The opposition Barbados Labour Party has reiterated its position against the devaluation of the local currency, saying it will destroy the country and ruin the quality of life of all Barbadians.
A statement issued this morning by the party’s general secretary, Dr Jerome Walcott, dismissed what he called recent “suggestions and innuendo” from government representatives that the BLP may be contemplating a devaluation of the Barbados dollar should it win the next election, as “nothing more than a deliberate untruth meant to scare Barbadians”.
Today’s statement came on the heels of the latest warning from Central Bank Governor Dr Delisle Worrell on Thursday night that although the Barbados dollar was a long way away devaluation, it was not out of danger.
Dr Walcott said that BLP leader Mia Mottley stressed the party’s position on devaluation in Parliament last month during debate on the Holidays with Pay Bill, when she said that the BLP was willing to work with Government to stave off any devaluation.
“This mass public manipulation is grossly immoral and deliberately seeks to mislead the electorate. Such are the actions of a government that is determined to win general elections at all costs,” Dr Walcott said.
He accused the Democratic Labour Party of consistently breaking its promise to the public, leading to uneasiness among Barbadians about the Prime Minister’s pledge not to devalue.
“Many do not believe him because his government has failed to keep its promise in the past,” Dr Walcott said.
“Leading up to the 2013 elections, the DLP under Prime Minister Freundel Stuart gave the impression that our party wanted to privatise statutory corporations and send home workers. Prime Minister Stuart himself pledged that would not happen. Within months of winning the election they went back on their promise and sent home between 3,000 to 6,000 public servants.”
He added that government has begun the privatization of statutory corporations, with the sale of the Barbados National Terminal Company Ltd.
Dr Walcott also pointed to the economic challenges of 1991, which forced the then DLP government, led by Erskine Sandiford (now Sir Lloyd) to seek assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
“He then sent home 6,000 public servants as we had predicted, while those that remained had their salaries cut by eight per cent.”
He added that the business community and investors are not investing “because they cannot rely on what the government says”.