Barbados Labour Party leader, Mia Mottley, has explained that her party’s announced plan to reprofile the island’s debt should it win the May 24 elections, is intended to make more money available for vital needs.
Speaking at a BLP national rally at Baxter’s and Westbury roads last night, Mottley explained that through reprofiling, more money is freed-up to enable promised increased pensions, small business loans, and at the same time a reduction in taxes among other initiatives. She also said her government will have a longer period to repay the national debt at a much lesser rate.
Mottley said that currently Government has $4.5 billion to spend annually but the problem is “they spend now more money in interest rates than they spend in wages for the entire central government”.
She said that excluding the statutory boards, the entire wage bill for all the ministries adds up to some $780 million
“But the interest, not the principal … for government’s debt is $790 million,” she added.
“You need to bring down the interest costs because if you are spending all that money on interests you ain’t got no money left to buy drugs for the hospital, to buy food for the school meals. You ain’t even got money left to feed the people up at the prison.”
Mottley pointed out that when faced with such circumstances the normal thing to do for persons managing a household, business or country is to approach a lending agency and extend the payment to a longer period at a lower amount, thereby freeing up money to take care of urgent and pivotal needs.
Positing this as a sensible idea, she asked “how can a government ignore it for the last four years?”
She pointed out that Government has in the past been advised on the wisdom of re-profiling the debt to bring it to manageable proportions.