Sinckler: Govt playing it safe
Government has to guard against offering people worried about the cost of living some relief that will only compromise the nation’s economic stabilisation programme.
Minister of Finance Christopher Sinckler made this point Sunday, speaking on Starcom Network Inc.’s Getting Down To Brass Tacks programme.
The comment came after a female caller complained about the high cost of living.
Sinckler said Government had done much to maintain jobs and stabilise the economy in the aftermath of the global economic crisis.
“Now could we have done more?” he asked.
“We would have loved to have done more.
“We still would like to go in and do some other things which we feel need to be done to bring relief to Barbadians and as Minister of Finance I spend a large part of my day looking at these scenarios.”
He added: “When we reach the stage where we can find proposals that can bring direct relief, not compromise the stabilisation which we have achieved, but also maintain the situation where can grow over time, that relief is going to come.
“I can promise Barbadians that as much as I can promise anything else at this stage.”
Sinckler noted that Barbados had not experienced the major economic problems seen in other countries.
“I have not seen any largescale selling off of properties in Barbados and certainly have not seen this economy collapse,” he told the caller.
“In fact, I saw from the Governor (of the Central Bank’s) report that the economy is starting to rebound.”
He said that if Government had not introduced measures to stabilise the economy the country could have gone into “free fall”.
“… We have been able to keep Barbadians largely employed,” he commented.
“There have been some job losses, but we have been able to contain those job losses to some significant extent and stabilise the economy to the extent where we were able to have 0.3 per cent growth last year.
“We have started this year reasonably okay and the pointers are looking in the right direction. It is to the credit of the Government.” (MK)