“I prefer not to get involved in any discussion at this time on any response from Prime Minister Freundel Stuart as it relates to my alternative suggestions to addressing the country’s fiscal deficit.”
That’s how Minister of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resource Management Dr David Estwick reacted today as he awaits a response from Stuart and Cabinet members.
The outspoken Cabinet member said: “I do not want to get involved in that discussion right away. I think the Prime Minister made some public statements already on that issue and as a result I think that that is all that needs to be said at this point in time. The Prime Minister went public and made the comments that he is going to take a look at the various suggestions. The Cabinet is going to make some reviews.
“I honour that and I think that is the best thing at this particular point. Let the Prime Minister take his course in that regard,” Estwick added.
Arguing that countries around the world should look to other countries for funding, the St Philip West MP said: “When the entire USA and the European Union were in the grips of their economic crises, the majority of their debt was purchased by China and Middle Eastern countries. People have to wake up and recognize that the world has changed significantly beyond where it was in 1975.”
Responding to a suggestion that the USA would view with concern any partnership with the United Arab Emirates, Estwick said: “One of the things that we have to remember as black people in this country is that we were slaves and never believe that some people were greater beings.”
Earlier this year Estwick challenged his party’s approach to solving the country’s high fiscal deficit and presented an alternative solution.
At that time he said he was opposed to the widespread retrenchment of public workers, pointing out that he could access a loan of US$5 billion from the UAE to wipe out the Government’s debt.
He sought an opportunity from Stuart to present his alternative proposals before fellow cabinet members and was subsequently granted that opportunity.
Estwick later told Barbadians that he had given Stuart time to analyze the information and was awaiting his response. The outspoken minister is yet to receive that response.
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