Washington and Ottawa. There is nothing the local bureaucracy can do about it.

    PS: Where is Hal Austin?

    Like

  • If you continue to mention a name that is being moderated what does it say about your cognitive dissonance.

    Like

  • DavidMay 10, 2021 4:02 PM

    If you continue to mention a name that is being moderated what does it say about your cognitive dissonance.
    Xxxxxxccccccc
    Two of BU brightest has been moderated for almost a month
    What am I missing in the interpretation of the word moderation
    Words must match the story being told
    Too long to be called moderation
    Seems like the appropriate word should be ban
    Cuhdear

    Like

  • “If you continue to mention a name that is being moderated what does it say about your cognitive dissonance.”
    Nah, no CD on my part just testing your filter…lol

    But why are you moderating the man, David? What has he said that is so offensive to you?

    I thought you appreciated opposing views and robust debate.

    Like

  • Dullard

    But why are you moderating the man, David? What has he said that is so offensive to you?

    I thought you appreciated opposing views and robust debate.

    Xxxxxxxccccccxc
    Answer the question David ?

    Like

  • @Dullard

    All those who post to the blog in possession of basic reasoning skills know the reason the blogmaster exercised his discretion. John continues to post and his comments are released.

    Like

  • @ David

    I guess I lack reasoning skills then. The blog should not be an echo chamber.

    Like

  • @Dullard

    #exactly!

    Like

  • “All those who post to the blog in possession of basic reasoning skills know the reason the blogmaster exercised his discretion. John continues to post and his comments are released.”

    @ David

    Actually, I remember reading the following:

    “Hal Austin September 4, 2020 4:45 PM #: Don’t take BU too seriously. I use my lap top, so can multi-task when doing other things. I have an escape – we have literally scores of televisions stations, 18 national newspapers, hundreds of magazine and journals and nice, cheap restaurants in which to relax. I enjoy my own company.”

    …….. and thought he was busy with either one or all of the above.

    I never gave a thought to him being ‘banned,’ ‘moderated’ or you had reason to “exercise your discretion.”

    Like

  • Ok New David

    #hashtagwhenthereisnorebuttal

    Like

  • From our interaction, you wouldn’t believe it, but I am a great fan of HaHa
    I suspect if he submitted new posts, they will get through the filter.

    Voluntary and involuntary exile on display. Pride and egos are in play.

    Like

  • TheOGazertsMay 10, 2021 6:50 PM

    From our interaction, you wouldn’t believe it, but I am a great fan of HaHa
    I suspect if he submitted new posts, they will get through the filter.

    Voluntary and involuntary exile on display. Pride and egos are in play

    Xxxxxccccccccccccccc

    Hal is a free speech thinker
    A journalist to the bone
    I suspect he has tried to post comments and they were not released
    Not smart David
    Yuh can fool some of the people some of the time but not all of the people all of the time

    Like

  • On the subject of the damaged reefs
    I take note of the steam rolling where citizens voces via local media editorial are asking for accountability and rightfully so
    The life line which sources our very existence is attached to our ecosystem and those who prefer to put self interest over the interest of the environment should be held accountable also tarred and feathered in the public square at high noon

    Like

  • Water relief on the way, says Mia
    IN THE NEXT TWO WEEKS and over the next two months, the cries of water-starved residents in some parts of the country should finally be a thing of the past.
    This is according to Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley as Government nears the completion of a series of initiatives to combat the water crisis.
    Speaking during a ceremony for the reopening ceremony of the St Joseph Outpatients Clinic in Horse Hill, she said the water supply in St Joseph and St Thomas in particular would soon improve.
    “There will be a new reservoir at Castle Grant (in St Joseph) just a couple hundred yards away from the existing reservoir. Castle Grant feeds both Castle Grant east and Castle Grant west. Castle Grant west is fed predominantly from Apes Hill (in St James) and Castle Grant east is predominantly fed from Golden Ridge (in St George) and the two boar holes in Sweet Vale (in that same parish).
    “We’ve also agreed to deal with the transmission lines to that reservoir (in Castle Grant), the current one, and the new one that will be built and completed within the next four to six months,” she said.
    However, Mottley said residents in St Joseph should not have to wait until that initiative is completed to get relief, as in about two months they will have running water when the Vineyard, St Philip project is finished.
    “The water from Vineyard to Mount Pleasant (in St Philip) goes to Golden Ridge and will come up here (St Joseph) and . . . it is my judgement that by the end of July that project, based on all that we have done, would be completed.
    “Hopefully within two weeks we should have the 300 million gallons from the Ionics plant that
    has been out of commission since September last year because of a fouling of the membranes, which is a very technical phrase for the fact that they (Barbados Water Authority) can’t use it. They’ve gotten the membranes, they’ve gotten the variable-frequency drives – I believe they are coming in tomorrow (today) – and there are things that they can do that will allow us to at last be able to pump water back down Highway 1.”
    Mottley continued: “Then when we get that 300 million gallons, to take two and a quarter million gallons up to Trents (in St James); and when we get it to Trents, to send some to Shop Hill and some to Apes Hill. That would mean that without prejudice to Vineyard being finished for the residents of St Joseph and without prejudice to St Stephen’s/ Lodge Hill pipeline being done to the benefit of the residents who take off of the Shop Hill reservoir, Bagatelle and Edgehill Heights, we will have water hopefully flowing in about two weeks’ time that will allow the Shop Hill reservoir and Apes Hill reservoir to be able to send water to those two areas so that eastern St Joseph could start to get water at a regular basis without the pressure that it has had to face.”
    Establishing reservoirs
    The Prime Minister said a larger reservoir would be erected in Apes Hill and after talks with the BWA, one would be placed in Knoll, St Andrew.
    She added that Government would also be establishing at least two reservoirs in one area instead of one.
    “We need to move to dual reservoirs in order to be able to allow for redundancy, whether it is as a result of cracks, damage from a climate event or simply maintenance to be able to ensure the reservoirs are appropriately maintained.”
    Mottley added that a significant number of
    trucks would be imported, which would allow for both potable and non-potable water to be distributed to various communities.
    However, she did not give a date as to when those trucks would arrive. (SB)

    Source: Nation

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  • Mottley has promised plenty in the 10 year banishment in the wilderness
    Three years after a 30-0 victory govt yet to deliver
    Funny but true

    Like

  • Be accountable for coral reef damage
    IT’S BEEN A while since my last contribution, and although I chose to reserve comment on several other issues, I cannot in good conscience remain silent in this instance.
    I will confess that I nearly choked while sipping my coffee and reading an article about the damage that has been done to our coral reefs as a result of the anchoring of the several cruise ships off our south and west coasts.
    Professor Emeritus Ramon Mahon of the Centre for Resource Management & Environmental Studies (CERMES) explained the findings of a report that was conducted by the University of the West Indies, in an article entitled Massive Mistake, which appeared in another section of the press.
    In that report, Professor Mahon revealed that between March and September 2020, there were 132 anchor drops by cruise ships, resulting in damage to millions of square metres of our live coral reef and hence if the average area of destruction by one anchor drop on the sea floor is estimated to be around the size of a playing field, one could only imagine the damage inflicted on our reefs if 50 anchors were dropped in different locations.
    The article also mentioned that there are very few shallow sandy areas off Barbados that are large enough to accommodate the anchoring of so many cruise ships at a time without damaging the reefs.
    Now, while my support remains steadfast for Barbados’ facilitation of the cruise ships docking with us last year to assist stranded passengers been
    repatriated to their home countries, I can’t help but wonder if someone erred in carelessness if they were made aware of the potential destruction that could occur if too many cruise ships were permitted to anchor once the passengers had disembarked. I am confident given the well-established professionalism of the team at the Coastal Zone Management Unit that they would have informed the relevant authorities of the inherent risk and damage to our reefs under such circumstances.
    The fact that, according to Professor Mahon, the damage that has been inflicted on our reefs is likely to take more than 100 years to repair, I contend that the cruise ships cannot be blamed as they would have followed the instructions provided to them by our authorities. I would, however, like to take this opportunity to invite the cruise ship companies to partner with us in facilitating the necessary repairs and rehabilitation of those reefs that were damaged.
    Additionally, I believe that this matter requires an urgent investigation and if it has been determined that the authorities were duly informed of the potential damage that could be inflicted on our reefs, but those charged with the responsibility to protect our environment chose to ignore any advice that was provided, then the person(s) responsible must be held to account and the appropriate sanctions or punishment imposed on them for their obvious oversight.
    Too often we hear of instances where the advice of our technical people is ignored and sometimes overlooked because of other economic variables
    and mitigating circumstances, which over time have proven to ultimately lead to the detriment of our country and to all of us who call Barbados home.
    I think it is established that most of us understand how vital our marine and coastal ecosystems are to our quality of life. It cannot therefore be a continuum, if we claim to want to protect our environment, for situations like these to continue or, even worse, that those found responsible are only given the proverbial slap on the wrist.
    – SEAN ST. CLAIR FIELDS

    Letter to the Nation

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  • All of the DLP talking points being taken away except the economy and crime. Pick sense from that!

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  • @9:56
    How does this help St. Lucy.
    Is the North being neglected under both administrations?
    Why is this?

    Like

  • DavidMay 10, 2021 7:45 AM

    Good one Artax. Cahill was a company setup to fleece Barbados if you check the date it was

    Xxxxxcc
    So in turn Govt brought in the silent one armed bandits
    Call WO
    Barbados prides itself on education
    However govt couldn’t find a reputable accounting firm within the small island nations
    No Barbadian taxpayers are paying an unknown group of so called consultants for doing nothing
    I remember Atherly asking Mottley for him to have face to face meeting with WO which so far has turned out to be an up in your faced unkempt promise

    Like

  • We agree then, the political class is what it is. Next!

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  • David when are u going to heed the call in allowing the erudite journalist to have is say on Bu
    How can u forget that in the early days of BU his articles made the top post and help to maintain audience participation
    I know u might be an old foggy but uh memory not that short

    Like

  • angela cox, why you don’t create your own blog and invite the journalist to have his say on it?

    Then you could write more shite and he could inflate your ego by giving you some spot ons and telling you are correct when he knows you don’t be, and say how much more intelligent you are than the average BU blogger.

    I say good riddance to bad rubbish.

    Like

  • Today I almost fell off my chair when I heard a local moderator on a local radio station telling a lady not to say ash was in her water
    This moderator a know all sits behind his desk has not done any firsthand investigation into what the lady told him but can openly tells the woman she should not say ash is in her water
    The lady tells her story as clear as can be saying the grey particles coming from her pipe inside the water flow happened after the ash fall
    Pray tell without firsthand investigation how can this moderator even give any advice pro or con as to what the lady had related to him
    Until their is an investigation from the proper authorities who after three weeks of not responding to the lady concerns / problems
    She is entitled to give an assessment as to what she sees coming from the water flow
    Well the moderator seems to be a know it all anyway

    Like

  • FrankMay 11, 2021 3:54 PM

    angela cox, why you don’t create your own blog and invite the journalist to have his say on it?

    Then you could write more shite and he could inflate your ego by giving you some spot ons and telling you are correct when he knows you don’t be, and say how much more intelligent you are than the average BU blogger.

    I say good riddance to bad
    Xxxccccccccccccc

    A whole load of s.htt

    Like

  • You’re essentially contradicting yourself.

    How can the lady be “entitled to give an assessment as to what she (saw) coming from the water flow” is ash, when there WASN’T “an investigation from the proper authorities” to determine whether or not what she actually saw was ash.

    And, by your admission, neither she nor the moderator “have not done any firsthand investigation into” the matter.

    Hence, perhaps the reason why the moderator told her “not to say ash was in her water.”

    NEXT!!!

    Like

  • ArtaxMay 11, 2021 8:35 PM

    You’re essentially contradicting yourself.

    How can the lady be “entitled to give an assessment as to what she (saw) coming from the water flow” is ash, when there WASN’T “an investigation from the proper authorities” to determine whether or not what she actually saw was ash.

    And, by your admission, neither she nor the moderator “have not done any firsthand investigation into” the matter.

    Hence, perhaps the reason why the moderator told her “not to say ash was in her water.”

    NEXT!!
    Xxxccccccccccccc

    U know what my assessment of your comment is balderdash

    Stupse

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  • “In the abundance of water the fool is thirsty.”

    “Where ignorance is bliss, ’tis folly to be wise.”

    “Trickery and treachery are the practices of fools that have not the wits enough to be honest.”

    “The fool wonders, the wise man asks.”

    You have an uncanny ability to COMPLICATE trivial issues in an attempt to ‘score cheap political points.’

    We call both you and Enuff yard-fowls. However, whether one agrees with him or not, Enuff is always able to present supporting documentation to substantiate his arguments, while your perspective on issues seems incredibly naive and parochial.

    Have a peaceful rest and pleasant dreams.

    Like

  • Rolling my eyes
    U can have the last word

    But look my crosses a simple assessment of a caller comment on a local.radio show has brought out anxiety in one of BU ” know it all” bloggers
    Peace bro don’t ever say I gave u high blood pressure

    Like

  • The AG says the RBPF is doing a good job in tackling crime
    Yuh wonder which rock he living under
    Crime and violence has escalated in the past two years
    Criminals are now longer afraid to commit crime wherever and whenever
    Recently during broad daylight a person carried out fearlessly a criminal act where several people were injured
    Have yet to hear the AG views on this kind of violence that creates terror
    The AG got to be living in wonderland

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  • @ David

    I’ve just read COP Griffith may retire at month-end, after 46 years in the service.

    We have to thank him for the dedication he gave to RBPF and wish him good health and all the joy and happiness retirement can bring.

    Like

  • @Artax

    He appears to be a trooper. The blogmaster has a feeling we needed a more active COP in the period served but you cannot blame him entirely, he did not appoint himself.

    Like

  • @ David

    I agree with you. Seems as though he was ‘marching time’ until retirement.

    If we’re honest, we’ll acknowledge the fact Griffith’s appointment came at a time when the former administration used their goon, Guyson Mayers, to politicized the RBPF.

    I’m sure you recall, for example, the Court case involving the ‘squashing’ of promotions, which is now set to be heard by the CCJ.

    RBPF should be an independent organisation, free of political involvement by both the BLP and DLP…… or any other political administration.

    Like

  • @Artax

    We have paid a sorry price. Do not forget the case pending re promotions.

    Like

  • @ David May 12, 2021 9:27 AM

    It is recommended the post of CoP- in keeping with the current administration’s proposed policy on senior public sector jobs- be put up for tender on a 3 to 5 year renewable contract basis and applications for the job be open to ‘trained’ police officers from other regional and Commonwealth countries.

    This might just be the panacea for the incestuously political disease ‘rumoured’ to be affecting that organization.

    The re-branding of that ‘Force’ will involve a tidy sum of the recently borrowed IMF money along with a total makeover of the existing Constitutional arrangements governing its operational and reporting structures.

    What do you think, Sir Blogmaster, KCMG?

    Like

  • @Jamal Miller

    The post of COP{ is a critical one like that of the DPP, the blogmaster maybe sentimental but is of the view it should be homegrown.

    Like

  • @ David May 12, 2021 5:37 PM

    Doesn’t the post of ‘Permanent’ Secretary carry similar ‘weight’; at least on the pay scale?

    Should this post be also reserved for a “home-grown” politically-manipulated lackey?

    How about that of Auditor General which carries similar insulation from political machinations as enshrined in the Constitution?

    Aren’t the recommendations from that “apolitical” office treated like the barking of a toothless Bajan salmon tot retriever?

    Like

  • @Miller

    The two positions are different based on blogmasters weighting. It is a subjective thing maybe.

    Like

  • PRICE HIKES ‘ON WAY’
    By Shawn Cumberbatch
    shawncumberbatch@nationnews.com
    Barbadians will likely have to dig deeper into their pockets to put food on the table.
    That is the implication of international food prices being at their highest in seven years and a simultaneous spike in the cost of shipping.
    Officials say the pressure is being felt by importers and the local farming community, who said they are unlikely to be able to continue absorbing the increased costs.
    While the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) is canvassing the views of its membership in the food trade to determine how they will be dealing with the higher prices,
    one of its former presidents, Andy Armstrong, confirmed that the cost of some food items was likely to increase next month.
    The director of Armstrong Group of Companies told the Sunday Sun that in the last five years “there has been little movement on prices [but] things are different in 2021”.
    The first challenge was the higher cost of importing items, including food.
    “Freight costs have increased for almost every item that we import, including for raw materials imported to manufacture products. In some cases the increases have been modest, increasing the overall cost of the products by a few percentage points; in these cases we have absorbed most of these increases,” he reported.
    “In other cases the freight
    increase has been substantial, especially for goods out of China where, if you can secure a container at all, you can pay up to four times what you were paying in 2020. For goods out of China it is not possible to absorb the increase. We will start to see the impact of that increase in June.”
    Fallout
    Armstrong said the fallout of the increased freight rates was compounded by having to pay more to source food items.
    “In the last three months we have also been informed of a number of items where the first cost, before freight, has also been increased. This includes items such as flour, ketchup, biscuits and aluminum foil. When the price of the item and the price of the freight both increase it is not possible to hold prices,” he said.
    “At this point we have not moved prices as these items are in transit but, once they are here and we are selling the items that cost more, then prices will be increasing. A lot of the increases are not big – around five per cent more but some are significant – ketchup, for example, is going up by 22 per cent. Expect some of these increases by June.”
    He added: “It’s very important to note that we are not ‘price gouging’, which is increasing our markups on items to take advantage of shortages. In fact, in almost all cases, we are cutting our markups but, with the cost increases that are coming through, even that will not be enough to keep some prices from going up.
    “It’s also important to point out that not every brand may go up by this much so that, if price is the most important factor, then consumers should shop around.”
    Barbados Agricultural Society chief executive officer James Paul said with the international price of grains and cereals at their highest in recent years, farmers were bracing for higher costs, including the possibility of increased feed prices.
    He was unsure how long the anticipated heavier financial load could be carried by farmers.
    “Right now our farmers are under tremendous pressure. Worldwide commodity prices are on the increase and as a matter of fact from what we can see in respect of some commodities they have gone up to record levels,” he said.
    “The last time that we saw anything like this was around 2013 but it quickly modulated itself. From what we are seeing right now there seems to be very little likelihood that international prices are going to modulate themselves in any hurry and this is a very worrisome thing for farmers,” said Paul.

    Source: Nation

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  • Small businesses get $1m finance lifeline
    Several non-bank lending agencies have thrown out at least $1 million in lifeline financing to rescue micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) from the economic stranglehold of the pandemic and continue to help them to get restarted after national lockdown.
    At a recent webinar on Financing Start-ups And Business Ideas,
    the Financial Literacy Bureau said many small businesses were helped to stay afloat as it made a case for start-ups getting more than funding in a full package of support that also provided developmental training for entrepreneurs, and in times of uncertainty such as the COVID-19 pandemic, refinancing options and suspension of loan repayments.
    The bureau was launched in October 2020 to help local households and businesses to better manage their finances.
    Technical advisor in the Ministry of Energy, Small Business and Entrepreneurship responsible for the bureau, David Simpson, told the Zoom and Facebook audience – who tuned in to hear panellists from the Barbados Youth Business Trust, the City of Bridgetown Credit Union, FundAccess, the Barbados Trust Fund and the Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation – that all of the agencies had responded to their clients to ensure
    that they are able to manage the effect of COVID-19.
    “All the agencies have been refinancing. In some cases, special deals have been provided for clients who were near the end of their loans to take advantage of reduced pay-offs and that type of thing.
    “In terms of the amount of funding involved in the grants, the moratorium and so on, we’re into more than a million dollars in relief that has been provided by any one agency.”
    Moratorium
    Simpson, who is also chairman of FundAccess, noted that all clients were given a moratorium when COVID-19 hit in 2020 and, in most cases, they also got an extension as the pandemic persisted into 2021.
    “And what has been happening for the past three months . . . is that, where need be, we have provided grants in the case of FundAccess to our clients. In one instance, there were COVID-related grants to allow some businesses to acquire things like [personal protective equipment].
    “In other instances, there have been grants, which we’re still going through with clients to help them get started after all the stoppages and pauses to acquire stock, to maybe pay rent arrears,” he said.
    He pointed to one of the core philosophies of FundAccess and the other non-bank financial institutions of ensuring that entrepreneurs were supported to ensure they got the funding they required.
    “We don’t really tell anyone, ‘No, you can’t be funded’. You either get a yes or you get a detailed response as to what you need to do to go away and come back to get the final yes,” Simpson said. (SNR)

    Source: Nation

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  • Wonder how many small businesses can that 1 million help out of the economic doldrums
    If what has been happening with the number of small business closures daily
    It begs to ask how many business has this well intention plan helped in the past two years

    Like

  • Eye on country’s economic growth

    Mon, 05/17/2021 – 5:00am

    ECONOMIC growth in Barbados will have to average between 2.5 per cent to three per cent in the coming years in order for the country to lower its debt to GDP ratio, which currently stands at 153 per cent.

    That is the view of Government’s Chief Economic Advisor, Dr. Kevin Greenidge, during an exclusive interview with Business Monday.

    Dr. Greenidge said that an average of that amount will bring the debt down to at least 100 per cent.

    Central Bank of Barbados data have not shown that type of consistent economic growth during the last 12 years or so, as recessions and more recently COVID-19 have dealt a big blow to the island’s growth trajectory.

    The nearest the economy has come to the 2.5 per cent to three per cent projected expansion pointed to by Dr. Greenidge was in 2015 and in 2016.

    The economy grew 2.4 per cent in 2015 and 2.6 per cent in 2016, but growth was 0.6 per cent in 2017, slowing the momentum, the Bank’s data showed.

    The Bank’s Governor Cleviston Haynes has acknowledged that the original target of bringing the debt ratio to 60 per cent by 2033 had been adjusted.

    Quoting from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) report earlier this month, Dr. Greenidge said that Barbados’ long term debt target of 60 per cent of GDP will be pushed out by two years from FY2033/34 to FY2035/36 to reflect the impact of the COVID pandemic on the economy.

    Dr. Greenidge dismissed suggestions in some quarters that Barbados may be in line for another round of austere economic measures.

    In addition, he is not bothered by the rise in the ratio, saying that this stemmed from the fall in GDP.

    The advisor is also optimistic about growth returning to the economy, noting that the forecast is for a strong fourth quarter tourism season, and capital projects which will add to the economy’s expansion.

    Barbados Advocate

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  • GROWING TAX BURDEN

    THE tax burden on Barbadians continues to increase and the Government, through its borrowings, has emerged as the second most important source of foreign inflows.

    These are some of the points raised by former Central Bank of Barbados (CBB) Governor, Dr. Delisle Worrell.

    He was at the time analysing the performance of the Barbados economy during the first quarter of 2021.

    Using CBB charts to assess how the economy performed, Dr. Worrell, who is an international consultant, said that compared to 2017/2018, the tax burden in Barbados in 2020/2021 was 1.5 points of GDP, whereas expenditure was two two points higher.

    The tax burden gives a breakdown of the level of taxes a government imposes on a country.

    It does not include non- tax revenue.

    According to Dr. Worrell, other charts in the presentation show that:

    Foreign reserves fell $86m in the first quarter (of 2021), the first downturn since 2017;

    The debt/GDP ratio at March was five points higher than at the end of 2017;

    The servicing of external debt absorbed 12 per cent of foreign earnings;

    He also said that the deficit was five per cent of GDP in first quarter, almost the same as for the 2020/21 fiscal year.

    As for foreign inflows, he said the foreign borrowings by government up to last year were five percentage points above those of 2018.

    The charts show Government foreign borrowing provided 77 per cent of the foreign reserves accumulation in 2018, 81 per cent in 2019 and 82 per cent in 2020;

    Tourist earnings provided 24 per cent of foreign exchange inflows; Government borrowing was the second most important source of foreign exchange inflows, at 20 per cent;

    Payments for services from abroad far outweigh the amount of FX received from the international business and financial sector;

    In 2020 Government borrowing contributed almost twice as much to FX inflows as did foreign direct investment;

    There was a 27% drop in VAT receipts in FY2020/21; company taxes almost doubled;

    The valued added tax (VAT) provides one-third of Government revenues, twice the contribution of the income tax;

    Wages and grants to state enterprises and UWI together take half of Government’s spending;

    Domestic interest payments have been cut drastically, and subsidies less so, but the wages bill is slightly higher than it was in 2017.

    Source: Barbados Advocate

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  • The above analysis give sufficient food for thought sufficient and enough to ask govt what are govt plans to take favourable control of Barbados economy
    First priority one of increasing employment levels
    Right now the tax burden is back breaking barbadian households suffers in silence

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  • Another loan.

    Nod likely for $200m loan
    By Shawn Cumberbatch
    shawncumberbatch@nationnews.com
    Barbados is on course to have a $200 million World Bank loan in the bag by next month.
    Based on information from a team led by senior economist Anton Dobronogov, the financial institution’s Board of Executive Director’s will on June 24 consider a recommendation to approve the loan.
    The clearest signal that Barbados will get the funds came on Tuesday when the World Bank announced that its board said yes to a $200 million COVID-19 Response and Recovery Development Policy Loan for The Bahamas.
    The Bahamas, like Barbados, was graduated from World Bank funding because they were deemed high income countries, but the institution is making a funding “exception” because of the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.
    A May 10, 2021 World Bank appraisal of the Barbados COVID-19 Response and Recovery Development Policy Financing (DPF) programme, stated: “The development objective of this operation is to support Barbados’ response to the COVID-19 crisis and to promote the post-crisis economic recovery.”
    The bank said while as a graduate Barbados does not have a country partnership framework with it, the proposed DPF “would support the Government’s COVID-19 response and recovery in line with the World Bank’s approach to providing support to countries as they tackle the unprecedented threats posed by the COVID-19 crisis”.
    “It aims at saving lives threatened by the pandemic; protecting the poor and vulnerable; securing foundations of the economy; and strengthening policies and institutions for resilience based on transparent, sustainable debt and investments,” the bank said.
    “The operation also aims to support the government’s efforts to tackle poverty exacerbated by the crisis and promote shared prosperity and inclusion during the recovery. The proposed operation is aligned with the bank’s climate change policy commitments and would support the country’s overall resilience to climate, health, and economic shocks.”
    The World Bank added that its “exceptional” financing to Barbados would complement International Monetary Fund support and other official creditors by helping the country “partially cover its financing needs in financial year 2021 and to support the country’s return to market-based financing over the medium term”.
    Debt risks exacerbated
    “Barbados continues to make progress in implementing its BERT [Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation] plan to restore fiscal and debt sustainability, rebuild reserves and increase growth. However, the debt risks have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 economic downturn in 2020,” the bank said.
    “Barbados’ rapid response to COVID-19 and management of the pandemic has limited the number of infections and deaths but the pandemic has significantly impacted the economy. COVID-19 presents a severe shock to tourism-dependent small island states like Barbados.
    “The disruptions in international trade and travel, local containment measures, as well as the global recession, have dramatically halted the tourism sector and adversely affected domestic production, as business activity has been reduced in an effort to contain the spread of the disease.”
    In outlining to the World Bank’s board why Barbados needed the funding, the institution’s team pointed to last year’s double digit economic contraction, increased unemployment and poverty and higher debt.
    “The estimated 17.3 per cent decline in GDP in 2020 reduced employment and increased poverty. The fallout in the tourism sector and disruptions to local production are expected to depress growth, resulting in a third consecutive year of recession,” said the bank appraisal.
    “The still high level of public debt limits space for counter-cyclical fiscal policy measures to lift growth and reduce poverty. Middle-income households (those that earn between one and four times the minimum wage) are so far the most affected by the economic shock, accounting for half of the reported job losses and one third of reported business closures.
    “Unemployment claims in 2020 reached roughly one-third of the workforce. A further deepening and prolongation of the COVID-19 crisis is the main risk.”
    The IMF’s Executive Board is to also consider further funding for Barbados, $48 million, next month.

    Source: Nation

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