Under Mottley has the country progressed?

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.

81 thoughts on “Under Mottley has the country progressed?

  1. Tourism is on the rebound, why worry?

    Hectic day at GAIA

    The tarmac of Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA) was lined off with wide-bodied jets yesterday while the arrival and departure areas were jampacked with people for what officials said was the busiest day so far at the airport for the 2023-2024 winter tourist season.

    Overall, thousands were recorded passing through for the day. People landing as well as those waiting to board flights were entertained by groups from the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.

    GAIA chief executive officer Hadley Bourne said the high numbers were a positive sign, especially as it was happening earlier than last year. He added they hoped to see many more similar days for the season.

    Source: Nation

  2. Progress is a relative term
    I think Bajan voters are still reminded of how much Barbados regressed with DLP

    • Why is it when there is an attempt to discuss the state of conditions in Barbados the perspective you offer is to compare to DLP. This is not the point of the blog.

  3. “This is not the point of the blog.”

    Politics is a business and all about voters intentions and swings, they are more concerned about campaigning than delivering services, even during an elected Government’s term, hence the gap in promises made and promises kept.

    Lack of Morality
    The current mid-East crisis highlights various Government’s priorities and spin where media talk about polls of Arab voters views and ignores general public. They also categorise sympathisers of Palestine as the young voters.
    The good politicians are resigning to make their point over these issues.

    • The point of the blog is to analyze and discuss what are the best national policies we need to implement in the interest of citizens. Steuspe

  4. Turned around a SOE bringing it from insolvency to having an investment portfolio of over $30 million. They got rid of me under a cloud with persons amused by my non legal response.
    Spoke of the importance of Change Leadership, they scoffed & spoke of their myriad plans for change. Managed change is strategic, not tactical & always successful.
    No credible professional would become part of this present administration. Professionalism is about capacity, competence and accountability: all solely lacking in both sides of the political divide.
    It’s clear there’s no structural effort, vision or plan to improve B’dos productivity. The emphasis remains on public relations, communication & tourist numbers.
    The only groupings happy & comfortable with the present state of B’dos trajectory are the merchants, the administration, consultants, non residents investors & workers and property owners.
    The goose is cooking and soon done

  5. On November 19. 2023 something will happen in banking which is likely to be transformative.

    ISO20022 and Basel 3 standards will be effective.

    ISO20022 is about the standardisation of communications between banks all on the Starlink System.

    And Basel 3 is about new standards for banks, reserve standards etc which seek to avoid recent failures, instability etc.

    These are the attempts to respond to fintect players, recent arrivals, which have been eating the lunch of the tradicional banks, institutions.

    How successful will they be?

    What are the relationships between these, the attacks against the USD, the BRICS system, etc?

    What would this mean for Barbados given recent consolidations, éxito, etc?

    What will they mean for the cooperative movement?

    These are all questions, and more, well worthy of public consideration, we feel.

  6. Basel can have all the standards it deems necessary. If banks continue to defer to the demands of the very rich, don’t adhere to reporting & bank Examiners don’t do their job as stipulated, bank failures will continue.
    Interesting to see how online banking will be controlled by Basel

  7. As a member of such a group, it’s well known that even with the old standards, there were many countries in which there are no capacities, electronic mainly, to process large transactions, we fear this dated problem will become more wide spread.

    They are saying straight up – non compliance means you’ll be left behind. Barbados already has problems with corresponding banks, the region.

    Maybe we’ll have bank classism rising within these standards. Yes, that’s highly likely because these big banks are making these rules. But can we obey? And if not, what are the alternatives.

    And yet, we’ve hear no noises within the region about this issue.

    Let’s see!!!

  8. Are we sitll putting too many eggs in the tourism basket? But if not tourism, what other viable baskets are available or can be created in the future on a heavily populated, small rock lacking in natural resources in the middle of the ocean? It would be a real blow to tourism, not just in Barbados and the Caribbean but world wide, if a chaotic situation were to develop in the airline industry due to a critical rise in adverse health events including sudden incapacitations and deaths among the heavily COVID vaccinated airline pilots.

    Pilot warns of airline industry disaster due to COVID-19 Vaccines. (Squawk 7700 Alerts up 386% in 2023).

    By: Sally Beck

    November 15, 2023

    Mr Murdock, 60, who lives near Sydney, Australia, flew as Captain for Virgin Australia for 20 years, and has held a licence since 1984. He also has an MSc in Aviation Human Factors, the science behind how humans interface with machines. He said: ‘Somewhere on the international network daily, you will find a plane has been turned back because of a health emergency. Either a passenger health emergency or crew health emergency.’

    When pilots put out a mayday radio call to air traffic control, it is nicknamed a ‘squawk’. They use the code 7700 for all mayday calls which are reserved for serious incidents like pilot incapacitation or an uncontained fire on board. Few scenarios warrant a mayday; passengers and crew must face genuine peril.

    There has been an unprecedented rise in the numbers of mayday calls as tracked by a bot set up by the X account @GCFlightAlerts. It posts when a pilot squawks 7700 anywhere in the world.

    Between 2018, and 2019, the mayday average was 29.1 per cent of all distress calls. During 2022, mayday calls increased by 272 per cent. In the first three months of 2023, the increase was 386 per cent. The graph shows there was an instant, steep increase when the vaccines were mandated to pilots.


    Following “My Take” is a comment appended to the above article by Canadian oncologist and substack blogger Dr. William Makis of Alberta, Canada:

    My Take…
    I reported the pilot deaths and incapacitations that are mentioned in this article.

    I have a very thorough record of pilot incapacitations and deaths inflight for 2023, that I have been tracking on my substack and once we have enough data, I will be releasing comparisons of 2022 and 2023 pilot incapacitations, compared to the pre COVID-19 vaccine years.


    (If clicking the above link pops up an option to subscribe, you should stll be able to read the article if you decline the option.)

  9. Fertility Rate/Ageing Population….Is it a decline in fertility or is it that Men and Women are choosing not to procreate and if so, why? Or is the population becoming infertile and what is the reason? Are government policies making it difficult to maintain a decent quality of life, resulting in individuals choosing not to subjugate their offspring/s to social and economic misery? How can the Gov’t work with the people for the people?

    1. The Gov’t can cut the Ministers’ salary because they are all overpaid, and employ some of the unemployed, hereby reducing poverty.

    2. Bring back some form of manufacturing and turn back on the sugar-cane factories.
    Europe seems to also be on the decline (Greece,France, Italy, Germany) and their citizens are looking for greener pastures. Will Barbados become a port in a storm for some of these European (expats. White folk are called expats all others are migrants).

    Does this dearth in ‘quality employees’ means that Barbados will now overhaul its education system including no more free education at the University level?
    “Concomitant benefits….accessing low interest rates on concessionary loans.” We started as a people enslaved to produce and they did produce wealth for the same people at whose feet we now beg today. Shame! Shame! Shame!

    Seems as if we as a people are looking for no form of INDEPENDENCE from this creature. That would mean using some part of our anatomy to THINK and THINK Productively, not just sit around and await instructions.

    Stay on this trajectory and that island will go to hell. Any economy dependent solely on external factors is doomed. Any high wind will blow down a weak house.


    BASEL III is nothing to shout about. BASEL III is techno-feudalism for Small Actors. Not the Feds, not Black Rock. Not the Financial Gangsters.

  10. As mentioned or implied 30-0 x 2 was more a reflection that previous Government were exceptionally bad rather than incumbent Government are exceptionally good.

    Perhaps they should be graded on achievement to date
    I’m guessing they deserve a C+ ‘must try harder’

  11. Progressed? Not sure. Many plans. No real action yet.

    All I can say is that we haven’t regressed.

    Nuh lotta long talk! I leave that to those who are interested in tinkering with old engines. Or some have said, “re-arranging chairs on the Titanic”.

    I have long said that we need a new engine, the building of which requires new mindsets.

    I am not seeing any real effort on that.

  12. It’s time for a very critical analysis of Arthur’s three terms.
    Once hailed as a golden economic period, it has now been included in Professor Justin Robinson’s , no real – growth period of forty years.
    It therefore seems, that technically , we have had four lost decades.
    The last of these four decades would have included the period 2013-2023.
    Let’s see what happens between 2024 – 2034.
    What really happened between
    1983 and 2023.
    Oh, we all know , Chris Sinckler was finance minister for those 40 years.
    Now, how could Professor Robinson miss that simple fact.

  13. David, I to be fair I think some things need to be put into perspective. First Recall that SOE reform is a key plank of the BERT programme. The SOE reform component of BERT was put on hold due the the Pandemic. There was a planned PPP at the Airport that was scrapped and will now be replaced with an arrangement involving the UAE and a Chilean Company. The discussion on the sale of the CBC is ongoing and as Colonel Browne has stated on this blog, the discussions on the takeover of the BADMC by his Cooperative are almost complete. Therefore we are starting to see the SOE reform effort pick up pace again after a three year pause. The over all debt reduction component of BERT is on track. The Debt to GDP ratio is back down to 115 percent of GDP and based on the last Central Bank report the Government is half-way towards meeting the Primary surplus target for financial year 2023/2024. The country is certainly in much better fiscal shape than it was 5 years ago. That is why Moody’s upgraded Barbados in August. The key thing now is to push economic growth initiatives like through Export Barbados (BIDC) and the Growth Council while remaining consistent with the fiscal targets.

    The biggest let down has been the delay or slowness in the digitization effort. However, the education reform effort has just started so let’s see how that goes.

    • @Backooful

      Northern shared similar concerns to the blogmaster.

      The blogmaster listened to Mottley and Gonsalves press conference earlier, they are eloquent speakers nobody will deny. They are both correct that there will always be white noise to deal with by government but what cannot be refuted is the inability so far to transform our economies while at the same time bringing the people along.

  14. What is progress?
    Is progress a debt/GDP ratio. The condition of infrastructure. The rate of formation of new businesses?
    Earnings per capita? Debt per capita? Health services and their availability to all. Education? Travel time. Or ease of completing transactions.
    Is it simply how the populace are feeling?
    We know the typical political pendulum swings tend to occur 7+ years on in a 2 term mandate, ceteris paribus.
    @WS references DrJR and one sound bite on GDP. DrJR also mentioned the ‘middle class trap’ which in Barbados maybe analogous to a ‘debt trap’. And the term ‘innovation’.
    The ‘Fiscal Framework’ referenced that lovely accounting term of “unfunded liabilities”. Non-exact references were also made to debt service costs in a rising rate environment. A more exact number will arise in March ’24 when monies are sought to cover the excess.
    There is a better balance today between locally funded debt and externally funded debt.
    The SOE reform, and SOEs are a major source of the ‘middle class trap’ remain a challenge. One almost certainty, they cannot be off loaded (privatized or PPP’d) without eating a mountain of their liabilities.
    While reports like to use words like “core” or “primary” to ignore certain components, the challenge remains…using debt to create ongoing revenue and benefit, and not only expenses.
    Since nations tend to be copy cats, the population story is being played out in many places. My hope is Barbados can avoid the ‘industry subsidies’ which are becoming common place elsewhere.

  15. William Skinner

    A point we’ve made several times.

    However, during the reign of OSA everybody was happy to brag that Barbados had maybe the most expensive real in the world.

    Punching above it’s weight!

    Few people cared then that scarce land was being given mainly to Cow Williams and the White boys, local and foreign, to create an artificial bubble which was never sustainable, antidevelopment, which heavily altered the economic balance against regular people.

    But OSA’s constant refrain was that bills had to be paid. Do they not have to be paid now?

    This short-termism has proven to be diliterious to the country.

    As a result OSA is dead and gone and when his stewarship is reflected upon he would have made no difference to the general trend of mal or antidevelopment.

    The irony is that Mia Mottley, currently on a high horse, when she too is dead and gone we fear that she would have done no better than OSA.

    Absent the party political hype which characterises both Mottley and Arthur, at the apex of their power, a level of maturity needs to be imposed which tries to understand why and how a nation could be so misguided, for so long.

    More importantly, what has to happen to avoid the next 40 years being no better than the last. Maybe we could start by having a 50 year plan which everybody is agreed to, or which has critical mass. A plan which subordinates all in office to, a priori.

    Of course, the DLP, should be similarly indicted, as we’ve both done serially.

  16. William Skinner, I think you misunderstood the arithmetic behind Justin Robinson’s point. Robinson made his observation in 2022 after covid had caused a contration in real GDP of about 14%. The economy recorded only minimal growth in the 1980s, followed by an economic depression 1990-1992 which caused a contraction in real GDP of about 12% (similar to covid). The Arthur years did see one the most consistent periods of economic growth since independence, with real GDP growing every year except for 2002. Yes! it was partly fueled by wealthy foreigners buying and developing expensive properties, which benefited the construction sector, but it was also fueled by foreign companies registering in Collymore Rock and hiring your children as lawyers, accountants etc, and multiplying the country’s corporate tax revenues which Owen used to splurge on SOEs and government projects. The 2008-2019 period saw no real growth in GDP which meant by the time the pandemic hit, Barbados’ real GDP was actially slightly smaller than its was in 2007. Hence, the covid contraction took us back to 1997 levels when we were trying the recover from the early 90s contration. Therefore, Robinson’s point was that two major contractions and a decade of no growth put us almost back to where we were in the early 90s. It also exhibits how much damage the Stuart administration did to the economy. When you end an entire decade with an economy slightly smaller than you started it, you feel like you have to make up for lost time. This probably explais why Mia sees the nwes to travel around and seek deals with everybody including the Saudis.

    • @Jack fyi. BT April 19 2023
      “Unfortunately, according to statistics, the environment for fostering entrepreneurial activity in Barbados is not world class. A look at the growth of real GDP among several CARIFORUM countries, in addition to Singapore and Mauritius, showed Barbados at the bottom of the table. Singapore led the list of countries with cumulative growth of 248 per cent over the 40-year period of assessment.

      In the Caribbean, the numbers told the story: St Kitts – 152 per cent, Antigua – 129 per cent, St Vincent – 121 per cent, Grenada – 115 per cent, Dominica – 96 per cent, Trinidad and Tobago – 92 per cent, The Bahamas – 63 per cent, Jamaica – 45 per cent, and Barbados – 22 per cent.

      The more disturbing fact about this analysis, according to Prof Robinson, is not ¾ of Barbados’ growth was the period up to 1974. That means that the country has not really grown over the last four decades.”

  17. I liked how the last question was directed at Mia and Ralphie who did not want to be involved in Bajan politics took a stab at answering the question.

    Ralphie is smooth. No one can accuse him of picking sides or of ‘outright providing support for Mia’. He’s the kind of friend who claims to be in the middle but you know his words will be helpful …

    I like Mia and I like Ralphie.

  18. PM Mottley is impressive. She speaks eloquently, has phenomenal drive and ambition, does not see limitations but quick solutions and powers through change. But there’s a back side to all that. She proposes so many changes using an old management platform on which she can not achieve real change. Her administrators are out of their depth and too often justify the benefits of hurried proposals on the lost years, or the failure of previous prime ministers. Bajans want to know proposals are feasible and achievable.

    Our reality is that so much is happening and very little is being achieved.
    Check Singapore where change is structured, goals and objectives known with focus on the involvement and advancement of its people. Here, one individual, the PM negotiates contracts with high level investors, eg., with the Saudis we’ve decided on X. The PM fronts public meetings and always finds simple fixes or directs solutions be found by the on the spot administrators. Meanwhile education is in a state of flux, sick buildings, sudden appointments and the condescending transformational education fix where input remains with the good speakers. Failures abound in agriculture, pension, hotel sector, water, sewerage, health, etc and fixes appear haphazard and unplanned. MTW excepted but ironically their plan doesn’t seem to include the effect of water saturation on roads.

    Could we please move from the haughty and educated to the real involvement of its people that will allow this country to achieve real growth and progress for the majority. It would be nice if we could produce quality goods at the level of a Gucci bag instead of borrowing money to buy one

    • We agree that a culture of excellence must be nurtured in the country. To do so requires dog work to identify the drivers to stoke that excellence and the to be hungry with execution.

    • Road to becoming a mature nation

      Please be reminded that Barbados is not yet a real place; not yet a full fledged mature nation.

      Flag independence, and constitution republicanism are milestones on the road to recovery from the trauma of being birthed as the first slave society in the western hemisphere.

      Coming up to the 57th Independence Day celebrations, we realise that age is just a number. This is not the civil service. It is not how long you’ve been around that marks seniority or standing when it comes to the international playground. There are other, more serious factors at play.

      If age was the major factor the state of Israel would not be able to get away with all it gets away with. The state of Israel declared its independence in 1948. It immediately fell into conflict with neighbouring Arab states, which were senior to the state of Israel in age but outranked by affiliation. The young nation is watched over by big brothers. In particular the US and Britain have had the state of Israel’s back for less than 300 years, but forcefully over several decades. Barbados’ affiliation with foster mother England and her brother Uncle Sam is different.

      It is out of style and now considered in bad taste to say that God is a Bajan, but the National Anthem still asserts that the Lord has been the people’s guide for 300-plus years. The Anthem does not tell us which people, whether the enslavers, the enslaved or both. As is the case with most doctrine, it is up for interpretation.

      There was a short period recently though, when the challenges of the descendants of the enslaved took centrestage. This was around the time of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement in the US. Following our uncle Sam, as we in our immaturity are prone to doing, Barbados got woke.

      But, we fell asleep again as Sam shifted attention to other more pressing matters, like COVID-19 and Ukraine.

      To be woke is not the same as being conscious apparently.

      Local Pan-Africanists were able to capitalise on that period of awareness brought about by BLM to bring down Nelson. But, momentum was lost as the media cycle was swept up in the tornado of an event that was COVID-19.

      Even some Pan-Africanists, who are usually at odds with Uncle Sam’s rhetoric, were parroting the Joe Biden rallying cry, “pandemic of the Unvaccinated”. Flirtation with the notion of placing those who did not take the jab in camps for concentration was in the air. Who knows how this yet to fully mature nation would have been divided and its growth stunted if the COVID-19 storm troopers had gotten their way.

      At this stage of nationhood it is still foreign capital that most easily gets its way.

      Since when sugar was king, Barbados has been a cash cow for overseas investors.

      The trend extends to areas such as banking, retail, tourism, food and beverage and now utilities. But, even if God is not a Bajan resident, he might not come but he does send.

      As Bajans mature we are seeing evidence of an emerging willingness to assert independence and sovereignty. The march against vaccine mandates and the interveners in the Barbados Light & Power rate hearings are evidence that Barbados is not necessarily stuck in a national nursery school state. We are growing up. Not fast, maybe not even steadily. But its happening.

      And, while the pace may seem underwhelming, please be reminded of where we started. We did not have a big brother pumping us with money and support and a well organised and powerful diaspora to fuel us like the state of Israel does.

      In fact our diaspora, our global siblings, are often in a worse state than we. While foster mother England was no sweet bread, our brothers and sisters in the Congo are still reeling from the abuse of colonial stepfather Belgium and a long line of multinational corporate abusers who came after.

      Barbados is not yet a real place. Like many other nations with similar historical profiles, Barbados is potential and an aspiration. But this journey out of colonialism is as real as it gets. So we should never forget and, remember that the transformation is not done yet.

      Adrian Green is a communications specialist.

      Email adriangreen14@gmail. com.

      Source: Nation

    • @roslyn shepherd

      Unfortunately no, we have become or an immature people. This belies our investment in education. We have developed a bunch of citizens that feel entitled .

  19. @David
    Progress is a subjective term. Some see it as edifices and buildings. Others see it as a fat forex account even if borrowed. Some see it as a better life for ALL people. Others are concerned with GDP and credit ratings.

    The Owen Arthur years were once hailed as great but, hindsight informs that we missed the boat on a few areas which could have lead to sustained growth, a more resilient economy and a better ability to withstand social and other shocks.

    The DLP under Chris did a piss poor job of managing existing debt and preparing for the obvious storm that was to come.

    In both cases (an now Mia’s) there has been progress in some areas, but as always not in the areas that matter “most.”

    The reality is elections are held every five years, and the decisions which could lead to real progress have to take a back seat to those which lead to perceived progress and the maintenance of votes.

    Lotta long talk always wins. No political leader wants to make the tough decisions or do the “right things” for lasting progress to come only AFTER they have been voted out. lol.

    Just observing

    • @Observing

      Spot on.

      You are reminded PM Arthur presided in a period of economic boom and it coincided with a high level of fiscal indiscipline. Good leaders sniff out opportunity for transformation.

  20. Countries like Barbados should be concentrating on uplifting the poorest of it’s people as there is very wealthy and very poor classes living side by side where the wealth inequality gap is massive. Micro investments and loans for poor communities and start up businesses can go a long way.

    • Directing finances to lower classes or groups does not solve the issue of misplaced priorities especially as it pertains to a materialistic mindset. We are experiencing an identity crisis.

  21. Just a few weeks ago, whilst again in conversation with a random stranger, we ventured into the topic of politics.

    “I don’t vote!” she proudly declared. “I don’t bother with any of them. They are ALL corrupt”

    “Well, I vote to keep the most corrupt and the least competent out of power,” I replied. “Like my last representative.”

    “I don’t care what they say,” she said. ” He did help a lot of people.”

    What she should have said was, “He looked after HIS own interests by prioritising the interests of his constituents.”

    Giving his constituents jobs only meant that people in other constituencies didn’t get them. It wouldn’t help the country overall.

    So, he was a good representative for his constituents.

    “But the corruption!” I pointed out. “The bribes he took!”

    “I don’t blame him. Mia wants all. Why shouldn’t he get some?”

    “Yuh see why we cyan get nuh better?” I asked.

    She smiled, knowing where I was coming from and where I was going to.

    We are a people with an individualistic mindset. Until we recover our collective mindset, we shall go no further.

    • @Donna

      If you listen to the press conference with PMs Mottley and Gonsalves yesterday, Ralphie made the same point. There is a level of individualistic culture that has overwhelmed community spirit. Same can be said about sub and cultures and diversity creep that feeds polarisation

  22. What ever happened to poverty alleviation that was touted almost twenty years ago?
    Well, what really happened is that the rich got richer and the poor got poorer.
    Oh, I almost forgot that COVID scuttled that mission.
    Twenty damn years of COVID mash up every thing.

  23. “Directing finances to lower classes or groups does not solve the issue of misplaced priorities especially as it pertains to a materialistic mindset. We are experiencing an identity crisis.”

    Materialism is ‘ghetto wealth’ which is understandable for the have nots.
    Money and stuff does not equate to happiness good health and well being.
    Standard of Life is not the same as Quantity of Life.
    When I see poverty I see blocks to opportunities and options.

  24. With the hyper inflation we faced from Covid we will see more people looking for assistance as well. This is confirmed by the increase in applications being seen by the welfare department. The sad reality is that even with a raise, many working people will find that inflation over the last 3 years has outsripped their earnings and they are in fact poorer today in real terms than before covid. There is also little a employer can do to secure a worker against this, as they can not give the type of raise required to give their employee the buying power they had pre covid.

  25. Obviously this lady saw it but neve felt it.
    I have never seen a case presented where the man on the ground will act more sensibly than the man elsewhere. The slogan is nothing more than an ask for all of the vaseline.

  26. Are you like me? Overwhelmed? Have you noticed how we move from issue to issue without resolving anything? Are you tired of hearing of fixes and new initiatives, tire of the problem disappearing for a few weeks and reappearing again when new funding is announced?

    Can you keep track of the bouncing ball? Do you remember a competition in the paper where you were supposed to look at a picture of sportsmen and guess where the ball was in the picture. The ball was never where you thought it would be.

    Where are we with QEH, clinics, education, Savvy, new hotels, the BAR (Barbados Association of robbers), BL&P and the rate increase, NIS, the new immigrants, BWA, potholes, coconut shells, roundabouts, Maloney (did we lose/get back vaccine money), court system, policemen …. my head is spinning. I cannot keep track of the issues.

    Don’t quote me, but I heard that after they caught Ninja man in the cockpit of the Concorde that they decided to reopen the terminal.
    “Closed for more than five years, one of a handful of the final resting places of the iconic supersonic passenger jet, Concorde is set to reopen – as a terminal for cruise ship passengers leaving the Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA), airport officials said.”

    I wish Ninja man was a pilot.

  27. @David
    Why waste time processing flowery words which are intended to sound sweet and little else? Filler in a document.

  28. @ David

    That statement you trying to translate is like a bajan weather report. Lol

    Tomorrow will be MAINLY fair EXCEPT for a FEW isolated showers.

    Basically it rain dem right, if it dont rain dem right. If it rain by you and not me dem right.

    They got run away debt and have not seen a surplus for Ions. Between 2018 and 2022 their average GDP is Zero. In the meanwhile inflation has been in excesss of 3 % on average over the same period.

    So what dem going do between now and 2035 to change their current projectory? Our debt service will eat out a large part of our revenue over the next ten years and nothing I have seen so far has showed me that we will diversify our one leg economy away from toursim dependancy.

    Fluff and long talk. Stupes

  29. These politicians not getting it John A.
    Boss, it is the people who are not getting it.
    The politicians don’t even realize that there is something to ‘get’ … beyond winning the voting favors of a bunch of BB jokers….and some bribes..

    The politicians are all about making a dollar, while maintaining their place at the parliament nipples.

    The few who have some idea of the mess we are in, are just hoping that they can get their fill before the inevitable comes, …OR that some clear calamity comes along that can take the overall blame for our demise…

    You have NO IDEA of how disappointed many were, that Covid turned out to be so tame…
    Did you NOT note the GLEAM in some political eyes when everything could be blamed on COVID, …and when spending had no limits – provided that it was ‘fuh Covid’.

    Eventually, some hurricane, earthquake, supply chain shock, or war – will come along and provide us with a ‘reason’ for our misfortune …other than our own brassbowlery.

    What did you think of the Senior ‘tyre slasher’ Minister’s performance today on Brass Tacks..?
    What a BS generator…!!

    • @Bush Tea

      His confrontational style was a turnoff. He has to exercise some emotional intelligence especially as a senior minister.

  30. @David “It is fashionable for today’s unimaginative governments to engage in deficit financing with successive Barbados governments gleefully joining the party.”

    And we the people gleefully party with the political parties.

  31. Bush Tea on November 19, 2023 at 2:04 PM said: “The politicians are all about making a dollar, while maintaining their place at the parliament nipples.”

    Nobody over the age of 2 has any business getting their nourishment from a nipple. Those who continue to do so should be ashamed of themselves.

    • Hants
      I was reminded last week by a former CIDA employee, that in the 70’s and 80’s the largest recipients, by far, of CIDA monies were….can u guess?….China and India. What a change in a few years?

    • The learning is not getting the money but what you do with it? Clearly it must be undergirded by a relevant strategy/vision.

  32. David,

    Ralphie is a man I used to love. Right now, the only politician I still love is Maurice Bishop.

    No chance he could ever be corrupted.

    • An African president whose country shares similar problems as Barbados believes that such trips are costly and should be banned.
      Similar problems…?
      Is he lobbying for the UN job too…?

  33. Montserrat v Barbados tonight
    betting odds* are
    Montserrat 1/2
    Draw 3/1
    Barbados 4/1
    (*) betting could change if Montserrat odds are lowered and Barbados odds raised if markets bet on a probable Montserrat win
    Underage gambling is an offense.
    Bu is committed to helping you gamble safely.

  34. Game starts at 2:00 p.m.

    I seem to recall that Montserrat beat us the last time that the two teams played each other. However, I expect Barbados to emerge victorious. This should not be a gamble.

  35. @ The Blogmaster,

    How bad are things in Barbados ? I hear there has been an increase in homelessness and an increase in suicides.

    • @Hants

      Barbados s a high cost of living place to live therefore the vulnerable or those living on the margins will struggle. In a post covid economy you can imagine it has worsened.

  36. @ David,

    This is a glorious opportunity for MAM to be the greatest Prime Minister ever.

    Eradicate poverty and homelessness in Barbados.

  37. If you are interested … we lost again 4-2.
    I thought we had a very good chance at winning. I made myself comfortable, but after the first two goals I had to change the channel. Of course, I would check-in to see if we had stage a comeback but Montserrat didn’t stick to my script; they kept on scoring.

    Not going to rant or cry but it is true “Love hurts”

  38. The great Hal Austin would often say that Mia does not do detail. He was referring to Mia’s incredible energy and her capacity to generate ideas. Mia is always on the cusp to proclaim forthcoming projects in the same manner that one simply turns on a tap to extract water.

    To paraphrase Hal, he implied that Mia constituted 50% bluster and 50% cluelessness in her knowledge as to how to execute an idea or a project. Who can remember that she boasted of not only rebuilding our joke of a national stadium (let’s be honest do we have sports men and women who deserve more than that ramshackle of a stadium); she further added that Barbados was going to build several stadiums.

    When Mia first gained the “pouvoir”. I stated in BU that she should remember that Barbados was a broken, impoverish and an indebted developing country. I implored her to concentrate on the bountiful of low hanging fruit within the country that could be capitalised on immediately at practically no cost.

    Legislation should have been passed to commit all landowners and homeowners to set aside 35% of their land in the planting of fruit bearing trees. A further 30% of the land should be reserved for crop production. The owner may not have the capacity to work the land. No problem. There are literally thousands of Bajans/foreigners who would work that land and generate a business for themselves in the domestic market. The more ambitious ones would probably find an international market.

    There is a big shot Middle Eastern man who is involved in the “restaurant” industry. When I last passed by his place to attend a funeral, I could not but notice the size of his land and how much of it was covered by lawn!

    Barbados, is too small to allow landholders and homeowners to squat on land that is not in production. Yes, these people may have bought or inherited the land. However, that land needs to be worked for the good of our country.

    There is so much low hanging fruit on the island that can be exploited if there was the will from our government which is obscenely over committed to a non-profitable ever expanding tourism industry.

    @ William Skinner and Miller,

    Many decades ago we had in Barbados a pot pourri of vital cottage industries which provided employment (secondary employment); which defined and reinforced our culture and history. They were localised and indigenous. And a source of pride to the community. Where did they go?

    For those of you who are a little bit slow. Or for those who have never been to Turkey or Iran. Do some research on carpet rugs. These people have been manufacturing such items since the year dot. They don’t seem in a hurry to close down this industry. I wonder why.


  39. This question, as titled, about Mottley and progress.

    Reminds this writer of what Deng Xiaoping told a reporter when asked, on the 200 year anniversary of socalled Anerican independence, what he thought of it.

    Deng simple replied that it was too early to tell – 200 years in!

    We are faitly sure that the same question considered about OSA, or any other at the apogee of their power, the answer to which would most likely be in their favor.

    Arthur is likely less favoured now than 20 years ago, we consider.

    So yes Deng was right. It was tooooooo early to make such a judgement especially given how power within a one-party stateism would inordinately skew perceptions.

    And no statistician worthy her salt would rely on the meaning of such a study.

    • The country will always be confused.

      Economy ‘still at risk’



      BARBADOS’ ECONOMY HAS PROGRESSED but remains vulnerable to some major international risks.

      These include geopolitical conflicts and tightening global financial conditions, says International Monetary Fund (IMF) resident representative for Barbados Patrick Blagrave.

      Other challenges the economist highlighted were a possible slower than expected expansion in key source markets affecting the tourism sector, and climate change-related events.

      Second review

      Blagrave was speaking in the context of the November 13 conclusion of the IMF’s staff team for Barbados’ 2023 Article IV Consultation mission, and the staff-level agreement for the second review of the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) and Resilience and Sustainability Facility (RSF) programme engagement with Barbados.

      The team led by Pablo Morra said in its recent statement: “Barbados has weathered the COVID-19 pandemic and other recent shocks well and has preserved macroeconomic stability. The economy has recovered strongly, with ten consecutive quarters of growth, driven by a rebound in tourism.”

      Blagrave subsequently said that economic risks to Barbados “remain broadly as characterised in the staff report following the first review”, which was concluded in June by the IMF executive board following staff level agreement a month earlier.

      The IMF staff report capturing information on the first review, which was published in July, said risks to Barbados’ economic outlook “are elevated and tilted to the downside”.

      “The medium-term economic outlook is vulnerable to a slower than expected recovery in the tourism sector, which depends on developments in key source markets – United States, United Kingdom and Canada,” it stated.

      “An intensification of Russia’s war in Ukraine could further increase global commodity prices and fuel inflationary pressures, reducing real incomes in both the main tourism source markets and Barbados. With the peg to the US dollar, further US dollar appreciation could dent Barbados’ competitiveness.

      External financing

      “Tighter global financial conditions and a rise in global risk aversion would increase the cost of external financing, affecting the fiscal and external accounts. The economy is exposed to climate change risks, which could have a dampening impact on economic activity, increase the fiscal deficit and public debt, and pose financial stability risks,” the report added.

      Blagrave said the third IMF review mission under the EFF/RSF engagement is expected to take place in May.

      “The authorities continue to make good progress towards objectives outlined in their [Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation] 2022 programme, including relating to building resilience to climate change. The IMF continues to offer support to the authorities in the achievement of their objectives,” he stated.

      The resident representative added that “no existing benchmarks for future reviews are expected to require extended time to complete, and all measures under the second review have been met”.

      There are a number of major structural benchmarks Barbados has to achieve under the EFF before the third review in May.

      These include Cabinet’s approval of plans “for the amalgamation of the operations of the Rural Development Commission and Urban Development Commission, and the reform of the National Housing Corporation to reduce overlap and achieve greater financial and operating efficiencies”.

      Approvals are also required “for the reform of the Barbados Agricultural Management Company (BAMC) and shift BAMC’s operations away from subsidising the traditional sugar industry”. Both are to be completed by the end of December.

      Source: Nation

  40. How many decades have we been reading these types of assessments from economists – local and foreign?

    Indeed, if you were a Marsian or did not know the date you’ll have to wonder why the same people have spoken in these same, not similar, ways over and over again.

    Maybe, this answers the question about Mottley, using history as the guide, while dispensing with future considerations as previously suggested.

    That judgement leads one to failing in rejected the null, in statistical terms. Meaning that there are no differences, real or imagined, between MAM and the rest.

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