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BLP calls for Central Bank overhaul


BLP calls for Central Bank overhaul

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THE BARBADOS LABOUR PARTY (BLP) wants an overhaul of the Central Bank’s operations, including its investment policy, spending on entertainment, and how management relates to staff and the media.

Party leader Mia Mottley made this clear Sunday evening when she addressed a meeting of the BLP’s St Lucy branch at the Daryll Jordan Secondary School.

Mottley charged that the bank spent a monthly average of $40 000 on entertainment and almost $10 000 on videotaping.

“How can you justify paying $40 000 a month on average in entertainment at the Central Bank, when in truth and in fact that is equivalent to 30 people getting salaries?” she asked.

She also raised the issue of why the bank would need to fund “two parties at Christmas when people going home [losing jobs]”.

“How can you justify two parties at Christmas when you got people in Barbados that can’t even buy half a picnic ham?” she rhetorically asked.

Mottley also took a crack at Governor Dr DeLisle Worrell’s media policy, saying: “What amazes me is when [the governor] stopped talking to the Press and the public and nobody cried out blue murder in this country.”

She said it was an insult to Barbadians for the governor to be allowed to present information, including statistical tables, in an environment in which he could not be questioned.

Mottley charged that the governor had added to the problem by recently opting to address his employees, who were in the building with him, by way of video rather than have a face-to-face meeting to announce the bank’s restructuring plans.

The BLP leader described the bank as “virtually broke” and needing “an injection of capital from the Government” to carry on.

She blamed this on “reckless expenditure” combined with low interest on the investment that it made on Government paper as it sought to keep the cost of Government debt down.

She complained that the Central Bank was now lagging in presenting its annual reports, with the 2013 report yet to be laid in Parliament. And she charged that the bank’s reputation of “one of the most independent and competent institutions in this country” had taken a beating.

She questioned, too, why the Central Bank and the Government’s Statistical Services Department had sharply differing perceptions of the degree of decline of the Barbados economy.

She told the meeting that the Central Bank registered the decline at three per cent and the department, 24 per cent. (TY)