by Dr. Charles Warner,
An announcement came out of Barbados a few weeks ago. It stated that the Barbados Central Bank reported that the Barbados reserves were down to a mere 220 million US dollars, reflective of the state of the Barbadian Economy. Also that Barbados is going to the IMF. A move that many Bajans wished they did not have to take.
The Barbadian situation is worthy of fair examination. A mere 166 square miles, quarter of a million people and with relatively few natural resources. In that quarter million, a significant proportion non-Barbadian. The Bajans have been known for prudent economic and fiscal management, not like the kind practiced by Douglasism.
If with prudent management the Bajans are facing economic woes, it should be clear of where St. Kitts and Nevis was going under Douglasism. Dr. Harris has already told the Nation that under Douglasism our country on two (2) occasions came to the brink of bankruptcy. In fact such is true.
At one point a debt of 3 billion dollars; by 2013 lands swapped for debt. And a prime minister who said “National Debt Me Ass”.
The Barbadian leaders did not say “National Debt Me Ass” but are applying their shoulders to the wheel. The squandermaina of Dr. Douglas led to a 3 billion dollar debt, in the highest tier of debt to GDP ratio – and Dr. Douglas taking St. Kitts and Nevis to the IMF. We were seen as a special case, given three times the amount for our category.
It is important to note that Barbados is not going to the IMF after having 1.7 billion dollars in a SIDF Fund. Denzil Douglas as Minister of Finance can be the only man to have all these funds at one time, the next breath is going to the IMF for a special package in an emergency.
All senses will be focused on the Bajans to see how sensible they view the methods of Dr. Douglas. If lands will be sold off to “puff” away the debt. Though the Bajans have serious cause to be in this position of going to the IMF.
We are all looking to see if the Bajan barbers will be giving any haircuts such as Dr. Douglas dished out.
After saying “National Debt Me Ass” Dr. Douglas gave the very churches a haircut (robbed them) of their collection money. Everybody had to pay for or wear hats because of the arrogance and incompetence of Dr. Douglas.
Dr. Douglas even called an erudite economist a drunkard when it was his intoxication that plunged the country into debt. Bringing our beloved St. Kitts and Nevis to the precipice of a failed State and economic disaster.
Douglasism had more money in a single fund than the present Bajan reserves. One point seven (1.7) billion dollars, even in EC is more than 220 million US dollars. Up to this day the money at SIDF cannot be accounted for fully. Dr. Douglas told us that the SIDF money was in a special fund. So special that up to today special auditing cannot locate the money.
Denzil Douglas did not secure 500 million in a Sovereign Fund but squandered the money. SIDF money was dispersed all the way to places like Dubai. Dr. Douglas bluntly refused to tell the nation just how many passports were sold and the amount of money taken in.
Some men who went into Government Headquarters in the wee hours of February 16, 2015 “because all you think a stupid”. What is one left to think?
SIDF money was kept out of the country’s purse and in a “Private Fund”.
Douglasism created pathology as it relates to the financial and fiscal health of St. Kitts and Nevis. Three billion dollars of debt, highest debt to GDP ratio, one of every three persons below the poverty line, land for debt swap, haircuts for all, no civil servant increases, no Christmas bonuses for workers of Public Works Department, Water Department etc.
Under Douglasism St. Kitts and Nevis moved from the country with the best economy in Latin America and the Caribbean to the door steps of the IMF. Government securities under Dr. Douglas became government insecurities, high risk paper; government becoming an unworthy business partner.
At present the economy is in a much better position compared to what was left by Douglasism. The Unity government is paying up the debts and so releasing the choke hold on our lands; roofs are being repaired, roads improved, soon $500.00 per month to needy families.
As much as we rue over the present woes of our Bajan friends it is a fact that St. Kitts is holding its own under the present government. February 2015 basically salvaged St. Kitts and Nevis, because St. Kitts and Nevis today under Dr. Douglas would have been a disaster.
In fact the prudent management of Dr. Harris’s government is bearing benefits not just for St. Kitts and Nevis but for the region as a whole. Our economy is a sturdy pillar in the OECS, keeping the Union intact. In other words the leadership in St. Kitts and Nevis is having positive results for the whole region.
If Dr. Douglas was in power today St. Kitts and Nevis would have been in a poorer state than Barbados.
The country is in a good state maintaining the health services. Despite all the malice about the unavailability of Insulin. Insulin did not run out or got spoiled when St. Kitts and Nevis was broke under Douglasism, when current was always going off; then it cannot happen today with the Unity government. We pass that stage.
The State’s finances are sturdy; Insulin will be available and the poor given their $500.00.
Had Douglas been in government St. Kitts and Nevis would have been worse off than Barbados. The Insulin shortage would have been a reality along with haircuts, church plunder, bonuses and increases taken away.