All right thinking Barbadians are vested in an improving economy, we live here. In has been a challenging last 15 years for Barbados and it is no secret we are losing some of our best young minds to the global market because as a result. This exodus comes at a time government is concerned about an ageing population which has negative implications for our tax base and the threat caused to the National Insurance Fund. As a consequence, government has been essaying thoughts about importing labour to increase the labour force to be able to sustain a standard of living Barbadians have become addicted – see Draft Barbados Population Policy Available for FEEDBACK.
This week the blogmaster listened to Minister of the Environment Adrian Forde heaping praise on the Prime Minister for the splash she has been making in the international area. He cited concomitant benefits, one being able to access low concessionary interest rates on loans for development purposes. While government continues to pat itself on the back, the average Barbadian is very concerned about the debt burden. Government will counter to say we can afford to service the debt but they often neglect to add – ceteris paribus. (All things being equal). It is fashionable for today’s unimaginative governments to engage in deficit financing with successive Barbados governments gleefully joining the party.
A recent reference to Barbados’ Medium Term Fiscal Framework – 202472025 to 202672027 was made on the blog by a contributor. The document contained the usual lofty financial targets governments resort to based on questionable assumptions. Of interest to the blogmaster was the following:
Under the previous government a promise was made by then Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler to rationalise SOEs. A similar promise was made by the incumbent government, five years into its second term it remains a broken promise. The Barbados’ Medium Term Fiscal Framework was signed off by Minister in the ministry of finance Ryan Straughn and Director of Finance Ian Carrington. It is noteworthy Carington is a former Director of National Insurance and in the document highlighted cursory mention is made of pension reform and government’s plan to address NIS backlog. One has to speculate given the poor state of public pensions in Barbados what will be the contingent liabilities arising. A similar concern is being expressed about the cost of the education reform currently being canvassed.
The blogmaster has to reluctantly admit to being disappointed at government’s slow progress addressing structural issues both economic and social in the country.