Nation e-Edition

Action plan call

Action plan call

By Ricky Jordan | Fri, September 07, 2012 - 12:12 AM

Barbados has been told that it needs to take quick corrective action, similar to what was done in 1991, in order to turn around the ailing economy.

Speaking during an interview at the just concluded High Level Caribbean Forum hosted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Trinidad, IMF deputy division chief Therese Turner-Jones stressed that Barbados’ efforts needed to be stronger even as the country headed fast into a general election.

“One of the things we [the IMF] are learning from lessons around the world is that for our medium-term fiscal strategy and fiscal consolidation to be credible, the most important thing is that it needs to be frontloaded,” she told the WEEKEND NATION.

“There needs to be what I call some very strong, one-time action to cause a correction that is fairly large in the initial years,” she added at the two-day forum entitled Rethinking Policy To Address Low Growth And High Debit In The Caribbean, held at the Hyatt-Regency Resort in Port of Spain.

Please read the full story in today’s WEEKEND NATION, or in the eNATION edition.

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Posted by SANDREA BUTCHER 2 years, 1 month ago
'One time action', ok! I wonder which one time action they warned the USA to take. In 1991 it was 8% cut. What would please the IMF now? Let us see how the government can reduce expenditure? They surely can't increase revenues since the income tax reform.
1) Maybe send home some public workers. But that would mean more National Insurance payments to the unemployed and less VAT collections.
2) How about another cut in salaries? The DLP would not get back in power for another three terms.
3) Cut expenditure on public goods and services. QEH would be in a hot mess, and then no new hospital. Schools would run down even more. The drug service would have to change the list for meds again or just run out of certain medicines.
4) Maybe they could increase the rents at the NHC units, hmmmmm
5) What about increasing the indirect taxes AGAIN? Lawd more road tax
6) No wait, since we like reform, let us reform the Transport Board. The routes can be in stages. We can go from Depot to Depot. The longer the distance, the more you pay. Oh Lawd!
7) Wait, I have another one. Let the people at the polyclinics pay a fee for the service provided. Say a $20 for each visit.
Sigh!

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Posted by Carl Harper 2 years, 1 month ago
Here we go, again! Another agency (IMF) telling the DLP Administration that its much touted Medium-term Fiscal Strategy does not go far enough in addressing the deep fiscal problems in the Barbados economy, and "corrective action" similar to 1991 is needed. Now that is scary!

With general elections looming, I do not expect the government will see the importance of moving swiftly to implement tough corrective measures. If 1991 be our guide, under the the DLP we saw 8% salary cut and massive layoffs in the public sector, unemployment spiking up to 24%, and foreign reserves critically low.

In 1990-91 ahead of the elections we are assured that economic policies were working and all was well with the economy. The electorate believed the DLP government of the day and easily returned them to Office. Shortly thereafter we were in the clutches of the IMF Structural Adjustment Program that brought tremendous hardship and the threat of devaluation of our currency.

Fast forward to 2012, just before another general elections, with the DLP again in Office and the language and rhetoric just as familiar as in 1991. The country has just been handed its first ever downgrade to junk bond status by Standard & Poor's, personal savings have been eroded, and the NIS is being used as government's piggy bank.

Based on history alone, this government cannot be trusted for us to accept that we will be more prosperous under their continued leadership. I shudder to think what 2013 will be like for Barbadians should the DLP be reelected for a second term.

We only need to ask ourselves if we are better off today than we were five years ago.

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Posted by CARL HUSBANDS 2 years, 1 month ago
I just Trinidad now has the IMF doing its dirty work.

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