Once more, the review by the Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados should leave absolutely no doubt in people’s minds that the island is under tremendous financial and economic strain.
The problems that exist have all been puffed up in the past few years because of lack of serious efforts by those in authority to create careful policies to transform the socioeconomic landscape in a sustained one.
Consequently, issues such as fiscal prudence, debt management, structural adjustments, poverty and low growth rates have all made their way to the top of the mountain of concerns.
And so, there is now a burning desire for us here to look seriously at ways to address socioeconomic development.
While the issues of fiscal deficits and debt management are crucial, I firmly believe that poverty, generally speaking, has to be a top priority for 2017 and beyond if only because the types of crimes we are now witnessing in some parts of the country must be a cause of concern to all.
The fight against poverty is nothing new in Barbados. I am sure we are all aware of the many initiatives undertaken over time to tackle this issue.
The problem for us is that we tend to drift into all sorts of directions when it comes to economic policies and programmes, leaving many new strategies incomplete. Hence our failure to achieve desired outcomes.
And that is precisely our experiences in the battle against poverty.
After all, the amount of resources that have been committed to welfare alone should have had a much greater impact on poverty reduction, but clearly that has not been the case.
The relative high level of poverty has to be the result of several factors including, the lack of economic growth, the tight fiscal situation facing the Government and inadequate restructuring of the economy.
Tell me, folks, what has changed in the past 20 years? How much further ahead are we in our fight against poverty?
Questions like those must be raised from time to time.
In spite of everything, there is clearly an urgent need for us to address issues in relation to our socioeconomic development to help our country out of the present economic gloom facing it and to create conditions for real transformation.
Hopefully, we will all get on board and fully embrace the continued fight against poverty in 2017.
If that happens, it would be a wonderful way to kick of the New Year and inspire confidence in the economy in a way that we have not witnessed for almost a decade now.
Without a doubt, Barbados deserves better and the people are anxiously awaiting a dose of medicine that will eradicate the economic headaches they have been suffering for too long.