Barbados national day represents the death of government led socialist values, a transition over to a new economic management style of governance where the trappings of the old independence subsidized social services government begin to diminish and Citizens will be required to each pay more to fund their basic living necessities as government can’t continue to subsidize the cost of providing some goods and services and at the cost asked of Barbadians. International debt service and IMF terms and conditions are already eroding the independence economic model as Barbados now look to China for social investment to fund our new international lifestyle. A lifestyle without God where the innocent are exposed to international banks who violate directives by government ministries.
The independence economy allowed the state to spend resources on the masses by building out the social services sectors and rolling socialist economic policies to benefit the masses of Barbados.
The Barbados National day has no hope attached to it’s ethos as Barbados has to repay 829 million to the IMF by 2029 and no clear strategy is provided as to how the country will manage to balance debt service while still spending adequate money into the different ministries. Barbados had to sign another IMF program to continue it’s first incomplete program. International credit rating agencies issued statements to the effect that Barbados will only get credit upgrades if they continue into another IMF program to borrow additional billions and Barbados complied
Apart from the provision of jobs in seaweed , ash program and Covid-19 there has been no productive growth of jobs since the signing of the IMF program within the government of Barbados. When Covid hit government appointed an economic advisory council which was led by Former PM Owen Arthur and it’s aim was to create 20K jobs however this goal was a political stunt and simply not possible. The government attempted to recreate the 1994-2003 era where massive increases in government departments / government jobs occurred in Barbados.
Barbados signed onto an International Monetary Fund agreement which promises to reduce employment in all ministries by reducing the wage bill , cutting & merging government departments, placing high level civil servants on contracts, cutting pension and social benefits from government to government workers, creation of unfair environment for union workers, implement taxes and fees on health care , implement garbage and sewage tax on water bills causing persons not connected to sewage to carry extra burden, a hike in bus fare to $3.50 then to privatize transport board , the dreaded gas tax , increases in land taxes, compulsory acquisition of lands with payment in bonds , leasing out of the GAIA, Harrison Cave and a planned privatization of Barbados Water Authority.
In planning Barbados’ economic policy, the makers determined that the independence economic model has created too many dependents on the Barbadian state for social mobility. The IMF is on record stating that Barbados’ social programs are too generous to it’s citizens. Hence why as far back as the Barbados’ first IMF program under PM Erskine Sandiford, the IMF at the time recommended that the public service of Barbados be cut massively or face currency devaluation of the 2:1 peg to the US dollar . 30 years later in 2021 Barbados to protect that peg the country borrowed $1.7 Billion US to avoid an external devaluation. Barbados recorded is about to record a 2nd year of foreign exchange loss of $1B therefore foreign debt levels continue to spike. much like PMs Sandiford in 1987-94 and Stuart 2008-2018 external debt service will choke a future administration elected between 2027- 2037. To make matters worse local debt service from the debt restructuring will also spike.
All these factors cut against the crust and core of both labour parties. Whom built their foundations on providing employment , workers rights and representation, NIS , severance & pension legislation, free health care , access to finance & credit , access to low income housing and lands , access to free education , access to adequate water and waste facilities .
The Arthur job creation model was driven by foreign direct investment and borrowing from the International capital market.
In 1994 the IADB Investment Sector loan for pittance of $35 million saw the opening up of Barbados to large sums of foreign money from international capitalist that gave non nationals the rights to purchase large tracks of land for development. This was signed by Owen Arthur as Former Prime Minister Erskine Sandiford and David Thompson refused to sign this legislation while Barbados was under it’s IMF program in 1991 -1994 . This legislation destroyed the spirit of tenantry freehold purchase act by Tom Adams which was revolutionary to land ownership by Barbadians .
The ownership of prime agricultural lands was sold to build hotels, multi million dollar housing estates and golf courses. In the modern era, agriculture lands are being leased to foreign investors mainly from Canada to grow medicinal marijuana in Barbados. The continuation of the tourism services economy where government provides tax concessions to hotel brands has expired hence why the fiscal incentive bill has been repealed . Covid has broken tourism services to the point of record breaking losses of foreign exchange
Barbados went through an economic boom after 1994 where the average employee with a university degree or businessman who was able to attract middle income earnings moved into higher social classes via debt in residential mortgages and car loans to banks whom are all foreign owned in 2023. The current cost of living , government’s high personal income tax rates and personal debt service are crippling these middle income earners. The working poor is growing in Barbados.
To end with a quote the 2016 budget of Chris Sinckler he declared “Managing in these times has been difficult because contrary to popular belief solutions are few and fiscal space is limited, economic diversification Is practically non existent , preferential market access is a thing of the past, structural debt is high , developmental assistance is low and social protection and development …the springboard to our social post independence success is becoming more burdensome to carry in face of declining revenues.
National Day is to usher in a new mindset engineered by the structural changes of BERT and soon BERT 2.0 and in the face of a 30-0 parliamentary majority , censorship , despotic rule and rogue governmental practices. The continued State of Emergency renders Barbados a Prime Ministerial dictatorship.