Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler held his much publicised news conference today and here is the question which BU hoped would have been answered – are we confident he and the government of Barbados are rolling out turnaround polices? BU’s answer is a resounding NO!
Sinckler’s rumshop delivery when addressing serious matters gripping the country did not impress. Delivered in a style more suitable to a political platform in Deacons his constant harping about how the media (VOB) treats with issues related to government’s handling of the economy and frivolous references about callers to the VoB talk show who in his view mashed the crease has reached a tiresome level. Sinckler’s delivery was unflattering to those who have perfected the art of style over substance. His news conference was infected with a political undertone which derailed his weak attempt to raise the confidence of a rudderless nation. He gave the appearance of a garrulous old soul.
For the umpteenth time we heard there is a CLICO solution in the offing, the Barrack deal is still on the ropes despite repeated promises over the years by several ministers, and whither Four Seasons? We know these to be difficult times but Sinckler and the government’s willingness to overpromise and under deliver has now become an embarrassment.
The biggest disappointment is the off again on again approach to government’s decision to retrench 3,000 public sector workers . Sinckler confirmed that there is a meeting with the NUPW to discuss the matter on Thursday, really? What is the role of CTUSAB and the Social Partnership? If the government has to fill a 143 million dollar hole which must obviously include sending home public workers, why not appreciate that the Social Partnership should have been apprised at an early stage to co-opt its support? Perhaps if the consultative process was done less clandestinely the Opposition might have been persuaded to vote to amend the law to reduce salaries to prevent a DLP government having to walk the same path as 1991. In the process saving a jobs.
Incoming head of the private sector agency Alex McDonald after a meeting with Governor Delisle Worrell today indicated the international reserves to be 13.5 weeks. We find this interesting when juxtaposed with Sinckler’s revelation that there was forex outflow immediately after the last general election. The question which the Governor needs to clarify in his upcoming economic review is to identify strategies used to stabilize the reserves. Is it as a result of loans or have the policies which the Central Bank put in place for quarter three done the trick? Frankly BU is a confused about our forex management.
BU agrees with the Minister of Finance that managing the economy in the prevailing climate is challenging, we believe the government has added to the problem because of poor execution. For our children’s sake we hope implementation improves in 2014. Especially with some new projects like the cement and WTE projects and a few others.