The Barbados Sustainable Recovery Plan (BSRP) 2018 has been laid in Parliament and members of the public now have an opportunity to familiarise themselves with the document.
The plan, which was recently developed by the Social Partnership – Government, the private sector and labour organisations – has been crafted to put the Barbadian economy on a path of sustainable economic recovery and reinvigorate social progress.
It has six broad goals, namely: build a comfortable net international reserves level by 2020; achieve fiscal sustainability through a balanced budget by 2020/21; accelerate real GDP growth to reach 3.0 per cent by 2021; establish a credible and sustainable debt management plan; enhance and safeguard the provisions for social development; and reduce the unemployment level on average to 8.0 per cent by 2020.
According to the document, the vision and six goals of the BSRP would be “pursued in the context of an accelerated, time-bound and measured approach to the implementation of an agreed set of more prudent financial management and sustainable growth measures that are socially responsible and sustainable”.
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart is quoted in the BSRP as saying that the development of the plan was a demonstration of Government’s commitment to mutual collaboration, consensus and tripartism in the context of the Social Partnership mechanism, comprising Government, the Private Sector and Labour Organisations.
He continued: “The framework established in this document is a means to an end but not an end in itself. It is a conduit through which meaningful endeavours may be implemented in order to expedite the recovery efforts. To this end, continuous dialogue with all social partners will remain paramount.
“The production of the BSRP 2018 is indeed a historic document of which we can all be proud. Nevertheless, our work has only just begun since the efficient implementation of the strategies, programmes and projects contained in this Plan will represent the yardstick of our success towards the achievement of a full and sustainable economic recovery.”
Chairman of the Barbados Private Sector Association, Charles Herbert, expressed the view that the BSRP presents an opportunity to chart the recovery of the Barbadian economy. “This document represents an improvement in the collaboration of the Social Partners which we should strive to further develop and build on in the future,” he stated.
President of the Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados, Cedric Murrell, said the organisation approved the plan, which he added was the result of rigorous discussions. He stated that it “represents the hope and aspirations of the Social Partners for the recovery and growth of the Barbadian economy”.
He continued: “The Congress believes that the formulation and implementation of the Barbados Sustainable Recovery Plan 2018 will strengthen the collaborative mechanisms of the Barbados Social Partnership model.”
In her statement, General Secretary of the Barbados Workers’ Union, Toni Moore, proffered the view that the plan was indicative of a major effort which everyone has to make to assist Barbados in moving on to a meaningful recovery path.
“The BWU accepts that the challenges are myriad and that there are several levels of need that have to be addressed. This Union feels, however, that where the objective is to set the conditions to permit all groups to benefit, then recovery will be healthy and the entire country will benefit,” she stated.
Minister of Finance, Christopher Sinckler, promised in the 2017 Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals to begin the process for a Barbados Sustainable Recovery Plan, which would cover the fiscal, growth and social sectors. After the full Social Partnership meeting last August, three working groups were established to cover the thematic areas of Fiscal Reform, Growth and Sustainability, and Social Responsibility.