Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler has been given a sobriquet –– The Billion-Dollar Problem.
Leader of the Opposition Mia Mottley gave Sinckler that nickname today while speaking in the House of Assembly on a no confidence motion against him, which was later defeated 15 to 14.
“A $600-million stimulus in March, and you top it off now with a $400 million adjustment. If ever there was a billion-dollar problem it is the Minister of Finance. It is too heavy a price for this country to take. I feel passionate about this. Do you know why?
“I used to feel a sense of pride representing this country because people
looked up to Barbados, but now they are asking what has happened to Barbados. People are being called in at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to find out what is going on. People are also being called in at international institutions.
“If the Minister of Finance had the growth of this economy in his heart, he would not allow money to be deprived from the rum industry to bring a case against the US government. US$500,000 dollars is all that is required to save an $80 million industry a year. And Mount Gay Refinery has been closed down two weeks ago only now to be sold. “Do you know what is sad? This Government will spend $1.5 million or more on Constituency Councils, but would not spend it to save an $80 million industry. The word rum comes from Barbados. We have a
globally competitive product. “I was listening to a speech made by the late David
Thompson and you know what he said. Every Leader of the Opposition in Barbados has been accused of wanting to get somewhere in a hurry and to be power-hungry. This not about me today or anybody on this side. When a country reaches a situation where you lose one third of your reserves in six months this calls for help,” Mottley added.
Mottley argued that when a country reached a situation where it has never ever had any of its bonds under-subscribed and never had a message from the market that its credit was not good, there must be calls for help.
She said: “When a country reaches a situation where it is carrying as arrears 20 per cent of its expenditure on an annual basis, there must be calls for help. And when a country reaches a situation where the first cut that is applied after a Budget presentation is the Police Force who have to preserve law and order, the situation is serious. Do you understand that this is a train out of control.” (NC)