Barbados: Latest Downgrade Of Barbados Economy Worrying

(BarbadosToday) The latest downgrade of the Barbados economy is an indication the country is approaching crisis levels, according to Chief Executive Officer of the Small Business Association (SBA) Lynette Holder.

Concerned that Government continues to finance the country’s high debt and deficit through the printing of money, Caribbean Information and Credit Rating Services Limited (CariCRIS) lowered its ratings on Government’s $300 million debt issue to CariBBB from CariBBB+ and its foreign and local currency rating from CariA-  to CariBBB+.

This brings the number of downgrade to more than a dozen since 2009, and Holder said it was not a good sign.

“[It] suggests that we are near crisis level, if not there,” the SBA executive said.

Holder blamed the recent downgrades on the failure of Government’s fiscal policies, and she called on the Freundel Stuart administration to “come back to the table, engage the public, engage the citizenry and look at what strategies we need to put in place to correct those failures”.

She said it was no longer good enough for the Prime Minister and members of his Cabinet to address important national issues such as the state of the economy at Democratic Labour Party meetings, insisting the entire country ought to be part of the efforts at a solution.

“We have a situation that is national in proportion and therefore we need to hear from the leaders of this country. We need to have national dialogue that will engage business leaders, civil society, trade unions et al, to look at the solutions to getting our country on a growth path. That is really it. It is no longer business as usual,” she said, adding that Government should put politics aside and think about the country’s future.

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