Former government Senator Jepter Ince.

What about the arrears?

Government has racked up about $143 million in arrears on its foreign debt.

The amount was accumulated between June 2018, when Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley suspended debt payments due to external commercial creditors, and the last 12 months.

Former government Senator Jepter Ince made this disclosure, while stressing “we are heading for trouble”.

“So, when the Democratic Labour Party demitted office our foreign debt was BDS$1.6 billion… The new government hasn’t paid a cent in foreign debt since May 24, 2018. I am therefore challenging the Minister of Finance – if Jepter Ince is wrong, then come say to the public ‘Jepter Ince you are a liar!’ We are now running arrears of $143 million on our foreign debt.”

Ince, who ran for the DLP’s St. George North seat in the last general election was at the time addressing the public meeting “One Year Later: Who is Smiling Today” held at The St. Michael School on Sunday night.

He explained that every country that defaulted on its international debt have run the risk of devaluation.

Moreover, he has called on Prime Minister Mottley, the Minister of Finance, Economic Affairs and Investment not to turn a blind eye to the arrears.

“Nobody talks about the arrears, even the Central Bank doesn’t talk about the arrears on the international debt. I am saying to them deal with those arrears because every country in the world that defaulted on its international debt and ran arrears had a devaluation and I do not want that for Barbados… Come and tell the public what is happening with our international debt and the arrears.”

Ince further pointed out, “They said to the public of Barbados that our foreign reserves were in dire straits. But, despite all of the talk about the foreign reserves none of the car importers in Barbados complained about not being able to bring in vehicles. Every crop over the stores were filled, nobody complained about the shortage of goods. None of the supermarkets complained about the shortage of goods.

“Now they are borrowing money to prop up our foreign reserves… The Democratic Labour Party said that we are going to try to earn foreign reserves, that we would borrow if it is necessary. So, when you hear all this talk about foreign reserves up with borrowed money, we are running this country down a dangerous path in the last 12 months on borrowed money.”

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