The Freundel Stuart administration is being advised to “resist” any recommendation that could lead to an “irreversible downward slide” of the Barbados economy, and to avoid a devaluation of the currency.
This call came from principal of the Parkinson Memorial Secondary School, Jeffrey Broomes, who said he did not want to see a repeat of the 1990s when public sector wages were slashed and there were mass layoffs.
Broomes made the remarks at the Parkinson Memorial Speech Day And Prize Giving Ceremony at the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic on Wednesday, as he spoke on a number of social and economic issues.
His comments came as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) prepares to issue a detailed report and recommendations tomorrow, after over a week of meetings with the Government, the Opposition Barbados Labour Party, the private sector and other stakeholders.
The meetings formed a part of the IMFs annual assessment programme. It came on the heels of a recent downgrade of the Barbados economy from BB-plus to BB-minus by international rating agency Standard & Poor’s.
Broomes said rating agencies were operating “on a strictly Western capitalist agenda” and were “not giving the necessary support to our developing economies that are built on a more social care model with limited natural resources”.
“I advise our political directorate to resist the advice that speaks to illegal and irreversible downward slide for our country. The actions of a previous Prime Minister in the early 1990s that I, coincidentally agreed with, have been ruled illegal and that is that. Resist any advice or temptation to go back there,” said Broomes.
He added: “the other idea of a devaluation of our dollar most be rejected at all cost. We are basically an import economy and would be devastated both economically and socially by any act of devaluation. The examples of this are rife.”
The IMF representatives here are expected to host a final meet tomorrow morning with policymakers including Prime Minister Stuart and Central Bank Governor Dr DeLisle Worrell.
An IMF source said that after the meeting at the end of this week the IMF was expected to issue “a picture of our policies, views and recommendations, and then a much more substantive report will be available after an executive board discussion back in Washington about a month later”.