Government’s 19-month fiscal adjustment programme is on track to fail, leader of the Opposition Mia Mottley has predicted, as she described the progress made so far as abysmal
and a total failure.
She said Government had only managed to cut expenditure by $5 million up to June, despite the implementation of many of the initiatives under its stabilization effort.
Making reference to a document circulated by Central Bank Governor DeLisle Worrell, the Opposition Leader said the official reported a $214 million deficit between April and June this year, compared to $219 million recorded for the same period in 2013 .
She said that was disappointing in light of Government’s retrenchment exercise, in which thousands of public sector workers were sent home in a bid to cut costs.
“After ten months of measures, after cutting expenditure in statutory boards, after a stabilization tax, after a bank asset tax, after a lottery winning tax, after cutting goods and services by five per cent, all the Government of Barbados has been able to achieve in ten months of absolute woe, hardship and murder – in the traditional Bajan sense of the word – is a $5 million savings,” she told a Barbados Labour Party (BLP) meeting at the Rices Pavilion, St Philip last evening.
“Five million dollars after the NCC workers gone home; $5 million after the Drainage Unit workers gone home; $5 million after the Transport Board workers gone home; $5 million after the National Housing [Corporation] people gone home; $5 million after the QEH expenditure get cut and every other statutory board [expenditure] get cut!”
Mottley said the Governor had indicated that the administration was only able to achieve $51 million from the revenue-saving measures between last year August and the end of June this year.
“Even if we were to listen to him, $51 million after ten months against an objective of $429 million in 19 represents 11 per cent roughly,” she told the packed room.
The Opposition Leader warned that the situation would worsen if Government continued along its current path.