Opposition Leader Calls for an Adult Conversation on Government’s Debt
Opposition Leader Mia Mottley referred to the Estimates presentation as an “admission of failure” by Finance Minister, Chris Sinckler.
During her contribution to the debate which lasted under an hour, she acknowledged government’s offer to include the Opposition in meetings on the way forward for the country, she noted that the Barbados Labour Party had extended similar invitations to the Freundel Stuart led administration in the past, which had been rejected.
She also said government needs to have an “adult conversation” about restructuring the national debt, but suggested that such a discussion should not take place in the House of Assembly. “If you are serious however, about asking us for help, you do not do so on the floor of the House in the bald vision of everybody else because the issues we have to discuss are delicate enough that the people of Barbados ought not to be exposed to the deleterious consequences from full and frank discussion on the floor of the House.”
Ms Mottley also said that such a move would involve government meeting with its creditors and asking for extensions on time by which it can repay its loans. She says such a move should’ve been undertaken sometime ago, pointing out that it had been recommended on several occasions not only by the opposition, but also Agriculture minister- Dr. David Estwick and former Prime Minister-Owen Arthur.