BRIDGETOWN, Barbados: Opposition Leader Mia Mottley has criticized Prime Minister David Thompson’s management of the country’s affairs and warned Barbadians to expect difficult times under his leadership.
“Barbadians are going to be in for a long, rough ride so long as David Thompson is at the wheel,” said Mottley.
Mottley, the leader of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP), accused Thompson of surrendering to the dictates of the Washington D.C.-based International Monetary Fund (IMF). She said this was a detrimental approach to managing the Barbadian economy.
“With his wholesale adoption of the IMF program through his Medium Term Fiscal Strategy, he will once more put the country in reverse,” said Mottley.
Mottley said the nine-point plan for growth that Thompson unveiled recently to the Chamber of Commerce will achieve “contraction at worst and stagnation at best”.
“This plan has been designed to stabilize the fiscal situation and achieve a primary fiscal surplus to ‘have a mutually satisfactory relationship’ with the IMF and other international financial institutions,” said Mottley. “It is not designed to return growth to the economy or to ease Barbadian households or Barbadian companies.”
Mottley said the government’s plan is also premised on securing funding from the World Bank by committing to targets like a primary fiscal surplus of 5.9 per cent in four years.
Mottley said such a plan will secure the interests of Barbados’ creditors, not the development of the country.
“These numbers do not communicate to Barbadians that this means raising additional revenue and cutting expenditure by over BDS$500 million (US$250 million) in the next three to four years. That is why there is talk of a wage freeze and not just for one year.
“It is now beyond question that the Prime Minister’s management of the affairs of this country is dangerous at any speed,” said Mottley.
Summarizing Thompson’s performance since he was elected into office in 2008, Mottley said: “The Prime Minister’s actions and inaction are a danger to this country’s stability.”
Referring to Thompson’s recent decision to remove Senator Arni Walters, a minister of state in the Office of the Prime Minister, from Cabinet and appoint him as executive director of the Barbados Water Authority. Mottley said: “When the Prime Minister should be inspiring confidence in the management of the Barbados economy in these difficult times, he shuffles the chairs on the decks of the Titanic”.