Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler today announced that within weeks, there will be changes at the Central Bank of Barbados.
Addressing the staff of the Bank, Sinckler said Government plans to shortly take to Parliament a new Central Bank Act to make way for structural re-organization of the entity.
The minister spoke during a service at the St Michael and All Angels Cathedral to observe the Bank’s 45th anniversary and against the backdrop of the recent sacking of Central Bank Governor Dr DeLisle Worrell after he publicly differed with Sinckler on monetary and administrative policy.
During a LIVE television discussion on state-run CBC at the start of February, Worrell had sought to publicly warn Government that it must stop the recent practice of printing money.
“We cannot continue to have a deficit and we cannot continue to have a wage bill as high as we are, simply because the only way we are able to do that is by the Central Bank providing financing,” Worrell said then, while seeming to deliberately throwing his immediate boss under the proverbial bus.
Worrell was also at pains to point out that approximately $50 million in monthly wages was far too much for Government to afford at this time, given what he knows about what it is raking in terms of taxes and revenues to meet its current costs.
This put a serious strain on their relationship and led to a bitter dispute between the two men that resulted in Sinckler’s demand — on the insistence of members of the Central Bank’s board — that the 72-year-old Governor, who had been in office for close to eight years, either stepped down or be fired.
However, Worrell decided to go the route of court action, but was only able to hold off his scheduled February 13 dismissal by just over a week.
The Court of Appeal eventually dismissed the Governor’s case, clearing the way for his removal.
Since then Deputy Governor Cleviston Haynes has been acting as Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados.
However, concerns abound about the powers vested in office of the Central Bank Governor, who not only leads the monetary authority, but also chairs the Central Bank’s board.