Time for Budget is Now

Budget

Amid the din of Covid 19 noise muted calls from the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) and the United Progressive Party (UPP) for the government to deliver a ‘budget’ have gone largely unnoticed by the public. The blogmaster agrees given the comatose state of the local economy the call is justified.

It is no secret the BLP inherited a sick economy in 2018 made worse by the ongoing pandemic that has negatively affected tourism – the key economic driver and contributor to foreign exchange earnings. Prime Minister Mottley is politically aware to know a budget at this time will encourage an uncomfortable national debate about the economy. She prefers to buy time to find ways to breath life into the economy, attack the high unemployment and more importantly ready the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) party for the general election due in 2023.

It is unfortunate that in our system of government the narrow interest of political parties always trump national interest. To apologists who posit that the majority of Barbadians prefer to enjoy the Yuletide season instead of listening and discussing a budget exposes the inability of Barbadians to assess the perilous state of the economy. The government of Barbados must be encouraged to constantly communicate to Barbadians its fiscal and monetary measures designed to kickstart the economy, the sooner the better. 

Barbadians are described as an educated people, successive governments have allocated significant sums to the education Head amounting to billions of dollars – see page 599 of the 2021-2022 Barbados Estimates. Unfortunately we have not seen the investment translated to a vibrant, independent level of financial analysis and thought in the public space. We are a country mired in debt, locked in an IMF program with a junk status credit rating with key assets and institutions owned by non Barbadians. What more do educated Barbadians need to know to be galvanized out of a sense of civic responsibility to get Barbados back on track? What will it take for Barbadians to become strident about the inability of successive governments to implement transformative policies as they are about replacing the word God with Creator in a non binding document? What better time for the government to confide in the citizenry plans for improving the economy than during the month of November when we celebrate independence and moving to a Republic?

The last 15 years have been one of the worse periods of our existence as an INDEPENDENT nation. Let the election cycle begin – should we vote the same old B or the same old D is the question. What is that the Chinese proverb again?

If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are headingLao Tzu

109 comments

  • We know Pacha, you have an insatiable appetite for perfection, an elusive vision of what is possible although dependent on a fallible people.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Special delivery to NO.

    Central Bank willing to buy bonds

    By Shawn Cumberbatch shawncumberbatch@nationnews.com

    The Central Bank is on standby to purchase some of the $125 million in newly-issued Government bonds if private investors do not acquire them.
    However, both Minister in the Ministry of Finance Ryan Straughn and Government’s senior economic advisor Dr Kevin Greenidge stressed that this was not a signal that the bank was returning to the days when it would be financing Government routinely.
    They explained that any such move would enable the Mia Mottley administration to access $261.6 million allocated to Barbados in August via an increased special drawing rights (SDRs) allocation from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
    The funds were part of a $1.3 trillion allocation to all IMF members and is intended to help them in their COVID-19 pandemic battle.
    On Monday, for the first time since the 2018 domestic debt restructuring, the Central Bank launched a $125 million treasury note to test the appetite of individual and institutional investors.
    Straughn told the Saturday Sun that the funding was needed to help Government finance “extra-budgetary matters not contemplated”.
    These included the clean-up of the volanic ash ($23 million), expenditures for house repairs as a result of Hurricane Elsa ($50 million), recapitalisation of the National Insurance Scheme ($50 million), and the COVID-19 surge caused by the Delta variant over the summer (almost $50 million).
    “This was almost $175 million in extra demand on the cash flow of Government over the summer at a time when the economy is not yet back to full capacity. So the issuance of the bond is the mechanism under which the Government would access those resources made available by the IMF in order to respond to the pandemic,” the minister explained.
    Straughn said his wish was that “Barbadian individuals and firms would recognise that even in the midst of the worse set of external shocks that the Government has managed the public finances responsibly and would participate on the basis of their capacity to do so”.
    But he added that “the Central Bank stands ready to participate under section 62(5) of the [Central Bank] act in order to facilitate based on market demand”.
    Marketable securities
    Section 62(5) of the legislation
    governing the Central Bank outlined that “where by an enactment it is declared that a public emergency has arisen in Barbados, the bank may purchase marketable securities issued by the Government or any publicly owned institution on the primary market”.
    This was on the basis that “the total amount of Government debt acquired by the Bank pursuant to this section does not exceed three per cent of gross domestic product; [and] securities issued pursuant to this subsection shall have a specified maturity of a maximum of up to five years; be issued at prevailing market rates; be repaid in cash only; and not been rolled over or renewed”.
    Greenidge explained that while the additional IMF SDRs were intended for Government’s pandemic recovery effort, “the Central Bank can’t just give the SDRs to Government”.
    “The Central Bank has to either lend Government the money or give them by taking up a bond issue. This money really belongs to Government, this isn’t a case of the Central Bank providing financing to Government,” he said.

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  • Shackles off!!!

    General fundamental questions as Barbados about to exit the grip.

    Change, solitude, space and time, causality, necessity, other possibilities going forward into the ABYSS..

    Pray for safe PASSAGE..

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  • With all the other confusion around there is still more to be found…..people from countries that these islands are TOO DEPENDENT UPON….are always traveling across the continent DAILY they are the ones infected Afrika with the virus…so how are they going to keep a new strain out…witout extending that ban to include traditionsl tourists…..

    “ST GEORGE’S – Grenada on Friday become the first Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country to announce that it would not allow people from several African countries into the island as a result of a new coronavirus (COVID-19) variant.

    “Persons with a travel history in the last 14 days to South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho and Eswatini will not be allowed into Grenada. It comes in the wake of reports of a new strain of COVID-19, called Omicron, which has been described by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a variant of concern,” according to an official government .”

    Liked by 1 person

  • David
    Perfection? It is the systems which you continue to support which have failed and will continue to fail mankind.

    Like a grave-digger you expect that real development could be imposed from on top without properly correcting past failures, making assumptions which are untrue, etc

    No ideas this writer has held have ever been widely implemented. It is you and your ilk who have brought us to this developmental cul-de-sac, and will continue so to do.

    Dey say politics is about the possible, use to say. For not much has been possible these days. This writer has never been a politician or a sympathizer with politicians, like are you. Therefore, far from seeking perfection, dealing with these issues dispassionately can be engaged without a care. Maybe, a kind of politician after all! LOL

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  • African Online Publishing Copyright ⓒ 2021. All Rights Reserved

    Same thing i have been saying, these people are always on the continent and more than likely took the new strain there, and then spread it everywhere, and the tourist dependent small islands will now be reinfected with something which may be even more dangerous..

    https://www.msn.com/en-gb/health/medical/first-two-uk-cases-of-new-omicron-variant-confirmed-in-essex-and-nottinghamshire/ar-AARcpox?ocid=msedgntp

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  • African Online Publishing Copyright ⓒ 2021. All Rights Reserved

    They are in Afrika every miniute, you can guarantee they took that new variant there….and now acting as though someone infected them…

    “Meanwhile, the Government is thought to be trying to trackdown more than 9,000 people who have come from South Africa over the last fortnight.

    Experts have warned omicron appears to be more transmissible than previous variants, but are trying to establish how effective the vaccine is against it.”

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  • Scottish Deerhounds are misfits.

    Resurrection of Old/Middle English “Guthrie of Guthrie.” 0 + 0 = 8oy

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