Tag Archives: Chris Sinckler

Notes From a Native Son: Reshuffling Sinckler Out of the Cabinet Needn’t Be Painful

Hal Austin

Hal Austin

Introduction:
Recently, partly as a result of the continuing failure of Chris Sinckler as minister of finance and prime minister Freundel Stuart’s hesitance in removing him from office, questions have been raised about the constitutionality of a Cabinet reshuffle. It is a subject that will take up a considerable amount of time by constitutional experts such as lawyers, political ‘scientists’, parliamentary historians, legal philosophers and others. However, for a non-lawyer with a cursory interest in politics and in how the Westminster/Whitehall model has shaped Caribbean politics, I find the subject one of intrigue. One person who has added his highly informed, articulate and knowledgeable voice to the debate is Caswell Franklyn. Mr Franklyn has a wealth of knowledge about Barbadian Constitutional law and his suggestion, to paraphrase him, that before the prime minister could carry out a Cabinet reshuffle he must first make seek the approval of the Governor General, the Queen’s representative, raised a number of questions in my mind. I will not be so bold as to challenge Mr Franklyn about the constitutionality of a Cabinet reshuffle in the local jurisdiction, my contention, however, is that if parliamentary politics in Barbados have adopted the so-called Westminster/Whitehall model, then this is strange.

Analysis:
The controversy started because of the state of the economy and the government’s apparent inability to devise a rescue plan. In such circumstances attention obviously focuses on the incumbents in the high offices of state, principally the prime minister and minister of finance.

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Sinckler Plan to Send Home Workers Given Cabinet Green Light

Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart, responsible for the Civil Service

Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart, responsible for the Civil Service

Now that Minister of Finance has spoken to confirm the Sinckler Plan to retrench 3,000 workers, we are left to ponder where do we go from here as a country. The DLP now has the unenviable reputation of having sent home public workers twice in the last 25 years. History will pay very close attention the price the DLP will have to pay.

The decision to send home workers has come as no surprise to BU. The government has shown an inability since taking up office to effectively manage the current account deficit. Instead of intelligently managing how it hires, encourage early retirement, pressuring department heads to adhere to budget plan numbers, avoid political interference in the hiring process (something both political parties have engaged) the DLP continued business as usual. There is a view gaining currency this is a government comprised of incompetents led by a prime minister who is uncomfortable in the role.

Whether the final number is 3,000, 4,000 or even 6,000 the Sinckler Plan to retrench will not  solve our economic problem. As a nation we have to discover growth strategies. The government has to encourage our people to be more productive citizens. Our people must feel the vision emanating from the leadership of the country which will unleash their potential. The culture of mendicancy and entitlement which has taken root in Barbados has become a blocker for success. Our neighbours who have historically looked to Barbados for leadership and have held deep admiration for the way we have managed our country have become perplexed at our inability to manage the current crisis.

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Whose Life Sinckler?

Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler

Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler

Minster Chris Sinckler in October 2013 informed parliament during a no confidence motion brought against him that his life had been threatened – see Barbados Today report. BU is surprised there has been little public reaction to this startling revelation.  A threat to kill anyone is a serious matter and if it involves a minister of the crown more so.  Anyone observing Minister Sinckler since the announcement has hardly observed trepidation on his part as he moves around Barbados.

If BU had the authority to commission an investigation into this matter we would consider it money well spent. For a second time in 24 hours  when opining about the action of a leading political figure we hesitate to call Sinckler a liar. Sinckler, the government and the police owe it to Barbadians to bring closure to this matter. Barbadians do not threaten our politicians. We do not even throw eggs or tomatoes in their direction when they upset us. There was that one time we marched for naught.

Sinckler Missed the Mark, Again

Submitted by Pachamama
Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler

Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler

Today Christopher Sinckler, as Minister of Finance (MOF) is in the middle of delivering some bitter medicine to the people of Barbados – read Ministerial Statement On Government’s Fiscal Consolidation Programme 2013-15 presented to the House of Assembly by The Hon. Christopher P. Sinckler, Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs. This after years of hide and seek by a government still wedded to a political-economy model that is in decay, universally. Like a magician Sinckler continues to believe that our current problems could be solved by continuously tinkering with a chronically unwell economy model when more aggressive and transformative actions were clearly required, even decades ago.

All other things being equal Sinckler will be repeating doses of his snake oil in coming months. This first tranche comes mere months after the last budget.  Of course, there could be an intervention by the people of Barbados in their own defense, but that is unlikely to happen, though it may prove unavoidable. To us it seems that Sinckler and indeed the Government of Barbados is stubbornly unwilling to address the fundamental issues at work. As the proverbial neo-Keynesian, it remains impossible for Sinckler to see that another economic world is possible. We are lock step in a death march off a cliff. The words of Dr. Kennedy are indeed proven true by Sinckler’s admission today that his recent budget was a national mis-direction.

Government's Concessions to SANDALS Barbados

Read about the concessions government has given to CPH Property Holdings (Barbados) Limited and Grande Cass Management (Barbados) Limited together known as SANDALS – Click image

Read about the concessions government has given to CPH Property Holdings (Barbados) Limited and Grande Cass Management (Barbados) Limited together known as SANDALS – Click image

Notes From a Native Son: The Time has Come for all True Barbadians to Put Country Before Party

Hal Austin

Hal Austin

Introduction:
After a few days in Barbados, mostly resting, but spending time with friends and acquaintances alike, I have returned with a feeling of deep sadness for a nation for which I have a very deep affection. But, we have a situation in which the national political discourse has been reduced to a leading minister inviting the leader of the official Opposition to strip naked and run down Broad Street, our main thoroughfare, to grab attention. While, at the same time, the governor of the central bank could announce that the economy is in recession and the minister of finance, the captain of the nation’s economy, did not see fit to respond to, the Opposition did not speak out on, our academic economists kept their opinions to themselves nor did our feeble media see it fit to inform their readers.

As I have said before, the nation is in serious crisis, only this time it is much worse than it previously was. Yet, there is an epidemic of denial: a police force that is imploding and cannot properly guard against organised criminality, medieval religious practices and family abuse. We are a nation that has lost faith in itself, when we could appoint a Canadian – repeat the word, Canadian – as head of our football association and every spare bit of land bought by dubious foreigners because our policymakers are addicted to foreign reserves. The New Barbados has also lost its moral purpose, its sense of decency, as is reflected in the obscenities that desecrate the airwaves as a matter of course; of the total national silence when a toddler can make sexual gestures over an apparently drunken woman at Crop Over, our leading cultural event; when our leading news paper thinks that pornographic pictures of juveniles having sex in a class room is newsworthy. Even more, not a single senior executive or director of the publishing firm has made a public statement about the obscenity. If ever there was a case for ordinary Barbadians to show their power as consumers and ban that publication, it is now. This is a long way from the nation I know as a young man, when, in the 1960s it was exporting people to work on London buses, trains and in the national health service, routinely gave them a printed booklet on how to behave in Britain. Those were days when the nation was concerned about its global reputation as reflected in the behaviour of its citizens.

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For Love of Country… a Coalition Government

Submitted by Napolean Bonaparte

Heads of Government :  Stuart, Arthur, Mottley, Sinckler
Minister of Finance : C. Mascoll
Attorney General : K. Symmonds
Minister of Tourism :  D. Inniss
Minister International Business: D. Marshall
Minister of Transport: M. Lashley
Minister of Culture: T. Prescod
Minister of Education: G. Payne
Minister of Labour :David Estwick
Minister of Health : R. Jones
Minister Housing Land: R. Sealy
Minister Agriculture: R. Toppin

Ministries to reduced eleven. Salaries of Ministers reduced by 25 %. Permanent Secretaries salaries reduced by 15%.