The Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) programme has been updated to reflect the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic and Government’s comprehensive response.
Governor General Dame Sandra Mason said BERT was not a rigid set of targets, but a plan of action and behaviour that was measured and monitored. Dame Sandra made the comments on Tuesday when she delivered the Throne Speech at the Opening of the Second Session of Parliament, held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.
Dame Sandra continued: “My Government will hold to the course of long-run debt reduction, strong public finances and reforms to financial transparency and accountability, but for the next two years we will need to pause on debt reduction. We can only return to the level of surpluses we were running previously and our downward path on debt, when tourism returns.”
Describing BERT as an ambitious home-grown economic plan, supported by the Extended Fund Facility of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Governor General said Government has been successfully implementing it over the past two years.
“It is formulated to respond to the economic mismanagement of the lost decade and has met all of its targets…. Barbados has moved from running large deficits and not being able to pay its bills, to running surpluses and being able to pay our bills on time. Barbadians can be proud knowing that my Government has been decisive and effective in the management of the fiscal affairs of this country,” she stated.