The focus all across Barbados is about the economy. This is true whether it be about BERT (Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation programme), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the trade unions or the private sector.
Now that Government has started to take the tough actions, there are still some critical questions to be answered.
• Will there be improved access to finance to achieve this private sector-led growth we so desire?
• Will there really be bureaucratic reform to improve the business environment?
• Will the commercial banks, insurance companies and credit unions, which are taking “a haircut”, be willing to accept their losses, or will the customers have to fill the gap?
• Is there a clear, well-articulated plan to build human capital beyond the traditional programmes at the University of the West Indies, Barbados Community College and the Samuel Jackman Prescod Institute of Technology?
• Is there likely to be a brain drain of young, talented people who might not see a bright future?
• Will the country be able to maintain macro-economic stability and pursue debt-reduction strategies without serious disruption?
• Will the Government be able to offer on the domestic market, savings bonds, treasury notes, or debentures?
• Will people be given other options than having to buy Government paper when their investments/savings mature, and they do not want to pay any “penalties” for taking out the full sum?
• Will there be measures to ensure the tax burden is not carried primarily by those earning a monthly or weekly salary?
• What is Government’s plan to tap the full potential of the Barbadian diaspora?
The public needs to know about these things. (ES)