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Barbados Underground

Chris Sinckler ALSO Handed Westmorland Hills Development a Wash-pan of Concessions- When Will it End?

The following document was received by the blogmaster and posted without edit.
– David, Barbados Underground
Dear Underground, attached you will find a letter outlining concessions given to a developer in September 2016 with regard to Westmoreland Hills Development.
This development received exemption from VAT and Import Duties in respect of the supplies imported or purchased out of a bonded warehouse.
Exemption from the payment of National Social Responsibility Levy with the presentation of a certificate from the project manager.
Exemption  from the payment of Import Duties, Excise Tax, NSRL and VAT on the vehicles and construction equipment (see attachment).
Exemption from the payment of VAT on the provision of services directly related to the project.
Exemption from the payment of corporation tax on income accruing to the company for a period of five years with effect from 29 June 2016.
Exemption from the payment of Property Transfer Tax and Stamp Duty in respect of the initial sale of villas/townhouses being constructed to purchasers.
Exemption from the payment of Withholding Tax for a period of five years effective 29 June 2016 in respect of dividends paid by the company to its non-resident shareholders; and fees paid to non-residents who are contracted to provide management services or technical skills.
Exemption from the payment of VAT and import duties for non-resident employees on their personal and household effects and motor vehicles.
Now could someone from the Ministry of Finance say if any of the sales revenue on this project is coming to Barbados and why would all of these concessions be given?

Barbados Credit Suisse Loan: Ex-Credit Suisse Bankers Arrested

A perennial political platform issue in Barbados has been the levelling of corruption accusations at the other by the BLP and DLP. While it makes for good theatre – the reality is that when the campaign dust settles nobody is ever held accountable. It is business as usual. The arrest by US authorities of former minister Donville Inniss on money laundering charges does not qualify.

A hotly debated issue in Barbados has been the $450 million Credit Suisse loan signed off by the former minister of finance Chris Sinckler. A contentious clause in the terms and conditions of the loan states that the interest rate will increase when there is a downgrade by international rating agencies. With the several downgrades Barbados has attracted in recent years millions of dollars has been paid by Barbados from dwindling foreign reserves to Credit Suisse. There was no appetite (is no appetite) to lend Barbados money by international lenders because of our junk status rating now selected default.

The inability to hold public officials accountable continues to be a challenge for Barbados. Read Auditor General reports since 2006 which hint at malfeasance. This blogmaster refuses to accept that local officials are so puritanical in behaviour they leave no room for malfeasance to occur.

A relates story carried in the international media reports that Credit Suisse bankers have been arrested in London while the US seeks their extradition on charges that they bribed Mozambican officials before supplying loans to state owned companies there. Should sensible Barbadians assume that the circumstances surrounding the former government’s decision to get a loan from Credit Suisse in December 2013 – at a high interest rate instead of opting for the IMF which lends at about 1 percent – is being investigated?

Read the report at the following BBC link – Ex-Credit Suisse bankers arrested over ‘$2bn fraud scheme’

Ex-Credit Suisse bankers arrested over ‘$2bn fraud scheme’


Image copyright Reuters Credit Suisse logo

Three former Credit Suisse bankers have been arrested over their alleged role in a $2bn (£1.5bn) fraud scheme connected to firms in Mozambique, according to US authorities.

The men have been released on bail in London while the US seeks their extradition.

The scheme allegedly involved loans to state-owned companies in Mozambique.

Two others, including the country’s former finance minister, have also been arrested.

The former employees of the Swiss investment bank were arrested in London on Thursday.

The three – Andrew Pearse, Surjan Singh, and Detelina Subeva – were charged with conspiring to violate US anti-bribery law, money laundering and securities fraud in an indictment issued by a US District Court in New York.

Prosecutors say that through a series of financial transactions between approximately 2013 and 2016, they created fraudulent maritime projects and used state-owned companies in Mozambique as fronts to raise $2bn.

Some of the investors defrauded included US nationals, the indictment says.

It added that they “intentionally diverted portions of the loan proceeds to pay at least $200m in bribes and kickbacks to themselves, Mozambican government officials and others”.

The state-owned companies missed more than $700m in loan payments after defaulting in 2016 and 2017, the indictment adds.

In a statement, Credit Suisse made clear that no action had been taken against the bank itself.

“The indictment alleges that the former employees worked to defeat the bank’s internal controls, acted out of a motive of personal profit, and sought to hide these activities from the bank,” it said.

The US has agreed extradition treaties with more than 100 countries. These treaties can require “the surrender of persons who have committed crimes in foreign countries”.


Rush to Sell Hilton: Benedict Peters???

The two main political parties held national political meetings on the penultimate weekend BEFORE the May 24 General Election. After wading through much of the rhetoric and palaver three questions peaked the inquiring mind of the blogmaster. Hopefully they will be answered in the public interest BEFORE the general election.

  • Why the haste to sell the Barbados Hilton hotel BEFORE the 24 May 2018?
  • What is the involvement of the candidate for the City Henderson Williams?

Go to 3:00hr point on the YouTube video to listen to Mia prosecute the Hilton matter.

  • Will Mia Mottley respond to the Benedict Peters charge levelled by the DLP platform?


See pre-action protocol letter sent to Sinckler from lawyer Leslie Haynes on behalf of Benedict Peters.



Will Chris Sinckler Answer Questions Posed by Mia Mottley?

The Leader of the Opposition Mia Mottley at a press conference this week asked Minister Chris Sinckler to answer eight questions. The questions are pertinent sane observers will agree given the perilous state of the economy based on reports delivered last week by Governor Cleviston Haynes and this week from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). Again pertinent because the draft Estimates 2018-2019 will be debated in Parliament next week.

There is the saying how can 20 million Frenchmen be wrong?

Clearly the protracted poor state of the economy remains a priority concern because of the many issues that will catalyze as a result. We have already started to witness a different kind of crime in Barbados, a type of crime Bajans use to say -dah cant happen hey!

Next week will Bajans have the opportunity to listen or watch serious debating of the issues affecting Barbados or will it be the same vacuous mouthings from our elected. There is a general election to be won afterall!


Chairman of the Fair Trading Commission (FTC) Jeff Cumberbatch Responds to Minister Chris Sinckler

Chris Sinckler, Minister of Finance

In response to Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler’s criticism about the length of time the Far Trading Commission (FTC) has taken to deliver its final decision on the application for SOl to acquire BNTCL, Chairman of the FTC Jeff Cumberbatch shared the following press statement [16 November 2017]. The final decision on the matter is to be made on November 23, 2017. It is interesting to note that the FTC held in-camera sessions as recent as 23 October 2017 pursuant to 26 (2) of the Fair Trading Act, AND, Minister Sinckler launched his criticism on the 10 November 2017.

The Barbados government is desperate to bolster its foreign exchange reserves which based on recent reports has fallen to an uncomfortable low of 9 weeks cover. It is a pity the country finds itself in a place where profitable state assets have to be dumped to support consumption spending by the country.

Another Heather Cole Column – Bajan Monopoly

Submitted by Heather Cole

House located in Rolling Hills alleged to be owned by Chris Sinckler.

In the original game of monopoly, players roll two six-sided dice to move around the game-board buying and trading properties, developing them with houses and hotels. Players also collect rent from their opponents, with the goal being to drive them into bankruptcy. Lots of money is available but the stakes are high and players can end up in jail, which they cannot move from until they have met some specified condition.

While Bajans suck salt, under 9 years of harsh economic conditions, the current DLP Administration has committed numerous acts for personal benefit that are not aligned with the plight that majority of persons now find themselves in. The ruling Administration appear to be playing a corrupt version of the famous authentic board game. We have Ministers buying expensive properties, giving away land to their friends for housing developments and hotels while collecting superfluous taxes from the people of Barbados. They have also been borrowing extensively on the international market at exorbitant interest rates; an act that can potentially drive the country to bankruptcy if unable to meet their repayment obligations and into to the arms of the International Monetary Fund.

When many persons lost their jobs , in response the government raised [reinstated] the salaries of the Ministers. This can only be described as a slap in the face especially after hearing the Prime Minister justify raising the salaries.

While many cannot afford cars, cannot afford to repair their cars due to damages caused by pot hole in the roads, or can even get reliable service from the government operated Transport Board, Ministers are now driving luxury vehicles that cost in excess of $ BDS 150,000.00. These vehicles are not even within the means of their income.

With death of the middle-class on the horizon due to the fact that hundreds of persons have lost the homes which was their only investment for decades and the rise in homelessness and vagrancy, Ministers of Government are building mansions as though they are living in Victorian England where the peerage built massive mansions as though they planned to live forever. The government has not even bothered to look into the mortgage crisis, not even said a word or acknowledgement that the archaic CAP 236 is need of change. It has in is possession about 15,000 empty houses that were built and never occupied that are in some state of decay. With such a housing stock no one on the island should be homeless. The Ministers of Government have been busy rolling the dice and playing monopoly to notice.

There is an old saying that “yah can hide and buy land but yah cahn hide and wuk um.” The latest possession revealed is a house that sits at 91 Rolling Hills St. George. It is owned by none other than the Minister of Finance. The lot on 17, 551 sq. ft. was put up for sale at US$ 177, 900.00. Unconfirmed reports now value the house and land at US$ 2,500,000.00. From the exterior, it is a charming house pleasing to the eye.

However, according to SI 2016, signed by Christopher Sinckler, Minister of Finance on April 15th 2016, The annual salary of a Government Minister is BDS$152,382.00, with an entertainment allowance of BDS$ 24, 170.28 and travelling allowance 0f BDS$23, 773.93. There is no housing allowance. The combination of 9 years of salary plus benefits amounted to BDS $1,802,935.89. So where did he obtain the money to purchase this land and build this mansion plus the luxury vehicles that he owns? Where does he keep his stash of monopoly money?

At writing it has not been ascertained that any bank or financial institution has financed the mortgage for this property. However, if indeed one of them has, it is hoped that they undertook the due diligence regarding the source of the funds and that they can show a paper trail.

It appears that the DLP Administration have become monopoly professionals. From “go” they have been spending freely as though they each owned an unlimited supply of money, beyond what the public purse pays them. They are also living the life styles of the rich and famous. No one knows for sure where their taxes go. Ultimately, one expects that the inevitable will occur and a throw of the dice lands them all in jail and that no amount of money is allowed to be paid to get those corrupt politicians out. Adding another insult to injury today, the Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, who lives like a king in olden days, off the fat of the land, had the gall to blame the commoners who are “sucking salt,”‘ for living lavish life styles that have depleted the foreign reserves. When will this game end?

Stuart, Sinckler and Robinson Not on the Same Page

Two events occurred this month that should concern ALL Barbadians.

Event #1

The following extract is taken from a press release by Dr Justin Robinson published on September 29, 2017 in his capacity as Chairman of the National Insurance Scheme.

…Today, with the economy projected to grow by around 1.75% and the deficit expected to be 4.0% or less, we have yet another downgrade. How does this make any sense?… Barbados Underground blog

The following extract is taken from the local press attributed to Chris Sinckler, Minister of Finance on October 3, 2017.

…he [MoF] told reporters that growth was more likely to be in the range of 0.5 per cent and 0.7 per cent in 2017…Barbados Underground blog

Event #2

The following extract is taken from a press report on the October 6, 2017.

…I believe the figure so far is just short of $50 million, which, if you were to multiply it by the four quarters, would give you just around $200 million [for the year],” Sinckler told Parliament, adding that the final intake would be even higher after the Barbados Revenue Authority counts the additional Value Added Tax (VAT) earned on the NSRL…CBC website.

The following extract is taken from a press report on October 9, 2017.

…Last Tuesday, Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler reported to the House of Assembly that the NSRL, increased from two per cent to ten per cent on July 1, had contributed “just short of $50 million” to Government’s coffers in a quarter and was projected to inject $200 million over a year.

However, in the wake of that revelation, Stuart is reported to have said he did not have all the financial data from that quarter and would speak to the takings when he had received such information…Nation newspaper

The three actors involved – Freundel Stuart, Chris Sinckler and Justin Robinson – occupy three of the most important positions in the country as prime minister, minister of Finance and Chairman of the National Insurance Scheme. The thought that they would not be reading from the same page is a worry to BU. Note the timeline shows the statements to be four days apart. So far we have not picked up any explanation  why three key players in government are communicating different messages.

What the hell is going on?

Chris Sinckler, Is It True?

Submitted by Sunshine Sunny Shine (SSS)Rumour has it, or should I say, it is alleged, that the minister of finance, Barbados, the honourable Chris Sinckler, might be involved, I repeat, might be involved in a shady deal concerning the purchasing of an expensive Range Rover. Let me say here that the source of this information is currently making the rounds on social media, Whatsapp, having originated from Naked Departures. I think. Now the SSS is not in the habit of addressing information that cannot be substantiated, but because the DLP have shown themselves to be a shady bunch, I AM GOING TO MAKE AN EXCEPTION.

Chris, the allegation against you is that you got accounts in the UK. Now, for all intents, purposes, verifications and understandings, we want to know what work or business you do in the UK that you have accounts there. Not that it is any of our business, but we still want to know. We also want to know this as well. If you are not operating, I mean working in the UK, or running a business, how are you able to cart money out of Barbados into a UK account or accounts. You got some special arrangement with a bank or banks in Barbados permitting this or is there some consortium establish to take care of these things without a trace?

The other rumour is that your account(s) in the UK are under investigation. Chris, if your hands are clean and your business is legit, what reasons do the UK authorities have to investigate you and your accounts? We understand that the white man that went missing turned up dead, dead, dead, and police in investigating his demise has come up with a series of cheques in your name re the purchasing of one Range Rover. Chris, a Range Rover, ain’t cheap; you really was planning to bring that in Barbados or leave it up there in the UK. So when you visit you can drive around in style? Also, was this white man your contact for these vehicles and a legitimate business person that you a finance minister felt it prudent to do business with him? I am not even going to bother about the part where you told the now dead white man about making sure the cheques do not trace back to you because there is no way in the world that you could be that foolish.

However, what is of interest is the fact that some of these expensive UK luxury vehicles went missing in the UK, now in Barbados, according to the allegation. Chris, this is only a rumour that I repeating but if there is any truth to them, your involvement makes you an accessory to a crime. And, the fact that the white man ended up dead, Lord have mercy, makes you also a prime suspect. Was MICHAEL LASHELY INVOLVED?

Chris, what got me dumbfounded, though, is that you put cheques in your name and expect that they are not going to leave a trail. Well, Well, Well, all I can say is that this tells me that you had a lot of confidence in your business arrangement with this now end up dead white man. But, look, to be honest, none of this cannot be true, you are minister of finance, an honest, upright son of Barbadian soil. Many Barbadians think that you tell a lot of lies. It is not like you did not say that the reason you must raise bus fares some few years ago is because young girls were being ferried out of Barbados into prostitution rings. Oops sorry has no baring on this matter. Please strike from the record.

Chris, even if you tell lies them is only Barbadians lies; so, them there lies only count in the context of things bajan. Chris, I am asking you to be called to account because in the interest of you and the Democratic Labour Party, we know that you have already damaged your credibility and DEM ain’t got none at all.  Come clean and dispel this nonsense.

We call you to account.

Budget Confusion

A feature of the Stuart led government and the Thompson before, it has had an issue with effectively implementing policy measures promoted in several budgets since taking office. Many of the government’s missteps have been harshly critiqued by BU and other media sources. One does not need to be reminded about the cellphone tax, solid waste tax and .07 or .007 embarrassment, Four Seasons, CLICO, Hyatt and others.

It must concern Barbadians that what many promoted as one of the most important ‘budgets’ in our history has resulted in the minister of finance agreeing to revisit key measures announced less than a month ago. One would have assumed given the seriousness of the economic state of Barbados the minister of finance should have exhaustively collaborated with stakeholders in civil society before sharing with the public. All advice delivered freely to the government has been to beef-up how it communicates with the public for the obvious reasons.

The decision to revisit how the the National Social Responsibility Levy (NSRL) is to be implemented as well as the foreign exchange tax exposes an unfathomable level of incompetence and indiscipline in how the affairs of state is being managed. There is hardly a need for BU to be prolix by detailing the the lack of leadership in a time of crisis. Needless to say the script of the DLP surrogates will have to be defended after they have vigorously defended the recent budget, a measure of our political measurement and or the downside of adversarial politics.

There is another observation that bears a mention.

The idiotic attack by Parliamentary Jepter Ince on the private sector of Barbados. Even if he is on the right track in his observation, to loudly proclaim his position in the public space was too trumplike at a time when conciliatory and measured tones are prerequisites to inspiring a nation suffering from ‘fatigue’. Ince’s position forces the query the role of the social partnership in addressing the concerns raised by Ince. Just like there is a need for a strong economy to support a healthy society so too a harmonious relationship is required between the private and public sectors for the country to be well functioning. As is the norm minister Donville Inniss was quick to disassociate himself from the garrulous approach of Ince although he is guilty of it from time to time. In fact an aggressive tone has been a feature of this government.

BU continues to be flummoxed by the antics of this government.

In deus nos fides !


The George Brathwaite Column – DLP FACTS and Failed Leadership

George C. Brathwaite (PhD)

Given the manifested ineptitude of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) over the past decade, Barbadians are hoping for change with the next general elections in sight. Barbadians are ready to overcome the DLP’s wreckage of economy and society. They have become excited about the prospects of different leadership and political agency. New political entities without showing their faces, coupled with a unified opposition in Parliament, are sounding their voices if not totally revealing policy alternatives.

But why be critical or dent aspirations of the Freundel Stuart-led administration seeking a third term? The answer is straightforward. The current DLP administration has failed to meet most expectations of the Barbadian people – both young and old for nearly 10 years. On hindsight, this ill-directed route taken by the DLP was erroneously self-labelled – ‘Pathways to Progress’. Barbadians witnessed a daily and unending trek towards macroeconomic degradation and societal disorder, despite DLP supporters remaining staunch in support. Moreover, the DLP has been at pains to suggest that the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) operated in ‘times of plenty’ with no profound transformations occurring under Prime Minister Owen Arthur.

The DLP claims that the inherited social institutions were unable to improve the welfare of the Barbados nation. Unfortunately, the DLP’s rejection of everything touched by Arthur, hastened the eventual failures of the DLP’s two terms in office. The sullied approach of overly separating economic practicalities from societal order became the DLP’s way of telling Barbadians that Arthur’s BLP was so focussed on economy, that a clear majority of the nation’s people and society were neglected. The distortions, untruths, and DLP propaganda have been since exposed.

Driving the first term of the DLP’s return to power since the dark days of exile in the early 1990s, the DLP chose a mantra that ‘Barbados is not only an economy; it is a society’. This easy turn of phrase managed to set a lingual framework of optimism and empowering expectations throughout the nation. Initially, Barbadians were captured by the DLP’s messaging that suggested the David Thompson Cabinet was interested in building a sound Barbadian society and transforming the lives of many persons left on the margins. However, persons more knowledgeable than the DLP’s escape artists realised that the DLP was somewhat bereft in terms of economic thought. To suggest that the DLP was capable of moving Barbados beyond the bifurcated and disjointed gaze of messieurs Thompson, Stuart, Sinckler and elders in the background, was politically enthralling but realistically empty.

The fact is, the DLP since 2008 refused to accept from the outset that ‘‘progress’’ implies the combination of social progress alongside the pursuit of economic growth. With a burdensome 2008 budget that has since been followed with fiscal indiscipline, there are challenges coping with more taxation and austerity. The DLP has not been successful creating incentives and prosperity, nor is the course set to direct the economy to meet and maximise on those benefits for meeting human needs, improving efficiency, creating jobs, and building wealth among the Barbadian people. Several experts outside the scope of the DLP warned of the potential dangers associated with oddly separating economy and society beyond analytical practicality.

From Thompson to Sinckler, and from Thompson to Stuart, Barbados was presented with good-sounding empty vessels as if societal concerns could be addressed without the apt supporting economic inputs of fiscal and monetary policies. One ought not to lay all the blame on Stuart after the passing of David Thompson. It is true that in 2009, Thompson constantly was lamenting that the DLP inherited a ‘bad hand’, with the same chorus being sung by his Ministers. This weak posturing by the DLP continues to date, and is clearly self-defeating. The DLP’s protruding leadership ineptness – discounting those constraints produced by recession – made it impossible to safeguard a society without the necessary supports that flow from a viable economy.

Clearly, Thompson’s first budget began a taxation binge. Afterwards, with Christopher Sinckler as the current pilot, taxation has practically become a runaway and non-stop train. Sinckler’s economic/financial shortcomings are part of the mix now ruining Barbados, and if there is any doubt, Minister Dr David Estwick has admitted that Barbados’ “debt metrics have deteriorated significantly since 2010,” and this timeline coincides with Sinckler’s elevation to be the Minister of Finance. Still today, many persons may prefer to overlook a predictive statement made by David Thompson in August 2009. Thompson, perhaps for the first time, conceded that: “We are navigating an uncharted path. No one knows what lies beyond the bend. In fact, we have not yet even seen the bend.” Arguably, Thompson was aware of the lack of acumen to draw on exclusively from within the DLP.

Since then, back-peddling has become synonymous with the DLP regarding the Barbados economy, and have been cause for Barbadians’ frustration and demand for change. Months ago, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) stereotypically mentioned that a ‘corner’ was within reach; Barbadians have not yet seen the bend mentioned by Thompson or the IMF. Barbadians are still waiting given that 2 % economic growth during the height of the 2016/17 tourism season, is nothing to inspire confidence in the economy. Furthermore, the printing of money continues while several advisors are indicating that depleted foreign reserves are a constant threat. Certainly, the DLP’s ‘Continuing on the Pathways to Progress’ of 2013 is conclusively disastrous. The DLP, with every limp attempt, has missed opportunities to effectively transform the Barbados nation ‘to meet the needs of the people’.

By 2014 for instance, working Barbadians were faced with ‘surprising’ job cuts and being kicked to the unemployment curb by the DLP. At the same time, young Barbadians were facing shrinking opportunities for equal access to tertiary education while having to fork out thousands of dollars to meet their tuition costs at the University of the West Indies. Other public services like sanitation, health, water, and transportation all suffered immensely. Indeed, by 2015 and despite all the ‘corrective measures’ introduced by the two Ministers of Finance since 2008, Christopher Sinckler was stating that “there is now a serious structural decline in our revenue base which we can no longer afford to ignore.” The evidence tells that Stuart/Sinckler’s repeated answer to problems impacting on Barbados, and carried on from Thompson, promoted political theatrics and imposed greater forms of taxation and hardships on the backs of Barbadians.

Under Stuart’s stewardship, near total silence has become the norm, and his supposed decency is upended by instinctive procrastination. The characteristics further demonstrate a stubborn inclination to be indecisive with important affairs. Wait and see approaches, cluttered by historical retrieval of the archaic and mundane, have been the main features of PM Stuart’s serendipitous stewardship. These factors also reveal the DLP’s paralysis in government. The DLP continues wading from one crisis to another without any clear signs of success with the constant borrowing to support government’s ineffective programmes. The verdict is that the collective expectations of Barbadians have not drawn satisfactory attention from Stuart’s uninspiring Cabinet, despite the current and penultimate desperation to spread DLP FACTS. The DLP’s verbiage is no more than half-hearted fictional pieces. Whether one focusses on the economy or the society, the pretty talk of shaping a budding society has lost its potency with all the mishaps and omissions to act by Freundel Stuart’s DLP and his struggling Cabinet.

(Dr George C. Brathwaite is a political consultant. Email:

David Comissiong Responds to Sinckler and Inniss and their Demagoguery


Ministers Donville Inniss and Chris Sinckler

Perhaps Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler  and Minister of Industry Donville Inniss could explain to us Barbadians how the process of having Mr Mark Maloney construct a  hotel at Bay Street, St Michael would boost Barbados’ reserves of foreign exchange.

It would seem to me that Mr Maloney would be likely to use up and further deplete Barbados’ reserves of foreign exchange during the process of constructing his hotel, since most of the construction material that he would be using would be imported into Barbados and would therefore have to be purchased with our scarce foreign exchange.

Any possible foreign exchange earnings from such a project would clearly be several years down the road, if and when the hotel gets up and going and is able to attract additional foreign tourists to our Island.

Furthermore, it is factually incorrect to suggest that I, David Comissiong, have had Maloney’s project put on hold by way of a High Court injunction. Rather, what I have done is to ask a Judge of the Supreme Court of Barbados to subject the grant of permission to Maloney’s company to a process of JUDICIAL  REVIEW.

The facts are as follows:-

In July 2016 Mr. Mark Maloney made a public statement  asserting that he would be commencing the construction of a 15 storey Hyatt hotel in September 2016 .

I then responded to Maloney’s statement by writing  to BOTH the Chief Town Planner and the Minister Responsible for Town and Country Planning (Mr Freundel Stuart) expressing consternation at Maloney’s statement, and asserting that the Law of the land demanded that Maloney’s application be subjected to a physical and social “Environmental Impact Assessment” (EIA).

Needless to say, I received no response from either the Chief Town Planner or the Minister — not even a letter of acknowledgement of receipt of my letter !

Furthermore, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart — the Minister Responsible for Town and Country Planning — ultimately went ahead and simply granted Maloney’s company permission to construct their 15 storey hotel without having the benefit of the findings of an Environmental Impact Assessment to guide and inform him in the making of his decision.

It is against this background that I decided that it had become necessary to have a Judge of the Supreme Court of Barbados examine the manner in which Mr Stuart had dealt with the application of Maloney’s company, and determine whether Stuart’s decision was lawfully made. This legal procedure is known as JUDICIAL  REVIEW and it is provided for by the Administrative Justice Act, Chapter 109 B of the Laws of Barbados.

It needs to be noted that under the Laws of Barbados there is a category of construction projects that require the carrying out of an Environmental Impact Assessment “BEFORE” any permission can be granted for them to go ahead. And this is so because these projects possess the potential to do serious damage to the precious physical and social environment of our country.

It is therefore in the best interest of our country to have a Judge of the Supreme Court examine Mr Maloney’s project and its implications for the physical , social, cultural and heritage environment of Barbados, and determine whether the manner in which the Application for the project was processed by the Minister was in compliance with the standards and procedures required by the Laws of Barbados.  This is what the Application for Judicial Review that I filed in the Court on the 22nd March 2017 is all about.

I also subsequently filed an Interlocutory Application requesting that the Court grant an INTERIM  ORDER suspending the Grant of Permission to Maloney’s company  until the Court can hear and make a decision on the JUDICIAL  REVIEW application. This request for an INTERIM  ORDER is in keeping with Section 72 of the Town and Country Planning Act of Barbados. However, this Interlocutory Application has not yet been dealt with by the Supreme Court of Barbados.

Furthermore, Mr Stuart, the Minister Responsible for Town and Country Planning, has indicated that he is opposing the request for an INTERIM  ORDER suspending the grant of permission to Maloney’s company while the Court carries out the process of JUDICIAL  REVIEW.

Thus, as of today’s date, the grant of permission to Maloney’s company still remains in effect, and, to the best of my knowledge, Maloney is continuing to do work on the Bay Street site.

Ultimately, a Supreme Court judge will review this entire matter and will determine whether the permission that was granted to Maloney’s company was lawfully or unlawfully granted. If it is determined that the permission was not lawfully granted, one would then expect the Court to quash the decision and the permission.

When Political and Investment Considerations Intersect to Affect the NIS Fund

In response to an an exchange between David of BU and Hal Austin on the NIS Dumps 21 Million Dollars in Apes Hill Development blog, respected Barbadian actuary Walter Blackman responded with a comment deserving of deep thought and rich discussion by Barbadians everywhere – Barbados Underground

Hal Austin March 31, 2017 at 11:53 AM #

I know it is fashionable to blame individuals, but should we not be blaming the minister, who is ultimately accountable; the chairman of the NIS, Justin Robinson, and members of the investment committee; and the person(s) who carried out the due diligence? In any case, this is not an investment, but a loan. Is the NIS authorised to make commercial loans to private businesses without the approval of parliament?

David March 31, 2017 at 3:29 PM #
Know this is a busy time for you but an opinion on this matter given your expertise would be valued.


I don’t believe that the governance structure of the NIS has undergone any radical change in its 50-year existence, so I will state these pointers from memory, as a means of steering the discussion in the right direction:

The NIS Board is a corporate entity with a corporate seal. It can transact business in its own right. The National Insurance FUND was established under the control and management of the NIS Board. However, when it comes to the fund, there are two instances where the practical power of the Board either intermingles with, or is superseded by ministerial power.

One, the Board with the approval of the Minister responsible for Social Security, may write off sums of money from the fund as losses.

Two, any monies belonging to the fund may be invested by the Board in whatever manner, and in whatever securities, that the Minister responsible for Finance may direct.

The Minister responsible for Social Security, and the Minister responsible for Finance are two political positions which, by nature, tend to put political considerations first. For example, in the realm of extreme probability, whilst a directed NIS investment decision can end up in hundreds of millions of dollars forever being lost, it may provide invaluable political benefits. Additionally, hundreds of millions of dollars can be written off as losses to the fund, in instances where borrowers have the capacity to repay. Such decisions might prove to be injurious to the fund, but may be calculated to provide excellent political payoffs.

The governance structure does not subject these extreme positions to any “prudent man” rule at the transactional level, so any “blaming” would have to manifest itself in political terms at election time. Of course, this depends on how vigilant or sensitive the electorate is to the management of NIS funds.

In the 2013 general election, our current Minister responsible for Finance, the Hon. Chris Sinckler, would have been subjected to a great amount of “blame” for the millions of NIS funds which were considered to be wasted on ill-fated projects. The electorate held him to be “blameless” and returned him to parliament. It is highly likely that the electorate will return him to parliament when the next general election comes around.

Our current Minister responsible for Social Security, the Hon. Dr. Esther Byer-Suckoo, is seeking to avenge the political defeat she suffered in 2013. With respect to the NIS fund and any associated problems, her political opponents will be expected to highlight instances, if any, where she injudiciously approved the writing off of monies, owed to the NIS fund, as losses. If they cannot do this, then she must be viewed by the electorate as totally and completely blameless when it comes to any mismanagement of NIS funds.

I tried to keep this comment short and simple whilst simultaneously tackling Hal’s questions. I have also deliberately left some dots to be connected by the more thoughtful and discerning BU readers and bloggers.

Chris Sinckler Vs Delisle Worrell Court Appeal Document Available – Board of the Central Bank Expressed Concern About the Falling Foreign Reserves

Dismissed Central Bank Governor DeLisle Worrell

In the Court of Appeal No.8 of 2017 DeLisle Worrell (Appellant) versus the Minister of Finance ( Respondent) presided over by Justices Sandra Mason, Kaye Goodridge and Andrew Burgess on February 23 and March 3, 2017 the decision by Justice Randall Worrell to lift the temporary injunction was upheld. The ruling cleared the legal hurdle to have Worrell dismissed by Minister Chris Sinckler.

The reading of the 32 page judgement can be described as another reason among many why there is a growing lack of confidence by a majority of Barbadians and importantly investors in the government of Barbados. If the government appointed board of the Central Bank felt compelled to express concern about the falling foreign exchange reserves shouldn’t ordinary Barbadians?

The BU household eagerly awaits the pronouncement on the state of the economy by acting Governor Cleveston Haynes.

Read the full text of the Court DocumentCourt of Appeal No.8 of 2017 – DeLisle Weekes Versus Chris Sinckler

Sinckler’s Spiel

Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler

Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler

In the wake of the unusual event of the former Governor of the Central Bank DeLisle Worrell resorting to the Courts of Barbados to prevent Minister of Finance (MoF) Chris Sinckler from sacking him, the BU household eagerly looked forward to the MoF’s press conference. High on the agenda for Sinckler should have been to quell understandable concerns at home and abroad given the imbroglio between Worrell and Sinckler. Instead we were treated with a regurgitation of economic spiel heavily laced with political rhetoric.

It has become obvious to the BU household that minister of finance Chris Sinckler lacks the ability to infuse confidence in the market with his monotonous interventions. How many times have we had to listen to the finance minister raise expectations of Barbadians concerning projects in the pipeline only to be disappointed? As a Barbadian we continue to kindle the hope that Sinckler will deliver at this eleventh hour.

BU would have wanted to hear Sinckler explain why forex reserves have been trending down in recent years. Especially against the background of a rebound in tourism performance by arrivals. It is obvious there is a systemic issue to explain about the quality of sector spend and foreign direct investment contribution. And the bigger issue of the robustness of the fundamentals which support the local economy. To quote BU commenter Bernard Codrington,  “Unless the success of an industrial sector translates to the success of the nation it is dysfunctional/ counterproductive”. After listening to Sinckler there is no brimming confidence felt by Barbadians that receipts from projects promised is a sustainable approach even IF they should eventually materialize.

The MoF cursorily addressed the problem of the nagging fiscal deficit. The junior pool of reporters present let slip the opportunity to press the MoF on the plan to rationalise state enterprises. The MoF promised Barbadians many moons ago that statutory corporations will be rationalized. Wasn’t a committee headed by Dr. Justin Robinson established to chart a roadmap to execute the Sinckler Plan. A year from the next general elections and the government continues to dither on its implementation. Clearly the project to rationalize statutory corporations is integral to reducing the fiscal deficit. At this late stage in its second term It is difficult to see how this DLP government will aggressively pursue rationalization if it plans to win the general election.

Minister Sinckler is no Janet Yellen. Stating in his most deliberate voice that there will be no devaluation of the Barbados dollar will not make onlookers believers. Barbadians and foreign investors alike will evaluate how effective government policy has been to support conclusions. They will study documents created by the Caribbean Development Bank, International Monetary Fund and take note of the mouthings of government’s own minister of agriculture David Estwick. All have been uncomplimentary about government’s economic performance to date.

Another opportunity missed by the junior reporting pool was to quiz the MoF about Barbados’ waste management strategy post-Cahill. The island’s inability to efficiently treat its sewage and garbage has the potential to undermine the favourable forecast of the MoF.  Surely it was not the time to quiz the MoF about late tax returns?

Why was the MOF flanked by the MoC at the press conference?

The Caswell Franklyn Column – Prime Minister Come Clean on the Sacking of Governor Worrell

Today I intended to write about the functioning, or rather, the non-functioning of the system that was set up by the Employment Rights Act to settle disputes, particularly claims for unfair dismissal. I wanted to point out that it is at best amateurish and that it is failing miserably to meet expectations. But I felt a tug that forced me to weigh in on the furore caused by the reported attempt by the Minister of Finance to remove the Governor of the Central Bank from office.

In the fullness of time, the courts will settle the legal aspects of the matter and I will patiently await that eventuality. However, at this point, I am more concerned about the potential loss of any residual investor confidence that might still be remaining after the series of seventeen downgrades of this country’s credit rating.

As a Barbadian, no matter your political persuasion, no one should be happy to see this embarrassing saga being played out in the public domain. Not so long ago, it was being said internationally that Barbados was punching above its weight. Now I seems that this country is reeling from some head blows inflicted as a result of the poor performance of the Government over the last nine years, and now this? Can Barbados take anymore?

In 2008 the Democratic Labour Party took on the burden of the government of this country as neophytes for the most part. Unfortunately, after nine years in office, they have steadfastly maintained that neophyte quality as though their nine years in office has taught them nothing. They have presided over the affairs of this country with a reverse Midas touch that seem to destroy everything in their wake. Now it seems that they have set their deadly aim on the Central Bank as the next institution targeted for destruction.

So far, the Minister of Finance has quite rightly not made a public statement on the matter. Instead, some of his colleagues have intervened with unhelpful remarks that only goes to confirm that Cabinet is in total disarray.

The Barbados Today of Friday, February 17, 2017 reported that Minister of Housing, Denis Kellman, while addressing a gathering of party faithful earlier that same day, suggested that the decision to fire the Governor of the Central Bank was for the “greater good”. He went on to suggest that while Worrell may have been successful so far in blocking all attempts to remove him, the Freundel Stuart Administration was not backing down. That report suggest that Minister Kellman is privy to the inner workings of the Ministry of Finance on this issue.

On the other hand, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, in his all too familiar nonchalant approach to the affairs of state, was reported to have said something markedly different in the Daily Nation of February 21, 2017. He was quoted as saying:

“I am not in any position to comment on whether the Government’s confidence in the Governor of the Central Bank underwent any change, because I preside over the Cabinet of Barbados and at no time has the issue of the Governor’s relationship with the Government come up for consideration”.

He went on to state that he has not made himself privy to all that has been happening, and I accept that as the Prime Minister is an honourable man. But I think that I must ask: since the Prime Minister did not make himself privy to the happenings, Did someone make him privy? If the answer is “no”, it would certainly seem that the Prime Minister is definitely not in control of his Cabinet and worse yet, Kellman is more informed than he is. Perish the thought, say it isn’t so!

The Moral Equivalence of Treason

Submitted by Pachamama

For some time, there has a been a protracted ‘disagreement’ between the Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados (CBoB), Delisle Worrell and the Minister of Finance, Christopher Sinckler. It represents a deepening political-economy crisis.

In trying to flesh out this phenomenon, we will sometimes directly address the prime minister, himself, as we urge urgent action.

Worrell and Sinckler have been the two main principals in the management of the Barbados economy, for the last 7 to 8 years. During this time, we have had many failures. Failures that both, men and institutions, might arguably to adjudged as equally responsible.

Rumours, gossip, some reporting and fake news on this matter, currently ‘sub judice’, have served to further weaken the political culture. That culture, with all its in-built frailties, has already delivered us circumstances where the distribution of forces in Parliament are nearly even, notwithstanding minor leakages on one side.

Since the last general election, there has been a close-quarter tug-o-war between the main belligerents that was engendered by a ‘misinterpretation’ of the results. The DLP incumbent government believed that a nearly-tied election was a win instead of representative of a public demand for a national unity government.

At the same time, there was no evidence that the opposition BLP, under a MAM, would have been interested in that kind of political formation. Therein lies another weakness of the system. There must be ‘a winner takes all’ mentality. Not only for the elites of both parties but the rank and file on either side, the yard fowls. In Westminster, we have had many coalition governments but Barbados, being more British that the British, this can never be. Talk of such is sacrilege.

The prime minister is therefore hemmed-in. Largely by the political culture but also by his socialization as a man who has long exhibited a lack of courage. What kind of a prime minister, within the Westminster system, can show that he has neither bark nor bite?

So what we have is a badly failing economy, a weak government, an international political-economic order in ‘transition’ and a prime minister whose cowardice is getting the better of him.

We are surprised that in these circumstances Stuart would want to travel, ignoring what is a deep crisis at home. Leaving it to fix itself. For in these difficult times the country needs its two principal economic managers working together to prevent the beginning of a never-ending cycle of devaluations, or worse.

It needs a strong prime minister even more. Strong for the country’s sake! And if these two economic ‘experts’ cannot bury their hatchets, the interests of Barbados must immediately be shown to be paramount, above personality cultism, regardless to whom they maybe.

In addition, Stuart displays a false temerity, mere word play, to suggest, from New York, that he will not interfere in a matter, in terms of Barbados, this is akin to issues of war and peace. Can there be any other crisis facing a prime minister of Barbados, within these dire contexts, more severe in peace time? Facing a near economic collapse with political disorder to high heaven.

Does this prime minister not know that his failure to address this matter has implications for Barbados’ image in the international financial markets? Why would Stuart, by his refusal to act, outsource the prerogative of the office of the prime minister to the judges in Coleridge Street, given the notorious delays which can be expected? And are these damages to Barbados not incalculable? Where is the economy in that or the economic brains driving this national fiasco?

We have argued elsewhere that there needs to be an intervention, preferably by the prime minister. But in these unusual circumstances, the Governor General may consider it in the Queen’s interests to suggest a speedy resolution, since the prime lacks the will, courage.

Prime Minister, the announced demonstration/s by the BLP will only serve to deepen the crisis, increase the harm to our country, increase the level of instability, but it in your power to take such actions to at least partially repair the damage caused.

That resolution could include the firing of the minister of finance. The sending of the governor of the Central Banks on pre-retirement leave or its equivalent. The removal of the litigious matter seeking the attentions of the Courts. And the adequate compensation of warring parties for prompt compliance.

Prime minister, we are not unaware of the complex relationships with the governor and the minister of finance. We are not unaware of the role of Sinckler for future party leadership, even if your party loses the next election. We know that you are seeking to avoid a defeat, come next election. And that the perception of a rising economy is central thereto. However prime minister, hard decisions can no longer be avoided.

Look at the bright side, these are the times which try men souls, a writer said. For they present you with an opportunity to avoid your fate. They present you, circumstances to defy the odds, escape history and become the greatest prime minister the country would have known.

Sometimes it becomes necessary to shoot a ‘general’, or two, in a public place to restore order amongst the ranks. Prime minister that time has come. Should you continue to choose to fail in your solemn duty you will go down as the worst prime minister this country has had. At the same time, the price of your failure is the moral equivalent of treason.

The Sinckler-Worrell Phenomenon -Sacrifice Can Be Maniacal or Suicidal

Submitted by George C. Brathwaite (PhD)

“Thou wretched, rash, intruding fool, farewell! I took thee for thy better; take thy fortune.”- (Hamlet – Act 3 Scene 4; William Shakespeare)

The turbulence surrounding the Finance Minister Christopher Sinckler and the Governor of the Central Bank Dr Delisle Worrell should come as no surprise to those Barbadians, long concerned about the sadomasochistic relationship existing between the two. Sadomasochism, is broadly, “the deliberate pursuit of manifestly aggressive, destructive and self-destructive behaviour.” Between Sinckler and Worrell, it often appeared that mutual respect was at best superficial although there was a seething exchange of pleasure and consent to drown out the actual fear and discomfort when countering local economists, the Leader of the Opposition, a former Prime Minister, and anyone else bold enough to rubbish the multiple bad strategies for curbing fiscal imprudence or affecting economic stabilisation and recovery in Barbados.

Clearly, the field of Psychology (i.e. Social and Political) offers Barbadians this unique opportunity to delve into the thought patterns of this inglorious pair of Christopher Sinckler and Delisle Worrell; they spent more than five years moonlighting together without bringing about substantial gains for Barbados. In these the dying days of this Sinckler-Worrell knot, Barbadians are existentially reflecting on the “combination of something pleasurable with something unpleasant” as was evident in the frolicking of government’s lead macroeconomic policymaker and its chief financial and economic advisor. Barbados’ survival depends on the polity being conscious of the lowly place to which Sinckler and Worrell have brought the country, even as devaluation threatens.

Sinckler and Worrell’s pursuits of good economic returns were mostly conjured in fantasy; their unrealistic approaches to structural adjustment and economic growth never really brought the excitement or satisfaction that the public desired. Instead, there was almost a constant trail of pain, humiliation, austerity, unemployment, and increased poverty. The linguistic masking of statistical details almost always led to contentious debate, with the Governor removing himself from the naked glare of an inquiring media.

Hence, the relationship between Sinckler and Worrell, may best be characterised in terms of portraying many of the traits, symptoms, and behaviours referred to as sadism and masochism. This wide spectrum of phenomena includes political self-injury, stubborn fantasies that Barbados is emerging from economic disaster, and unconsciously presenting as fact that things such as credit rating downgrades are apparently contrived by agencies wanting to see Barbados’ demise. Oh, what a string of ‘bad luck’, especially when oppositional forces were said to be bad-mouthing Barbados!

Evaluations of the Barbados economy by Finance Minister Sinckler and Governor Worrell have often been perceived as being comical and far-fetched. If as Sigmund Freud suggested that ‘humour is a release for anxiety,’ surely, Barbados has been witnessing for more than five years the tendency for both Sinckler and Worrell to laugh at their own self-determined tragedy. Sinckler has become the proverbial sacrificial lamb for the embattled Democratic Labour Party (DLP), and Worrell is now the definite scapegoat for the troubled Freundel Stuart-led Cabinet.

Poor economic returns and nonsensical financial decisions directly made by Barbados’ Minister of Finance, were ably supported by the Governor of the Central Bank. This is concerning and equally disconcerting for Barbadians and those observing the demise of a national economy. Dr Brian Francis notes several of the key issues hurting Barbados: namely, the “growing incidence of poverty, shrinking middle classes, lack of any real and sustained rates of economic growth, huge public debt and massive fiscal deficits even on the current account.” As many as 17 downgrades by credit rating agencies have occurred against Barbados without abatement. These, as Prime Minister Stuart persists with dogged reluctance to dismiss or reshuffle Minister Sinckler. What is hilariously ridiculous is Worrell’s recognition that “steps to bring inflation under control and to maintain currency values often compete with other social and political pressures.” It is precisely around this type of reality that urgency grows.

Instructively, both Hegel and Marx contended that the dialectical processes of society were insatiable and relentless in calling forth the negation and transcendence of existing social relations. The view holds that relationships such as the Sinckler-Worrell phenomenon may be ‘ostensibly, iron-fisted subjugation’. Hegel argued: “Just as lordship showed that its essential nature is the reverse of what it wants to be, so too servitude in its consummation will really turn into the opposite of what it immediately is; as a consciousness forced back into itself, it will withdraw into itself and be transformed into a truly independent consciousness.” Arguably, this description may account for Worrell’s conversion on the road to Damascus.

This past January, Dr Worrell insisted that Barbados had repeatedly failed to achieve the balance between its foreign exchange outflows and inflows which is necessary for a stable economy. The Central Bank Governor recommended further restriction on spending to protect the country’s foreign exchange reserves. Worrell emphasised that “the reserves are what protect us against the devaluation of our currency,” and although the future is ‘exceptionally promising’, maintaining the peg of the Barbados currency to the USA Dollar “will not happen unless we make it happen.” Thus, he contended that “realising the vision will not be painless.”

Worrell’s caution appears oppositional to the DLP’s narrow-minded quest for greening the electorate’s pastures. Barbados is within 15 months of a general election. Worrell’s warning does not appear to have had the blessing of the Finance Minister or the shoddy Cabinet. Therefore, subsequent written correspondence dated January 31, 2017 to the Minister of Finance was necessary. It is reported that the letter contained a self-condemnatory but not surprising statement saying that “action is needed on project implementation and expenditure reduction to achieve announced fiscal targets, if the Government’s credibility is to be restored.”

There can be no doubt that the Freundel Stuart-led administration is imperilled with credibility issues. Additionally, PM Stuart is known to exist in a fantasy world; this claim is bolstered after Stuart predicted that despite the economic trauma affecting Barbados, he is confident of a third term in Government. In the realm of Psychology, “fantasy formation is an important and complex function that both contributes to and is dependent on ego integration,” which at least partially accounts for the self-pitying jargon of a ‘sleeping giant’.

Furthermore, the inept Cabinet, faces crisis after crisis. The DLP administration noticeably continues to be hard-pressed to maintain decent social services. High government spending and incurring higher debt have not meshed with the situation of insufficient earned revenues from tourism, international business, or even taxes. On that premise, facilitation by the Central Bank to help government’s monthly salaries and wages bill goes against the stern warning highlighted by Dr Worrell.

Allegedly, given a choice by Minister Sinckler to resign or be fired, Governor Worrell sought and found temporary refuge in the Supreme Court. Arguably, the attempt to force the exit of Dr Worrell was fuelled by a Minister of Finance also egotistically desperate to hold on to his job, and backed by a fanatically distressed Cabinet very eager to repair a damaged political image. This ruse by the Ministerial architecture indicates that Dr Delisle Worrell is ready to be slaughtered by a calculating Finance Minister and butchered by an incompetent DLP Cabinet. Yes, under the full knowledge of a dilly-dallying Prime Minister.

On the evidence of the developing psychosomatic structure, political guile coupled with abrasive authoritarianism (i.e. this latter trait is similarly exhibited by the current culture within the Freundel Stuart-led Cabinet) becomes Sinckler’s strongest card. Contrastingly, Worrell’s intellect but less than inspiring capacity to maintain ‘independence’ or functional order at the Central Bank, and his blatant refusal to communicate fairly with the public through the media, are all leading to his pending downfall. The abuse is visibly grave as the public peers into the Sinckler-Worrell fiasco.

Both Sinckler and Worrell should heed the English author, Samuel Johnson positing that “integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.” Barbadians have come to the realisation that Minister Sinckler is struggling to retain his authority amidst glaring shortcomings. For Worrell, there is a strong sense that ‘learning is not common sense’ and he savoured the pain notwithstanding, criticisms from others akin to his professional field. The burden of the DLP’s bad economic choices, coupled with the Minister of Finance’s braggadocio, has rendered Dr Worrell dispensable in the constructed sadomasochistic relationship.

Minister Sinckler’s tendency to use distraction and the weapon of ultimatum, is possibly to make up for his lack of depth on macroeconomic management. In that context, the Minister may well believe that elected officials are hierarchical and can arbitrarily wave the sword of Damocles over the heads of other public servants such as Dr Worrell. Maybe, the Governor was expected to respond affirmatively to the Minister’s demands, even when such requests are obviously painful and averse to the broader national interests. The combination of Minister Sinckler and Dr Worrell has embarrassingly failed Barbados for more than five years.

The Minister of Finance, and by extension the Prime Minister of Barbados, are direct contributors to the macroeconomic mayhem impacting negatively on Barbados’ development. No doubt, it is alarming for Barbadians that the main bone of contention stems from the printing of money to facilitate government’s fiscal and monetary disorder. By sidestepping the real economic issues that throw the Barbados economy into prolonged uncertainty and dangerous turmoil, further entertains possibilities of devaluation. But why should Barbadians be concerned and demand urgency in resolving the fiasco?

In September 2016, President of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) Dr Warren Smith warned Barbados that “front end adjustments” were urgently needed to correct the economic slide. Returning in February 2017, his repeated warning has grown more acute stating that: “the challenge we [Barbadians] are now faced with, has been made more difficult” because of the “accumulation of the problem,” and “it is also important to appreciate that we need action now. … There is no painless way out of this problem.” In addition, former Prime Minister Owen Arthur describes the Sinckler-Worrell fiasco as ‘a matter of the utmost seriousness’ compounded by the Barbados economy being on the edge of disaster.

Shouldn’t Finance Minister Sinckler take responsibility for the economic and social dislocation in Barbados? Why should the Finance Minister consider routing Dr Worrell from his post, when he was nothing but praises for the Governor’s advice all along, and as late as last motnh? If Sinckler had his way, maybe he would also try to silence Arthur, Smith, and every economist making statements on the Barbados economy.

The Finance Minister’s ultimatum to Dr Worrell is bogus given that the Governor consistently gave Sinckler the kiss of cooperation and obliged the inept Government. It is often said that ‘people are initially helpful and cooperative, even at some personal expense, but they are hypersensitive to the possibility that someone might take advantage of their generosity’. Who recalls when biting austerity was hidden in words suggesting the Barbados economy was making a turn for the better? The fact is, both Sinckler and Worrell deserve no sympathy because they ought to have had their exits since 2013/2014.

Prime Minister Stuart is not an innocent bystander in the created madness. The Prime Minister must now self-cleanse and agree with a growing majority of Barbadians that the death knell of the DLP is at hand. Sinckler’s political suicide is imminent and Worrell’s demise is a foregone conclusion. The Sinckler-Worrell fiasco clearly demonstrates that Barbadians were duped into accepting ambivalence and incoherence as norms, while being closed to the idea that the wrong medicine was being prescribed and taken. PM Stuart must do the honourable thing, and immediately replace both Sinckler and Worrell – legally; and stand ready to calm the economy and the electorate with an election date.

Dr George C. Brathwaite is a political consultant. Email:

Government Between a Rock and a Hard Place With General Elections Looming

Submitted by Inkwell


2013 Final Electoral Map, the government won by a 2 seat margin

1. Consider this argument. The Central Bank (CB) Governor has refused to print any more money for the Minister of Finance (MOF). The MOF needs printing to continue to pay civil servants and keep Government running. If the Government can’t pay the civil servants this month, all hell will break loose. Therefore the CB Governor has to be fired so that somebody who will agree to print the money can be appointed. These delays being granted by the High Court are making the MOF nervous. Time is of the essence. But Jeez, if the printing continues, the economy will only get sicker.

2. Foreign reserves are at an all-time low and heading further south, and with the poor tourist season we are now having, not much hope for recovery. The Government can’t even put its hands on the US$100 million from Kyffin for BNTCL in a hurry as that has to go through FTC regulatory process. Let us see if the Government is going to try to railroad the FTC and also what stuff the Chairman is made of.

3. Government can’t borrow externally because of low credit rating and the existing high debt service requirements are continuing to hurt the foreign reserves.

3. Every economist who has said anything (Frank Alleyne has been predictably silent) has told the Government it must act NOW to avoid a disaster, latest being the CDB which has issued a dire warning: “CDB President Dr. Warren Smith is warning there is “no painless way” to rein in the fiscal deficit and ballooning debt.” “But I think it is also important to appreciate that we need action now. The Government of Barbados knows what to do.” “Let me just repeat that we are ready to help but there are certain things that need to be done before the assistance of the multi-lateral institutions like ourselves can become available in a fulsome way. I think that the debt situation is one that needs to be addressed urgently.”

4. The Government’s hand is being forced every way it turns. It must act.

5. BIG Problem. Elections are imminent and the harsh measures required will doom the DLP’s chances of re-election. What would you do? Think like Stuart (and hope not to get a brain freeze). You have to call elections NOW. If you wait any longer, you will be forced to inflict much pain, especially on the civil service and statutory corporations, send home another eight to ten thousand people; you will have to further cut financial support to the QEH and UWI, BWA and SSA; you will have to increase bus fares; you will have to dismantle the community councils and cancel the football tournament and condemn the DLP to the annals of Barbadian political notoriety. A few of the painful pills.

The only hope of survival is to go to the polls BEFORE you are forced to inflict the pain. Tempus is fugiting and the hour must come. Truly between a rock and a hard place.

No Tears for the Central Bank Governor

Submitted by Heather Cole

Submitted by Heather Cole

Don’t cry for him Barbados

The truth is he never loved you

During these wild years

He kept his promises to the DEMS

So you keep your distance!”

Perhaps a rewrite of the famous song about Eva Peron is in order with the above sentiments expressed by Barbadians. Clearly the bromance that never was, between the Minister of Finance of Barbados and the Governor of the Central Bank of plotting and overseeing the economic demise of Barbados is over.

Barbados Today reported that the fall out between the Governor and the Minister of Finance was with regards to the Governor’s inability to explain the country’s diminishing economic fortunes and rising administrative tensions within the Central Bank.

Again perhaps the economy has taken its final turn for the worse and is on its official death bed and the dreaded devaluation near. The blame game is underway with the Minister of Finance trying to squarely push the responsibility for failure of the economy on the Governor. The Governor clearly does not wish to be the fall guy. His strange action to avert blame from himself by appealing to the Court of Law against his dismissal is indeed cause for comment.

On one hand we had a governor who was a willing accomplice of this administration at every turn for the last 8 years producing alternate facts in speech, actions and data in support of the policies of the government. It is not that some of his economic policies were successful. He has a long list failures and unethical practices. He sold junk bonds to an unsuspecting public, scrubbed the Central Banks website of data and frequently produced data to paint the economy in a positive light. His action of holding $5 million in the Central Bank for Leroy Parris was illegal. He incessantly printed money, offloaded funds to Bjorn Bjerkham who should never have been appointed to any public board in Barbados. Let us also not forget his attempt to practice nepotism. Then it was the matter of the many economic downgrades that affected the country’s credit rating.

He supported and never admonished the Minister of Finance for his reckless economic onslaught against the people of Barbados. The Governor’s actions not only affected the economy but in extension endangered the livelihood of many Barbadians as it was also indirectly responsible for job loss. He did not perform as a Governor of a Central Bank but as a piggy bank for the Minister of Finance. His actions created capital flight and a scarcity in foreign exchange. Our currency has already been devalued in the eyes of our eastern Caribbean neighbours’ and Guyana.

In another place and another time his actions against the state would be tantamount to treason. This now reminds one of Cardinal Wolsey’s fall from grace when he failed to secure the kings wishes. So what did Mr. Sinckler so desperately want that the Governor could not provide that led to his firing? Was it more than what was stated above?

He has damaged his credibility as a practicing economist and brought shame to the title of Governor of a Central Bank. He sold out the livelihood of the people of Barbados and on reflection the People of Barbados should be taking him to court. His actions are at loggerheads with his profession he has not provided sound economic advice to support the economic growth of Barbados through monetary policy. That is the sole purpose of his job.

No one should be even a bit unhappy to see him removed as Governor of the Central Bank. He is now like a product on the shelf that is long past its expiry date. It will be a sad day if the Court rules in favour of the Governor of the Central Bank as it would be, even at this late stage legalizing the economic death of the island of Barbados by giving an unfit Governor the right to continue to destroy the economy.

The GROTTO: Solicitor General ‘Opinion’ Deems Dividend Payment from Housing Credit Fund Illegal

The GROTTO high rise project

The controversial GROTTO high rise project

The truth about the GROTTO Housing project and the decision to declare a dividend from the Housing Credit Fund (HCF) by the Central Bank of Barbados (Government) to pay Mark Maloney of PRECONCO is finally coming to light. The BU household has relentlessly pursued this matter and it gives us no satisfaction to be proved right. Should it make sense why the Minister of Finance plans to terminate and transfer the HCF to the Consolidated Fund?

What the revelation has confirmed is that we have a government willing to flout the financial rules to appease their friends and to fill their pockets. We have a government committed to continue the practice of its predecessor to ignore the observations of the Auditor General. Lastly what it confirms is that members of the political class are loyal to the clan.

Thank you from BU to the BU family member who shared the document.

See the opinion letter issued by the Solicitor General’s Office.

Chris Sinckler -Why Do You Want to Pay Hari Narayan USD10 Million?

Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler

Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler

  1. Who is Harry Narayan?
  2. Why is the Barbados Cane Industry Corporation (BCIC) and Minister of Finance wanting to pay Narayan US$10 million dollars?

Minister Chris Sinckler Refused to Respond to the PSV Operators Before the Budget

Chris Sinckler, Minister of Finance

Chris Sinckler, Minister of Finance

BU was advised by a reliable source that the communication attached to this blog was delivered to the office of the Minister of Finance (MoF) on 26 July 2016. The objective was to ensure the MoF received feedback in advance of the 2016-2017 budget. Contrary to the MoF’s advisement that he had consulted stakeholders in the private sector, we were again reliably informed that the joint committee representing the PSV sector did not receive a response from the MoF. Not even an acknowledgment.

Every business in every sector of the economy has been able to adjust prices to ensure they earn a reasonable ROI except the PSV operators. Unfortunately fare increases are regulated by government and in the face of rising cost the PSV sector finds itself with an ageing fleet and rising operating cost.  The recent imposition of a 2% National Social Responsibility Levy will have the effect of increasing operating cost by a further 4% to 6%.

What is upsetting is the information reaching BU that the Nation newspaper was able to see the document sent to the MoF and published the following editorial on the 7 September 2016 with the title – Not the time for increase in bus fare. A read of the editorial exposes an obvious bias of the author. An editorial is meant to share the view of the newspaper we are told.

BU acknowledges that the PSV needs to be better regulated but it will only be achieved if all the players worked closely together. The corrupt behaviour of officials over the last three or four decades has not assisted the industry. There is a suffocating culture that has enveloped the industry and it behooves all the stakeholders to demonstrate leadership to bring the sector to heel.

Shame on the Nation newspaper and Roy Morris!

Relevant ink:

Letter sent to Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler on 26 July 2016 (fare increase/duty concession)

The George Brathwaite Column – Chris, It’s the Lasting uncertainty!

Submitted by Dr. George C. Brathwaite

Chris Sinckler, Minister of Finance

Chris Sinckler, Minister of Finance

“The challenge lies rather in the idea of planning, of purposeful, intelligent control over economic affairs. This, it seems, we must accept as a guide to our economic life to replace the decadent notions of a laissez-faire philosophy.” – Rexford Tugwell and Howard Hill, ‘Our Economic Society and Its Problems’ (New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1934), p. 527.

This 21st century Democratic Labour Party (DLP) administration has been the antithesis of its groundings in social democratic politics. Barbados has been tossed far away from the ideals and aspirations for which the pioneers of our development envisioned. Barbadian economic planners, under the direction of a DLP gone astray, have uncritically embraced the lull for the neo-liberalised version of laissez faire capitalism. This unflattering cuddle has derailed the socialist orientations which were instrumental in driving postcolonial Barbados and shaping the nation’s post-independent development.

In real and visible terms, Barbados has today gone off track. The macroeconomic planners and policymakers have shifted their developmental gaze away from people’s well-being and re-directed attention towards the attainment of multilateral approval. The technocrats of the IMF may be excellent singers of austerity but if the idea of effective economic planning continues to be ignored by the governing, it is very likely that the governed would voice their resistance to swelling hardship and social infelicities. History in Barbados, the Caribbean, and the developing world is replete with examples necessitating resistance and protest from the bottom.

Notwithstanding the financial and other macroeconomic variables that make economic planning difficult at best, the working class people of contemporary Barbados are drifting perilously towards ‘incivility’ while the economy, that up to a few years ago gave opportunity for an expanding middle-class, is being described in terms of ‘backwardness’. Furthermore, the Barbados economy is being characterised with ‘junk bond’ status by some of the very multilaterals to whom the country’s obedient policymakers genuflect while abandoning the strength of social consciousness.

Reluctant to admit it, Barbados’ political economy over the last five years, has been frustrated with countless but lame efforts at neoliberal economic recovery. The resultant failure to sufficiently spur economic growth by the current DLP administration has negated many of the social gains achieved in Barbados since 1966.

For instance, free education – as a vital investment in the logic of moving from underdevelopment to development – has suffered at the hands of economic slaughterers. Their main passions grew out of betrayal in order to appease accounting standards while thumping their chests and savouring their own successes of attaining political power. In fact, the then Prime Minister Errol Barrow on May Day 1987, exactly one month before his death had observed and warned us that:

“We are not going to achieve our common objectives of social justice if the workers are going to be there on the other side of the fence, having an antagonistic attitude towards the people who control the capital. We are only going to have harmonious relationships in this society if the people who now control the capital realise that the workers themselves are entitled to a share in the control of that capital, both in the managerial and ownership levels.”

Surely, the National Hero’s statement is a coronation of socialist principles within a context of the social democratic space that was opened at independence for Barbados. Equally, it is a foreboding that speaks to prioritising the worker over the dollar, although both are indisputably important. The quest for social and economic empowerment must remain in place so that Barbados can achieve its developmental objectives.

The fact is that in Barbados’ first 40 years of independence, despite whatever challenges emerged, our economic planners and leaders recognised the need for worker and business alliances. The public and private sectors grew together with the embellishment of a framework that was defined by prompt decision-making and a strong sense of certainty of purpose.

Paradoxically, the current Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance in Barbados stand out as localised points of instruction. The indecisive wavering that is closely situated in the customs of Stuart and Sinckler, also presents clear demonstrations of the dysfunctionality that has crept into the fabric of Barbadian society. What Stuart and Sinckler say and how they act have effectively become institutionalised setbacks. The pair has practically set the tone, not only for consumers and civil society in Barbados to baulk at positive reforms (e.g. BRA), but has incurred a lethargy in the investment climate. Investment classes – local and foreign – are reluctant to take calculated risks.

Barbados previously had a record of performing outstandingly well due to the factors of stability and certainty in our socio-economic space. Barbados has seen an about turn both in terms of governmental approach and in reciprocity. Prime Minister Stuart and his Cabinet colleagues have often demonstrated a naiveté with regards to inviting trust from the people. The chief Minister and economic planner have preferred to silence those who complain or object to the flawed macroeconomic management of the country.

Subsequently, working towards fixing the plethora of issues which surfaced under the DLP’s watch has proven to be extremely difficult and sluggishly prolonged. The overly cautious and procrastinating Stuart-led Cabinet has operated largely for the sake of political preservation while the opposition – viewed as an alternative government – wasted time and opportunities in seeming disarray if not outright internal disunity. Mounting evidence indicates that the indecision and wavering are constant factors in the DLP’s public policy and governance architecture.

The daunting clouds of uncertainty are prevalent under the DLP’s beleaguered administration. Uncertainty is perversely institutionalised so that local and international entrepreneurs and investors are watching and listening with apprehension to the nation’s decision-makers. It does not help us at home to hear the dangerous statements wherein culpability and responsibility for the nation’s affairs have become foreign to local Ministers of government (i.e. do not blame me). Nor, does it help those wanting to invest capital in the Barbados economy. The lingering questions arising on the ‘ease of doing business’ are still around, when in practice, little or nothing is done to change the situation.

Within this context of governance, ministerial escapism creates policy confusion and, mass uncertainty prevails in policy arenas. The Barbados government operates with unfathomable ambiguity on almost every set of public policies and regulatory pronouncements. While some economic planning does exists, the outcomes of taciturn practices have left the country adrift from obtaining optimal performances. The macroeconomic directions, for example, which repeatedly spoke of stabilising Barbados’ badly faltered economy since 2008, have largely failed due to the apparent disconnect between the real data and the whimsical analyses offered by tainted officials.

The unseemliness of many public policy decisions is often exposed in the ministerial contradictions. On public policy, government ministers ebb ‘to and fro’ among themselves (e.g. Ministers Sinckler and Inniss or Sinckler and Estwick). Professor Emeritus Ramesh Ramsaran in 2012 gave a protracted view of a fundamental concern facing Barbados and the region. Professor Ramsaran asserted that:

“Public policy exerts a crucial influence on the creation and distribution of wealth. But public policy is not confined to the discipline of economics or the management of resources. It straddles a broad area which covers issues of a political, social and economic nature. It speaks to the integrity and efficacy of governance institutions, the functioning of administrative structures and the balance between social costs and social benefits. It not only encompasses the factors that influence the real and financial sectors, but all the institutional elements that affect the functioning and well-being of society. It defines national social and economic objectives, and also provides strategies, direction and the framework of incentives for governance in response to changes in the internal and external environment. But consistency, coherence and effectiveness are often lacking in formulation and implementation.”

Since 2010, and after each Budget presentation, Barbados’ Minister of Finance has had to repeatedly remove the smoke-screens and hyperbole from his ‘levying’ pronouncements which either amount to good or bad public policy. Sadly, the demand for good public policy and the necessary implementation of such policies are of seemingly secondary importance to an irresponsible DLP Cabinet. PM Stuart’s Cabinets post-David Thompson, have largely failed to inspire national confidence although they have been quick to draw on self-congratulatory messages – written and posted by self.

Mounting frustration within Barbados’ political economy is typical of this grave uncertainty that has become exposed in other aspects of daily living in Barbados. Workers across Barbados are facing increased taxation, depressed wages, the rising incidence of serious crime, and plummeting living standards. People perceive of a political class that is less interested in service provision and more inclined to influencing the acceptance of parsimonious public relations wherein only the bare minimum of information ever reaches the public.

One wonders who in government hears the cries for water from the dislocated people living in several parishes across Barbados. The lack of urgency being exhibited by key state agents is indicative of the drought of ideas causing paralysis in the country. Indeed, Barbados’ economic activities are currently being fuelled by the need for survival and the necessity to push back against the last few years of stagnation and degradation.

Intuitively, the DLP government with all the goodwill in the world, will continue to struggle once there is jaundiced or inadequate planning at the apex of political and economic leadership. The wheels of the Barbados economy with its once socialist character will remain off track with the possibility of an impending crash which could be fatal. The Barbados fiscal and debt challenges are stubbornly acute, although in recent months, it is being suggested that some modicum of recovery is evident. One must still exercise prudence and forcefully say to Chris, it’s the lasting uncertainty that is dangerous for Barbados.

(Dr. George C. Brathwaite is a part-time lecturer in Political Science at the UWI-Cave Hill Campus, a researcher and political consultant, and up until recently, he was editor of Caribbean Times (Antigua). Email: )

Did Honourable Member Chris Sinckler Deliver a Terminological Inexactitude?


We have no doubt that we can and will grow our economy further and faster. We know we can bring unemployment down to even lower levels once we unleash the over $1 billion of foreign direct investment we have before us with projects such as the Sandals Casuarina expansion which has started, the Sam Lords Redevelopment Project which has also started, the Hyatt Centric and even the much maligned Four Seasons Project which, God willing, can get started shortly – Extracted from the Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals

In his 2016 Financial Statement and Budgetary presentation Minister of Commerce Donville Inniss suggested that the application to build the 15 story Hyatt on beachfront in a UNESCO World Heritage site was reviewed by the Town Planning Department with conditions and final approval by the prime minister is a fait accompli. Have a listen from 5:40 minutes of the video presentation. 

The extract at the top of this blog was taken from the 2016 Financial Statement and Budgetary proposals delivered by Minister Chris Sinckler. The veracity of the statement can be crosschecked by watching his budget presentation. His attempt to use the above statement to defend what he conveyed about the status of the Hyatt project raises a couple observations. Either the MoF is challenged with comprehension and writing skills or he takes Barbadians for fools. It is obvious to the BU household any which way the statement is read (or viewed) that his uncertainty about the status of the projects in the pipeline was directed at ‘’the much maligned Four Seasons Project’’ and NOT the Hyatt project .   For him to feel so emboldened to refer to  ‘’God willing’’ as a disclaimer about the status of the Hyatt project rings hollow. It reinforces the growing public belief that this is a government committed to governance by stealth, an approach seemingly ensconced in the way business is done by the Cabinet of Barbados.

The BU household will resist the temptation to sully the office of the minister of finance by describing Sinckler has a pathological liar. It has become patently obvious his is a poor reaction to the onslaught in recent days by social justice advocate David Comissiong. No need to mention the disparaging remarks about Comissiong delivered by the son of a fisherman Inniss under the cloak of parliamentary privilege.

A poorakey parliament indeed!

It is instructive(?) that Sinckler’s feeble attempt to deflect criticism about the Hyatt project was shared to the media on the sidelines of the opening of another Berger King fast food restaurant. It serves as a reminder that this government gave a washpan of concessions to Cost U Less, a retailer and a user of scarce foreign – Who are the local partners in Cost-U-Less. The BU family bar a few will be able to connect the dots!

In Inniss’ contribution to the debate we are reminded he avoided calling a member of the other side a liar by retreating to the euphemistism  terminological inexactitude. The games Honourable Members play in the highest law making Chamber in the land.

To expect Sinckler’s resignation OR his sacking is a wasted expectation.

Government Blames Workers

Submitted by Brian Frederick

Derek Alleyne, Director of UDC (on leave from NUPW)

Derek Alleyne, Director of UDC (on leave from NUPW)

Here we go again shortly after shameful admissions by the Director of the Urban Development Commission of the waste of taxpayers money by incompetent management now we have the Minister of Finance complaining that politicians are taking the blame for management and he mentioned Ministry’s of Water, Housing, and Environment and there are others where management is paid more than the politicians. But hold on a minute I may be wrong but are not the Ministers IN CHARGE! Do not forget where the buck stops so if the highly paid management is not doing the job get rid of them. Private companies would not and could not afford bad management and even if they had to pay off someone it would be done so why not in any Ministry. What has happened to 2 verbal warnings and a written warning and the dismissal or does that not apply to government employees?

The George Brathwaite Column – Sinckler’s Answer to Economic Insecurity

Submitted By Dr. George Brathwaite

Chris Sinckler, Minister of Finance

Chris Sinckler, Minister of Finance

Finance Minister, Christopher Sinckler, will tomorrow [15/08/2016] deliver the 2016 Financial Statement and Budgetary proposals. This occasion may well be Minister Sinckler’s last budget presentation, based strictly upon the unflattering performances of the Barbados economy throughout his stewardship. Perceivably, people and progress have been pushed from being the central plank of national development priorities. Uncertainty and economic insecurity now choke and strangle Barbadians at every turn.

The Democratic Labour Party (DLP), with Sinckler as the Minister of Finance, has been marked by a prolonged lack of creativity. Effective leadership has been an absent feature, and the reluctance for acting expeditiously has precipitously reaped a badly damaged social economy. It was Minister Sinckler in the 2012 budget who suggested that the DLP stood committed on “a platform that prioritises economic stability and growth, social advancement and security, and human, cultural and psychological development.” The evidence against the DLP’s paltry returns are shameful and alarming.

The facts indicate that in Barbados, there is a falling standard of living, fall-back on the quality of life, and rising concerns over mounting social ills which are now badly affecting the society. The DLP has contributed greatly to the ‘backwardness’ enveloping Barbados of which some things are structural but were left unattended. Coupled with declining revenues and insufficient inflows of foreign exchange, the increasing exit of foreign companies from Barbados is problematic. The situation lessens Sinckler’s room for macroeconomic manoeuvring. By not improving Barbados’ ‘ease of doing business’, the Minister of Finance’s interventions (or lack thereof) may push away even more companies, and force displaced persons to join the unemployment lines.

In tourism, Barbados’ visitor spend although increasing in 2016, remains below a threshold that would positively and significantly show the value linkage between registering increased numbers of cruise and stay over visitors and the government distributing its social welfare programmes. Poverty has grown in Barbados, and Minister Sinckler must be clear on how his budgetary proposals will bring relief for many Barbadians feeling the predicaments of his previously enunciated policies of structural adjustment and stability.

Additionally, the foolhardiness of the DLP government to continuously rely on the Central Bank’s printing of money has been counterproductive for the economy and society. The failure of the DLP government to revitalise manufacturing, construction, and push small and medium enterprises to become more export-oriented have made more vulnerable the state of Barbados’ social economy. It sometimes seems as though that both the Minister and the Governor want to jump and wave to the tune saying that local debt is acceptable as opposed to incurring more foreign debt.

In April, economist Ryan Straughn indicated that with Barbados receiving the latest of more than a dozen downgrades, it “clearly demonstrates that the Freundel Stuart administration has successfully fooled itself into thinking that the Home Grown Fiscal Stabilisation and Economic Revitalization Programme is working,” and suggested that the Finance Minister persists in “pursuing a path that takes Barbados closer to economic ruin.” Defiantly, Sinckler maintains a political optimism for achieving macroeconomic stability and reigniting the Barbados economy. He often speaks of fuelling real and sustained growth, but candidly, these goals have rested more on his apparent political guile than on his utilisation of sound economic judgement and practical decision-making.

Nonetheless, Barbadians are anxious to hear the overdue budgetary statement, and to examine the extent that the Finance Minister would arrest the situations of wastage, debt, and inefficiency. The Minister may want to draw on public/private projects that are being advocated in the interest of national development. Surely, few are convinced with Prime Minister Stuart’s premise that “the benefits are beginning to trickle down to our people once again.” Given the country’s unflattering socio-economic indicators, and the mixed signals being sent to Barbadians depending on who is doing the talking, the anticipation for this year’s budget will attract the personalised question of ‘what is in it for me’, while collectively saying to whoever will listen, that ‘we can’t tek it no more’!

Mr. Sinckler must not get stuck on first quarter employment data. Nor should he be contented with political style over substance, particularly when many Barbadians are experiencing hard and strenuous times. Across the public sector and in sections of the private sector, the industrial relations climate remains unsettled at best. The DLP’s actions towards the trade unions have appeared more punitive than restorative or win-win oriented. The vexing issues of low worker morale and low productivity attract capital’s attention and government’s bashing of the worker. Generally, persons want:

  • An end to the persistence of low wages and high prices;
  • The policy and incentive instruments that encourage local investment while at the same time, ensuring that there is more disposable income in peoples’ pockets;
  • Respect built on economic justice for trade unions and their memberships after wage increases have not been forthcoming in almost a decade;
  • A halt to the growing size of the DLP-created category of worker commonly referred to as the working poor, and largely comprising many persons from the once flourishing middle class.

Minister Sinckler is likely to be steadier with both his tongue and his policy framework given that a general elections build-up is already taking shape. He will be reluctant to impose new taxes. Barbados, in the past few years, became home to an extremely overtaxed population. Hence, householders and businesses will hope for taxation ease. They will know if the Governor of the Central Bank’s concerns regarding the foreign reserves are to invoke more stringent regulations and controls when it comes to getting and spending foreign dollars. Constraints surrounding the Pound Sterling make things more difficult for those receiving pensions from the old imperial power. On person’s minds will be the possibility that new restrictions will curb their spending power and capability to source cheaper goods and services.

Plainly put, numerous Barbadians remain sceptical about this Minister of Finance’s plan to promote prosperity in Barbados. Last year, Minister Sinckler was saying in his budget that “the single largest issue facing the economy, is that economic growth in Barbados remains below the 2.5 to 3.0 percent that is normal for our economy.” With things pointing to another year of below par growth, many persons are doubtful that this DLP can fix an ailing and under-performing economy.

Can Sinckler fix the economy, and will his fiscal management be able ‘to reinvigorate and deepen economic growth” to between 2.5 to 3.5 % of GDP? Will the Minister of Finance be persuaded by lessons of our history and practical experiences? In 1982, Prime Minister JMGM ‘Tom’ Adams stated that “while foreign exchange reserves can and have been augmented by judicious borrowing, this must be kept within strictly manageable limits and used for investment, not consumption purposes.” More recently, former Prime Minister Owen Arthur cautioned that Barbados’ “foreign exchange reserves have fallen by half a billion dollars over the course of the last few years; this is not the time for the Central Bank of Barbados to be printing money to finance a Government’s deficit.”

Will Sinckler heed the sage advice of two former and successful Ministers of Finance, or will he bow to the vagary of an upcoming general elections? The economic insecurity that has been stirring things such as higher unemployment and crime rates, must be tackled in the budget. Only the Minister knows if he will give the Police and the Courts the resources they need to adequately fight crime and deliver justice. Only Minister Sinckler can say what he will do to create jobs when the restlessness is already bringing about insecurity.

Also, it is vital that this country continues to provide quality health care and education, although the DLP’s policy options have seriously imperilled the fate of many Barbadians wanting to pursue tertiary education. The probable introduction of user fees at the QEH will likely be deferred but, in its place, Barbadians may see the Finance Minister roll back on free bus fares for school children while increasing the adult fare by as much as 50 cents per ride.

The national uncertainty amounts to widespread economic insecurity. Sinckler must be empathetic to the poor, caring to the elderly, and able to deliver for the youth of which too many are unemployed or underemployed. He must inspire our business people who cannot get things going due to government’s own lack of urgency in decision-making and failure to settle the state’s arrears. This budget will be pivotal in the shaping of Barbados. As it is, the economic insecurity is real but this writer hopes that the immediate future is not laced with more austerity and joblessness.

(Dr. George C. Brathwaite is a researcher and political consultant, and up until recently, he was editor of Caribbean Times (Antigua). Email: ).

The George Brathwaite Column – To switch or to just flip-flop?

Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler

Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler

This is an important question and, yes, he is correct to assert it cannot solely be about who is managing an entity; attention has to be also directed on “who is paying”. This revelation is not new, nor should it be a roadblock for the Government to make the best decisions while maintaining an optimality for providing public goods
and services.

Yearly, the Auditor General’s Report speaks to such things as undetected financial transactions and wastage which cannot be accounted for, or traced. These have been identified as factors raising the levels
of Government expenditure and debt.

Coupled with the age-old problem of an oversized Public Service, and gross inefficiencies, we know the current administration sent home more than 3,000 workers immediately after the last general election. One wonders why similar efforts cannot be made to create incentives for the private sector to thrive without over-reliance on the Government.

Nevertheless, having used the School Meals Department and the collection of garbage in Barbados as examples, Minister Sinckler is stating in 2016 that this economy “has not yet reached the stage of development where Government can ask people to pay for such services at the point of delivery as they have not the capacity to do so”. This claim is remarkably telling.

It must be considered in the context of a self-confession wherein the Minister of Finance would have failed to implement necessary reforms of “restructuring” the Barbados economy. In fact, the Government’s master plan in 2013 was described by Minister Sinckler as “a revised fiscal adjustment programme and a growth and development strategy for Barbados”.

Therefore, Mr Sinckler would have failed to grow the national economy sufficiently that people would have disposable income and other investment funds available to them. The Minister of Finance would definitely have failed Barbados by not having necessary discussions with all stakeholders, and this is a governance issue. Governance is the process of policymaking through active and cohesive discussion among policymakers who are interconnected through a broad range of networks.

The Minister of Finance, therefore, after forthright and wholesome discussions, needs to set about devising a comprehensive plan of action which would ensure effective regulations governing the provision of services, and, importantly, finding the ways that funding or any subventions could be instituted without having the traditional burden on the public purse.

Earlier this year, Minister Sinckler was adamant that “a large part of our private sector, both in their structure and function, are really just a reflection of Government. That is just simply a fact. Many of them are really Government departments in disguise, operating as private entities, living off of the very public purse that the same statutory corporations are drawing on, as they say, ‘like vultures on the body politic
of Barbados’. That is just simply a fact”.

How long ago was this feature recognized by the Minister of Finance? And, apart from pelting big rocks at the private sector, what has he done in terms of incentives or other policy initiatives to chart the paths for a budding private sector in Barbados? “Sometimes I hate who I have to be. But I live in a world of flip-flopping loyalties . . . . Trust is a luxury I can’t afford.”

Clearly, Mr Sinckler’s pronouncement in January, 2014, that “it is crucial that we now undertake a long overdue reform of the public sector in Barbados” appears to be more wishful thinking than any practical statement regarding the work he and the Freundel Stuart administration have been taking to redress the “real” issues.

It was Mr Sinckler who said: “The growth strategy has to be led by private investment and entrepreneurship. Government’s role is to provide incentives, infrastructure and an enabling environment in support of private initiative and investment.”

Surely, this writer would agree with the minister that private sector growth is essential and that the Government has a sure role to play.

However, I am concerned that Barbadians are witnessing another cop-out by the Minister of Finance; another statement of fluff without the necessary glue to bind him to action. You may recall the Minister of Finance also stating in 2014 that “the Government is implementing a clear and credible plan to reduce the fiscal deficit, and the diversification and restructuring of the Barbados economy is well under way”. Really? Where is the evidence?

The Democratic Labour Party (DLP) in its 2013 manifesto stated that it would “implement strategies that will expand real growth in the economy, increase Government revenues, reduce the tax share of gross domestic product, and reduce the level of the country’s indebtedness to an acceptable level”. While accepting there are some positive signs in the Barbados economy, as alluded to by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in which the Barbados economy “appears to have turned the corner with activity picking up”, the prolonged uncertainty and the slow process of getting information to the public remains a huge setback, contributing to speculation of malfeasance, corruption and wastage.

As the IMF recommends, focus has to be put to “support the nascent recovery”, with specific “measures to raise the efficiency of public services, which impedes private sector operations, pursue reforms to increase labour market flexibility without unduly reducing worker protection, increase training opportunities in a cost-effective manner to address the skill mismatch, and move forward with a viable and affordable agricultural strategy to strengthen its links with the tourism sector”.

Much more can be done in Barbados to ease the public sector while enhancing the private sector. Sustained economic growth should be the platform for setting things right in this country.

One would hate to think that Minister of Finance Sinckler represents the ideal example of a “skill mismatch”.

Sinckler Out to Sea

Submitted by Anthony Davis

Chris Sinckler, Minister of Finance

Chris Sinckler, Minister of Finance

With work on the new Wyndham hotel due to begin in two weeks time and another Luxury hotel project under active discussion, Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler is very upbeat about the prospects this year for job creation. In fact, he expects the national unemployment rate to go down – Barbados Today, January 20, 2016

In the last paragraph which I took from this report the Minister of Finance makes the analogy of a ship which goes off “track” which sounds very strange to me as one usually speaks about a ship going off course. Be that as it may, I will continue along this vein.

Which captain and his crew promises their passengers that they will be heading for the Caribbean, and then waits until that ship is out to sea and heads in another direction, and on their way jettison all of its life boats – except those which he and his crew can use to get away from the ship if it starts to sink?

Which captain will allow his helmsman to stay at the wheel, seeing that the ship is going in the wrong direction and instead of trying to stop him tells the passengers that his helmsman is the best in the world?

Which captain gets together with his crew and heads for covert destinations whenever they feel like – especially if the passengers have to pay extra for the destination which will put their health in jeopardy, or one which will put the livelihood of some of them in jeopardy?

The captain and crew of this ship have made many promises, but they have only kept one. After leaving port the helmsman kept his promise and chose every willy-nilly thing with which to burden the passengers, but expects them to take it all with the silence of lambs, and when some decided that they wanted to protest against the direction in which the ship was heading, some of the crew – and the captain – started making all kinds derogatory remarks about them.

On this odyssey some of the passengers have been made destitute, and don’t know where to turn, whereas others are just keeping their heads above water, with the ship cruising along like some juggernaut.

They cannot even make a mobile call home seeing how far the ship is out to sea, because they don’t know to which port the ship is heading, and that the mobile phones in the country to which they belong attract the highest tariffs in there. So, the ship, and its crew,  continues towards its unknown destination without the slightest worry about their passengers. A captain and crew without a destination may end up anywhere on the globe – even in a war-torn country!

Now the helmsman is coming to the passengers with more promises.

The questions are:

(1) Will these promises be kept, or will they be reneged on like the others?

(2) If they are kept, how long will they be kept for – one year, two years, or more/less?

(3) Will the passengers continue to be taken to covert destinations?

Please note that the helmsman didn’t say definitely that the passengers will get some kind of relief this year!

There are more questions than answers, and the passengers should be very wary of any promises which are being made.

“Beware of gift-bringing Greeks!”

One never knows who or what may be in that beautiful, wooden horse!

One Party State

Submitted by William Skinner

Those who are not blinded by party loyalty to either the Democratic Labour Party or the Barbados Labour Party would have noticed some rather fancy political foot work, […] Continue reading

cahill, CAHILL

Submitted by Anthony Davis

Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler

Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler

The CEO revealed that work had already started on the controversial multi-million dollar project, with waste studies and sampling completed, and a front-end engineering design contract negotiated – You’re Safe (Barbados Today)

On October 27, 2015, Minister of Finance, Chris Sinckler,stated in Parliament: […] Continue reading

Cahill Energy Barbados Scam EXPOSED, AGAIN!

Where there is smoke there is bound to be fire. What we have here is a group of elected officials who have betrayed the trust of the people. What the Cahill Scam has exposed also is the inadequacy of our governance system. Unravelling is this government’s equivalent to 3S Barbados SRL. The more things change the more they remain the same. Continue reading

VAT or NCD, It Doesn’t Matter

Submitted by Anthony Davis



Changes to the so-called basket of goods have left consumers worried that they might not be able to afford to feed themselves and their children as they will be forced to pay more for the goods they need – Barbados Today […] Continue reading

Prime Minister STOP Harassing Taxpayers

Submitted by Anthony Davis

<p><strong>Chris Sinckler</strong>, Minister of Finance (l) <strong>Fruendel Stuart</strong>, Prime Minister and Head of the Civil Service (r)</p>

<p><strong>Chris Sinckler</strong>, Minister of Finance (l) <strong>Fruendel Stuart</strong>, Prime Minister and Head of the Civil Service (r)</p>

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart has warned that if Government did not improve its revenue collection system, […] Continue reading

Chris Sinckler and David Estwick Saga Continues – Money is Sweeter than Sugar


This gallery contains 7 photos.

So far Barbadians have not been given the answers required by a government lacking in transparency. We ask AGAIN!

Mia Mottley Accuses Government Ministers of Entering Shady Arrangement with Cahill Energy and Trans Tech Inc

Leader of the Opposition Mia Mottley used the cloak of parliamentary privilege in her reply to the 2015 Budget and Financial Statement to accuse […] Continue reading

2015 Barbados Budget…

Chris Sinckler, Minister of Finance

Chris Sinckler, Minister of Finance

Today is Budget Day in Barbados the 15 June 2015. For many what is hidden in the ‘Black Box’  in recent years seems to be of little interest to the citizenry compared to what occurred in the 80s and 90s. The politicians will grab their 30 minutes in the spotlight rabbling as if programmed in support of their side and many citizens will retreat to channel surfing and scan the news for a summary of what transpired.

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Chris Sinckler New Maths …

Submitted by Old Onions Bags



Submitted by Old Onions Bag

Ministry-Finance-Budget-StatementPeople already hollaring for murder from these draconian taxes, yet it ain’t even Budget Day.

How much longer can we continue this way Mr. Sinckler? Better believe we need to come up for air now. People all over Barbados want some reprieve. How much longer can they take these draconian measures and not fall through the social net? We need relief and we need it like yesterday.

What is the sense of being able to boast of cutting the deficit in half and the country’s people are suffering?

You are on video boasting in Parliament of the tough times our generation has been through and of how it makes for character. Yes sir Mr. Minister we agree, but are you not forgetting… back in those days you could beg for a breadfruit….a turnover was for 5c….you could eat and sleep at the neighbour and vice versa. Times have changed Mr.Minister … they have become harder. What could play in those days, won’t cut it today.

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Will Minister Chris Sinckler Bring Tidings of Great Joy?

Christmas in Barbados

Christmas in Barbados

The Christian festival of Christmas is the time of the year Barbadians join many across the globe to become immersed in the spirit of the season.  Psychiatrist suggests human beings need ways to relieve stress. Whether Christian or Infidel the season is used to promote frivolity, show kindness; reach out to the less fortunate, spread good cheer. The decision by the minister of finance to issue a ministerial statement on Tuesday – if media reports are to be believed – begs the question to what extent politicians are willing to ignore tradition and long standing value positions for the sake of political expediency. Apologists may retort this is not a budget debate and therefore the public will be spared the palavering by members of parliament that has made Barbados into the laughing stock for those who force themselves to follow proceedings in recent years.

The Governor of the Central Bank Delisle Worrell hinted a couple weeks ago the Minister of Finance will have something to tell Barbadians, the time will be on Tuesday 16 December 2014. All the economic indicators point to the fact the message by the Minister of Finance will not be tidings of great joy.

After six years of poor economic performance many Barbadians appear to be losing confidence and hope in the government to lead the country on a growth path. What has not help to discourage public concern is the latest tantrum by Minister of Agriculture David Estwick.  It is not unusual for a minister of the government to disagree with  policy. What is unusual is for a minister of government to break the collective of cabinet by voicing public dissent and NOT resign. Even more unusual has been the unwillingness of Prime Minister Freundel Stuart to censure Estwick. The Days of Our Lives imbroglio has made a mockery of government and has served as a long running distraction to the many problems affecting the affairs of state.

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Who is the Biggest LIAR in the DLP Government?

Submitted by Jason Beckles

Chris Sinckler, Minister of Finance

Chris Sinckler, Minister of Finance

Can’t even pay NIS contributions. Sinckler walking bout telling big people big lies.

Related Link:

Unpaid National Insurance Certificate between National Insurance Board (Claimant) and Barbados Agricultural Management Co (Defendant)

Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler says urgent financial help is on the way for the dying sugar industry. LIAR

Delivering the feature address at the annual general assembly of the Barbados Agricultural Society at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre this morning, Sinckler announced that the Ministry of Agriculture, which is led by Dr David Estwick, and the Barbados Agricultural Management Company, the BAMC, were in an “advance stage” of concluding a facility through the Ansa Merchant Bank of Trinidad and Tobago for an injection of $60 million. LIAR

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Chris Sinckler and David Estwick Saga Continues – Money is Sweeter than Sugar

BU understands the Minister of Finance & Economic Affairs Chris Sinckler will play hardball with the sugar industry deal unless Minister of Agriculture David Estwick appoints BNB Capital Corporation to provide the financing for the new sugar factory. It is being discussed in certain circles that the minister of finance arranged for BNB Capital Corporation to handle the financing for the new sugar factory but Minister Estwick is not going with the flow.

Directors of BNB Capital Corporation  incorporated on 17 September 2014 are:-

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Increased Taxation Will NOT Work Mr. Sinckler. Have you ever heard of Laffer’s Curve…?

Submitted by Just Thinking Economics

Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler

Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler

Who ever said that increased taxation will help Barbados out of its current mess needs to have their heads examine. We are already overly taxed and to inflict further pain…..”broadening the tax base”…. will do nothing more than to compound “the already poor” problems.

Just imagine asking small incomers (working under the $25,000 threshold) to contribute by way of income taxes. Madness I dare say.  It is inconceivable to ask a restaurant worker or a paltry shop assistant, barely scraping a meager wage, to fork out good monies to be further squandered by this Government….the likes of Four Seasons. $400 million good taxpayers dollars gone the way of Jacob’s horse nostril.

Even now Mr. Minister, Barbados is reeling under the effects of Laffer Curve theory. We have had increase taxation, as with  the Value Added Tax increase (by 2.5%) , but the nett effect was collecting even less tax.

According to the learned professor, increasing taxation will have a negative effect, slowing down an already ailing community, retarding the money multiplier, killing off what little growth, that there might be, in short being counter-productive… Sounds familiar? More taxes will do little to alleviate our problem. Consider more production, we need to produce solar panels and the like…. we need to provide employment for our school leavers…. we need to increase our foreign exchange.

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Cash Flow Minister Sinckler?

Extracted from Facebook:

”So Chris Sinkler say that due to cash flow problems Bajans might get Tax Certificates instead of their income tax returns. What kind of fucking cash flow problems they could have and buying new raaasssshhhhole Rav4s for the cunthole messengers? Look look look smh somebody soon fuck a hard lash in one of DEM yah know!!!!!!”

So Chris Sinkler say that due to cash flow problems Bajans might get Tax Certificates instead of their income tax returns. What kind of fucking cash flow problems they could have and buying new raaasssshhhhole Rav4s for the cunthole messengers? Look look look smh somebody soon fuck a hard lash in one of DEM yah know!!!!!! Artemis I need another drink cause my sword here talking to me.

Minister Chris Sinckler’s Press Conference

Chris Sinckler, Minister of Finance

Chris Sinckler, Minister of Finance

Minister of Finance (MoF) Chris Sinckler has promised a press conference on Monday [27/10/2014] at 10AM. Given the anaemic performance of the Barbados economy over the last 6 years, AND what is projected in the near term, there is an air of doom and gloom that has understandably settled over Barbados.

One positive that may yet come from the MoF press conference is that he finds himself in a position to  elucidate on the Central Bank Press Release Current Economic Performance for September 2014. At a time when clarity is required to ensure stakeholders in civil society are able to strategize for success there is continuing confusion if we are to judge by the statements coming from the heads of the Private Sector Association (PSA) and Barbados Chamber of Commerce (BCCI). It is an understatement to suggest confidence has been dwindling in the pronouncements of the Governor of the Central Bank. His most recent projection that the local economy will grow by 2% echoes a similar statement in January 2011, instead, Barbadians have witnessed economic decline.

The sudden cancellation of press conferences post delivery of Governor Worrell’s economic performance briefings has largely gone unchallenged by local media. What we had was a spirited response by the Nation newspaper to the decision to expel them from Central Bank press conferences to which the Governor and his Central Bank Board responded by cancelling press briefings altogether. The Governor has gotten the last laugh with local media receiving a black eye and by extension the public it is ethically setup to serve.

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Remembering What Politicians Do

What about the law suits?

What about the law suits?

Are we not a little ticked off at the lack of respect elected politicians and others have for us, the electorate? Why do many of us allow political partisanship to influence good reason and in the process give politicians especially a free pass.

BU recalls when the Eager 11 story broke a few government members of parliament claim the article damaged their reputation and promised to sue the Nation newspaper. To quote Minister David Estwick, “this is innuendo and is defamatory in law. Pleased be advised that I have given my lawyers the instruction to see that my integrity in public and private advocation remains untarnished and unsullied”. Dr. Estwick went on to indicate there are one or two other members who have been implied to be part of that 11 who will take similar action.

What happened Dr. David Estwick?

In the build up to the last general election there was the hot issue of the Democratic Labour Party accusing the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) of  retrenching “10,000’’ public servants if they were voted to office. In response Opposition Leader at the time threatened to sue Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler.

What happened Owen Arthur?

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Notes From a Native Son: Reshuffling Sinckler Out of the Cabinet Needn’t Be Painful

Hal Austin

Hal Austin

Recently, partly as a result of the continuing failure of Chris Sinckler as minister of finance and prime minister Freundel Stuart’s hesitance in removing him from office, questions have been raised about the constitutionality of a Cabinet reshuffle. It is a subject that will take up a considerable amount of time by constitutional experts such as lawyers, political ‘scientists’, parliamentary historians, legal philosophers and others. However, for a non-lawyer with a cursory interest in politics and in how the Westminster/Whitehall model has shaped Caribbean politics, I find the subject one of intrigue. One person who has added his highly informed, articulate and knowledgeable voice to the debate is Caswell Franklyn. Mr Franklyn has a wealth of knowledge about Barbadian Constitutional law and his suggestion, to paraphrase him, that before the prime minister could carry out a Cabinet reshuffle he must first make seek the approval of the Governor General, the Queen’s representative, raised a number of questions in my mind. I will not be so bold as to challenge Mr Franklyn about the constitutionality of a Cabinet reshuffle in the local jurisdiction, my contention, however, is that if parliamentary politics in Barbados have adopted the so-called Westminster/Whitehall model, then this is strange.

The controversy started because of the state of the economy and the government’s apparent inability to devise a rescue plan. In such circumstances attention obviously focuses on the incumbents in the high offices of state, principally the prime minister and minister of finance.

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Sinckler Plan to Send Home Workers Given Cabinet Green Light

Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart, responsible for the Civil Service

Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart, responsible for the Civil Service

Now that Minister of Finance has spoken to confirm the Sinckler Plan to retrench 3,000 workers, we are left to ponder where do we go from here as a country. The DLP now has the unenviable reputation of having sent home public workers twice in the last 25 years. History will pay very close attention the price the DLP will have to pay.

The decision to send home workers has come as no surprise to BU. The government has shown an inability since taking up office to effectively manage the current account deficit. Instead of intelligently managing how it hires, encourage early retirement, pressuring department heads to adhere to budget plan numbers, avoid political interference in the hiring process (something both political parties have engaged) the DLP continued business as usual. There is a view gaining currency this is a government comprised of incompetents led by a prime minister who is uncomfortable in the role.

Whether the final number is 3,000, 4,000 or even 6,000 the Sinckler Plan to retrench will not  solve our economic problem. As a nation we have to discover growth strategies. The government has to encourage our people to be more productive citizens. Our people must feel the vision emanating from the leadership of the country which will unleash their potential. The culture of mendicancy and entitlement which has taken root in Barbados has become a blocker for success. Our neighbours who have historically looked to Barbados for leadership and have held deep admiration for the way we have managed our country have become perplexed at our inability to manage the current crisis.

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