It’s that season again. The time when the air is filled with discussions related to tourism. These include the concessions granted to Sandals, the partial reopening of Almond Resort, projections on the trend in visitor arrivals, the likelihood of the Four Seasons revival and how our tourism marketing approach needs to change.
Finance Minister Chris Sinckler delivered the Budget and Estimates to an anxious nation wondering what drastic measures could be effectively applied to turn things around?
Key phrases such as “institute a sequence of managed structural adjustments and reforms”, “until global growth and recovery is evident, an 18-month programme of fiscal adjustments and specific growth initiatives will have to be implemented to pull our economy around, stabilize and grow the international reserves and create new jobs through major private and public investment” and finally, the theme is of BGDS 2013-2020 is “Adjustment, Reform, Recovery and Sustainability”. Continue reading →
It hit like a bombshell, when Barbados’ Central Bank Governor announced that a $450 million reduction in expenditures is needed immediately. These cuts are necessary to offset the declining international foreign exchange reserves.
These declines so threaten the exchange rate, that it could cause the devaluation of Barbados’ currency. An anchored exchange rate provides benefits that have long been taken for granted. According to the Central Bank, it protects the real value of national savings, provides a currency stability that acts as an incentive for investment and provides evidence of Government’s commitment to fiscal consolidation.
Suddenly, persons who would have thought of themselves as protected by ensconced positions, perks and pensions, recognize they are now vulnerable. Traditionally, in Barbados, there have been persons who can “make a call” to a well-placed crony to obtain fast action or forestall discomfort; they can no longer do so, as people “break for themselves”.
Instinctively, each of us hopes for many good days in our lives but seldom stop and take notice when they occur.
I have just had another good day and as I began to recount what made it so, it struck me how important it is to have a positive frame of mind. It began with a recognition that being alive in Barbados, is something I could not have imagined when I was struggling to establish a good life. I thought of the various people who sought and received my assistance and the fact that I am valued enough to attract these requests. I thought of the convergence of so many resources that have been put at my disposal because the thrust of my work is deemed to have merit. I thank God that I am able to see challenges and obstacles as necessary components to my development into a fully human person. Each of these reflections gave rise to specific occasions to rejoice.