Motley pleased with fiscal improvements

Friday, October 12, 2018

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) — The Barbados government says the island's foreign reserve has improved over the past four months and there are signs that the prospects for a better economic situation are gaining momentum.

Prime Minister Mia Mottley, addressing supporters of her ruling Barbados Labour Party (BLP) earlier this week, said that the gross international reserves had also showed signs of improvement even before the island had formally entered into the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“The truth is our gross international reserves as of the end of 3rd October is $673 million,” Mottley said, defending her administration's decision to impose stringent economic policies since coming to power in May this year.

She said the island had already received BDS$100 million (One BDS=US$0.50 cents) funds under the EFF and was also looking forward to getting financial assistance from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).

Mottley said that the independent vote of confidence given to her Government as a result of the IMF agreement would also be beneficial to the efforts at restructuring the ailing economy.

“It also means that we are going to access funds from the Inter-American Development Bank, where shortly we expect to get another BDS$200 million from them.

“Similarly, we are hoping we will access, probably in the short-term, initially another BDS$150 million from the CDB. Now if I can get that BDS$350 million by the end of the year and certainly before the end of this financial year, it means that you would have had BDS$450 million come in to help stabilise our effort because as we stabilise, we need now to be doing the hard heavy lifting to restructure,” she told supporters.

She reminded supporters of her statement that her administration would be suspending debt payments “because in truth and in fact Barbados had become insolvent.

“We do different from a company that does not have enough to pay liabilities and nothing gave me greater hurt…than where Barbados had been reduced to, but I knew that in order to survive and for us to strive a decision had to be made”.

She said her predecessor, Freundel Stuart was incapable of making decisions regarding the island's financial situation and “Barbados paid a dear price for a prime minister that could not make decisions.

“Now, not every decision will always be correct or fully correct or 100 per cent, but what you can't do is to keep yourself paralysed in fear and I am happy, less than four months after that decision (election), I can stand before you to tell you that the IMF programme at least has been completed , that we were able to get them to accept a programme that we crafted,” she added.

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