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(Barbados Today) Former Prime Minister Owen Arthur today accused Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler of inflicting unnecessary pain on the people of Barbados.

While warning that the half-billion dollar adjustment programme effectively amounted to a devaluation of the Barbados currency, Arthur suggested that an International Monetary Fund (IMF) adjustment would have been far easier for the entire country to swallow.

He explained that based on the IMF’s Article 1V Consultation last year, Government could have been afforded the equivalent of $310 million annually over a three-year period.

However, he said the Freundel Stuart Government had chosen instead to make an adjustment of $542 million over nine months.

“The adjustment that the minister is bringing to the House is going to inflict about $250 million more pain on this economy than if the Government of Barbados had chosen to enter a programme with the International Monetary Fund,” Arthur said, while warning that Government’s alternative of seeking a homegrown remedy did not match up to the IMF solution based on the country’s “seven-fold problems”.

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