Prime Minister, David Thompson????
The Oversight Committee appointed by Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, David Thompson earlier this year to oversee the sale and functioning of CLICO’s entities, has received offers for two of those regulated assets.
Word of this has come from the Prime Minister, who said he expected sales would be completed shortly so that there would be no liability to Barbadian taxpayers. He also noted that negotiations were ongoing with regard to the third asset.
With respect to government, Mr. Thompson said austerity measures would continue by trimming expenditure, and "pruning wherever possible". He also noted that the recommendation for the introduction of a medium-term fiscal programme was already engaging government’s attention.
The Prime Minister said he believed Barbados had been meeting "reasonable success", from its efforts to deal with the recession, adding that there had been a level of stability which the country had been able to recognise.
He stressed, however, that the world was still going through a major economic crisis, and pointed out that nothing that had happened in Barbados was of the country’s making.
"I think that the things we did, in fact, prepared us for what we are facing now. And, therefore, criticisms in relation to additional taxation, public sector reform in the Barbados Water Authority, … these are decisions that countries are now having to debate," Mr. Thompson opined.
He indicated that in an effort to boost investment in the economy, missions were being undertaken in China, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States of America. The Prime Minister also revealed that the unemployment rate in Barbados had stabilised at approximately nine per cent, with efforts continuing to lower it even further.
In this regard, he cited the programme through the National Insurance Scheme, the Tourism Industry Relief Fund, and the concessions and initiatives offered to the agriculture,?? manufacturing and small business sectors, as among the efforts by government to stabilise the economy.