Response to analysis by Colin Daniel on Minister Estwick’s proposals
I write in response to an article carried in Barbados Today of Friday, February 27th. I am requesting that you publish the following, even as a guest Op-Ed if you are minded to.
Thank you for considering this request. May I take this opportunity to thank you for enabling me over the years to make intervention into the ideas marketplace of Barbados by publishing letters from me.
If the first problem is the size of the deficit that Barbados now carries, an increase in that deficit by between 60%-100% as offered by Dr. Colin Daniel in the full length treatment on one and a half pages is frightening to say the least. Problem of deficit will not be solved or resolved by his own assessment!
If the problem is the need for “restructuring of the public service“, a variable that remains clouded in all analyses so far that I see, is improvement in credit rating, which must surely imply ability and real further borrowing to support needs not going to be the outcome? Mr Daniel assures us that such improvement for an 18-24 month period will result from the Estwick plan. He also warns that inflation instability could result in the influx of such a large injection of monies into this economy. I’m confused?
If the problem is the need for NIS (National Insurance Scheme) to make viable investments and earn the foreign exchange,that can pay off its debt, then why make as a bottom line of attraction of the Estwick plan increase in direct foreign investment (DFI) in Barbados as Daniel proposes? It seems to me from Mr. Daniel’s assessment, and my understanding could be wrong and flawed, that Mr. Daniels sees that attraction of DFI as the key to growth and the most attractive aspect of the Estwick plan..
I had a personal problem of cash flow recently, the same case as the Government, and I was faced with either borrowing on my credit card, with its attendant horrific and usury interest rates, or using whatever cash and fine change I could scrape together to pay my financial obligations. Those obligations include a mortgage, payment for an old car, and helping to meet the education needs of a child. I decided to use my equivalent of the NIS (silver fine change I had been collecting over the years), rather than go to the credit card. That was the best investment in the growth of my household I could have made.
My only difficulty is that I have been eating the capital that is my house by not doing timely repairs. But hold on, I have done the roof and the garden. My equity is immeasurably improved by those two actions. What I now have to do is repair the deck, repair the aesthetics of three areas of my ceiling and pave my drive-way. I suspect I am still ahead. Plus the little small business I had neglected has just been fuelled by two major foreign exchange earning ideas. And I am collaborating with a major institution in Barbados on one and I have to talk to another major institution on the other.
What is wrong with using Barbados NIS to invest in our Barbadian workers and Barbadian arising investment ideas? I really want to know.
- Margaret D. Gill