A recent declaration by the Central Bank Governor Dr DeLisle Worrell that more belt-tightening measures were needed, has been dismissed by Chief Executive Officer of the Small Business Association (SBA) Lynette Holder, who said the economy was in need of better growth strategies.
Dr Worrell announced last week that for the last three years Barbados had not brought in enough foreign exchange to keep up with the amount that was leaving the island, and so Government had to take action.
However, Holder told Barbados TODAY while she agreed some measures were needed to lower the deficit and grow the economy while creating jobs, she was not in favour of any action that would put more pressure on a population already experiencing diminished disposable income.
“Listening to the Governor of the Central Bank, he is positing the view that there is a need for more belt-tightening. I am not so sure how much tighter the belt can be around the citizenry. But there is a need for measures, I agree with that; but what kind of measures?”
She suggested that through the Social Partnership the possibility of “a divestment strategy” should be examined where some of Government’s current operations could be owned by “a co-operative or clusters” of Barbadians.
“I think that Barbadians can be given the opportunity to purchase some of the assets of Government. I believe that could be a strategy we need to look at,” she said.
“You can put a model in place for a period of time but you need to sit and talk with the trade unions obviously, you need to talk with the private sector and you need to engage civil society, and that is the problem in this country that we are seeing. There seems to be a ‘don’t carish’ attitude and an inability or maybe even a refusal to engage your people. But that is not good leadership by any stretch of the imagination. I am now saying it is time that has to change,” Holder insisted.
Like President of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry Eddy Abed, Executive Director of the Barbados International Business Association Henderson Holmes said he was not surprised by the Central Bank Governor’s statement.
In a short comment on the matter Holmes said the latest Central Bank reports have not been too encouraging as they were indicating that Government has been falling short of its fiscal targets.
“The Central Bank reports have been indicating that the economy is not achieving the fiscal goals which we have set ourselves. So that is not encouraging at all,” Holmes said.