Throughout the course of the year we would bring to you reports published by rating services and other financial institutions as they relate to our local economy, the country’s spending and deficits. In a discussion with the CARICOM Secretary General, Irwin LaRocque, he spoke of some reports made and how those are not necessarily a reflection of poor government spending.
“The Caribbean Development Bank in some of the analysis that it has done has found that the debt is not because of poor and bad spending or poor fiscal management, there is a correlation between the spikes in debt and disasters, or economic shock where you don’t have the fiscal space so that you have to borrow. We have this problem and the higher your debt stock, there is a greater drag on growth, it’s an issue of looking at how to address the debt issue in our community.”
LaRocque went on to say that the international financial institutions have erred by judging the small states solely on their per capita income.
“Many of us, because of our size, our per capita income is at a level that the World Bank and the international financial institutions deem us middle income countries but we know that that is only an arithmetic ratio, it doesn’t tell the true story of what happens in our country. There is still a high level of poverty in many of our countries and so there are many things to get done in terms of our development and we feel as small states that the issue of judging us on per capita income and not taking into account our economic and environmental and social vulnerabilities is an error. We have been lobbying hard globally on that now. I have taken it as part of my personal mission. I think we have had some success in that and it’s an issue that we need to continue working on.”
LaRocque departed Belize earlier today after meeting with Prime Minister Dean Barrow.