Doing well ‘against all odds’
AGAINST?THE ODDS, Barbados in spite of its limitations as a country with limited resources, is performing well in the current uncertain international economic environment.
Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler made that clear in the first hour of his presentation of the annual Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals in the Lower House of Parliament yesterday.
“It would take even the most negative and blinded critic of this administration not to admit that in the face of a bitter, contentious and highly uncertain international economic environment Barbados is doing comparatively well against the performance of most similar small, vulnerable developing economies with limited resources and little export commodities.
“Contrary to the declared failure of this Government’s economic policies as further outlined in last year’s Budget debate and subsequently by the Opposition, our economy has begun to show definite signs of economic turnaround,” he said.
Sinckler said that in spite of the challenges faced in this period of economic slowdown, his Democratic Labour Party Government had fought “tooth and nail” to ensure that many Barbadians could hold on to their jobs.
“It is a claim which not many other populations across the world can make about their government with any degree or credibility.
“Why? Because few others have taken a firm policy stand that as part of a national strategic response to the recession Government would work with its colleagues in labour and the private sector to keep people employed for as long as we are capable of doing so.
“Fewer still can boast that their government not only made that commitment but that they went about systematically and strategically extending instruments of support to their private businesses to help them through the darkest days of the recession.”
The Minister of Finance said his Government had undeservedly taken much criticism both on radio and in print from those who should know better.
“If you listen and/or read much of the anti-Government commentary, you would believe that this Government has stood idly by twiddling its thumbs, doing nothing to help Barbados or Barbadians in these troubling times.
“And so, true to form, those commentators are those among us who for their own narrow, naked self-interests and personal self-aggrandizement have opted not to play with Team Barbados to hold the country together but try at every turn to pull it down,”?he said.
Sinckler told the House of Assembly that former Prime Minister Owen Arthur owed Barbadians an apology on information he provided on revenue statistics for June.
“We recently had the very unfortunate, yet not totally unexpected, example of no less a person than the Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition saying that he had in his possession figures that would show that Barbados’ revenues for June 2011 were abysmal while its expenditures were horrendous.
“This, even before the Accountant General, the single national authority on these things, had even finished collecting information for June. Well, as we found out less than two weeks after he vomited up such scaremongering comments, the real facts show his intervention to be totally untrue,” Sinckler added. (MK)