Posted on

GUEST COLUMN – Economy not doing ‘fine’


Peter Boos

Social Share
Share

I WRITE in reference to the recent Press conference with Senator Darcy Boyce on the state of the Barbados economy.I have known Senator Boyce for many years and have had the privilege of working with him on several occassions.I have high regard for his ability. He is well educated and experienced in business.It does therefore bother me that Senator Boyce should seek to represent to the general public that our economy is doing just fine. This is just not the case from almost every possible point of view:• high unemployment and a weak jobs market,• Government fiscal deficits and very high national debt,• falling corporate profits,• falling foreign direct investment,• falling remittances from the diaspora,• increased incidence of business failures,• hotels on the verge of closure,• slow or no growth in export earnings,• a likely prolonged  difficult global environment, especially in the United States and Britain,• an unproductive and unaffordable Public Sector,• a generally high-cost, bureaucratic, uncompetitive business environment,• a medium term fiscal strategy that requires significant cuts in Government spending and debt reduction,• rising cost of national borrowing (over 7%) in a globally low interest environment,• the unknown CLICO solution,
• infrastructure degradation; are all not indicative of a sound economy poised for growth.It is time for all politicians to face reality and be open with the public. Why do they feel they must pretend otherwise? We know better. We do not expect miracles – we want honest, open communications and a team approach to finding the right solutions. Why spend money now on the non-essentials that we cannot afford; costly non-essential luxury overseas travel being but one example?
No spin zonePoliticians damage what little respect their brand may have by continuing to spend and spin. We need our own “no spin zone”.We are at a ‘tipping point’ in a global economy that has made a paradigm shift. We face new conditions that need innovative solutions. Soft, plentiful finance is no longer available.The gouge at the trough of easy credit is over. If we fail to properly manage now the result will be a severe economic shock that few Barbadians seem willing to think possible.Just take a look at the recent Britain budget and the massive unemployment and bubble in public debt problem in the United States. This is a time for traditional Bajan prudence and  commonsense.

LAST NEWS