That was the position today of Chairman of the Barbados Private Sector Association, John Williams.
Commenting on the announcement yesterday by Standard & Poor’s to classify Barbados foreign currency credit status as “junk”, Williams said the previous reports from the rating agency had pointed to the possibility of this happening. The private sector spokesman suggested that this situation would signal increased borrowing costs for the Government and quite possibly for Barbadian based businesses.
He insisted that it was critically important to focus on regaining this island’s investment grade credit rating.
“Whereas there has been commendable progress in reducing the Government’s deficit, this has largely come about as a result of increased revenues from taxation rather than reducing public expenditures,” argued Williams.
The private sector, he added, believes that lowering spending through fundamental reforms of some public agencies and statutory corporations, is critical to our long term competitiveness as a country, and the only sustainable way to put our public finances back in order.
The head of the corporate community urged the Government to tackle the underlying inefficiencies and waste that plague a number of these entities, which resulted in the need for large subsidies out of the public purse every year. Williams noted that the international economic situation remained weak and uncertain, and this reinforced the need for Barbados to deal with those issues within its control.
“The BPSA and indeed the wider business community recommit ourselves to working with the Government and all Barbadians to regain our good credit standing in the international arena,” concluded the leading business executive. (EJ)