Politicians too fat, cabinet too large, too many consultants

One day coming soon some disgruntled persons will attempt a Sidney Burnett Alleyne.

On the 15 July 2023 Prime Minister Mia Mottley sat down with veteran journalist David Ellis (see 90 minutes interview below) to answer questions raised early in the administration after she became the first woman to win government on 25 May 2018.

Interview with Prime Minister Mia Mottley

The blogmaster from time to time has circled back to this interview to use it as a measure of performance of Prime Minister Mottley and the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) from 2018 to the present.

You will hear her stout defence for appointing the largest Cabinet per 1000 of population in the world. She will now argue the fact her government was reelected in the controversial snap election in January 2022 and won another clean sweep confirmed the electorate bought into government’s playbook. The blogmaster is of the view it was more a case that in the land of the blind a one eye woman is queen.

The other issue from the interview that requires repeat discussion is Mottley’s perspective on how the Freundel Stuart administration squandered tax dollars to support party hacks as consultants. Fast forward to about 25 minutes into the interview to hear her dip into the ‘red bag’ to talk a lot and say noting about the issue of tax dollars used to pay several consultants.

The blogmaster accepts that recruiting outside of the parliamentary group maybe required for specialized jobs – running a government must be complex. However, it is clear both BLP and DLP have abused the appointment of consultants through the years. It continues today even in a harsh economic environment where a caring government should be expected to make decisions that are sympathetic to the needs of the people.

We definitely need a different kind of politics in Barbados. This week DLP President Ronnie Yearwood was carried in the media instructing his party on the need to rebuild trust with the public. He is correct, the average Barbadian has become fully disillusioned with the type of politics being practiced in Barbados. The blogmaster like many had hoped Mia Mottley and the BLP would have exploited the overwhelming mandates received at the polls in 2018 and 2022 to introduce a new politics, a new way of governing. It looks like the same old, same old.

Too many dismiss the caller on the talk shows who goes with the moniker Anti-America because of his oftentimes brusque delivery style. However, for those who take the time to listen to his message, he seems to be hitting close to the mark to what is required to drive change in Barbados. The current governance system serves its narrow interest by growing the bellies of members of the political directorate, serfdoms and campaign donors at the expense of the proletariat.

Why has the local fourth estate relinquished its role to actively pursue information in the interest of the public? Why is it so difficult for the public to be informed who are ALL the consultants on government’s payroll? One day coming soon some disgruntled persons will attempt a Sidney Burnett Alleyne.

55 thoughts on “Politicians too fat, cabinet too large, too many consultants

  1. This article is confusing as I always had budavid down as a BLP-ite due to the inherent Bu lean against DLP.

    Now it seems as he is part of the opposition whomever is in.

    People should be careful what they wish for as low life politicians on the outside will use any and all arguments to get a toe hold when they are stumped. So it is better not to criticise a party unless you want another one in.

    Independent people outside any party affiliation will vote for the best of the worst and bear responsibility when they don’t make the grade.

    The other and largest contingent is the don’t vote don’t care posse.

    Now I will digress about another Bu peculiarity which is the Amageddeon end timers posse who’s answer to everything is the Book of Revelations.
    Are prophecies just dreams?

    • As if to support the blog what is the headline on today’s front page? The Auditor General again expresses concern about financial rules being breached, in this case as it pertains to the Sam Lord’s project. Bear in mind the Prime Minister’s office is plugged with an abundance of high price consultants.

      The PM has defended a large cabinet by saying many hands make light work. You be the judge.

      Financial rule ‘breached’

      AUDITOR GENERAL LEIGH TROTMAN is concerned about the way millions of dollars in transactions related to the Sam Lord’s Castle Hotel Redevelopment project are being recorded.
      With the historic St Philip property scheduled for a soft opening next month as a Wyndham Grand Resort, Trotman says some of the associated funds not being voted in the Estimates “is contravention of Rule 60 (1) of the Financial Rules which requires that all expenditure must be provided for in the Estimates”.
      The issue was raised in the 2022 Auditor General’s Report which was recently laid in the House of Assembly.
      Trotman said there were “a number of issues identified in relation to the recording of the transactions “As at 31st March, 2022, the records of the Treasury show that $241 511 623 was received from the Export Import Bank of China for the project. In this regard, it would be expected that assets of a similar amount would also have been recorded to correspond with the amount expended on this investment,” the Auditor General reported.
      “However, only $65 721 609.21 has been recorded in the Assets Under Construction account. Therefore, the total asset has not been recorded accurately in the accounts.”
      Trotman said the Treasury “has indicated that the funds expended in excess of the $65 721 609 were not voted in the Estimates in relation to this project as required” In a response shared in the report, the Treasury said that “clarification will be sought from the Ministry of Finance, Economic Affairs and Investment in relation to who are the owners of Sam Lord’s Castle and how the expenditures on the Sam Lord’s Castle Redevelopment Project are to be treated.
      Rental properties
      “This would determine the head of expenditure under which they should be voted in the Estimates in order to properly record the transactions relating to the project,” it added.
      Trotman also flagged how Government was recording transactions related to its rental properties.
      “The Government owns property for rental purposes which has not been recorded in the general ledger or the financial statements to allow for easy identification; neither was it stated if these investment properties will be valued at cost or fair value,” he stated.
      “The non-disclosure of Government’s investment property is a breach of IPSAS (International Public Sector Accounting Standards) 16 which identifies investment properties as properties held for their investment potential such as rental or capital appreciation.”
      The Treasury’s response to this was that “the Ministry of Housing, Lands and Maintenance (MHLM) has responsibility for information relating to Government-owned properties, including those held for rental purposes.
      “MHLM was in the process of reviewing the investment property listing at the time the financial statements were prepared. Information relating to investment property therefore was not included in the financial statements for the 20212022 financial year,” it explained.
      The Auditor General further reported that his office has been seeking “a current comprehensive list” of all Government properties from the Ministry of Housing “but without success”.
      “The Ministry of Housing, Lands and Maintenance has responsibility for Government properties and should have a comprehensive list with appropriate values,” he said.
      “The change from the cash to accrual basis of accounting requires that the Ministry of Housing, Lands and Maintenance be aware of its additional responsibilities in providing up-todate information on Government lands and buildings.
      “This includes constructing a comprehensive listing of all Government properties. This listing should be updated and made available to the auditors for testing and verification annually,” Trotman advised. (SC)

      Source: Nation

    • No PAC, one of the important working committees of parliament.The truth whether an elected opposition or not the PAC does not function as it was meant to in our form of democratic system. Although it suits the political directorate to maintain the status quo.

      Call for PAC to function; protection from lawsuits

      AUDITOR GENERAL Leigh Trotman is again calling for Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to be allowed to function in the absence of a Leader of the Opposition.
      “This situation could be remedied by an amendment to the PAC Act, which would allow for an independent senator to chair the meetings in the absence of an Opposition Leader,” he suggested in his 2022 Annual Report recently laid in Parliament.
      “The Public Accounts Committee is tasked with examining the reports of the Auditor General, including the results of performance audits conducted. During the year under review, there were no meetings of the Public Accounts Committee as there is no chairman of the Committee,” Trotman said in the report which published an audit of Government’s financial statements for the year ended March 31, 2022.
      Position vacant
      “The PAC legislation designates the Leader of the Opposition as the chairman. However, since there is no Leader of the Opposition, the position is vacant and would have resulted in the lack of meetings conducted by this committee.”
      He also made another call for his office to be protected from lawsuits.
      “The lawsuit against the Auditor General remains unresolved at the time of writing. This suit is in relation to the 2019 report that referenced the special audit which was conducted on the Barbados Water Authority,” he said.
      “In some jurisdictions, there is a provision in the legislation that stipulates that any document produced in good faith by or on behalf of the Auditor General, in the course of the performance, duties or functions under any Act of Parliament, is privileged.
      “This type of amendment to the law is required in order to minimise court actions against the Office of the Auditor General in future,” Trotman said.

    • Enuff will say to us, blame the Public Servants.

      Auditor General can’t find $165m in expenditure
      AN AUDIT OF GOVERNMENT’S ACCOUNTS has concluded with the Auditor General unable to verify $165.5 million in spending by the authorities.
      This is one of the “number of deficiencies that need to be urgently addressed”, says Auditor General Leigh Trotman in his 2022 report recently laid in Parliament.
      “Amounts totalling $165 482 732 were recorded by the Treasury as other operating expenses. However, supporting documentation for these transactions were not provided. Hence, the auditors were unable to verify the nature of the transactions for which these amounts relate. In addition, there were no provisions made in the Estimates for this amount,” he reported.
      Consolidated Fund
      Trotman explained that expenditures recorded in Government’s financial statements related to amounts charged on the Consolidated Fund for goods received or services performed on behalf of ministries and departments during the financial year.
      He said these amounts should have been approved by Parliament.
      However, in the audit of Government’s financial statements for the year ended March 31, 2022, he highlighted some “issues pertaining to expenditures not approved” by Parliament.
      In addition to the one concerning the $165.5 million in other operating expenses, the Auditor General said that “a review of Schedule 14 of the financial statements revealed instances where nonstatutory expenditure was in excess of the levels approved in the Estimates for some ministries and departments as required.
      “For example, excess expenditure for the QEH (Queen Elizabeth Hospital) was $23 878 083; Caves of Barbados Limited $3 839 797 and Urban Development Commission was $596 454. Incurring expenditure in excess of the amounts approved by Parliament is contrary to Rule 60 (1) of the Financial Rules which requires that all expenditure must be provided for in the Estimates,” Trotman advised.
      He also raised questions about transfers to and from Government’s Deferred Revenue account, which is where all monies received from the Barbados Revenue Authority are recorded.
      “In practice, all monies received from the Barbados Revenue Authority, the principal collector of revenue, are first recorded in a Deferred Revenue account by the Treasury. These amounts represent current year revenue as well as funds collected for receivables and prepayments.
      Deferred Revenue
      “The Authority would indicate to the Treasury how the amounts in the Deferred Revenue account should be allocated during the course of the year. Any balance in the Deferred Revenue account should be supported by an appropriate schedule which represent revenue paid in advance [prepayments].”
      He pointed out that “at the start of the financial year, there was a brought forward balance of $254 395 952 in the Deferred Revenue account [but] there were no supporting schedules in relation to this amount.
      “At the close of the financial year ended 31st March, 2022, a balance of $32 636,004 remained on the account. The movements on this account, and hence revenue collected, could not be verified by the auditors because of insufficient information to support the transfers from and to this account, and in respect of the outstanding balance,” Trotman said.
      The Auditor General added that some of the financial deficiencies he outlined in his 2022 report “have been highlighted in previous reports but no apparent action has been taken to address them and this is unfortunate”.
      “Some of the other issues mentioned are quite significant and will result in a disclaimer of the accounts unless they are adequately addressed,” he stated.
      Trotman advised the Accountant General to “examine the several issues highlighted in this report and implement measures to correct and prevent future occurrences”. (SC

      Source: Nation

    • Another example to question if many hands do make light work. Transfers in the ministry of education effected on the night before school starts.

      Students and teachers ‘deserve better from ministry’
      HOURS BEFORE the new school term began on Monday, secondary school principals, deputy principals and teachers were getting late-night phone calls telling them they had been reassigned.
      The news, however, did not sit well with some online NATION readers who scolded the Ministry of Education for its handling of the matter.
      Rorypoonhound: Seriously though, MOE (Ministry of Education). These teachers would have had programmes in place, assignments and schedules to map out and duties, and to announce the reassignments with less than 12 hours’ notice is really disrespectful.
      Just_chet_ryan: Imagine acting as deputy principal and show up for work and someone is sitting at your desk? This is really poor management and someone should be held accountable. I don’t think there is anything more demotivating than this. How inconsiderate.
      Kublalsingh: People . . . need to be fired. Nine weeks of summer vacation, nine weeks to plan, nine weeks to prepare, nine weeks to roll out any changes. What should be the most important ministry, setting the tone for every other to follow, is an absolute mess.
      Karma_290: Lack of respect. Imagine on your way to work and get a phone call that you are no longer the principal at such-and-such school, go to this one instead. Wasn’t given time to pack up your office, put certain plans in place, say goodbye to staff . . . nothing.
      Bajansouthpaw: This is utter nonsense and with all respect to the good doctor, that is not an explanation. The term dates are set months in advance. Unless principals and teachers are abruptly resigning, this speaks to . . . poor planning. Our children deserve better, as do the teaching professionals and the taxpayers of Barbados. If this were the private sector, heads would be rolling all now. We deserve better. Change the system, get the required resources in place now.
      King_riviere: The minister should be fired. Fooling around with the education system is a bad idea when we think of the future of Barbados. I’m sure many teachers and principals had plans on the go to benefit the school they were at. Now they have to adjust to new schools and adjustment takes time.

      Source: Nation

  2. budavid is being too harsh again with the mantrol of differing POVs

    For What It’s Worth
    the point I make is a warning that there is a massive difference when truly bad parties are in power and the damage done

    … There’s something happening here
    But what it is ain’t exactly clear
    There’s a man with a gun over there
    Telling me I got to beware
    … I think it’s time we stop
    Children, what’s that sound?
    Everybody look, what’s going down?
    … There’s battle lines being drawn
    Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong
    Young people speaking their minds
    Getting so much resistance from behind

  3. This is all brazen political juggling. It’s a known fact that political affiliation has been the order of the day at MOE under both administrations.
    Many outstanding teachers actually refuse to seek promotion because they don’t want to bend to the incompetents masquerading as education ministers under both administrations.
    In other words they sacrifice themselves for the love of their profession and principle.
    All of this is reheated cold soup . I am certain that hundreds of teachers would read this and give one big stupse…….nothing new here.

  4. Pick nonsense from nonsense!

    To the ‘BLOGMASTER’ who wrote this fluff, do you comprehend the word ‘serfdom?’

    What different kind of politics do you need in Barbados? Can you offer the people a solution? Tell us something new, something different.

    Should you not take the time to coherently knit simple sentences together and then attempt to weave compound sentences to clearly elucidate and convey your thoughts/thesis to the public?

    Here is an individual who gets all pissy because others do not think in simple thoughts of sheep like he’d wish, yet he has demonstrated that he cannot even think clearly furthermore write clearly, while attempting to police the thoughts of others.

    Why were you not offing comments on this blog years ago when it was in its infancy? Are you so established now that you can afford to shut down commentators?

    Clearly you’ve demonstrated why Barbados stands at a dimly lit crossroad…..EVERYONE THINKS ALIKE!

    You are clearly domiciled in a vitreous place blog’master.’

  5. David, if Enuff ‘would say, blame the Public Servants,’ then, in all fairness to him, he would be correct. Simply because politicians do not have direct access to public funds.

    • Why would politicians NEED access to public funds when they have FULL access AND control of the inept Public Servants who do?

    • David, perhaps you may want to explain how it is “cop out given the model of governance practiced in Barbados,” not based on what you ‘think,’ but on your familiarity or in depth knowledge of government’s financial regulations.

  6. LOL @ David
    You seem yet to realize that B.B. Bajans HAVE the ‘government’ that we DESERVE…
    …a bunch of clueless women and she-men – who are fully indebted to the descendants of our long-time plantation masters – both at home and abroad, and whose ‘strengths’ lay in emotional bullying and in the weak-kneed shiite-men they have around them.

    There are some people who you CANNOT help!!!! …ask the Saffry chap in Bridgetown.

    There is ONLY one way to solve such endemic idiocy …and it is on track….

    BTW… you should have banned Kiki YEARS ago …as Bushie had suggested, and invited AC back to liven up the damn blog….

  7. By ‘saying,’ politicians “have FULL access and CONTROL of inept Public Servants who do,” you essentially apportioned BLAME to civil servants, thereby CONFIRMING the ‘assumption.

    • @Artax

      It would not have passed you that often times Minister Ryan Straughn is constrained to respond on the AG’s report. Anyway this is a moot point, the political directorate calls the shots.

    • Okay, David. Let us accept “the political directorate calls the shots.” If an accountant of a statutory corporation complies with an order from the minister or chairman, to authorise the disbursement of funds for questionable purposes, or without the required supporting documentation to substantiate payments, knowing it contravenes the rules and regulations governing the control and disbursement of public funds, for which he/she is accountable. Should the accountant be absolved of blame or given a ‘free pass because the minister or chairman tell them to do so?’ Or, should he/she maintain his/her personal and professional integrity by refusing? Bear in mind there is also a ‘Code of Professional Ethics’ accountants must adhere to.

    • @Artax

      You heard Minister Adrian Forde admit to breaches in the financial rules at NCC? Should a public servant have issued the confirmation?

    • One of the problems I have with BU is some contributors ‘conveniently adjust’ their opinions on issues, based on WHO comment thereon. I remember mentioning in this forum, of complying with an instruction given by the board of a SOE at which I worked, to transfer any funds remaining at the end of the financial year to the consolidated fund. Caswell Franklyn ‘said’ ‘did not know what I was doing,’ in other words, incompetant. He was supported by de pedantic Dribbler and a few other contributors. There were’nt any examples given or references to ‘scape goats.’ There was a general acceptance of BU’s ‘golden boy’ comments from the SAME PEOPLE who are NOW blaming the ministers and chairmen for misappriation of funds. Hypocrisy at its best from the usual suspects.

    • @Artax

      You will recall the AstraZeneca procurement matter and who led that matter? Unfortunately what should happen based on separation of powers and the incestuous nature how government’s business is done is known.

    • @Artax

      If the chairman who is appointed by the minister signaled concerns about reported breaches are we to think Minister Forde would have been unaware?

    • Come on, David, don’t be silly. The minister is responsible for what occurs in ministries and SOEs under his/her portfolio. A point made by in this forum on several occasions and recently reinforced a few days ago in your Ronnie Yearwood thread. You are essentially presenting two different arguments. However, a clerical officer was charged and convicted for stealing in excess of $1M from the psychiatric hospital. Should we blame the minister and should the clerk issue confirmation of his theft?

    • No!

      The minister although he is not responsible for financial disbursements in this Barbados the blogmaster k owe very well, the political directorate is all powerful. You may have the last word.

    • David, by asking questions based on comments you believe I made, is essentially creating strawmen to knock them down. And, you’re ‘all over the place’ with this Forde issue. I suggest you should relax, gather your thoughts and come again.

    • @Artax

      The blogmaster is fine. The politicians and public servants it can be stated these days there is no demarcation.

  8. Party supporter to M.P.
    Skipper things brown
    M.P. hold on there’s a little thing coming up soon
    Party supporter : how soon
    M.P.: A week or so
    One week or so later
    M.P. to chairman of board:
    My brother ah hear you got a lil ting coming up moving some stuff
    Chairman: what yuh need
    M.P. one of my boys need a little something
    Chairman : send me the name
    M.P. ok bro’
    After phone call:
    Party supporter : dat will cost $x
    Chairman : No problem
    M.P. a few weeks later:
    Yuh get fix up
    Party supporter: tings good
    Auditor general report
    Funds not properly disbursed or accounted for.
    And round and round it goes.
    Answer : Find a scape goat to blame for it and we all know the scape goat.

  9. David

    “One day coming soon some disgruntled persons will attempt a Sidney Burnett Alleyne”. Promoting one-side of the story also contributes to public revolt.

    You mentioned that Barbados “has the largest Cabinet per 1,000 of population in the world.”

    So my first response is to look at how we compare regionally and, for the fans of Ronnie(wh)O?, the UK and Singapore.

    Barbados – Cabinet 23; Population 282,000.

    Trinidad – Cabinet 31; Population 1,526,000. There is also the Tobago House of Assembly 15 members (9 “Ministers”) and 14 Municipal Corporations (141 Councillors) each with a Mayor or Chairman and its own decision making Committees akin to a Cabinet.

    Jamaica – Cabinet 31; Population 2,826,000; 14 local authorities (228 councillors). Each with its own Mayor and Council, which sets policy.

    St. Lucia – Cabinet 15; Population 180,000.

    St. Vincent & the Grenadines – Cabinet 12; Population 104, 340.

    Dominica – Cabinet 13; Population 72,412.

    Antigua & Barbuda – Cabinet 9; Population 93,219.

    St. Kitts & Nevis – Cabinet 9; Population 47,606.

    Grenada – Cabinet 14; Population 124,610.

    Guyana – Cabinet 25; Population 805,000. Guyana also has ten regional development councils, seven municipalities and 65 neighbourhood democratic councils; as well as 75 Amerindian village councils.

    United Kingdom – Cabinet 24 plus 99 additional Ministers; Population 67,672,000. There are also Assemblies in London (an elected Mayor, 10 appointed Deputy Mayors, and 25 elected Assembly Members with Committees); Scotland (129 elected members with a First Minister and 30 other Ministers and Junior Ministers); Wales (60 elected members with a First Minister and 13 Ministers and Deputy Ministers); and Northern Ireland (90 elected members with a First Minister and 9 other Ministers when fully functioning). Add 11,930 or so Councils with about 20,000 elected councillors. Each Council has a Cabinet. Finally, there are currently 117 paid and unpaid Special Advisers across the various ministries, with salaries ranging from £40,500 to £145,00. The PM has 41, 30 are paid at rates for the most part higher than what Ronnie(wh)O? claimed the PM makes.

    Singapore – Cabinet 36; Population 5,454,000.

    In most of the countries where local government exists, various matters such as garbage collection, policing, health, street cleaning, roads, streetlights, education, planning etc are dealt with at the local level.

    • @enuff

      The blogmaster is not interested in any benchmarking to countries that have historically lagged Barbados, aren’t we use to being the model?

      The point made is that the reason given for appointing a large cabinet in Barbados was that many hands make light work, however, when we read the AG reports, listen to talk shows, number of false starts to government projects etc there is no justification for the large government. It is a simple point.

  10. @ David

    To be fair Artax has a valid point in that the minister is not responsible for the day to day activities. In some cases there is a board or other structure in place as well. That is what is written anyhow. But in reality what happens?

    Let’s take the NIS for example, the ministers from B and D have done as they like with the NIS fund. As a result many will find their first pension cheque and death grant coming in the same envelope. So hence what should happen in principle does not happen in reality.

    Truth is we will never know the true cost of Sam Lords because from what we can see, the accounts are in a mess. That of course will not stop us from deciding what to rent it for though, after all who needs such boring data anyhow to make a decision.

    Some politicion will no doubt still stand up and say ” what a successful project this has been.”

    • @John A

      The blogmaster is aware how the government is suppose to function. What is being stated is that there is no way in Barbados a chairman appointed by the minister would have noted concerns at board and the minister not be aware. The blogmaster stands by this position.

  11. @ David

    I Agee with you but the question is if the chairman or board did state their concerns would it of even mattered?

    I think the NIS is a classic example of when a minster is hell bent on destroying an entity how easy it can happen, regardless of whether a board exist or not.

    • @John A

      That is a fair point but were the blogmaster the Minister a statement would have been issued to get ahead of the note from the AG to show some initiative dealing with the matter. We t would win public support?

    • David, there is a process. The auditors would’ve outlined their concerns to the organisation’s director/chairman, which would’ve initiated an investigation, the results of which together with necessary explanations would be communicated to the Aud Gen Office. And, included in the Aud Gen’s report. Obviously, the minister would be aware of the concerns through discussions with the chairman and review of the board minutes.

    • @Artax

      The blogmaster understands there is a process, a process that is not working. Year after year we feature AG notes and what. If the public service is failing it is left to policymakers to revamp the system.

  12. This writer supported Mottley when she argued that many hands make light work.

    And given the state the other boys left the country in we would be so minded in similar circumstances.

    Now that we have more than five years as a tract record no such meme could receive any independent support.

    For only people like the perennially loyal Enuff will be prepared to ignore the less than stellar performances of this Mottley crew.

    Indeed, from top to bottom we’ll be pressed to avoid giving them all a failing grade.

    Those who rightly contended, from early on, that there was too much of ‘an army of occupation’, as once said by barrow, our words, within this regime must take a bow.

    This represents a spectacular failure. For it means that even with a bloated army Mottley was not able to avoid failure.

    Having failed, it’s high time for Mottley to ruthlessly apply the machete to the otherwise unemployable around her.

  13. “who are the owners of Sam Lord’s Castle and how the expenditures on the Sam Lord’s Castle Redevelopment Project are to be treated”
    How did we get back here?
    We cannot find out who owns Paradise or where the money went which was supposedly paid for the land…and now ownership rears it’s head again.
    Even the BTII seemingly were unaware the land they sold Kinch, or parts thereof, were not owned by them.

    One word is the key to change…remittances. Without remittances the bricks come tumbling down.

  14. In the comics one of the ‘most feared crime fighting team’ is the dynamic duo of Batman and Robin.

    Sadly, our duo of Dale Marshall and Corey Lane seem to have the super power of invisibility. Our attempt to mimic the comics have failed and given us a disappearing duo. They have not been heard from or seen in recent times.

    Perhaps two more team members will be added to this disappearing duo and in our parallel universe we will have the failing four instead of the fantastic four.

    Don’t you wish you were in a comic book.

  15. Deja vu
    Nothing is new
    Just circling the mulberry bush. The auditor general report will be dissected and then shelved.

    New legislation will be introduced; commissions formed … The smartest men in the world will once again be outsmarted by the smartest politician in the world.

    Deja vu
    Nothing is new

  16. David

    Of course you were benchmarking. I was merely laying out the facts for my part two. But before I proceed, how do you determine that the Cabinet is too large, based on what? Not a benchmark? LMBAO! It can’t be based on the AG Report and call in programmes because to do so you would have to show that the failures/complaints outweigh the successes/compliments. Good luck demonstrating such.

    The current Cabinet consists of 22 Ministers, I’ll include the Parliamentary Secretary to make it 23. Stuart had 18; Thompson 19 and Arthur’s last Cabinet 18. So the current Cabinet is 4/5 members larger than what obtained under Arthur, Stuart and Thompson. The key differences between your hero David Thompson’s Cabinet and the current one are the splitting of the AG and Home Affairs, Infrastructure, Crime Prevention and the QEH. The structure seems aimed at facilitating continuity in certain ministries where regular travel is required by the line minister, crime, the QEH and the government’s legislative agenda. To support your position, do some digging and let the blog know what government has accomplished Isn’t that what the PM said to judge her Cabinet size by? Is/will Corey’s appointment work in addressing crime? Will the A&E and QEH improve by having a dedicated Minister? Is Duguid speeding up the planning process and getting projects out the ground faster? After all I remember how this same blog cuss the Ministry of the Blue Economy when it was Kirk Humphrey. Yet between 2008-2021, even with 2 years of Covid disruption, on fisheries alone he managed to repair or rebuild 6 of the fish markets in Barbados. Those phytosanitary upgrades the Dems couldn’t do in 10 years. I’ll reserve my judgement.

  17. David, I want to offer congratulations and best wishes to Ashton Hoyte, a visually impaired young lad who began his secondary school journey at Harrison’s College, this new school year.

    • @Artax

      A good news story amid the din. Let us wish him well. It is good to see, slow though it is, the inclusion of differently able people in the traditional structure. Well done HC. We have seen it at a couple other educational institutions in recent years.

  18. If not now, when?

    The United States, from whence these structures depend, as a colony, for sustenance, has a national debt of 33 trillion.

    A debt which will be 50 trillion by 2030. Currently interest alone is one trillion annually.

    Financialization gone mad!

    And the only thing the Mother Country can do is deploy government to aid corporate interests at the expense of everybody else.

    Barbados too sees government as such an instrument.

    That government itself cannot justify its own existence, as measured by its relative size and failures to deliver, should be a wake up call as it comes within an international environment which becomes more and more unstable by the day.

  19. BTW, these debt levels, though real, are notional, because the USA does not intend to ever repay them nor expects to be called upon to so do.

    Sooner or later this shell game must end.

  20. Off topic recently heard Mr Blackett saying the cabinet is a cost over run on brasstacks.I had to listen to 5he repeat later on.This coming from a man who as minister for 10 years in my view said or did little of consequence.In my view he is best remembered for keeping noise for the reinstatement of their 8 percent pay cur and for being reported involve in the cussfest of Ms Mottley near the stadium.He was in my view onwe of the biggest cost overruns of the last dem government.In fact most of them were except in my view, Mr Sealy, Mr M. Lashley in housing and to a lesser extent Mt S. Lashley in culture and Mr Inniss as health minister.I gone.

    • Franklyn blasts Govt over NIS

      There’s a lot of injustice in Barbados, says trade unionist Caswell Franklyn, while pointing an accusing finger at Government.
      “I hate injustice,” he said as he delivered the Astor B. Watts Lunchtime Lecture at the Democratic Labour Party’s headquarters in George Street, Belleville, St Michael, yesterday.
      He took particular aim at the Barbados Labour Party administration and its management of the National Insurance Fund, claiming that the Government’s write-off of $1.5 billion was the reason the fund was in difficulty. Franklyn tracked the fund from former Prime Minister Sir Lloyd Erskine Sandiford’s period of the 1990s to present day.
      The former senator, appointed by the People’s Party for Democracy and Development during the 2018 to 2022 term, said that Sir Lloyd, in the late 1980s, delayed implementing changes when it was widely held that the fund would go bust by 2035 unless that was done.
      He said the late prime minister delayed implementing recommendations until after elections in 1991, but “all hell brek loose” and eventually Barbados Labour Party leader Owen Arthur came to power and implemented the recommendations.
      Franklyn told those gathered and following online that Arthur took the retirement age from 65 to 67 and changed the formula for calculating National Insurance to pay out less money, but contributions to it were increased. From there, he added, the fund started to grow and there was hope it was out of the woods, but Government borrowed money from it with the promise to pay back.
      That did not occur, he said. Instead, $1.3 billion owed to the fund was written off.
      “That write-off has endangered the National Insurance Fund but they are not saying that,” Franklyn stated, adding that he was expecting to receive his pension by a particular age.
      However, the proposals are to increase the retirement age to 68 along with 750 contributions, up from 500.
      “National Insurance money is not the Government’s money. It is held in trust by the National Insurance Board to pay pensions and other benefits and if there is a surplus, you can invest. That is what it is supposed to do,” he declared.
      “You know why that is dangerous for people? I actually had to counsel people who couldn’t get promoted in the Public Service and they leave the Public Service and gone about their business. Some have gone [overseas] and made sure they had their 500 contributions in case things didn’t work out out there,” he said.
      Now they were being told it will be 750, he said, and his advice to those who asked him was to return and put in the additional contributions.
      “It is short-sighted. You are not thinking how it is going to affect people,” Franklyn said of the move. (AC)

      Source: Nation

  21. Wait a freaking minute! Caswell Franklyn giving a speech at DLP HQ? Is that the same Caswell Franklyn that executives of the DLP tried to prevent giving a speech at the St. Peter constituency branch of the DLP?

    The DLP doesn’t know which way is up

    • @Sargeant

      Yearwood had to make a call, allow the old and disgruntled guard who are narrow minded in focus to ride a position that is popular read NIS or deescalate and wait for his time. Best in mind he is trying to solidify his position. This will come when he wins a seat.

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