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Kudos toShaw, but ...

Published:Tuesday | January 19, 2010 | 12:00 AM


THANKS TO the necessary agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), interest rates have been drastically reduced. This will in turn reduce the interest payments on the debt. Therefore, with less returns from government-issued bonds, I hope that people will use this money for productive enterprise, as credit will be less expensive and people finally have an incentive to produce in order to have a rate of turnover that would replace whatever they would lose from the debt swap.

Lower interest rates should result in more robust economic activity. The Government should realise savings of at least $30 billion to $40 billion, as well as any shortfalls being made up for by the new taxes.

It was Audley Shaw, in his pre-election debate with Omar Davies, who mentioned approaching the multilaterals for cheaper loans to refinance the debt. So said by Audley, so done by the Government! Well done, Mr Shaw. You deserve more credit than the vilification you have received.

However, there are a few things I am concerned about. Extortion is a major problem. Even when people turn to productive enterprise as a result of cheaper credit in order to have economic independence, many of them will be faced with the crime monster of extortion. Therefore, the Government must realise the extortionists may eat away any real chance the country has of true progress, as organised crime is very strong and reaches deep in the country.

I am, etc.,