Former Prime Minister Owen Arthur believes the fired Central Bank Governor Dr DeLisle Worrell has only himself to blame for his recent demise.
In fact, Arthur suggested that Worrell should have resigned long before Sinckler had the opportunity to dismiss him.
“I want to be fair to him. In every year before the Budget presentation, Worrell kept specifying the amount of the adjustments that had to be made, but the adjustments were never made and he sought to accommodate the Government by enabling the Government not to make the adjustment by printing money,” said Arthur, who is simply not prepared to let the former Governor off the hook over the current problems facing the Barbados economy.
He said rather than printing money to meet Government’s monthly wage commitments, Worrell should have forced the Freundel Stuart Government to make the needed adjustments.
“Dr Worrell knows that he should not have done what he did. You don’t accommodate governments to doing mad things. He should have really put his resignation on the line to stop the Government from doing [so], but we should not be here,” the former Minister of Finance said in response to the ex-Governor’s recent admission that in order not to “cause a disaster in the economy”, the Central Bank must come up with $50 million every month to pay public workers.
Arthur also suggested that after making the necessary adjustments back in 1991 when the island was forced to enter a structural adjustment programme with the International Monetary Fund, former Prime Minister Erskine Sandiford had reason to shudder: “How have we gotten back here?”
“You don’t put a country in a position where you run out of foreign exchange and then try to correct it. Not a small country,” the independent St Peter representative in the House of Assembly stressed.
Worrell was officially sacked last Friday amid concerns that Government needed to find at least $600 million a year to satisfy wages alone and that the country’s foreign reserves, which stood at $681 million in December — which is below 14 weeks of import cover — could be depleted within the next three months.
Against this backdrop, Arthur, the former leader of the Opposition Barbados Labour Party, has said he was willing to assist the ruling Democratic Labour Party in rebuilding the economy.