PM announces economic stimulus
With the Government of Barbados set to lose more than $450 million in revenue over the next year, Prime Minister Mia Mottley announced a $2 billion plan designed to stimulate business and provide relief for the most vulnerable over the next two years.
Mottley said in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has brought economic activity to a virtual standstill, the difference in what Barbados earns and what it spends “would initially worsen by near $700 million”, “without doing anything”.
She addressed the nation for almost two hours on Wednesday night and announced Barbados was moving from Phase 1 to 2 in the national recovery plan, with new measures being implemented.
Mottley said revenue will be down from income tax, corporation tax, Value Added Tax, excise tax, duties, fuel and air transport levies. Meanwhile, Government would have already spent more than $100 million on health, including the isolation and quarantine centres, new equipment and supplies (one ventilator costs about $100 000) and the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) will pay out $200 million in benefits.
Here are some of the measures in the stimulus package:
Finally, the Mottley said private sector projects to the tune of $800 million are still scheduled to go on stream this year. Next week, work should resume on Sam Lords Castle ($400 million), while 75 apartments are to be built at Crane Hotel and improvements to the Apes Hill Golf Course should cost $75 million.
Similarly, by the end of June, Government hopes the $60 million expansion of Sandals Dover, the Sagicor Retirement Villages project ($200 million) and the Hyatt Ziva ($400 million) in The City will have commenced, though demolition work on the latter may begin sooner. (SAT)
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