Thu | Mar 22, 2018

Barbados opposition wants answers on state of the economy

Published:Monday | January 16, 2017 | 4:02 PMCMC
Freundel Stuart, prime minister of Barbados
Mia Mottley, leader of the Barbados Labour Party

The main opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) says it will not allow the local economy to “drift along” for another 12 months and called on the Freundel Stuart government to provide a true state of the economy to the population.

“There is a crisis of public confidence in the state and drift of the national economy and we, the citizens of Barbados, have a right to know what is going on,” BLP and Opposition Leader Mia Mottley told a weekend news conference.

She said that several events, including a further downgrade of the country, have led to lost confidence in the economy in recent months.

“The Barbados Labour Party is determined that Barbados cannot and will not drift along like this for another 12 months,” she said.

“It is either we are told the true state of the problem and are permitted to (make an) input in finding a solution or indeed that the government cut short the drift and inertia and return to the people for a mandate,” Mottley said.

“This is not Stuart Enterprises, and the people of Barbados need to know the true state of the economy,” she said, adding that business people and investors alike need credible and timely information to influence their actions and decision-making processes, especially at the beginning of a year.

Mottley said the government should state its plans for improving the island’s credit rating to avoid companies like the insurance giant, Sagicor looking beyond Barbados to access better financing.

“How does the central bank keep printing money knowing full well and publicly admitting the clear danger that this practice presents to the stability of the Barbados dollar,” she said.

Mottley said Stuart should recognise that his “stony silence on national issues has become offensive to Barbadians bordering now on contempt for the very citizens that elected him”.