Dr. George Brathwaite

The George Brathwaite Column – To switch or to just flip-flop?

Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler

Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler

This is an important question and, yes, he is correct to assert it cannot solely be about who is managing an entity; attention has to be also directed on “who is paying”. This revelation is not new, nor should it be a roadblock for the Government to make the best decisions while maintaining an optimality for providing public goods
and services.

Yearly, the Auditor General’s Report speaks to such things as undetected financial transactions and wastage which cannot be accounted for, or traced. These have been identified as factors raising the levels
of Government expenditure and debt.

Coupled with the age-old problem of an oversized Public Service, and gross inefficiencies, we know the current administration sent home more than 3,000 workers immediately after the last general election. One wonders why similar efforts cannot be made to create incentives for the private sector to thrive without over-reliance on the Government.

Nevertheless, having used the School Meals Department and the collection of garbage in Barbados as examples, Minister Sinckler is stating in 2016 that this economy “has not yet reached the stage of development where Government can ask people to pay for such services at the point of delivery as they have not the capacity to do so”. This claim is remarkably telling.

It must be considered in the context of a self-confession wherein the Minister of Finance would have failed to implement necessary reforms of “restructuring” the Barbados economy. In fact, the Government’s master plan in 2013 was described by Minister Sinckler as “a revised fiscal adjustment programme and a growth and development strategy for Barbados”.

Therefore, Mr Sinckler would have failed to grow the national economy sufficiently that people would have disposable income and other investment funds available to them. The Minister of Finance would definitely have failed Barbados by not having necessary discussions with all stakeholders, and this is a governance issue. Governance is the process of policymaking through active and cohesive discussion among policymakers who are interconnected through a broad range of networks.

The Minister of Finance, therefore, after forthright and wholesome discussions, needs to set about devising a comprehensive plan of action which would ensure effective regulations governing the provision of services, and, importantly, finding the ways that funding or any subventions could be instituted without having the traditional burden on the public purse.

Earlier this year, Minister Sinckler was adamant that “a large part of our private sector, both in their structure and function, are really just a reflection of Government. That is just simply a fact. Many of them are really Government departments in disguise, operating as private entities, living off of the very public purse that the same statutory corporations are drawing on, as they say, ‘like vultures on the body politic
of Barbados’. That is just simply a fact”.

How long ago was this feature recognized by the Minister of Finance? And, apart from pelting big rocks at the private sector, what has he done in terms of incentives or other policy initiatives to chart the paths for a budding private sector in Barbados? “Sometimes I hate who I have to be. But I live in a world of flip-flopping loyalties . . . . Trust is a luxury I can’t afford.”

Clearly, Mr Sinckler’s pronouncement in January, 2014, that “it is crucial that we now undertake a long overdue reform of the public sector in Barbados” appears to be more wishful thinking than any practical statement regarding the work he and the Freundel Stuart administration have been taking to redress the “real” issues.

It was Mr Sinckler who said: “The growth strategy has to be led by private investment and entrepreneurship. Government’s role is to provide incentives, infrastructure and an enabling environment in support of private initiative and investment.”

Surely, this writer would agree with the minister that private sector growth is essential and that the Government has a sure role to play.

However, I am concerned that Barbadians are witnessing another cop-out by the Minister of Finance; another statement of fluff without the necessary glue to bind him to action. You may recall the Minister of Finance also stating in 2014 that “the Government is implementing a clear and credible plan to reduce the fiscal deficit, and the diversification and restructuring of the Barbados economy is well under way”. Really? Where is the evidence?

The Democratic Labour Party (DLP) in its 2013 manifesto stated that it would “implement strategies that will expand real growth in the economy, increase Government revenues, reduce the tax share of gross domestic product, and reduce the level of the country’s indebtedness to an acceptable level”. While accepting there are some positive signs in the Barbados economy, as alluded to by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in which the Barbados economy “appears to have turned the corner with activity picking up”, the prolonged uncertainty and the slow process of getting information to the public remains a huge setback, contributing to speculation of malfeasance, corruption and wastage.

As the IMF recommends, focus has to be put to “support the nascent recovery”, with specific “measures to raise the efficiency of public services, which impedes private sector operations, pursue reforms to increase labour market flexibility without unduly reducing worker protection, increase training opportunities in a cost-effective manner to address the skill mismatch, and move forward with a viable and affordable agricultural strategy to strengthen its links with the tourism sector”.

Much more can be done in Barbados to ease the public sector while enhancing the private sector. Sustained economic growth should be the platform for setting things right in this country.

One would hate to think that Minister of Finance Sinckler represents the ideal example of a “skill mismatch”.

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105 Comments on “The George Brathwaite Column – To switch or to just flip-flop?”

  1. Prodigal Son June 24, 2016 at 12:21 PM #

    *said

    Like

  2. Prodigal Son June 24, 2016 at 12:34 PM #

    @ pieceuhderock June 23, 2016 at 7:40 PM #

    “De ole man was jes wondering if dat ting you talking bout apply to dese traitorous, treasonous fellers?”
    ……………………………………………..

    Excellent poster as always, piece!

    The ac’s would like us to forget that eleven of the Fumble cabinet (with exception of the ice queen) sat down with him weekly in cabinet and parliamentary meetings and rose up to overthrow him.

    What hypocrites!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ac June 24, 2016 at 12:53 PM #

    WW&C u know what y u should nit cuss. U sound so dumb when u cuss look at dat the word dumb also describes yuh dumb a.ss

    Like

  4. Donna June 24, 2016 at 1:47 PM #

    I must confess to being a bit puzzled on the issue of Nurse Wilkinson’s injury claim. Didn’t the hospital have insurance which, if liability has been accepted, would then be paying the claim? If treatment is available to correct her injury wouldn’t an insurance company wish this to occur to reduce the amount of damages? Something isn’t right here. Why is the PM taking about judgments? Has this already been through the courts? If it has why hasn’t she appealed the amount of the judgment after all this time? Did it take all this time to get it through the first level of our court system? Why does it seem as though this is coming out of the Treasury and not through an insurance company? This is all a bit muddled to me. There are missing pieces to this puzzle.

    Like

  5. Well Well & Consequences June 24, 2016 at 3:19 PM #

    Donna…the ministers, their pimps and yardfowls are missing puzzles themselves of both governments…right AC pimps.

    I never heard anything like that in my life. It appears not much these governments have done over the last 50 years makes sense,

    Everything is politics and political for them…can you believe 50 years of political independence and all they have to show for it are political idiots, educated at taxpayer’s expense and all they can talk about is being yardfowls or pimps and nothing they say ever makes any sense….lol

    Check out the AC pimps, they never understand anything that’s said, but will jump to defend the indefenseable….then when they are reduced to BUs laughing stock, they get mad…lol

    Right now Bjerkham got all the ministers quiet as lambs, none of them or their yardfowls can say anything to or about him, while he tries to reduce grown men on the island to his personal slaves.
    .

    Like

  6. Well Well & Consequences June 24, 2016 at 3:27 PM #

    AC.., ya just mad cause the programming of Alvin got penetrated…he came around to the understanding that a female got injured decades ag6, your attorney general confirmed it, the female should be compensated as your attorney general said…and ya jealous, so suck it up,

    Like

  7. Pieceuhderockyeahright June 24, 2016 at 5:10 PM #

    @ Donna

    You have confirmed what I said earlier on another blog insofar as you do not read anything in the blog that came before.

    I refer you to that entry now by Miller the Annunaki.

    “millertheanunnaki June 24, 2016 at 8:47 AM #

    @ Alvin Cummins June 24, 2016 at 8:25 AM
    “INSURANCE. INSURANCE.. WHERE IS THE INSURANCE COMPANY IN THIS CASE?
    If the hospital has liability insurance, the insurance company has to make the payment for the liability. NOT THE GOVERNMENT. Why are you not seeking to make the insurance company pay?”

    Why don’t you do yourself a massive favour and drop this matter to stop exposing yourself as a blasted fool with your ass where your mouth should be?

    In 1981 when the incident occurred The Crown took responsibility (liability) for risks arising from the activities of its public sector workers in its various ministries and departments. The QEH then was not a statutory body but a department under the Ministry of Health. In those days, there was no outsourcing of these risks to players in the developing non-life insurance market.

    Why are you in true Don Quixote style tilting at imaginary windmills that are mere illusions of a deluded person?”

    Look,

    Sometimes we read an article here and, because of its content, don’t have a clue about what is going on.

    At times, if you read the submissions, both those for and against, you can get an better? idea of the intricacies of a matter when you wade through the fluff, like my submissions, and look at the meat on Bush Tea, GP, Annunaki, Due Diligence, Prodigal, Amused, Jeff, Caswell, Colonel Buggy, Sargeant and others who are disposed to giving facts and do not dwell in or on the emotive

    Read the item (advice which de ole man, cause I ent as young as you, do not see as well)

    You see?

    I’ll be yah Huckleberry can also be a gentle thing too Donna

    Like

  8. Well Well & Consequences June 24, 2016 at 6:01 PM #

    Ah Piece…you too see where this is going….but liability is liability, so who gives a shit where the check comes from. I am so sorry it cant come from Alvin’s pension. That would shut him up. I dont think he understands what he said.

    I will leave Miller to interpret.

    Like

  9. Pieceuhderockyeahright June 24, 2016 at 8:56 PM #

    I want some Flip Flop Cou Cou and Flying fish.

    Whu bout wunna?

    Like

  10. Heather June 24, 2016 at 10:45 PM #

    @David,

    I read Roy Morris’s Column and I disagreed with him. If the treatment that is now being meted out to Mark Maloney was given to someone who was not at the receiving end of numerous government contracts, I could agree that the problem was business facilitation. However, I do believe what we are witnessing is just another symptom of the deficiencies in the Constitution of Barbados.

    Let us examine a few of symptoms. There was the matter of the Speaker of the House, who stole from a pensioner yet remained as Speaker of the House. When the matter became public, if I remember correctly the Prime Minister said that the Speaker had broken no law. Under normal circumstances funds belonging to the public are not kept at the Central Bank. Although I believe this to be wrong, I am not aware that any law of Barbados was broken by the Governor in keeping the money for Leroy Parris. There was no law to prevent Mara Thompson from remaining as the Representative for St. John in the House of Assembly even though she was involved in the missing funds of the Clico scandal. Even with the Cahill scandal, there was no law to make those Ministers who signed the Agreements resign. Like wise with the Coverley and other contracts given to Maloney et al, there are no laws to prevent Government from exclusively giving contracts to a select few citizens.

    There is even a problem of enforcing the laws with this archaic legal system which is compounded by the fact that the rich and the poor are treated differently. The poor are persecuted and prosecuted by the law while the rich are allowed to get off scotch free if their case make it to the courts. The system was built to be prejudiced against the poor.

    Essentially, they are no laws to reign in those who believe that they are above the law. If the poor must abide by the regulation of the TCP so too must the rich. Mr. Maloney has operating above the law all along until he fell out of favor with the government.

    Like

  11. Alvin Cummins June 25, 2016 at 1:23 AM #

    Donna,
    You are voicing the same questions I have been asking, and expressing the same concerns I have.
    Where is the insurance company in all this. As I said, any payments to the woman should come out of the coffers of the Insurance company that must have underwritten the Malpractice or liability insurance the Hospital must ( or should have had) against eventualities such as this. Something smells to high heaven. Why now?

    Like

  12. Well Well & Consequences June 25, 2016 at 6:17 AM #

    Alvin…ya just looking for an alli(ance).

    The stupidity of a culture that tells it’s people that taking time aint laziness…particularly in legal matters…… the slowness of a court system that is not plaintiff friendly…the arrogance of both DBLP governments that believe they can get away with not paying their own people a dime to which they are entitled, the uselessness of most attorneys who are self-serving and never look out for the best interests of their clients. And an injured woman who for 35 years believed that any of them cared.

    Just pray you are never injured in Barbados Alvin, or no one will look at you.

    You are so blind with yardfowlism that you cannot see that it reflects negatively on both governments equally, past and present attorneys , past and present prime ministers.

    And going into an election it makes the present lot of politicians seem unfeeling, uncaring and full of themselves, that includes Mia Mottley who at one time was attorney general and acting pm.

    It makes Fruendel and Adriel look even worse because they are the present and are still useless to the situation..but you are too stupid to see it.

    Like

  13. Alvin Cummins June 25, 2016 at 10:03 AM #

    Well Well,
    And you are too stupid not to realize when your lack of any objectivity, leads you to assume that EVERYBODY is a crook, uncaring, lazy, stupid, unwilling or unable to help their fellow man, crooked, bribe taking, etc etc, ad infinitum. As I said you are one nasty piece of work. Just as you refer to me, admit when you are wrong. This woman has allowed herself to be manipulated; by whoever, and you demand that the government take up taxpayers money, to pay a settlement that the life insurance company should be accepting and paying out. WHY?
    You and your cohorts want to create an atmosphere of poison gas Lehrer it does not exist and which is not needed.
    However the DLP will settle the whole affair equitably.

    Like

  14. Donna June 25, 2016 at 10:11 AM #

    Pieces,

    How the hell do you know what I do? I read the post when I was distracted and forgot it. Just leave me be! I tire of you and your badgering.

    Like

  15. Alvin Cummins June 25, 2016 at 10:12 AM #

    Well Well,
    Typo…”poison gas where it does not…

    By the way didn’t you grow up in the same society that you stay…”The stupidity of a culture that tells it’s people that taking time aint laziness…particularly in legal matters…… .

    Didn’t you say you are qualified in legal matters? Why don’t you open a free clinic (Legal) and offer your service to people like this lady and do your duty; to your fellow man” and help her and others.
    That would be a service to your people. Expose those you accuse of all these infelicities. Don’t do it on BU only! Be a woman and come out in the open. Join a group, form a group, advocate, and be an advocate for those who need advocates and have no recourse. There I have thrown out the challenge.

    Like

  16. Donna June 25, 2016 at 10:14 AM #

    You have an annoying habit of putting people into categories and elevating some to “meat ” positions and some to “fluff.” You have NO IDEA what my freezer contains!

    Like

  17. Donna June 25, 2016 at 10:19 AM #

    Alvin,

    I asked some pertinent questions. I got a really annoying answer. That has put at least one of those questions to bed. There is no insurance because of some issues with the changeover from central government to statutory entity.

    Like

  18. Donna June 25, 2016 at 10:21 AM #

    Sorry Alvin,

    No issues with the changeover, just normal procedure in 1981. Pieces got me pissed off.;

    Like

  19. Well Well & Consequences June 25, 2016 at 10:35 AM #

    Alvin..you ass, the government accepted liability…that is what I have to repeatedly beat you over your stupid head with…..try and change that one.

    Like

  20. Well Well & Consequences June 25, 2016 at 10:39 AM #

    Alvin…no I did not grow up in Barbados, like my grands and children before them, I lived off and on periodically on the island so ya bust luck.

    Ya cant challenge me you idiot, certain disabilities prevent me from doing many things I would normally do, did you not read the comment where I told GP, I have become semi-reclusive.

    Why dont you gather a few of BUs orother attorneys you know who are retired and get them to do what you are advising…it would be more fulfilling than being a yardfowl.

    Like

  21. millertheanunnaki June 25, 2016 at 11:18 AM #

    @ Alvin Cummins June 25, 2016 at 10:03 AM #
    This woman has allowed herself to be manipulated; by whoever, and you demand that the government take up taxpayers money, to pay a settlement that the life insurance company should be accepting and paying out. WHY?”

    Jackass Alvin, why don’t you stop braying and return to your enclosure of stupidity and ignorance about insurance?

    How does life insurance get into this?
    It’s either a matter of accident or personal injury, medical or employer’s liability insurance; not life insurance unless specifically taken out for or by the individual employee with such indemnity included as a special clause.

    It’s true than most life insurance companies do indeed offer these other work-related risk indemnities as part of their sales of portfolio but a claim can only be made if the person involved in the accident is so insured or the employer indemnified by way of employer’s liability in respect of its workers or third parties like clients and contractors and visitors to the place of business.

    We are talking 1981 here Alvin, not 2011 when the QEH as a Statutory body would have had to make its own insurance arrangements to cover such risks as a duty of care to its employees as required under the Health & Safety Act.

    In 1981 Nurse Wilkinson was an employee of Central Government at the time just as you were before that time when you were a junior lab technician at the same QEH while performing back street abortions on poor ignorant vulnerable women for illegally charged fees undercutting the regular abortionist at the time.

    What would you have to say if, at the time of your attachment to the Lab, you were climbing the stairs to receive or deliver, as a matter of urgency, some lab test results to a ward on the second floor and you slipped and fell because another person had spilled some slippery substance on the stairs?
    Just imagine you accidentally damaging your back or in your case smashed your contorted face into the stairs resulting in your permanently scarred ugly countenance?

    What insurance would you be able to claim against, Alvin the nincompoop?

    Like

  22. Well Well & Consequences June 25, 2016 at 12:18 PM #

    Lol….

    Like

  23. Donna June 25, 2016 at 12:55 PM #

    Miller,

    Point already noted about 1981 and conditions at that time. I still wonder about whether or not the case was ever taken to court or was supposedly settled out of court. How come they are still quibbling about the amount after so long? If the amount offered was unacceptable why did it not go to court? If this was a judgment made by the courts shouldn’t an appeal have been lodged to contest the amount? Is there a case still pending in the court. Was the case mishandled? Did some statute of limitations run out? It makes no sense that a women in this allegedly poor condition should be in the position of begging unless a court case has been stalled in the system. These questions make me wonder whether there is something to what Froonie said after all. What went wrong in this case?

    Like

  24. millertheanunnaki June 25, 2016 at 1:14 PM #

    @ Donna June 25, 2016 at 12:55 PM

    What you have queried is exactly what the AG should be telling us instead of promising the poor woman the matter will soon be resolved and that was over 6 months ago.

    But what the heck, isn’t he still busy looking into the matter of Mia and her LEC certification and her right to practise law in Barbados?
    Wait for the report and then he will turn his attention to Nurse Wilkinson’s case.

    Like

  25. Well Well & Consequences June 25, 2016 at 2:54 PM #

    They got this scam going in Barbados where insurance companies and as we can see in this case government, will accept liabilty for a claimant’s injury…we all know what that means, send the claimants to a million doctors, pay for all types of body scans and this that and the next, except for goid trestment ir surgery, remember, they accepted liability, so they are paying for it, promise to settle, get a quantum of damages from the claimant’s attorneys…..and then when it’s time to settle on a fair amount of compensation….refuse to pay, in most cases, the attorneys, if it’s a good attorney, takes the matter before a judge, to cut through the bullshit.

    Then there is the flipside to that scam where the jnsurance companies refuses to accept liability dont care how much proof is brought that they are liable, they would play nasty tricks and games for years…particularly if the claimant’s attorney is a sellout and the claimant is not legally savvy, but if both attorney and claimant are on the same page, the doctors are good doctors and not the liars and sell outs ya find being exposed in some instsnces on the island….again, a good judge can cut threw the bullshit.

    Like

  26. Well Well & Consequences June 25, 2016 at 2:56 PM #

    And bring closure to the cases, I forgot to add, the intent in both scenarios is that the cases never end and the injured parties get nothing.

    Like

  27. Donna June 26, 2016 at 7:40 AM #

    Well Well,

    A good attorney will advise that there is a statute of limitations on settlement of claims even when liability has apparently been accepted. It is imperative to lodge the case in the court system before it runs out.

    Like

  28. Well Well & Consequences June 26, 2016 at 11:35 AM #

    Donna…I am not sure how correct you are about that, apparently the statute of limitations rules do not apply in the same way…..3 years to file a claim…..if the insurance company, in this case, the government accepts liability. ..in writing, let’s hope the attorneys were good enough, honest enough to get it in writing,.

    But you can confirm that yourself, I only say that based on cases with those same issues that the claim was filed long after the 3 year limitations and even then in certain circumstances…if the claim is disputed, I know of one claim filed and acceoted 4 years later…because the attorney who had the case willfully and maliciously allowed the time to lapse and said nothing to the client, because of his relationship to the defense attorney…they can be nasty on that island.

    I dont think that’s the issue in this case, but it will have to be confirmed.

    Like

  29. Donna June 27, 2016 at 12:01 PM #

    Well Well.

    I was not referring specifically to this case. My attorney did advise me, and so did Caswell about the statute of limitations. (Although I did already know through my work.) My attorney said that even when liability has been accepted in writing, if they do so “without prejudice” they can change their minds and even if they don’t add that phrase it can still be done. The court would then have to decide the case. Some insurance companies though do issue an assurance in writing that they will waive the statute of limitations condition once the claim is being negotiated. I gather that assurance is binding.

    Like

  30. Well Well & Consequences June 27, 2016 at 3:30 PM #

    As long as a claim is filed, the court is always the best way to go, the best chance ya have, ya need the assistance of the court to cut through the nasty things the insurance companies and defense attorneys do, just so they can waste everyone’s time and delay the case for decades in the system, if they could.

    The claimant has to be very vigilant, knowledgeable and don’t give an inch, not to end up like that lady…..and thousands of others, who experienced the actions of those beasts.

    Like

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