Barbados Labour Party leader Mia Mottley (right) and BLP candidate for St Michael West Central, Ian Gooding-Edgehill, listening to resident Kirk Dixon’s concerns during their Rubbing Shoulders yesterday. (Picture by Alex Downes.)
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Christmas bells may not be the only ones you’ll hear next month.
That’s because Leader of the Opposition Mia Mottley is advising Barbadians to not rule out a December election.
Speaking to the Sunday Sun after a Barbados Labour Party (BLP) St Michael West Central walkthrough yesterday, Mottley said the country would be staring $140 million in foreign debt payments come December.
With the burden of these payments expected to hit the pockets of businesses and households in January, Mottley noted that the elections could very well be called next month.
“The country cannot rule out a December election as yet. We are the middle of November, but the truth is that what we face in December is $140 million in foreign debt payments,” Mottley said.
“The bottom line is that they know January will bring a harsh reality for Barbadians because after that $140 million in debt payments, it is going to put such a lash in our foreign reserves that literally any confidence people have in the management of this economy will continue to evaporate,” she added.
At the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados annual conference on Friday, Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler announced the coming of what he termed as the “most ambitious deficit reduction exercise in the history of Barbados”.
Sinckler admitted the high fiscal deficit was at the core of the problems, with the country having to borrow more money which added to its debt.
With a plan being announced by Sinckler, Mottley questioned having such an initiative.
“I can’t remember if this is the seventh, eighth or ninth plan, but we know that it doesn’t even really matter anymore because people don’t have any confidence in this minister of finance.
“The only plan he needs now is an exit plan,” Mottley said as she indicated the BLP was ready for the poll.
The last time elections were announced in December was on December 20, 2007, when then Prime Minister Owen Arthur called elections for January 15, 2008.
The last time general elections were held in December was December 4, 1961. (AD)