Mia Mottley, the Prime Minister of Barbados, in a bid to restructuring the Caribbean island’s public debt, has been seeking policies that include seeking support from IMF.
Barbados’s first ever elected female Prime Minister Mia Mottley said earlier in a televised speech that her government received some $15 billion Barbadian dollars in public debt.
In the last month, announcing to seek cooperation from domestic and external creditors, Mottley said: “After extensive consultations in the last week with our social partners within our government I announce today that we will seek the cooperation of our domestic and external creditors in the restructuring of our public debt.”
Suspending payments due on debts Mottley said: “From today, we are suspending payments due on debts owed to external commercial creditors. Similarly, we will endeavor to make scheduled domestic interest payments. However, domestic creditors will be asked to roll over principal maturities until we reach a restructuring agreement.”
The IMF Managing Director Lagarde, in the first week of June, said in a statement: “An IMF team led by Bert van Selm will be visiting Bridgetown to start discussions on how the Fund can support the authorities’ economic plan. Our ultimate goal is to help Barbados achieve higher living standards and more inclusive growth for the years ahead.”
The Barbadian Prime Minister and the IMF Managing Director later met in Washington in mid-June. Prime Minister Mottley told the press after an apparent successful meeting with the IMF team led by Lagarde: “We got this.”
“From today, we are suspending payments due on debts owed to external commercial creditors. Similarly, we will endeavor to make scheduled domestic interest payments. However, domestic creditors will be asked to roll over principal maturities until we reach a restructuring agreement.”
The IMF load for Barbados, however, cannot make everyone happy as some of the politicians have spoken against the government plans to have IMF loan.
Leader of Kingdom Government of Barbados (KGB) political party, Steve Hunte, who received only 26 votes in the last election, said: “We here can solve our problems internally. Our internal problems can be solved by those who have the power . . . . We have to turn to the good people of Barbados to bail us out of this problem so we can have a better understanding of how we can go forward as a nation.”
Advising the government to focus on the agriculture and have ‘faith in the people’, Hunte said: “Right now we need to put our heads together and work. I’m asking the administration to have hope and faith in the people; and if they want to turn around the local economy, my advice is to go into agriculture and we can grow economically. Our problem is not regional, international or global; it is a local problem we are going through. We need to have a perspective view on the way forward.”