Chris Sinckler, Minister of Finance
Minister of Finance (MoF) Chris Sinckler has promised a press conference on Monday [27/10/2014] at 10AM. Given the anaemic performance of the Barbados economy over the last 6 years, AND what is projected in the near term, there is an air of doom and gloom that has understandably settled over Barbados.
One positive that may yet come from the MoF press conference is that he finds himself in a position to elucidate on the Central Bank Press Release Current Economic Performance for September 2014. At a time when clarity is required to ensure stakeholders in civil society are able to strategize for success there is continuing confusion if we are to judge by the statements coming from the heads of the Private Sector Association (PSA) and Barbados Chamber of Commerce (BCCI). It is an understatement to suggest confidence has been dwindling in the pronouncements of the Governor of the Central Bank. His most recent projection that the local economy will grow by 2% echoes a similar statement in January 2011, instead, Barbadians have witnessed economic decline.
The sudden cancellation of press conferences post delivery of Governor Worrell’s economic performance briefings has largely gone unchallenged by local media. What we had was a spirited response by the Nation newspaper to the decision to expel them from Central Bank press conferences to which the Governor and his Central Bank Board responded by cancelling press briefings altogether. The Governor has gotten the last laugh with local media receiving a black eye and by extension the public it is ethically setup to serve.
Submitted by Anthony Davis
Dr. Justin Robinson, Chairman, National Insurance Scheme
“DISMISSED TRANSPORT BOARD WORKERS are getting every cent of their long overdue severance pay, thanks to Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler. Very reliable sources have revealed that the cash-strapped statutory corporation that provides island wide public transport services had, through the Ministry of Transport and Works (MTW), sought the assistance of the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) to meet its obligations to retrenched workers. As a result, yesterday former worker Mark Watson collected his cheque for more than $71,000 and told the DAILY NATION he was headed to the credit union to pay off his mortgage. “The DAILY NATION also learnt that the Freundel Stuart Cabinet was also told: ‘A decision was taken that the Transport Board should approach the National Insurance Board for a loan in the sum of $3,577,000 to settle the outstanding severance payments due to workers. The National Insurance Board, at its meeting on September 2, 2014, considered and approved the loan request with the following conditions precedent to disbursement. . .”
Once again the Minister of Finance, with the help of his man at the head of the NIS Funds, is plundering those funds. I am sure that the fired workers are happy to receive their money so that they can pay their bills, and look after their families otherwise. However, I fear that this decision will come back to haunt them as the NIS funds are being depleted – not only to pay them, but to pour millions of dollars into the ruins of the “soon-to-start” “All Seasons” and other projects!
Edmund Hinkson M.P, St.James North
George Payne, M.P, St. Andrew
Dale Marshall, M.P,St. Joseph
The following is the Witness Statement of Dale Dermont Marshall who was Chairman of what BU describes as the tumultuous BLP Parliamentary meeting held on 25 February 2013 to select a political leader.
Dale Marshall Witness Statement (1)
Dale Marshall Witness Statement (2)
Dale Marshall Witness Statement (3)
Dale Marshall Witness Statement (4)
Dale Marshall Witness Statement (5)
Dale Marshall Witness Statement (6)
Submitted by Wayne R. Pilgrim-Cadogan
Over the past few years the government has being preaching over and over at every opportunity for the country to turn to entrepreneurship as an alternative for those who have been displaced from their jobs and school leavers who were about to enter the work force. So much so that it has become a buzzword for some. There are other agencies such as the Barbados Manufacturers Association, The Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme, The Barbados Small Business Association and others who over the years have been advocating innovation, buy local, self employment, and creating new products from local materials and food crops as a means of creating their own employment as an answer to a dwindling job market..
Every two years there is the Prime Minister Award of $75,000.00 to the winner of the National Innovation Award. The purpose of this award by the government is to bring out the creativity and innovation among Barbadians. One would think that educational institutions would be teaching its students along the lines of innovation and creativity. There are plenty of indigenous materials and food crops that are available to Barbadians for experimentation in creating innovative products rather than using foreign products. I am at a lost as to why at one of the Secondary Schools Science & Nutrition class, that a teacher would tell the entire class to bring Strawberries, Kiwi Fruit and Grapes for a project when there are so many fruits here that is currently in season, that could have been used as a substitute.
Submitted by Charles Knighton
Alfred Nobel would be proud. At least for this year the Norwegian Nobel Committee, by awarding the Prize for Peace to Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi, has eschewed its recent proclivity for awards based on politics and/or ideology rather than for actual deeds and works. While not familiar with Mr. Satyarthi’s “Save the Childhood Movement”, I have been intrigued by Malala’s life since she was attacked in 2012, as well as by how easily we in the West tend to take for granted our own hard-won freedoms.
Our daughters are free to go to school, to think for themselves, to decide how they will spend their lives. Had they been born in rural Pakistan, in Saudi Arabia, or in large swaths of the world, they would have no such choices. Culture and religion would assign them “traditional” roles—that is, subservience to men. In Pakistan, then 15-year-old Malala dared to demand more. “I have the right to speak up,” she said. “I have the right of education. I have the right to sing.” For this crime, the Pakistani Taliban shot her twice in the head. But as she struggled for life in a hospital, she became an international hero—a change agent. Like Mandela, King and Gandhi, she exposed the ugliness of the thugs who wished to silence her.