Barbados in deep financial trouble – former permanent secretary

(Barbados Nation) Numbers speak louder than words when it comes to Barbados’ financial health, says a retired director of finance. And all the indicators show that the country is in deep trouble.

“Politicians can have opinions but the numbers speak the truth,” said Erskine Griffith, who served as Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance under six ministers of finance and five prime ministers dating back to Tom Adams in 1982 to Owen Arthur before his retirement in 2000 as director of finance and economic affairs and head of the Civil Service.

“When you look at the numbers, the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) today is smaller than in 2007, the per capita income is therefore smaller. Prices have gone up by 36 per cent since 2008 based on the All Item Retail Price Index, so the value of the dollar has gone down. People have lost jobs, some are on a two-day, three-day work week so disposable income is down. That’s why tax collection is down despite the increase of tax rates,” he said.

Griffith, who served as Barbados’ first ambassador to the World Trade Organization based in Geneva, and from 2003 to 2008 as Minister of Agriculture, said some people might want to live in denial about what was happening, but one could not deny “the truth”.

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