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Friday, October 20 2017 @ 12:56 AM AST

Barbados finance minister presents unclear budget


No, it's not you. The figures in the Barbados budget released two days ago do not add up.

There is a burgeoning practice by politicians (not Sinckler or Colm Imbert, of course) to withhold and obfuscate information so that they can cry "Misinformation!" after you publish whatever you publish. It's childish and dishonest but if you're in the business of filling your pockets (with a salary and nothing else, of course), you don't really care what the elite minority who understand the numbers think. As for the majority who don't understand, all they care about is that their pockets get filled too, which can be easily accomplished through irresponsible, reckless borrowing. I say all of that in passing, of course. None of that applies to what is below. Let who the cap fits wear it.

Here is what Sinckler has said so far in bullets. If anyone can tell me what is the estimated Total Expenditure and Total Revenue for the upcoming fiscal year, please do. Until then, take this and hush:

* From a position of negative GDP growth of 4.7 percent and a fiscal deficit of about 8 to 12 percent of GDP at the height of the recessionary conditions, government has been able to oversee a return to positive economic growth of about 1.2 percent on average for the past two years, while our fiscal deficit has been shaved to an average of 7 percent in the same period.

* It is not by chance Mr. Speaker that more than one-third of this country’s national budget or 1585.8 million dollars of a total expenditure budget goes towards some type of social development activity by the State.
* NOTE: Nowhere in the budget does he say how much is Total Expenditure and it can't be worked backwards from this figure because he said "more than one third" but how much more?

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