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(Barbados Today) The Freundel Stuart administration is projecting $4.5 billion in spending for the financial year 2017-2018, up from $4.3 billion last year, with a whopping $1.8 billion set to go towards repayment of principal and interest on Government’s outstanding loans.

Despite all the recent talk of privatization and the need for Government to sell-off state assets, a further $1.1 billion has been put aside for in the coming this year, which begins on April 1, in support of statutory entities which are the main beneficiaries of state transfers.

In fact, only a meagre 2.5 per cent —  or $29.3 million — has been trimmed from these allocations, even though the Stuart Government remains hard-pressed to find much-needed revenue to support an overall economic turnaround on the back of last week’s downgrade by international ratings agency Standard & Poor’s — its 18th since the Democratic Labour Party took office nine years ago.

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