Waste of an Unprecedented Mandate

To whom much is given, much will be required.

Luke 12:48

The result of the 24 May 2018 general elections delivered an unprecedented result to the Mia Mottley led Barbados Labour Party (BLP) winning ALL 30 seats in parliament. In the minds of many a clear message was sent by the voting public, it was disgusted with the performance of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) government to an unimaginable degree. In the minds of many the Stuart led government surpassed the unpopularity of the Erskine Sandiford administration, no mean feat.

The 30-0 result was confirmation the two main political parties win governments by default. Rising apathy and cynicism in the electorate continues to strike at the heart of how we fashion our so called democracy. Some of the members washed into parliament in 2018 because of public discontentment, do not qualify to be servants of the people. A short three years later with a DLP still working to recover from the 2018 defeat, there is the possibility the DLP will pick up seats having done very little to promote a compelling alternative message to inspire public confidence. Sadly the duopoly is entrenched with no serious challenge from a third party movement.

The BLP inherited a stalled economy and managing during a pandemic and other challenges have not helped the cause. All reasonable Barbadians understand the hostile environment that continues to challenge economic recovery. We get it!

What some of us also see are decisions being taken by this Mia Mottley government comparable to failed former administrations. The first questionable decision was to appoint a 26 member cabinet supported by 2 parliamentary secretaries and several consultants – the justification; many hands make light work. An obvious case of trumping national interest with narrow political interest by removing the threat of a large backbench and rewarding ‘friends’ of the government. In a nutshell, the same old, same old. There is another popular saying, start wrong and you will end wrong.

The next interesting decision was to pay a boutique advisory company White Oak 27 million dollars to advise on restructuring our domestic and foreign debt. While some have agreed negotiating with foreign bondholders required a level of financial expertise to justify contracting White Oak like services, it boggles the mind why the company was retained to restructure local debt. 

Two years in the making of the cancelled ‘Little Island, Big Barbados” tourism campaign at a reported cost of USD750,000 raised questions about the sensible use of taxpayers dollars. A relatively small sum but the process which led to the cancellation of the campaign does not engender confidence in government. A parallel issue is that the birth of the Welcome Stamp idea belongs to Peter Lawrence Thompson and to date the government has not done the ethical thing by giving him recognition. Not surprisingly the DLP and other opposition agents have not seen the opportunity to advocate for the wrong being corrected.

The recent example of the Maloney Scam revelation threads a story of a government bedevilled by controversy. Ironically another controversial decision to import prefab houses from China caught the attention of a weary public. Why was Maloney – who is into construction – not selected to partner with government to supply the houses instead of brokering a deal gone south to procure COVID 19 vaccine? – see Minister Duguid, Who Are the Owners of EWBSB? What it has done is to quickly erode much of the political capital earned from May 2018. 

The blogmaster has a record of giving a new government the opportunity to find its way before levelling criticism. There is no doubt the Mia Mottley government inherited a bad hand. There is no doubt the ongoing pandemic and other challenges have complicated the task of governing Barbados. The blogmaster has been quietly observing for the last three years and what comes to mind is – what a waste of an unprecedented mandate.

To be continued…

227 comments

  • “if changes are made arising from the PAC report it will boost the political stock of the PdP no end.”

    @ David BU

    Now, the PAC is about to commence a probe into the Poverty Alleviation Fund.

    If the Committee’s investigations continue along this general direction, then, it certainly won’t boost the DEMS’ political stock.

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  • @Artax

    Verla Depeiza’s defense would be – it was not me or members of my team EXCEPT Richard Sealy.

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  • “Govt owes 26.22 million to business’s that supplies goods and services to govt entities”
    Another accounting manoeuvre well practiced by your crew.
    By the time they get voted out in 2027, you won’t be able to tell the difference between the D’s of 2018 and the B’s of 2027. And the D’s of 2027 will be promising hope like the B’s of 2018. And the pendulum will be reset again.

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  • @ David

    I believe you overlooked an important fact……. that Verla was a Senator in the previous administration.

    And, she would’ve defended any decisions or supplementary grants that were made for the Transport Board.

    Ironically, Verla was legal counsel for one of the persons assisting police in their investigation of TB.

    I also noticed she told the media “while she was happy that the PAC was functioning “for the first time in the way it was intended,” she wanted to see similar zeal in going after the discrepancies raised in the most current Auditor General ‘s Report.”

    She may get what she wished for, because majority of those “discrepancies” occurred under her administration.

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  • @Artax

    It mirrors Mia and the role she played as legal representative for Four Seasons?

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  • Opposition Leader Atherley and the PAC must be complimented for bringing a semblance of good governance and we must hope that those who have acted in any way that merits further legal action are given their day in court.
    Those citizens who do not support either party will no doubt welcome the work done by the PAC.

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  • NorthernObserverNovember 7, 2021 4:57 PM

    “Govt owes 26.22 million to business’s that supplies goods and services to govt entities”
    Another accounting manoeuvre well practiced by your crew.
    By the time they get voted out in 2027, you won’t be able to tell the difference between the D’s of 2018 and the B’s of 2027. And the D’s of 2027 will be promising hope like the B’s of 2018. And the pendulum will be reset again.

    Xxxxx
    Difference being that this govt can boast about having million dollar loans and plenty reserves while the past govt barely had a pot to piss in and could not get money to borrow to pay debt
    Also if present govt can afford to pay million dollar CEOs and consultants
    Why is it that govt can’t find the money to pay for the supplies
    Now answer that don’t chew too hard yuh might break some teeth

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  • Election must be in the air
    Everyone will.be trying to score brownie points
    How many years have one been hearing about a Pac Committe
    If anything comes out of this then there must be a cure for cancer

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  • So reminiscent of when the DLP took office and was grateful for the 1 billion in foreign reserves OSA borrowed to boost the reserves. Around and around we go.

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  • DavidNovember 7, 2021 8:36 PM

    So remincent of when the DLP took office and was grateful for the 1 billion in foreign reserves OSA borrowed to boost the reserves. Around and around we go.
    Xcccccccc
    Never new that OSA borrowed 1 billion dollars
    Always thought he was an economic magician
    Guess I was wrong so it was OSA who saddled Barbados with debt leaving it for the past govt who had to burden the barbadians in effort to pay off
    Well well yuh learn something new everyday

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  • BLP and DLP share this theme song to defend their misdeeds.

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  • The difference is all in your mind.
    Barbados HAD BILLION DOLLAR deficits in ’13 AND ’14. They got the money by something termed ‘home grown financing’ (remember that?) A.K.A raiding the NIS cupboards, by forcing them to buy Bonds. Did a prior GoB not pay million dollar consultants, like Gollop, Byer etc too? And lest we forget, that $124 MIllion Clearwater Bay expenditure was under THEIR watch. So don’t tell us they couldn’t get money, because they guaranteed all the Four Seasons loans, which seemingly never were repaid.
    The Transport Board owed one of my little entities $50,000 for 3 years from ’15-’18. They maxxed out the credit available, like so many did. If it wasn’t for the IMF, we may still be owed that money. Whenever the GoB cash flow gets tight, they s-t-r-e-t-c-h out suppliers. They ALL do it.
    So cash flow is tight and they are prioritizing who to pay? Nothing to see here!!! Round and round we go. If they learned anything from Big Sinck, they will be sending the NIS IOU’s for premiums due.
    I’m sticking with 22-8. what about you?

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  • NorthernObserverNovember 8, 2021 12:53 AM

    The difference is all in your mind.
    Barbados HAD BILLION DOLLAR deficits in ’13 AND ’14. They got the money by something termed ‘home grown financing’ (remember that?) A.K.A raiding the NIS cupboards, by forcing them to buy Bonds. Did a prior GoB not pay million dollar consultants, like Gollop, Byer etc too? And lest we forget, that $124 MIllion Clearwater Bay expenditure was under THEIR watch. So don’t tell us they couldn’t get money, because they guaranteed all the Four Seasons loans, which seemingly never were repaid.
    The Transport Board owed one of my little entities $50,000 for 3 years from ’15-’18. They maxxed out the credit available, like so many did. If it wasn’t for the IMF, we may still be owed that money. Whenever the GoB cash flow gets tight, they s-t-r-e-t-c-h out suppliers. They ALL do it.
    So cash flow is tight and they are prioritizing who to pay? Nothing to see here!!! Round and round we go. If they learned anything from Big Sinck, they will be sending the NIS IOU’s for premiums due.
    I’m sticking with 22-8. what about you?
    Xxxccccx
    OK I get it
    But I thought with present govt old things are passed away
    All.things would become new
    Well.i’ll be darn didn’t know BIG Sinck was still finance Manger
    The crux of this madness lies with in a govt who knows how to put on a dog and pony show
    Billion dollar reserves
    Million dollar consultants and taking people for fools and people like u help them to continue the upward spiral.of deceit by constantly pointing at the past as an excuse instead of shouting loud and hard the mantra of No More Excuses

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  • ” Although tourism has played a significant role in developing Barbados and is a key sector in the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic fallout, there needs to be a shift in the structure of economic dependency.”

    https://www.nationnews.com/2021/11/08/panel-stresses-need-diversify/

    There has been a failure by the DLP and the BLP governments to create new viable industries over the last 20 years.

    In times of plenty they had the opportunity to invest and diversify.

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  • Hants

    There has been a failure by the DLP and the BLP governments to create new viable industries over the last 20 years.

    Xxxx
    Absolutely correct
    But instead of voices holding govt feet for change
    On BU one would find a bunch of bleeping sheep spouting horse manure bout wuh happen in the past ten years

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  • You get nothing. The GoB is an ONGOING entity.
    22-8 sounds good to me, what about you?

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  • Well my book is certainly timely….who would have thought…

    “In times of plenty they had the opportunity to invest and diversify”

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  • @ WURA-War-on-U November 7, 2021 1:05 PM

    (Quote):
    In citing the Auditor’s General report from 2007 to 2019 which noted several instances of clear misappropriation of money from the fund, Springer revealed she, too, had similar findings while doing her own research on the fund when she assumed office. She told the committee that the suspension of the fund was necessary in order to correct the situation. (Unquote).
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    You are so “spot on”; ‘same old, same old’ indeed!

    Don’t the prevailing laws place great responsibility on the PS, the chief accounting officer, to report such cases of alleged misappropriations of public funds to the relevant law enforcement agencies?

    Isn’t this a prima facie case of downright stealing of ‘Crown property which should have been brought to the attention of the Director of Finance and the COP/DPP in the most assiduous fashion?

    Now that it is before the PAC what do you think will be the final outcome of this politically orchestrated attempt to shame a particular ‘former’ minister as a sacrificial offering to the naïve voters still expecting a yellow and blue rabbit from the red bag of tricks?

    With the inevitable dissolution of the current Parliament because of the imminent general elections isn’t it going to end up like the proverbial dodo bird?

    ‘One for all and all for all’ is the mantra of the Bajan brotherhood of politicians aptly nicknamed the Duopoly by Willie Skinner!

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  • Talk show host Walter Blackman is on the rampage over the Prime Minister’s attempt to defraud the treasury of $12.6 million. He is not aware of the Auditor General’s latest report. The public is still waiting for explanations about the $209 million that was allocated towards other equity investments whatever those are, $1.85 million spent on unknown expenditure in the Prime Minister’s Office, the $210 million overruns in respect of the south coast wastewater treatment plan, details of the Clearwater issue where $124 million was written off and who benefitted from the credit card payments in the Prime Minister’s Office. I am sure that these issues are more disturbing to the taxpayers than the attempt to defraud the treasury of 12.6 million dollars. In additon, the taxpayers would like to know how much money the gas tax generated and how it was spent. They are wondering why the government is borrowing money to fix the roads when the gas tax was levied for that purpose. Mr. Blackman the Prime Minister has not produced a budget in three years after promising transparency and accountability. What says thou about that! Lawd, Mia!!!!

    Like

  • Miller…it’s gone way past the criminal and absurd.

    Like

  • African Online Publishing Copyright ⓒ 2021. All Rights Reserved

    The people better start familiarizing themselves with and MOVING AWAY FROM the slave codes and slave laws still on the statute books.

    Like

  • Barbados Today
    Editorial

    Many hands could make light work of the unbearable heaviness of being
    Making ends meet in Barbados is a daily grind for an increasing number of Barbadians and it is time Government confront the high cost of living that has further complicated thousands of lives. It is a predicament that has dogged us long before COVID-19 but is now more dire.
    For years, we have been consistently ranked as one of the world’s most expensive places to live and that pinch is hurting harder than at any time in recent memory.
    We have heard the well-worn pledge from politicians on all sides of the political divide to address high prices. It is time to move once and for all from rhetoric to real action.
    Almost daily on the call-in radio programmes and on social media, citizens are venting frustration at mounting prices for utilities, fuel and especially food from supermarkets, corner shops and vendors.
    Many lament that the price tags on basic goods appear to have extra cents and, in some cases, even dollars at virtually every purchase, straining households already forced to operate on a limited budget as salaries and wages either decline or remain fixed.
    With children now attending school online from home, parents and caretakers are digging deeper into their pockets to provide every meal.
    It’s even more difficult for scores whose livelihoods disappeared as the impact of the coronavirus pandemic upended jobs, for the elderly who depend on their pensions, and for the vulnerable who rely on welfare.
    More people are in abject survival mode.
    A picture of the current situation came last Friday from one charity on the frontline of assisting those who need help the most.
    The Salvation Army said its finances were under significant strain as more people seek assistance. Divisional Commander Major Brenda Greenidge said that with so many people out of work the number of people in need of support has jumped nearly five-fold over the last year.
    People who would normally contribute to the annual Christmas kettle campaign are now needing assistance themselves, she said.
    Six months ago, the Caribbean COVID-19 Food Security and Livelihoods Impact Survey on Barbados signalled that the pandemic had altered how people earn a living and meet their critical needs.
    The survey which involved over 1500 respondents from households averaging three persons found that food security was a major concern even with the Government providing support through a range of measures including its Adopt-a-Family programme and the distribution of care packages to vulnerable households.
    The survey said: “Many are struggling to meet their food needs, and a worrying quarter of respondents are still reducing the amount they eat. The disruptions caused by the pandemic do not affect all households in the same way. Across most indicators of wellbeing, low-income households and those working in tourism and hospitality appear to be the hardest hit, along with households that rely on informal income sources or government support.”
    With COVID-19 lingering on, hindering any real recovery despite a few positive signs, we expect pretty more of the same and in some cases further deterioration in personal circumstances.
    This state of affairs must be concerning to Government, trade unions and the private sector. We believe it is an urgent matter that requires the attention of the Social Partnership. Barbadians need relief.
    It’s is not enough to ask us to cut and contrive and to reduce spending when too many have little if anything to spend.
    We also welcome suggestions for Barbadians to grow more of what they eat, and in time we hope that it is reality, but it is not a plaster for an open sore.
    We have heard talk of price controls to rein in the situation, if necessary, but it has just been that – talk, given past administrations commitment to unfettered capitalism.
    Barbadians want solutions. Admittedly there is no clear fix, but it will mean that the Mottley administration must drill down on all policies that hamstring merchants from delivering more goods and services more cost-effectively.
    And equally, businesses will have to assess whether their markups to consumers are based on fairness, or a mere desire to extract maximum profit or shoring up waste and inefficiency.
    Reasonable Barbadians – whom we contend to be in the clear majority – fully expect to pay their fair share. What they also deserve is practical action and honest conversation on how the cost of living can be realistically addressed.
    Many hands make light work.

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  • Govt has no intentions of helping barbadians if govt intentions to help were of great concern
    Govt would have implemented a stimulus pkg one which is workable sufficient and enough to help rebuild the economy and revived confidence in the local market
    Money place in the hands of the people is a safe and sure policy that would have returned money to the treasury rebuilt local business confidence and could have stimulate a workable plan for govt and local business to reach a midpoint agreement of price control
    With COVID on the ground and the stress of the global problems interacting with countries economy world wide govt plan of holding a stubborn approach of waiting for the one nest basket to recover and (while the local market stagnates) is one that is foolhardy time consuming and is not enough to cover and make do for an economy that is all but ready to collapse
    The policy of borrowing without having a solution to repay is tantamount to a drowning man catching at a straw

    Like

  • St.kitts Nevis govt steps up and helps the people during Covid
    Question what has the govt of Barbados done for the people
    Empty vessels makes the loudest noise than much can be said of the Barbados govt

    Xxxxxx

    More than 3000 people have benefitted by receiving three payments from the second stimulus package, according to Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dr Timothy Harris.

    The second stimulus programme, which was announced in July by PM Harris, is designed to help the less fortunate better cope with the financial hardship caused by COVID-19, and to further stimulate the Federation’s economy.

    Under this initiative, persons who remain unemployed since March 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic will be provided $1,000 per month, for three months. The stimulus measures also included a fuel subsidy of $400 per month to passenger bus operators for a period of three months and a stipend for households with children living with disabilities.

    Dr Harris said that the third round of payments was made this week under the second stimulus That features the Income Support Program, Fuel Subsidy Program and Disability Support program.

    “A third round of payments under this program was made. The sum, in this case, was $2.6M which were paid out yesterday (Monday). Thus far, a total of 2973 persons have benefited from this program which has so far recorded a total payment of over the last three months of $7.7M since its launch.

    The PM revealed that under the fuel subsidy, more than $100,000 has been paid to bus drivers.

    “A total of 118 individuals have submitted applications to the ministry as of October 15… The total payout to date is $129,800.

    Dr Harris said that under the disability support program, the Treasury has made the third round of payments to 155 applicants.

    “The total payout to date is $248,000. $233,000 has been paid directly to individual applicants and a further $15,000 was paid to Ade’s place.”

    Among other measures of the second stimulus are:
    1. The waiving of commercial rent for 6 months (July to December 2021) for small businesses which lease space from the Government, through the Ministry of Tourism and Transport – these would include small businesses that rent booths at the Ferry and Bus Terminals, the Amina Craft Market and the Pelican Mall.

    Reduction in the VAT rate for 3 months (July to September 2021) from 10% to 5% on commercial rent for small businesses with 25 or fewer employees and a valid business license.
    The reinstatement of the annual Import Duty exemption for 16 tyres (4 tyres per quarter), 4 pairs of brake pads and 3 pairs of brake shoes for ‘H’ passenger
    buses.
    A fuel subsidy of $400 per month to passenger bus operators for 3 months, and;
    The waiving of stall fees for vendors using the public market until December 31st.

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  • Hear thee
    Barbados has not become officially a Republic
    However however one of the IMF pay masters tells Barbadians that govt doesn’t have to produce an annual budget
    Never knew his name was placed on the 2018 ballot and he became Minister of Finance
    Now he spews unconstitutional mouthings on good governance and what is acceptable for govt to be accountable and transparent to the people

    Like

  • African Online Publishing Copyright ⓒ 2021. All Rights Reserved

    IMF is now in control…so the little misleaders can only follow instructions and ask HOW HIGH..

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