Former Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados Dr Delisle Worrell says Government is costing Barbadians too much, but he remains hopeful about the economy, despite the current administration’s “inefficiency and ineffectiveness” in addressing the issues affecting the country.
“We have the talents, we have the energy and we have the competitiveness to take ourselves to the next level. It will happen even if we are saddled with a Government that is underperforming in the public service,” Worrell told journalists at a Public Forum held at the Harrison College yesterday.
He noted that the administration’s increased taxation is overextending Barbadians.
“Thirty cents of every dollar the Barbadian earns goes in taxes to Government through the various taxes we pay, so you only have 70 cents to yourself and of those 30 cents they still cannot make the Government run. They still have to borrow on top of that to run the Government. Our Government is costing us too much,” he said.
Worrell reserved comments on whether Barbados should seek financial assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or on the austerity measures proposed by Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler in the May 30 Financial Statements and Budgetary Proposals, but he said that slow growth is expected for 2017 and 2018, with foreign reserves falling below $600 million.
“Sometimes you make some short term sacrifices so as to lay the foundation for the long term,” he said, adding that growth would accelerate exponentially if there was a reduction in the size of Government.
He stressed that issues need to be addressed; from systems to the technology, to the general level of skills in the sector.
“You have to increase the professionalism within the administration. Within the public sector it has to be more efficient so the public servants and the people doing the actual work have to be better at their jobs,” Worrell added.