There is a saying that: “comparisons are odious”. To compare the economies of Antigua and Barbuda and Barbados is like comparing “chalk to cheese”. CLICK HERE TO JOIN OUR WHATSAPP GROUP FOR NEWS UPDATES.
Barbados has a very highly diversified economy, including a lot of locally produced foods and a lot of manufacturing is done there. Barbados exports a lot of manufactured goods to the rest of the Caribbean, including to Antigua and Barbuda.
Barbados is the 52nd richest country in the world in terms of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) per capita, has a well developed mixed economy and a moderately high standard of living.
When I lived in Barbados in the 1980’s as a student of the University of the West Indies (UWI) that country was producing all its poultry needs in terms of chicken and eggs. To get an idea of Bajan manufacturing, just look at the number of Bajan Companies operating as distributors in Antigua and Barbuda and swamping this country’s economy with Bajan produced goods: W. B. Hutchinson & Sons (Antigua) Limited, A. S. Bryden & Sons (Antigua) Limited, Frank B. Armstrong (Antigua) Limited and others.
Antigua and Barbuda is doing more to feed Bajans than it does to feed its own people. We always get the short end of the stick. Don’t believe that Prime Minister Mia Motley of Barbados is allowing her picture to go up side by side with Mr. Harold Lovell for nothing. All she wants is to guarantee that she has another jackass in Antigua and Barbuda to ride, because she doesn’t trust Prime Minister Gaston Browne.
I find Mr. Harold Lovell is extremely persistent with his so called thinking outside the box. The fact of the matter is that his mathematics is dead wrong. And, if given a chance one of the following events will occur within six months of his United Progressive Party (UPP) taking the Government:
1. Government will cease to be able to pay public servants their salaries on time.
2. Government will lay off Public Servants.
3. Government will reintroduce Personal Income Tax.
4. Government will approach the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bail out loan, with all its conditionalities.
5. The Five Islands Campus of the University of the West Indies will close down by lack of Government’s continued support.
6. People in Antigua and Barbuda will start dying from starvation like flies.
7. Civil disorder will erupt in Antigua and Barbuda and the Government will be unable to put it down.
I don’t don’t wish for those things to happen in Antigua and Barbuda. But, apparently Mr. Harold Lovell has not learnt from his mistakes during his tenure as Minister of Finance in the last United Progressive Party (UPP) Government.
The remedies applied by the Barbados Government will not work in Antigua and Barbuda, because our economy is not large enough nor diversified enough to absorb or withstand certain shocks that his proposals imply.
Roy R. Jackson
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