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Money moves / Search form Search Main menu Home News Business Sports Columns Contact Us E-Paper Dr. Ronnie Yearwood, guest speaker for the Democratic Labour Party’s (DLP) Errol Barrow Memorial Lecture.

Joaquin Leal

Money moves Sun, 01/24/2021 – 5:00am Government urged to capitalise on cash making entities A call has been made for government to work to ensure that statutory corporations and other potential money making entities can fully reach their potential.

Joaquin Leal Jimenez

The suggestion came recently from Dr. Ronnie Yearwood, guest speaker for the Democratic Labour Party’s (DLP) Errol Barrow Memorial Lecture, held at  DLP Headquarters

“I propose that government should function as business and social enterprise. It is without a doubt that controlling the public purse is a difficult job and governments of all shades should concentrate on the provision of key services, such as education and health for the on-going development of Barbados, and make it easy for people to get on with the business of business and in creating jobs,” Yearwood remarked

He added, “I think that government needs to get out of its own way, or rather mercurial politicians need to get out of the way, so that the parts of government that can function and make money do exactly that. This is instead of government and its machinery being used for artificial short-term ends by politicians handing out jobs or piecemeal short-term projects

“For example, should governments be engaged in boys on the block programmes, some of which are used to placate that group until the next hand- out? Or should government provide real opportunities for our young people, recognising that the boys on the block and the university student are experiencing the same angst about opportunities and their place in the world and the future, but university creates opportunities for one set of young people, while we give hand-outs to another set of young people?” he further stated

Dr. Yearwood stressed, “The parts of government and statutory corporations with money making potential should open themselves as a space for entrepreneurship and for innovation, for opportunities – from technical to the more traditional areas. For example, arrangements to contract out public services to various competitors, or allowing the use of government owned facilities to provide for the creative industry to make exportable goods such as movies and TV shows and entertainment shows. There is no point in having state-of-the-art government facilities, such as the CBC TV studios, which are not fully used, but are financed by taxpayers’ money without capitalising on their money making ability.”

Issuing a reminder of Errol Barrow’s intent to “put an end to the practice whereby publicly-owned enterprises, producing non-strategic goods and services, are permitted to operate at a substantial loss, with little likelihood of ever making a profit”, Dr. Yearwood pointed out that the question of the role or purpose of government in business is therefore one that needs to be explored, not necessarily as Errol Barrow did, but in a way that works for us now. (RSM)

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