Senator Dr Romel Springer is urging Barbadians to give the Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation Programme (BERT) a chance.
Speaking in Parliament on Wednesday morning during debate on the Debt Holder (Approval of Debt Restructuring) Bill 2018, Springer said Prime Minister Mia Mottley had reached out to several groups and persons seeking advice before agreeing on the BERT programme.
He said the fact that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) also supported the initiative meant that it was capable of bringing Barbados out of its economic slump.
“The Prime Minister reached out to a number of different groups to help shoulder the burden and she has been given the green light by these special groups because they recognize the importance of what we are doing.”
“So the least that we can do as patriotic Barbadians is to give this programme a chance, a chance to work, because I am sure that these sacrifices will pay off in the long term,” Springer said.
He said the programme was thoughtfully established, as the country had too much to lose if it did not work.
Springer also said Barbados could not afford to lose the trust of the international business community.
“Let me tell you what I believe would happen if this programme does not work. I believe the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) that’s supported by the IMF, if it is allowed to go off-track, would signal to the international community and more importantly our developmental partners, that we are not ready or willing and do not have the fortitude to put the necessary reforms in place to ensure that we are fit for business and open for investment.”
“What would happen is that the support of those IMF partners would be withdrawn. I’m talking about the IDB, CDB, partners who have pledged upwards to $1 billion in support as a result of this programme. This programme signals that we are ready and if the IMF is confident in us, these other financial institutions will show confidence in us and they are,” Springer pointed out.