Nation e-Edition

What’s Trending: Action plan call

What’s Trending: Action plan call

Fri, September 07, 2012 - 12:30 PM

The Nation’s Associate Editor, Sherie Holder-Olutayo takes a look at what’s trending today in Barbados.

Today’s Weekend Nation front page story which revealed that the International Monetary Fund wants Barbados to take quick corrective action like it did in 1991 to stop the economic slide and turn around the economy. Our online readers were quick to share their views on this story.

Omar Watson: Oh lawd the  IMF wants to destroy another economy now? They too love to make the DEMS lose an election.

John Da Silva: The IMF does not destroy economies, politicians do. The IMF has nothing to do with the $9+ Billion of debt, the overstaffed and corrupt civil service and the fact that politicians put their friends, lovers and outside women to into key positions in government departments and statutory corporations.

Henderson Yarde:  But when you send home civil servants, and cut pay, how is that going to help our economy and our society? When you take harsher drastic measures, to satisfy an international monetary agency, what will happen to Barbados? Is this the real reasoning behind our last downgrade? Are they trying to suck it to us?

Carl Harper: 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 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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