Government may inject between $100 million and $150 million into the economy to fortify Barbados against a potentially crippling blow from the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
The need for this major spending in health, tourism and the wider economy is now being discussed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). It follows the Barbados Economic Team’s latest forecast that Covid-19’s fallout could result in an economic contraction ranging from 4.5 per cent to 8.5 per cent this year.
The authorities are basing their proposals on various estimates and assumptions, including the World Travel & Tourism Council’s projection that the deadly virus could reduce global travel by up to 25 per cent in 2020.
Dr Kevin Greenidge, a senior economic adviser to Government, outlined the plans now being considered in an assessment shared with the NATION.
Greenidge said Government “will need to respond to the pandemic by increasing health and infrastructure spending to prevent, detect, control, treat, and contain the virus, to provide basic services to people that have to be quarantined, as well as to aid the businesses affected”.