Barbados is in a tailspin as a result of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) administration’s poor choices, Opposition Senator Wilfred Abraham charged as he offered no support during Wednesday’s sitting of the Senate for a resolution seeking approval to raise the limit for treasury bills, tax reserve certificates and tax refund certificates.
Suggesting that the authorities will be hard pressed to find people willing to take up long-term Government securities because of the current economic uncertainty, Abraham claimed the Freundel Stuart administration was engaging in economics “by trial and error”.
“So they have to gamble the dice, roll the dice with probably some very high interest, short term treasury bills just to get the money in,” he said.
Abraham slammed the recent tax measures outlined in the Budget, accusing the DLP of demonstrating a lack of initiative and a lack of enterprise by resorting to taxes, and placing even greater burdens on Barbadians.
“We are here because of bad choices. The recession might have been long, but it didn’t have to be this long. The financial woes of Barbados might have been hard to bear, but they didn’t have to be this hard. Tax cuts on the people of Barbados might have been deep but they didn’t have to be this deep,” he lamented.
Abraham charged that Government had failed to consider the impact of its policies on the average Barbadian, contending that the resolution was brought in a vacuum.
He said Barbadians wanted to know the true state of the country’s affairs and pressed Government Senator Jeptor Ince to reveal the administration’s outstanding bills and actual liabilities.
“I would like to know that,” he insisted.
In a fiery retort, Ince accused the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) of unfairly pointing fingers at the Stuart Government, claiming the Opposition party had committed “financial terrorism” and “economic madness” while in office.
Rubbishing Abraham’s concerns about Government’s handling of the economy, Ince insisted that the BLP had to take the blame for the country’s high debt, telling the Chamber it had borrowed millions of dollars which the DLP must now repay.
“Could you imagine that they saddled the people of Barbados with a $100 million in debentures to be paid within a ten-year period? Not only that, they went on December 20, 2007 and borrowed $100 million to be repaid in December 2020.
“I don’t care what kind of economic growth you have, that is going to make any Government scramble . . . . This is what the DLP is saddled with.”
Ince maintained Government had nothing to apologize for, stating it had done “an excellent job” at managing the country’s resources.