Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Yearwood: Borrowing has Barbados in a debt trap

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The Mia Amor Mottley Administration’s reliance on borrowing has placed the country in a “debt trap”, says Democratic Labour Party (DLP) president Dr Ronnie Yearwood.

 Speaking at Sunday’s St Michael North branch meeting at Eden Lodge Primary School, he said that by defaulting on the debt in 2018, Government had more fiscal space than any other administration. However, he added, since the default and the subsequent debt restructuring, the public had seen very little bang for their buck. 

“The Government decided not to pay the debt that they were contracted to pay, and they literally were not paying debt for several years.

“Therefore, in our modern economic history, the prime minister of Barbados had more fiscal space and ability to do things than any other prime minister in the history of this country. So the question is, where has the money gone? It is a legitimate question to ask; it is not just a political question,” Yearwood said. 

“Where are the results? I saw her [the Prime Minister] on the news talking about a few garbage trucks and buses and so on. However, that cannot account for near a billion dollars in borrowing last year and this year near half of a billion dollars.

“We are $14.5 billion in debt, with $5.5 billion of that being external debt, which means we owe people in US money. How are we going to make that money?” 

Turning his attention to the Estimates of Expenditure and Revenue for 2024-2025, to be debated in the House of Assembly from today, the DLP president said the expenditure for the next fiscal year did not represent a good enough attempt to address the major concerns plaguing the country. He told those gathered that his reading of the Estimates suggested Government would be returning to the public to finance its deficit. 

“The Estimates for 2024-2025 is a story that now COVID is over, and we are paying back the debt as normal, the Government is literally back to begging you, the businesses and the private sector for money.

“Now they cannot get any more money on the international market, they are now coming back to you. This is after they messed up the NIS (National Insurance Scheme), crashed the amount of money that the credit unions had in the NIS to the tune of over $30 million, did not pay back your bonds, but now coming to ask you to help them out,” he said. 

He also raised concern that this year’s Estimates are close to half-billion dollars more than the previous, saying some of the explanations put forward did not hold water. 

“This Government will be spending half of a billion dollars more than last year. The prime minister talks about capital expenditure and recurring expenditure, but it was so interesting watching her trip up herself trying to explain that the funding for roads was not recurring.

“How can funding for roads be a one-off cost? This explains why we are in the situation that we are in. The roads must be repaired constantly and consistently,” Yearwood stressed.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Dr Ronnie Yearwood:Quote: by defaulting on the debt in 2018, Government had more fiscal space than any other administration::end Quote.
    If they Defaulted because there was no Money to Pay the Debt, then how much Fiscal Space could they have had than any other Administration, and Dr.Yearwood did not allude to the “FACT” that it was Freundel Stuart the outgoing DLP Prime Minister, that had left the Country in such a Fiscal State, That defaulting was the only choice left the incoming BLP Government.
    Dr.Yearwood ::Quote:: So the question is, where has the money gone? It is a legitimate question to ask; it is not just a political question,” Yearwood said. ::End Quote::
    Since there was no Money in the Kitty when this Government came to power and had to default on its external payments, then there is nothing Legitimate abiut the Question, which means that it is entirely a Political points making question.
    What Money is he talking about, ?? if there was any money, they would not have had to Default on their Paymentsin the first place.
    It would be nice if instead of following the old Colonial Parliamentary tradition of Opposing for the sake of opposing, that Dr Yearwood, issues his Partie’s Manifesto, so that we voting serfs are made aware of his intentions if elected to power.

  2. BTW:: i am not and has never been a member of either Political Party, but has in the past on different occasions voted for both Parties.
    They are however members of my Family, who have and has been affiliated to the BLP.
    just to keep things in perspective and open.

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