GOVERNMENT’S $2 BILLION stimulus package will amount to nothing more than papering over cracks, unless the Mia Amor Mottley-led administration can come up with a diversified growth plan for the short- to medium-term.
This is the view of the Opposition People’s Party for Democracy and Development (PDP), whose spokesperson on economic matters, Bruce Hennis, contends that the Central Bank’s first-quarter report for 2020, showed an economy in decline before the impact of COVID-19 had set in. He referenced the fact that the report delivered by Central Bank Governor, Cleviston Haynes, revealed that the tourism sector had fallen by 17.9 per cent in long-stay visitors while cruise passengers declined by 11.5 per cent.
“One of the most critical parts of the Central Bank Governor’s review of the economy of Barbados for the first quarter of 2020, is that the economy has declined by 3.0 per cent during the first three months of the year. Of great importance is that before there was any adverse impact from the COVID-19 virus, the island’s economy was still performing poorly,” said Hennis, noting that 2018 ended with 0.4 per cent decline while 2019 was just 0.1 per cent.