Minister of Labour and Social Partnership Relations Colin Jordan declared Tuesday that there is no comparison between the present administration’s handling of the island’s debt and what the previous Democratic Labour Party (DLP) government did prior to 2018.
He said while the last administration squandered much of the island’s funds during the many years of economic downturn, the Mia Mottley-led government has been managing its debt well, with social programmes and infrastructural projects made possible through its balancing of available funds.
Speaking during Tuesday’s debate in the House of Assembly on a resolution to approve the borrowing of $256.6 million from the Export-Import Bank of China to finance the Scotland District Road Rehabilitation Project, the St Peter MP said the debt incurred by the government was for the betterment of residents and the country.
“It’s already been said in this debate that the last Democratic Labour Party government incurred a lot of debt, but you can’t see up to now where the money has gone…. The infrastructure of this country does not say to any of us that the money that was borrowed was well spent. This Barbados Labour Party government, whenever it incurs debt, it incurs debt for development,” Jordan contended.
“That is the reason why countries incur debt, it is the reason why businesses incur debt…. You incur debt so that you can position your organisation or your country for future growth, because it’s that growth that will not just repay the debt, but will ensure that the people of the country and succeeding generations are able to enjoy improved standards of living.”
Jordan contended that taking out the $256.6 million loan that was the subject of the resolution before the House was a smart and responsible move, despite what critics in other political parties may say.
“I want the people of the country to recognise that they should not pay a whole lot of attention to groups of people who have squandered their money in the past, who have borrowed and not demonstrated properly what they have done with the borrowed money; they should not listen to those groups of people now pontificating, as though they are experts on managing debt – they are not.
“There are people who make a profession out of mishandling the funds of a country, they have reduced it to a fine art, and now propose to speak to the country and to speak to Barbadians about how debt should be managed. Barbadians ought to see that for the politicking that it is,” Jordan insisted.