Government will have an extra half-a-billion dollars to help wade through the COVID-19 economic crisis owing to the International Monetary Fund’s agreement to amend the BERT programme, Prime Minister Mia Mottley told journalists yesterday
In a press briefing on her meeting with the Social Partnership at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, Mottley however declared that the country must cut its expenditure.
She told reporters: “We have to save we have to cut some expenditure even in spite of the fiscal space we have got. We are in a comfortable position.
“The International Monetary Fund is recommending to its Board in early June that we be allowed to move from a six per cent primary surplus to one per cent.
“It means it will give us about $550 million dollars in elbow room. But what do we need that for?”
Mottley explained that Government debt at the end of March was higher than the predicted $250 million.
“Truth is that while we thought at the end of March our loss of revenue might be in the vicinity of $250 million; it is looking – as I said to you the last time I spoke – more like $450 million because of the extent to which the shutdown globally is affecting us,” she said.
The Prime Minister said while economic activity was needed, “safe work” for safe people was a priority.
Mottley said: “In spite of that, we are meeting with all kinds of people. The airlines are anxious to go they want to set dates we have said to them we can’t move to a set date we have to move to set protocols to ensure we have safe work in a safe place for Barbadians, for safe people in Barbados.”