ARTHUR: Not the way

Debt restructuring will not give Barbados the cash injection it needs at this time.

That’s according to Former Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Owen Arthur. During a press conference yesterday at the offices of the news media company Barbados Today; Arthur poured cold water on that idea, which is being promoted by the Barbados Labour Party (BLP), contending that unless action is taken quickly to stabilise the economy, it will go under. The former three-term prime minister made the point, making it clear that using debt refinancing as a means to pay for new expenditures, will not give the country the cash in hand as expected, or needed, to finance those new things.

“What a debt refinancing is, is that you take the existing debt and you try to get the people who are holding it to agree to reduce the amount you have to pay them as debt service. So it is a saving of expenses, but it not going to give you cash to spend. Now this is not theory. Jamaica as you know had programmes with the International Monetary Fund and Jamaica had two experiences in doing debt exchanges,” he said.

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