Editor’s Note: We had a little fun with Henderson Bovell in August of 2012 when we said Henderson Bovell loses memory, maybe his entire mind…, but now we have to admit that Henderson was at least half right – that the DLP government has been and is a disaster for Bajans. Where we differ with Henderson is that he still thinks that the BLP corruption experts are some sort of answer for the current financial woes.
Nevermind all that though: Henderson makes some good points in his latest piece.
Let ‘er rip, Henderson! …
Choose Bajans: Urgent Fresh Elections or an IMF/DLP Programme of austerity and suffering Even Worse Than 1991?
The downgrade by Standard and Poors is proof that, you can hijack the truth – even hold it hostage for a short time (as it is now crystal clear the DLP did before the February 2013 general elections) but “truth” will always escape and expose you, as the DLP is now finding out.
Before the February elections, Barbadians were assured by the same DLP that said that: it will not “cheat;” it will not “steal” and it will not “lie” – that the economy was “stable.” But soon after February, “truth” was able to escape and the country heard “for the first time” (despite an alleged report to the nation during the general election campaign when nothing was said) that the QEH could not pay a multi-million-dollar bill for medicines and that the Transport Board had spent $30 million it did not have and having done that – licked-out an overdraft for a further $10 million. You see part of why Barbados is in serious trouble?
Trademark fiscal recklessness like the Transport Board spending that $40 million it did not have – will hardly escape the Auditor General but it constitutes the same cost overrun the dems said will not happen – under a DLP Government? Do you see why you need to urgently reel-in the DLP and why no patriotic person in Barbados; sensible person within the Caribbean or respected institutions around the world – have confidence in the DLP; trust them or want to risk taking them seriously?
The Country was suppose to be “stable” but the Barbados economy is smaller now than in 2008! Stable, but the Foreign Reserves ‘nose-dived:’ from over $3.7 billion in 2008 to less than $1 billion by September 2013: and the free fall continues!
The DLP brought policies in the August budget to reverse this trend, yet $400 million in foreign reserves has been lost since June. Clearly, those policies are flawed because the fiscal deficit is $117 million worse than it was in 2012!
So when a budget is presented, policies outlined and then there has to be an adjustment to the adjustment of the policy that was already adjusted – you know confusion when you hear it. Little wonder that the only “certainty” is that the economy is down by 0.7% and predicted to fall by a further 1.1 per cent in 2014.
If you still do not think the time is right to panic – or to put up your economic hurricane shutters – then consider that the VAT was increase by 2.5% from 15% to 17.5% – yet VAT receipts are down by $35 million.
I could probable go on to say that Corporation Tax is down $59 million or that Government’s overall revenue is $140 million less, yet despite this – the DLP continues to spend recklessly, to the extent that it owes over $700 million in arrears – all across Barbados; within the region and internationally. Perhaps then you will begin to better understand the recent S&P downgrade of Barbados.
The real point in all this is, having said that it is responding to a persistent current account deficit and a high fiscal deficit -the downgrade by S&P is essentially: “a vote of no confidence” in the Government’s fiscal and economic policies – a portfolio for which Sinckler is responsible.
You must recall that only a few weeks ago, the BLP brought a ‘no confidence motion’ against the Minister of Finance and instead of defending the interest of Barbados – those 15 DLP Parliamentarians in the Lower House – voted that they have full confidence in the Minister. It means that not only the Cabinet of Barbados but all 15 DLP Parliamentarians have already communicated to their respective constituencies – that they accept “full;” “equal” and “total responsibility” for the fiscal and economic direction in which the country is heading. It gets worse: “ALL” of them told you, that the country is and was: “STABLE.” Clearly now, that could not have been the truth! They must therefore be held accountable, especially having promised ‘good governance’ and that they ‘will not lie!’
Moody’s downgrade to “JUNK” and this S&P downgrade, in which they (like consumers and investors) clearly have “no confidence in the policies of the DLP” – suggests to Barbadians, that the way forward is: either, fresh and urgent general elections or an IMF/DLP Programme of austerity and suffering, perhaps one where the pain and human suffering will be even more severe than 1991.
But, why should you suffer when you had absolutely no reason to doubt that the country was other than “stable?” They promised “change” and that they will not “lie.” That they did – is a fundamental breach of truth, justifying fresh and urgent general elections.
People of Barbados, given the continuous decline, your collective call for fresh and urgent general elections is affirmative action by you to protect your and Barbados’ interest, whereas to do nothing – is to most certainly commit to a DLP/IMF Programme of pain but definitely – to allow DLP Ministers to safeguard their pension, while you suffer.