High Expectations For 2009 Budget Speech

Prime Minister David Thompson

Prime Minister David Thompson will deliver what must be the most important Budget in the history of our parliament. Arguably the oil crisis of the 70s, the economic depression of the early 90s or the post-911 economic hurdle cannot rival the prevailing economic meltdown which the world currently finds itself. In all the above instances Barbados was able to institute the economic remedies to buy Barbados the time which it needed to wait for the inevitable rally.

One senses that despite all the years of good management which Barbados has benefited under successive governments, the time has come to depart from old modalities. The traditional drivers of the economy like tourism, offshore sector have been placed under threat in a way we have not experienced before. Non-traditional tourist markets like Cuba, Abu Dhabi  and the cruise-ship industry have all conspired to determine that our leaders and planners must become more creative to ensure that our economic prosperity is sustained.

A key threat which we will have to confront sooner or later, is the need to shift dependency from fossil-based energy to an alternative energy source. If it is one criticism which our leaders of the past 15 years should have to answer is our lack of vision to build-up our alternative energy base. In 2009 we continue to be 100% dependent on the Barbados Light & Power Co Limited which to the best our knowledge is 100% powered by fossil inputs. Successive governments have muttered what is politically correct to suggest that they are aware of our predicament but have lacked the courage to commit the required resources to project case the task.

The economy of Barbados is obviously under severe stress. The unemployment statistics have been rumoured to be in double digits, the debt to GDP ratio is climbing, the import bill is rising as the foreign reserves are falling. Standard and Poors has downgraded its outlook on Barbados from stable to negative while Moody’s is watching. St. Vincent is the first country in the Americas to drawdown on the special IMF fund created to support developing nations.

Professor Frank Alleyne has been heard in the media recently suggesting that the Barbados government may want to consider accepting the IMF offer. The logic of his suggestion is that we must do whatever it takes to bolster our foreign reserves in the current crisis, akin to providing for a bad winter. Despite the ranting of the political diehards the economies in the developed countries are projected to plummet in 2009 by 4.3%.

A BU commenter posted on a previous blog that Prime Minister Thompson appears to be trying to build a society unlike his predecessor who was focussed on the economy. There is a good argument that given the prevailing negative economic conditions there is merit is throwing the full resources at the disposal of government at finding an economic solution. All the economic indicators point to the fact that the time is now to ensure that we have crafted a sound economic policy to create a buffer to the current crisis.

There are times when political partisanship should give way to bi-partisanship in the interest of the national self. This is such a time.

0 responses to “High Expectations For 2009 Budget Speech

  1. I don’t know that this frank alleyne as he is currently constituted is someone that I would want to follow with his brand of ‘economic sense’.

    I have heard him during the owen arthur administration making some strange arguments supporting owen’s economic scary policies.

  2. Adrian Hinds

    Mia says:
    “Last year we warned when the Prime Minister chose to extract $104 million in taxes from people’s pockets that it would lead to further contraction in this economy beyond anything caused from the outside world and the international economy; that it would lead to reduced spending on the part of people; that it would lead to more price increases; that it would lead eventually to job losses,” she said.

    The former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Affairs said that when Thompson addressed the Budget tomorrow, it would be done within this context and against the Estimates which her administration told him “are unrealistic and incapable of implementation”.

    “He simply cannot raise the revenue that he is projecting to raise. He cannot continue to spend at that level and for the first time will cause this country to face the financing of a deficit that could approach $1 billion if he does nothing,” she warned.

    He can raise taxes, or he can borrow, or he can do all three,” she said, but whichever course he took, she said, he must ensure that there would be no further hardships to Barbadians.

    “This week is going to be historic . . . . I believe what happens this week will determine whether Barbados will end up in a four-foot hole, which we can climb out ourselves or a 20-foot hole, in which we will need help to climb out,” she said.
    ===========================

    I would like for the LOTO to tell Barbadians, what is the measurement of this FURTHER CONTRACTION of the Barbadian economy that can be assigned to the GoB with the remainder attributed to the “outside world”????

    …..When a Mottley forcasts future HIGH RETAIL PRICES we had better listen.

  3. Isn’t Professor Frank Alleyne head of a private public sector committee set up by the Prime Minister to advise on economic matter?

  4. Rumplestilskin

    One major point not noted within the article, even if not considered the main point of the article, is that we Barbadians, as everyone except the very rich throughout the world, will have to get used to a reduced standard of living, one which we can afford, individually and as a nation.

    Reduction of dependence on foreign goods as well as a reduction of foreign exchange usage, is necessary to secure a stable environment as well as combat reduced foreign exchange earnings.

    Referring to the ‘building of a society’ as opposed to an ‘economic solution’, the two are not mutually exclusive but are intertwined.

    We cannot have one without the other. One of the causes of this mess is a breakdown of realistic values, dependence on unrealistic financial expectations and living outside of our economic capabilities, while throwing our societal values to the wind.

    Thus, rebuilding of a society in terms of social contracts and expectations is actually crucial to the rebuilding of a choesive and economically viable nation.

    Peace

  5. On Monday, 18th May, 2009, the Prime Minister of Barbados will for the second time – since becoming chief steward of the national affairs of this country – deliver the Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals 2009 to the House of Assembly, the Parliament and to the people of Barbados.

    And, yes, coming at a juncture when Barbados is now entering a very severe recession, and at a time when every one of the major industrialized countries with whom Barbados does most of its export trade is seen to be going deeper and deeper into recession, does make for the occasion of the presentation of this “budget”, a very challenging one.

    But, for those fair minded political people who will properly remember the Prime Minister’s last Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals on July 7, 2008, when the MP for St. John had told the people of Barbados that 2009 will be a very difficult year, and then among other cruel and inhuman things proceeded to grossly recklessly announce greater Taxation on the backs of the masses and middle classes of people of this country, but NOT before in April of the same year imposing draconian fuel “price” hikes, it must mean for them, and for our party as well, a vindication of some sorts to realize that Mr. Thompson and the DLP Government who – having been warned by many persons in Barbados – including ourselves – that those measures were going to assist in bringing untold harm to the productive and distributive affairs of the country – nevertheless still proceeded – without any remorse whatsoever – to bring about harm and misery of a great and immeasurable scale to the masses and middle classes of the country and to the country itself. Ignorance or the highest order, indeed!!

    But, we did NOT have to see the realization of the effects of those measures on the functioning of the so-called economy to know that in far too many ways – Mr. Thompson and this DLP Government were, are NOT, and will NEVER BE equipped with the necessary and right type of people-centered progressive ideas and policies and strategies to take this country into a new era of social, political, material and financial development.

    So, having said in his last budgetary presentation that growth for the first half of 2008 was down by 1.8 % (however the 2008 Central Bank economic review for the period January to September of last year does state that the economy grew by a meager 0.9% ), it was NO surprise to the PDC when the Prime Minister starkly failed to grasp the opportunity – between July 7 and now – to put measures in place to forestall the recession into which Barbados would have been so rapidly descending. Instead, the Karate Kid from St.John has NOT ONLY been presiding over the implementation of almost all of the said austerity fiscal measures that today have undeservingly helped to put the so-called economy of Barbados in greater and deeper trouble, with reports out of the Central Bank that the so-called economy contracted too by an estimated 2.8 % in the first quarter – January to March ( We in PDC know that the size of the decline is greater though), BUT he has ALSO been wilfully enlarging the government bureaucracy with useless joke entities like the National Economic Advisory Council.

    Therefore, with the Tourism, Construction, Manufacturing, and the International Business sectors in serious and greater decline in the start of the second quarter – April to June – which is perhaps our second worst GDP quarter – there is bound to be further significant decreases in the amounts and rates at which the government has been stealing from ( TAXING) the relevant people, businesses and other entities in 2009 in Barbados. Such is a state of affairs that will certainly lead to the government being unwisely forced to reduce its overall expenditure, or carry a greater fiscal deficit than warranted, but that will help spell out more clearly than before that the government has entered a debt crisis of some sorts, altogether in the present fiscal year.

    And, as the value of imports into the country remains too high, the quantity of exports decline drastically, as foreign investment currently plunges, and the foreign reserves of Barbados tumble, the deficit in the external trading accounts worsens, and as the prospects of greater business closures look more certain, with more and more unemployment coming about in the country, and greater deprivation, hopelessness and despair among the masses of the population in Barbados come about, the clear unmistakable conclusion MUST BE drawn by our party that things are far far worse materially and financially in this country, than in those first three months of the year when the DLP had taken over the affairs of the country from the BLP. Certainly, this regression to these states of affairs have helped to make the national political economic strategies in the DLP Manifesto look pretty much in shambles. But,as it is said where there is no vision the people shall perish!!

    So, in effect, the DLP has been grossly recklessly mismanaging the so-called economic affairs of this country, and therefore has simply taken over from where the last BLP Government left off from, i.e, brutal mismanagement of the material and financial affairs of this country.

    Therefore, we must state that we have NO ALTERNATIVE BUT to express NO confidence, NO confidence AT ALL in this present DLP Government in its management of the productive affairs of this country, and call upon the masses and middle classes of people of Barbados to mobilize themselves into action groups to assist in the democratic removal of the DLP and the BLP from the parliament of this country, before an immense and gargantuan politically engineered man-made catastrophe hits our beloved country. So, Down with the DLP and BLP!!

    PDC

  6. Rumplestilskin

    Yes, last paragraph word should be ‘cohesive’, typo.

    Further, I would be reticent at this time to seek further foreign funding, albeit an emergency facility may be fair to have, but if it is arranged, the temptation is to use it too easily.

    My focus would be maintaining jobs, including supporting all business, large and small, while limiting foreign loans to Government but limiting Government expenditures on needless projects.

    It will involve some serious planning, balancing jobs and choosing priority of expenditures versus Government income, but it must be done, what else is Government for?

    Peace

  7. TheNickster

    Its almost seems that Thompson is using the BLP’s “strategic Plan of Barbados 2006 – 2025″, there are of course the age old flaws that the government will continue to ignore:

    Inefficiencies in most if not all government run sectors.

    No clear money trail between the coffers and areas it allegedly goes to.

    Lack of transparency (that old chestnut)

    So far it looks like the solution will be more of the BLP plan of sell sell sell, how much real-estate can we carve up to temporarily load the foreign reserves (so it can be quickly spent again), tax increases, might even be another 8% pay cut (perhaps more this time around), all to avoid the clutches of the IMF. Which ironically is still unavoidable since we still are wholly dependent on foreign goods and exchange.

  8. RE Engineer

    Rumplestilskin

    I could not agree with you more.

  9. @Rumplestilskin

    Your suggestion is noble and we did imply when we wrote that ‘the import bill is rising as the foreign reserves are falling.’ The reality maybe that the natural inclination of mankind, Barbadians included have become addicted to the good life. Straight Talk and Bush Tea will probably say you have a false expectation. Do you recall when the Prime Minister passed on gas prices to the consumers the commotion we had? Barbadians were concerned that they could not drive around their big rides.

  10. A major concern is I have is WASTAGE when it comes to Govt projects. Doesn’t seem as if successive goverments care too much about it.

    As far as the upcoming ‘budget’ is concerned… we the people are going to be saddled with more taxation… that’s the way (it seems) business is done.

    If a man has to resort to underhanded and unethical tactics, is he acting wrongly?

    We will survive.

  11. livinginbarbados

    @David

    Prof. Alleyne is the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers.

    It does not seem right to write “Non-traditional tourist markets like Cuba, Abu Dhabi and the cruise-ship industry have all conspired…”

    Like Rumplestilskin, I think that one should not go with a false dichotomy such as “trying to build a society unlike his predecessor who was focussed on the economy”. Economic activity is the basis of most societies.

  12. @livinginbarbados

    Appreciate your comment. The word ‘conspired’ was used in a provocative way, we were trying to be a little hyperbolic maybe it did not quite come off.

    On the issue of economics being the basis of most societies that we don’t deny. What is known is that economics can be practiced in a way where social cohesion can easily become compromised. In our view this occurred to much so under the last administration.

  13. livinginbarbados

    @David

    I understand the possible use of ‘conspired’ as hyperbole, but not everyone takes things in context and/or know that there may no conspiracy. Coincidence, constellation, concurrence, etc. may sstop the discussion going astray.

    The second comment is for me very complicated or very simple. Economics is about choices, and total satisfaction of all parties (equilibrium) really exists only in theory or is so short lived that if you blink you miss it. So, I see that some part of society is always being compromised, and as such ‘cohesion’ itself also no permanent state but always in flux.

  14. Rumplestilskin

    David,

    Thanks for the reply. Maybe I do have a false expectation, to wit, that mankind will accept a lifestyle that it is attainable for the many, rather than the few.

    Indeed, probably my vision has indeed been clouded by unfair and I would rather say, ruthless behaviour for the few to gain, at the expense of the many, not only in Barbados, but internationally.

    The point is, that this is the very root of what has caused the current crisis.

    So, now we know that bashing our head against the wall will hurt, will we continue to do so, or will we learn and desist from policies and action which undermine our very existence?

    One may argue, that I am now being too philosophical. However, my concern is that the current scenario is very close to ‘total economic breakdown internationally’ and only action that changes the way that we address the root of the problem, will ensure a return to some semblance of normality, if I may actually use that word.

    I believe that while the current crisis is recognised as something to be addressed, there are two things that concern me.

    Firstly, I see daily news exerpts questioning whether ‘recovery’ is underway, evidence being referred such as consumer confidence or oil price stabilisation. These excerpts are often from ‘official’ sources of thought.

    Despite the continuance of major issues that are yet to be addressed, such as the massive US expenditure on military action, which deals a monthly blow to any recovery, but still persons discuss recovery as an inevitable ‘soon to be’ occurrence, is surprising.

    This gives the suspicion that many, although recognising the crisis, sitll do not understand two things.

    One, that the recovery is dependent on underlying economic activity, not some magical change. The other, that the crisis is actually somewhat more serious than many understand, if their view of recovery can be so simplistic.

    The second major concern overall, is that many seem to expect that when things ‘change’ for the better eventually, the former ‘status quo’ will
    be returned.

    How can this be, when much of the lifestyle and expenditures were achieved via unsuitable credit facilities?

    How can this be, when one of our major production factors i.e. oil, will surely rise substantially in price, affecting input costs, prices, affordability and thus lifestyle?

    My suggested approach is one of addressing the whole issue, as opposed to looking at ‘economic measures’ being stated as though in a vacuum.

    Therefore, any Government measures must address social and economic measures as a unity of measures, such as earnings, taxation, social health policies, land usages and etc.

    Peace

  15. Donald Duck, Esq

    Can we believe the minister when he presnts the budget!!!

    There a number of measures from last years budget that have not as yet been implemented. For instance

    1. the proposed cell phone tax
    2. the withholding tax on winnings from gambling
    3. the increased license fees for the offshore sector

    There are also instances where the government has collected new taxes announced in the budget but has no legal authoirty to collect them. The main item here is the increases in highway revenue.

  16. BLP ( Better listen to the People)

    Frank Alleyne’s comments and behaviour was inappropriate as head of the entity set up to advise GOV’T on economic affairs. He should have had this discussion with the PM in the first instance and not broadcast it all over the nation.

  17. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Barbados: Budget Speech

  18. Professor Frank Alleyne is a true true “Economist” and would be expected to render professional advice. The political “skirpers” would render de usual for the minds of the gullible, but that cannot help wid de advice that is required to solve economic problems which impact on people’s lives in today’s difficult and turbulent world. Different horses for different courses my brother. Pick sense out of nonsense “Wisdom is too high for a fool”… Dat is the Good Book , not me .

  19. Will the Opposition adopt the approach of we told you so or will they make constructive suggestions on how the government can navigate the prevailing economic turbulence?

  20. Rumplestilkskin you HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD!

  21. There a number of measures from last years budget that have not as yet been implemented. For instance

    1. the proposed cell phone tax
    2. the withholding tax on winnings from gambling
    3. the increased license fees for the offshore sector

    There are also instances where the government has collected new taxes announced in the budget but has no legal authoirty to collect them.
    _____________

    Yawn, Donald Duck! You have become a predictable and sickening BLP bore.

    Let us get to the truth: find a Budget in the history of this island where all the measures announced were introduced or implemented. Give me some facts Donald. The Foreign Earning Credit announced by Tom Adams did not get implemented for over 15 years!

    Do you know how many Validation Bills the BLP passed to validate taxes collected under their watch between 1994 and 1999?

    I am sorry Sir Harold St. John is not alive to put some of these BLP hacks who peddle misinformation and rubbish in their places.

    Sir Harold – fair as he always was – always said to announce is one thing, but to implement is another.

    The BLP is now reduced to being happy when the rest of us are sad.

  22. This is one of those clear the air statements.

    BU has been controversial we would admit, BU has been contentious at times, BU has made mistakes. When we looked around the BU household we see Barbadians who want better for Barbados. In our brief existence we have deliberately dealt with issues which we feel are important to Barbados and maintaining a strong society. We don’t expect the BU family et al to agree with all of our positions, frankly we would be concerned if that were the case. We have never made it a point to respond to every criticism because when we jumped into the blogosphere we knew it would be a rough ride at times and not a place for thin skinned people.

    The BU household is comprised of simple folks who believe that if our democracy is to flourish the people must be the ones to mobilise and agitate to ensure their representatives and organizations stay true to their published ideals. A search of BU should reveal we have tackled people issues and not necessarily stay fixed on only political or central government issues. It is no secret that BU is passionate about the issue of immigration because it has the potential to destabilize our small society. They are many other issues out there and the BU household will determine when to tackle those issues as long as we are around.

    We ask the BU family to stay focused and not be sidetracked. As always we welcome feedback posted publicly or by email.

  23. boredickey

    I got my popcorn; had to get a broad-screen DVD TV though with a joy stick. Let the sideshow begin!

  24. Some of the members of the PDC did NOT get to watch on television or hear on the radio the delivery of the 2009 Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals by the Prime Minister yesterday afternoon, so collectively we are NOT yet in a position to fully comment on the Prime Minister’s presentation.

    Suffice it to say some other members of our party would only have got to see the Post-Budget Analysis of the said 2009 Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals on CBC-TV, which involved Mr. Richard Cox, the usual moderator of programs of this sort; which involved Dr. Frank Alleyne – representing the DLP; Senator Elizabeth Thompson – representing the BLP – and this other lady, who we dont remember her name or who she was representing.

    However, let us before we go any further say that the PDC was NOT invited by the CBC to take part in this discussion, and as for the other party – the PEP – we do NOT know if they were invited or NOT. Nevertheless, we will continue to do the good work we are doing in this country without that kind of support and publicity.

    Anyhow, in this post that we now make we will focus here now on three things that that political jack-o-lantern, Dr. Frank Alleyne, said in that Post-Budget Analysis.

    And let us from the outset say that we have very little respect for Dr. Frank Alleyne, as some so-called economist in this country, mainly because it is people like himself who are living off the backs of the masses and middle classes of people in this country while contributing very little in real terms to this country’s further development.

    As a matter of fact what major progressive liberating thesis or theory has this noted grandstander ever developed since he had been for years lecturing at the Cave Hill Campus? Where are the major results of the country’s investments in him? Where are these?

    Our Political Leader tells us that while “passing through Cave Hill” he did much research on the said Dr. Frank Alleyne, and saw NOTHING MAJOR coming from the man in terms on any earth shattering brilliant political economic theses or hypotheses, in any of his pamphlets or any other publications.Neither did he see any intellectual scholars of great importance make any mention of him in their treatises, essays or whatever publications!! Yes, so, what a shame for some of us in Barbados to think that we have some kind of intellectual giant among us when we really do NOT have one in him!!

    And to hear him some times on radio or television – pretending that he can use the English Language even better than some English people themselves, and with very theatrical, dramatic, staccato tones – and thus pretending that he is a real top authority on so-called economic matters, makes us wonder where is the real national academic leadership that should by now be coming from this man who continues to spew out a lot of illogical Euro-centric Westernized garbage and rubbish.

    Anyhow here are the three totally insensate things we wish to highlight, and then refute, that Dr. Frank Alleyne garbled last night:

    1) That domestic “prices” are mainly exogenously determined;

    2) That the Minister of Finance has little elbow room in terms of fiscal flexibility at this stage, and,

    3) The suggestion that the whole mass of additional taxation that Mr. Thompson imposed last year did not lead to further falls in national income or more recessionary conditions.

    Where 1) is concerned. It is absolute nonsense for Dr. Alleyne to suggest that the “prices” of goods and services coming from overseas are simply imposed on us. The fact is that the “prices” of these goods and services – which can be construed as on par with legal ageements – are agreed to or agreed upon among and between exporters of goods and services from whatever overseas markets, and importers of those goods and services into Barbados. These “prices” are therefore determined by agreements between persons, businesses and other entities overseas and the ones that are established here. So what idiocy is this doctor distilling?

    Moreover, it must also be the case that in Barbados a humongous amount of TAXATION – duties, rates, tariffs, etc. is imposed yearly on the incomes of those who are importing these imported goods and services, thereby making the “prices” of almost all of these goods and services to the final consumers in Barbados, so damn high. So, Mr. Alleyne should shut to hell up, if he does not know what to talk!! And to think that Ms. Elizabeth Thompson never raised these and other kinds of issues to refute the nonsense Mr. Alleyne was blurting out, shows the lack of intellectual political acuity, perspicacity, and depth within the BLP.

    Where 2 is concerned, we realized that more garbage fell out the mouth of this so-called learned Professor. For, what the present Minister of Finance does NOT have very much is the confidence, the will, the leadership ability and competence necessary to really institute measures to lift the so-called economy out of the mess that it is in. That is the damn issue.

    Mr. Alleyne should again shut to hell up!! For, the more he opens his mouth the more increasingly clear it is becoming that we in Barbados this intellectual joker who is living in the blinking dark ages.

    The fact is that if we were at the helm of the Government today the thousands and thousands of people in Barbados that are suffering and living in misery now would NOT be doing so because we would long have started to ABOLISH ALL TAXATION, ALL INTEREST RATES, ALL EXCHANGE RATES PARITIES WITH THE BARBADOS DOLLAR, etc., thus giving far greater impetus, inspiration and opportunity to those people and other entities who wish to help successfully take this country deep into the 21st Century and beyond.

    But, clearly Mr. Alleyne’s advice to Mr. Thompson is asinine, and is designed to make Barbados stumble backwards into the 19th and 20th Centuries. What such advice does really show too – to some extent – is why he was chosen by Mr. Thompson to head up the National Economic Advisory Council, which is to, in our honest opinion, mainly stop him from publicly criticizing the Minister of Finance on national economic matters and to make him feel he is a real guru when clearly he is NOT.

    Back to Mr. Alleyne, who cares if he speaks as a so-called professional economist or NOT when it comes to many so-called economic matters and issues in this country??!! Oh boy, when one hears or sees him talk about how he is all this a professional economist where certain matters are concerned, one can really feel or see the dangerous arrogance in the man.

    Again, to think that Ms Elizabeth Thompson – the then Minister of Health in the 1990s who at the time on television called Mr. Richard Goddard a Caucasian – failed to shame him or pull him up is mainly because, we honestly believe, owing to the false meretricious deference that she demonstrated for him last night. She might have called him a black political turncoat, and it would have appeared better than to just cower stupidly to his nonsense.

    And, finally, where 3 is concerned. Again who was Mr. Alleyne trying to fool, or rather what a fool was he trying to make of himself?? For, it is so clear to the biggest simpleton that the TAXATION burdens that Thompson imposed last year have had very adverse harmful effects on the spending powers of so many people, businesses and other entities in the country. Thousands of persons since then have been coming to us telling us how those burdens have been affecting their pockets and how they CANNOT spend as much as like before. And for Mr. Alleyne to give the impression that because those burdens were placed on the non-productive areas essentially in the country, and that this therefore meant that the productive sectors in Barbados have been largely remaining unscathed, says the story about the fact that he Mr. Alleyne should really be ethically charged for spreading intellectual propaganda, by esp. his peers/his profession, if there really is one in Barbados. Oh what an embarrassment he was on the Post-Budget Analysis Program!!

    Again, in respect of the Senator, she failed to measure up and appeared to be partially offset in her attempt to rebut these particularly silly foolish remarks, by his bellowing out to the discussants and to the wider television audience in Barbados that some one or any person should prove to him that those increased TAXATION burdens have helped added to this deepening recession in Barbados. What a fool he was!!

    Finally, that exercise really showed up the dearth of talent and capacity of those who really wish to be seen in the forefront of the national affairs of this country, and the pandering and genuflecting by some at the CBC to persons like those who were on that program last night. What a night mare it was – that program!!

    We sincerely apologize to the lady who was on the program for NOT focusing on her and on what she said in this post.

    Thank You, indeed!!

    PDC

  25. Changes – paragraph 13, line 2, insert “have” between “we” and “in”, and in paragraph 17, line 4, remove “owing to”, and insert “of”.

    Thank You.

    PDC

  26. Our issue with the coming hike in water is the obvious inefficiency in management systems at the BWA. Giving them more money will do what?

  27. Living in Barbados

    @PDC

    I did not see the CBC discussions, being elsewhere, so I cannot comment on the content of your piece. But just some questions to help clarify, and not to invoke any further wrath against economists.

    Your website says clearly that you are “Not a party!!” So you may need to resolve that when discussing why you might not have been invited along with other ‘parties’.

    I’m not sure that academic citations are really at the crux of whether someone is of real worth in their profession. Many, if not most, will work in practical policy making and as such will get very few individual citations.

    Without having heard Prof. Alleyne, I wont defend what he is supposed to have said. I would only offer:
    (1) Barbados is a country that has little influence on the price of goods and services it buys from overseas. That may be what ‘exogenous’ is meant to imply.
    (2) When you say “The fact is that if we were at the helm of the Government today the thousands and thousands of people in Barbados that are suffering and living in misery now would NOT be doing so because we would long have started to ABOLISH ALL TAXATION, ALL INTEREST RATES, ALL EXCHANGE RATES PARITIES WITH THE BARBADOS DOLLAR, etc.,”, how will you be paying for the government you are running? How would economic activities be financed within your remodeled economy?

    To me, the answer to these questions are not trivial, and if really convincing could offer the key to extraordinary success.

  28. Knight of the Long Knives

    I have long maintainer that the previous administration’s idea of development was to facilitate the selling of beachfront land to foreigners to gain foreign exchange, facilitate the employment of labourers on temporary construction jobs to pad unemployment statistics, and finally to employ bajans as maids and busboys for tourist( as we all know there are few Bajans in senior managment positions in most hotels and restaurants). This was their economic model, TOTALLY unsustainable.

  29. Knight of the Long Knives

    On another issue offshore companies need bear no further cost. I worked at CDS a company that employed almost 1500 Bajans paying decent wages (minimum probably $250 per week in early 1990’s), Bajans at all levels of the operation, it was slowly chocked to death on the high cost of doing business in Barbados and the high cost of telecommunications. Contracts with American companies lost to SPANISH speaking countries because it was just too expensive to do business in Barbados. Government needs to wake up and smell the coffee sometimes.

  30. Prime Minister David Thompson’s Budget

     

    Leader of the Opposition Mia Mottley’s reply currently unavailable

  31. General Lee

    Instead of raising water rates the PM should have increased the vice taxes especially those on gambling and smoking.

    Giving the BWA more revenue is like pumping ever increasing amounts of water into a leaking main.

    The more you pump the faster it leaks.

  32. Donald Duck, Esq

    David

    Where did you get your copy of the budget. You could have put it on the government portal

  33. Donald Duck, Esq

    General lee

    You need to be aware that the Government proposed to increase taxation on gambling last year and has not as yet implemented it!!!

  34. General Lee // May 19, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    But how do you fix the leak? It must be fixd! Or just now we wont have nothing to drink!

    Literally and metaphorically!

  35. General Lee

    JC,

    Some years ago a GM tried to fix some leaks in the Pine and felt the wrath of the workers and their representatives.
    Sometimes it makes no sense trying to fix a leaking pipe and the best course of action is to replace the entire thing.

    Who is willing to fix the revenue leaks at BWA caused by excess and unproductive staff?

    @DD, Esq
    Why is it so easy to collect taxes from the masses but extremely difficult to do so from businesses?
    What could be so difficult in slapping a 25% tax on every ticket purchased?
    Do the lotteries not know and keep records of the number of tickets bought for each game?

    Look at the records, calculate the tax owed, collect the money.

  36. Hi, Living in Barbados

    How are you doing?

    Sorry to realize that you did NOT also get to see or hear the 2009 Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals, and that you could NOT comment on our piece.

    In regard of the latter point, find out from some reliable source if what we did say in the earlier blog is or is NOT true about those three statements that Dr. Frank Alleyne said or suggested on the particular program.

    With regard to the matter of our website importing that we are NOT a party, that is ONLY relative to the Society For Mass Freedom and Democracy – which is NOT A party. But we are sure that if you check the site carefully you will see reference to the People’s Democratic Congress – which – as a party – evolved out of the Society, and some reference to some information on the PDC itself.

    Well, Living in Barbados, in regard of the existence of our party the CBC or some persons up at the CBC know that we exist. Such knowledge is NOT dependent on what they have NOT seen on our website. They know that we contested the last election, albeit only in two constituencies, which is something that we are going to vastly improve on come Next Election.

    With regard to the definition of the term – exogenous – it does NOT mean implicitly or other wise the amount of influence persons, businesses and other entities in a country have in the importation of goods or services from other countries, or, for that matter, the amount of influence persons, businesses, and other entities have in the exportation of goods and services from one country to another, or others. It clearly does NOT mean that!!

    It simply means – in a so-called economic sense – any thing or any situation that emerges from the outside of a country, and that furthermore enters that country or that places it within that country itself. Dictionary.com fairly properly defines the term exogenous – in the relevant sense in which we are dealing with here as – originating from outside, derived externally.

    Of course, to be as value neutral, apolitical and precise as ever there are some disciplinary limitations placed on definitions and meanings of certain words, which if NOT the case might see persons veering unreasonably off into other academic intellectual disciplines and other things NOT so much concerned with the meaning that they are seeking relative to a given terminology.

    So, when you – Living in Barbados – talk about influence this does NOT avoid conflict with other academic intellectual disciplines which are better capable of giving you a better analysis of the subject of TRADING INFLUENCE. You CANNOT simply deduce influence and most that goes with the subject of influence from a simple economics text book terminology or meaning. A term CANNOT IMPLY A MEANING, OR MEANINGS, THAT IT NEVER MEANT TO OR INTENDED TO DEAL WITH.

    But, yes, we accept that people, businesses and other entities in Barbados are NOT major movers and shakers in the world of trade, investment, currency and other flows into and out of countries.

    And, finally, with regard to the question of TAXATION being abolished in Barbados and how Barbados would develop further without it, simply go to the same website and look for our Pre-Election Manifesto 2006 or any previous relevant blogs on here and see what we are talking about: How Barbados will tremendously develop without TAXATION, INTEREST RATES, etc, but with the right combinations in place – including systems to properly replace TAXATION, INTEREST RATES, etc.

    So, there you have it Living in Barbados.

    Thank You.

    PDC

  37. Adrian Hinds

    Living in Barbados // May 19, 2009 at 9:42 am

    @PDC

    I did not see the CBC discussions, being elsewhere, so I cannot comment on the content of your piece. But just some questions to help clarify, and not to invoke any further wrath against economist
    =========================

    It’s been said that economists cultivate complexity and resist simplicity, because there’s no money to be made if everyone understands everything.

    ——————————————–

    Was Mia predictions about the contents of the Budget correct?

    [quote]

    Opposition Leader Mia Mottley has warned Barbadians to brace themselves for the worst as Prime Minister David Thompson prepares to deliver the 2009 national budget on Monday.
    “The reality is Barbadians must brace themselves on Monday for another assault on their pockets,” Mottley told supporters of her Barbados Labour Party (BLP) on Saturday evening.
    “This week is going to be historic…I believe what happens this week will determine whether Barbados will end up in a four-foot hole, which we can clime out ourselves or a 20-foot hole, in which we will need help to climb out,” she said.
    The BLP leader, however, was not optimistic that the Thompson-led Democratic Labour Party (DLP) administration had the capacity to manage the economy properly, since it was “certain that the course this government has us on will end us up in a hole”.
    She said based on the figures quoted in the Estimates, Thompson, who is also Finance Minister, has put forward an unrealistic revenue plan that would be almost impossible to implement.
    “He simply can not raise the revenue that he is projecting to raise. He cannot continue to spend at that level and for the first time will cause this country to face the financing of a deficit that could approach BDS$1 billion (US$0.5 billion) if he does nothing,” Mottley said.
    Government is predicting expenditure of just over BDS$3.6 billion (US$1.8 billion) and revenue in excess of BDS$2.7 billion (US$1.35 billion). Estimated expenditure is nearly 9.5 per cent higher than last year, while the current revenue projections show a marginal increase of just over one per cent.
    But Mottley said the Prime Minister’s options are limited.
    “He can raise taxes, or he can borrow, or he can do all…” she said.

  38. Time will tell

    Edited from the Nation Newspaper of -5/20/2009.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++

    “THE TEMPTATION to use two hours of uninterrupted evening television time for political advantage has always been too great to be resisted.

    Yesterday was no exception when it became Opposition Leader Mia Mottley’s second opportunity in as many years to speak in the House of Assembly in reply to Monday’s Budgetary Proposals presented by Prime Minister and Minister of Finance David Thompson.

    Ms Mottley brought her natural debating skills and accumulated political savvy to the fore to offer an impressive response that held the attention of her parliamentary colleagues and possibly the wider viewing public.

    She spoke in a measured manner and with clarity, taking advantage of the opportunity to demonstrate a grasp of economic issues, even though the wind had been taken out of her sails since her prediction of an austere budget did not materialise.

    Challenged in Mr Thompson’s speech to be part of “Team Barbados”, a gauntlet she had to take up, Ms Mottley reminded Barbadians of her suggestion of one year ago that a standing committee of the House of Assembly on finance and economics would set the framework for national co-operation.

    It seems an entirely reasonable proposition, given the times.

    She presented strong statistical data to show that the primary fiscal surplus as expressed as a percentage of GDP was far too large, and that our foreign reserves continue to decline, while the cost of living doubled in the first year of a government specifically elected to tackle the cost of living. “

  39. Hog Squeal

    Today’s Advocate Editorial (May 20, 2009) constitutes a ‘horrible injustice” and the most glaring example of one section of the Media or the Fourth Estate – being its biggest threat to democracy and freedom of the press.

    That the old lady on Fontabelle could so prostitute herself as a result of a desire for a television license and a Knighthood – should be considered an act, punishable by the revoke of its license to publish.

    First the paper does a serious injustice and treacherous act by misleading Barbadians into believing that the concept of: “Team Barbados,” is a David Thompson and DLP idea.

    It is really the “spirit” capture in our national Strategic Plan.

    Secondly, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs Dame Billie marketed the Country Team approach.

    Respectful and decent Barbadians who are well-bred and cultured (not the Advocate) would be aware that the Team Barbados concept received national prominence when this country – under the astute stewardship of the Barbados labour Party, was preparing for the Bid Rounds to see what package they would be awarded, as regards the hosting of Cricket world Cup.

    Everyone knows that the DLP played no part in the preparation for or the hosting and execution of world cup, because they wanted the event to fail.

    People like Mac Fingall and Steven Alleyne went all over Barbados encouraging Barbadians to “get onboard.”

    As I recall, there was prepare Barbados, get ready Barbados and go Barbados.

    Further, the concept of Team Barbados is captured in the same national Strategic Plan 2006-2025 that the DLP refused to debate when it was laid in Parliament.

    That document talks about “global excellence, Barbadians traditions and a Barbados brand.

    The Advocate should have first read the Strategic Goals as outlined on page 26 of the National Strategic Plan:

    “Barbadians are blessed with the gift of adaptability. It has serves us well in the past. We must now build the future on the best of the past. If we do that successfully, Barbados will take its place with confidence as a fully developed centre of high quality, high value services in the new global economy.”

    Here is more on page 26: “Now is the time for harnessing the energies and values of all in the service of a twenty-first century Barbados.”

    Therefore, what nonsense is this that the Barbados labour Party did not offer to help the government?

    What about its offer to help with the Sugar Cane Industry? What about its offer to help with the Offshore Oil Exploration Programme? What about its offer of assistance to help with the Fishing Agreement?

    What about its offer to place the Economic Team of the BLP at the disposal of the DLP?

    I recall Miss Mottley having said that she place the policies of the BLP at the disposal of the DLP because they will help Barbadians.

    I also recall having heard Professor Michael Howard encouraging the DLP to embrace the BLP’s economic policies. The record will show that the DLP said no to all of that assistance.

    In fact, the DLP was quick to remind that the BLP had 14 years and cannot tell the DLP what to do.

    Now that the DLP has created a mess, it wants someone to implicate.

    Leadership is about leading, not pandering.

    Miss Mottley appear to have good reason to say:

    “You cannot expect cooperation to be a one-way street… There ought to be periodic briefings and consultations between the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition. And then there must be the timely provision of information.

    The Government waited until yesterday to lay the Economic and Social Report for 2008 preventing any meaningful review of the document for my speech today.

    I wish to repeat that the Barbados Labour Party is fully committed to this process in the interest of Barbados.

    I want to make it quite clear however that it is not the role of the Opposition to babysit the Minister of Finance.”

    That the Barbados Advocate, like the majority of our population and the entire Caribbean – is also disappointed in Thompson and his inability – is no reason for that paper to use the Opposition Leader as a distraction tactic.

    David Thompson and the DLP said that they were ready. However, the proof seems distant – hence the source of the Advocate’s anguished. It invested much in a Lost Leader.

    It is watching while its hopes for a TV license and a knighthood are diminishing day by day!

  40. livinginbarbados

    @PDC
    I did not say I did not hear the Budget, just that I did not see the CBC discussion, and therefore could not comment on that aspect.

    Thank you for clarifying the matter on ‘party’.

    On exogenous, its meaning is essentially the same across disciplines (whether biology or economics, for instance) and means coming from outside. We are agreeing, just seeing things differently.

    On what would replace taxes, I must admit that having read the voluminous manifesto, I find it hard to fathom the new system of financing government, though I get some sense of voluntary contributions. Could you say in a short sentence what will replace taxes? If not, that’s fine.

  41. After a very lukewarm debate in the parliament things seem to be about heat up!

    Owen Arthur on at least two occasions has had to tell colleagues on his side to give him a chance to speak, in other words shut-up!

  42. @David et al…

    I’m also watching the debate…

    And I *just* hear the previous prime minster of Barbados tell the house that the government “had to buy a new Telecommunications Network”

    Please trust me when I tell you that Barbados did not, in the last five years, buy a Telecommunications Network.

    We might have sold an existing network out from under the PEOPLE, however, for at least the second time….

  43. Can't understand

    I’m concerned about the use of NIS money to fund the building of offices for Government. 50 million dollars! Each pay day we pay in excess of 10% of our salaries because we were led to believe there would be insufficient funds in the NIS in the future because people are living longer.

    Mr Thompson said that by investing in property the return will be greater than purchasing a bond. Which may be true assuming property values do not drop (look at the UK and US). He also has created a fund/support to be available through the Central bank for businesses that have done work for the government that would normally have to wait long periods of time before being paid. Sometimes resulting in them going out of business.

    Now tell me our $50 million dollars from NIS is to fund the building of 2 government buildings to be occupied by the government. If they can’t pay the small man in a reasonable time period, when will government departments pay each other?? When will we get back the $50 million into our NIS scheme?? The money’s gone!!!!

    I have no problem in the new buildings as this should create some jobs (hopefully for Bajans) but it should be funded from some other source.

    Mr Thompson said that he was not spending tax payers money like the USA. But think about it. It the same thing just a different name…NIS!

    In relation to water…can’t knock it’s importance. But after hearing Minister Lowe confirming that there are workers as the BWA doing nothing(dangerous ground as the unions have already expressed concerns about criticising government workers in public) and all the other problems and wastages up there. Add on the amount of money still owed to them, which he claims is primarily from domestic use. We should all get together and refuse to pay the increase!.

    They need to tidy up their act, get the monies owed and then come to the country and ask for an increase.

    Surely common sense should tell them that if most of the debt is domestic….how are the people going to pay the increase rate???

    Can’t understand

  44. I would sum up the present administration’s strategy to be: sit tight, don’t spend except for necessities, hope and wait for the US economy to bounce back and the tourists arrivals to pick up.

    But is this leadership?

  45. Hog Squeal

    We must not let Barbados become what Zimbabwe became under Robert Mugabe’s rule, where skill and capital flew and only the wealthy could buy.

    In one section of the press of August 28, 2007, Mr. Thompson was reported as having said:

    “I sense that the voters of Barbados have had enough with the government of Barbados and that they are looking to the DLP for answers.”

    Well, if that were true then the voters of Barbados are now extremely disappointed and feel betrayed knowing that the DLP does not have a clue, and is therefore calling old men out of retirement.

  46. I waited to hear how things would have balanced off in the budget. Where are the figures? Help simple to find them.

    All the items on the left side and all the items on the right. And show muh the difference. Explain fuh muh how the difference will get covered. Give muh preferably in Barbados $ so I can figure for muh self.

    Help required.

  47. Simple:

    The economics are far too complex to be revealed to the simple taxpayers or for that matter the even simpler MPs.

    Just trust us, and pay up like a good boy when we say so.

  48. “Barbados do not need any more advice gratuitously given by those who will not themselves lend a hand.

    There is an abundance of armchair gurus who have the answer to every problem, but when asked to put their shoulders to the wheel and hand to the plough, they retreat.

    At least the International institutions, when we agree with them, will provide resources.

    In that regard, we have a mutually satisfactory relationship with the International Monetary Fund.

    They understand us and we understand them. They know clearly what we are prepared to do and when, and we know what they wan us to do and when.

    On the basis of that understanding we hope to conclude an Enhanced Surveillance programme with them shortly.” – Minister of Finance David Thompson, 1994 Budget, March 28.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++

    Imagine, the DLP said it was “READY.”

    Yet, as a result of public outrage at its intellectual weakness and political incompetence (see nation newspaper poll and it 70% disapproval rating with its first 100 days in office) the DLP was forced to reshuffle its Cabinet on November 22 – a mere 10 month after being elected and yet, it still does not know what it is doing.

    In pure desperation, an intellectually weak David Thompson now calls old men out of retirement to help him.

    Imagine, David Thompson failed to take evasive action despite early warning indicators but now want to co-join and blame others for his intellectual weakness and political incompetence.

    **********************************
    The question which the electorate therefore have to answer is: “Is the DLP Ready; knows what it is doing and has what it takes, or – does it not?

    Fortunately, David Thompson gives the answer.

    “I need help, he says!” Sick or not Richie, please help me. Retired; 8% cut or not Sandi come and help me please.

    Well electorate!

    The alarm is sounded. Help Thompson before he and the DLP create even more MESS.

    Ask him to please call elections.

  49. Hog Squeal

    Having spoken at a branch meeting of St. Michael South, PM Thompson was reported in the Barbados Advocate as having said that the 2009-2010 Estimates are designed to create a sustainable growth path for Barbados over the next 50 years, here is what he said would have been his five specific areas of focus:

    1. Creating the best environment for attracting and conducting business.

    2. Positioning Barbados to become the most environmentally advanced “green’ economy in the region.

    3. Investing in a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship.

    4. Becoming known as the island that works.

    5. Implementing a people’ first focus.

    It is now clear for all to see that this was: “a mission impossible,” especially since Thompson’s Estimates are “un-implementable” because they cannot be financed.

    And if there was still lingering doubt, in the recent budget, Thompson actually confirmed that 70% of the Barbadians population were right in their assessment of him (within his first 100 days in office) when they gave him a failing grade.

    David Thompson’s 2009 Budget made absolutely no connection with the five areas he listed in March as national priorities.

    What a pathetic looser and a big let down.

    You see why the DLP needs to call elections instead of creating so much economic mess.

  50. Good evening, Happy Happy haloween!

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