Guyana’s decision to temporarily suspend trade in Barbados dollars might be a sign that this island is headed to the International Monetary Fund, Opposition Leader Mia Mottley has warned.
Last Thursday, the Central Bank of Guyana announced the move, saying the amount of Barbados currency on the Guyana market had jumped from $8 million in 2014 to $13 million as at last week.
The bank was particularly concerned about the high volume of Barbados dollars being traded in Georgetown for United States currency.
Addressing a Barbados Labour Party (BLP) rally at Top Rock, Christ Church last night, Mottley cautioned that this shelving of the Barbados currency could be a prelude to an IMF intervention.
“The Guyanese stopped taking our currency in 1991 just before Barbados and Sandiford, under the Dems [Democratic Labour Party], went to the IMF,” she said, while reminding supporters of the mass protests that eventually led to the fall of the Erskine Sandiford (now Sir Lloyd) Government in 1994.
Mottley blamed Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler for the current state of affairs.
“They put you in this ditch. Nobody else but them,” she said, while asking: “How in all good conscience can we have a Prime Minister and a Minister of Finance that refuse to talk to the people of this country?”
Amid rumours of Government entering a new arrangement with the IMF, the Opposition Leader further suggested that the administration might have already committed, or was about to commit Barbados to some form financial bailout arrangement without announcing it publicly.
“Tell us what you are doing, or have already done in our name, because it is not for me, the Leader of the Opposition, to tell this country, but it is for me to make sure that the people of this country are told,” she urged Government.
“If things are being done in our name, if things have been done in our name, you have a duty to come to the people of this country and tell us the truth, and tell us how bad it is.
“That is the least that they must do as those who lead this country,” she insisted.