Do not entertain the International Monetary Fund (IMF)!
That advice has come from Solutions Barbados’ candidate for St Philip South Ronald Lorde, who has warned that any relationship entered with that financial institution would lead to the downfall of Barbados.
“I remember hearing one of the parties currently on a quest to become the next Government saying they have not ruled out the IMF, but I want you to rule them out.
“Be sure that they are not your next Government. I want you to ensure that Solutions Barbados is the next Government because our tax policies, our policy on education, our policy on agriculture and energy will ensure a better Barbados for us all,” Lorde said during a spot meeting at Country View Estates Recreational Park in St Patrick’s, Christ Church yesterday evening.
His comments come in the wake of a pronouncement made last Thursday by the leader of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) Mia Mottley that she is not afraid to go to the IMF route if that were required to turn the ailing Barbados economy around.
Unveiling her party’s manifesto at Kingsland, Christ Church ahead of the May 24 general elections, Mottley, who is confident of winning, said while such a decision could only be made after an assessment of the true state of the economy, she was prepared to make the tough call if she had to.
“I said it before that we would do whatever is necessary, that is legal and moral, to rescue this country. Does that mean going to the IMF? It may, we don’t know. But when we get the results in the first few days [of taking office], we will be able to make the judgement,” Mottley said, while pointing out that Barbados had gone to the IMF before and that each time it had done so, the economy rebounded.
“The IMF was set up for purposes such as this and that is why you heard [former Prime Minister] Owen Arthur in Parliament months ago talking about it; that is why you heard of Tom Adams going in 1981 and Erskine Sandiford going to the Fund and each time, Barbados came out of it. The IMF is not the only way, but it allows us the confidence to deal with partners and capital markets,” Mottley explained.
However, Lorde cautioned that “if we wait or depend on the IMF, which obviously means an increase in debt, it means a further stranglehold around our necks.
“It means we are going to struggle a little more, it means that we are going to have to do without the things which we so love. It means we are going hand in glove to somebody else who will determine our own future when I believe as a country we need to determine our own future.”
Also addressing the Country View meeting, the St Michael South candidate for Solutions Barbados Paul Gibson dismissed as “an open book”, the BLP’s manifesto in which it promises to abolish tuition fees for Barbadian students attending the University of the West Indies, as well as road tax and the dreaded National Social Responsibility Levy in addition to granting a pay hike or cost of living allowance to public servants as well as a hike in old age pensions.
In fact, Gibson advised eligible voters to dismiss the BLP altogether.
“I want you to be very sober and very aware. Do not go behind the BLP. As a matter of fact run from them, run away from them,” Gibson said.
“The reason you have to run away from the BLP is because you are being hoodwinked and fooled. They made us feel like they were the saviours and they had a solution to fix Barbados, but they do not have a solution.
“I’m sorry to tell you, but they brought out a book with nothing in it. They brought a book with no fix. They brought a book and suggested they had the answers, but it is all smoke,” he added.
Gibson warned that if the BLP were elected, between 10, 000 and 15, 000 public servants would lose their jobs as the party turns to the IMF for a financial bailout.
“They are making a lot of promises that cannot be kept. They are asking Barbadians to follow after them, but it is all aboard over a cliff!
“Look, be very, very careful. Be warned . . . Mia cares for herself as far as I am concerned. The reason why I say that is because you cannot be seriously thinking of directing Barbados and taking us to the IMF,” Gibson said.