November 23, 2008 1 Comment
The Thompson administration became the second Caribbean cabinet to be reshuffle this week albeit under different circumstances. It is all in an effort to bring more efficiency to Government’s programs and operations.
Three glaring items stood out.
Persons obtaining loans through the Urban Development Commission may be breathing a sigh of relief, after an announcement of a Cabinet shuffle by the PM before a televised audience last night, saw that particular portfolio previously held by Dr Denis Lowe [the poorest performer so far] transferred in the hands of some one hopefully capable of jump starting UDC again. [Chris Sinckler now heads the Social Care ministry from Foreign Affairs].
Since Jan 15, amidst all the housekeeping, programs under the UDC including loan applications from existing businesses and entrepreneurs were on a lock down as government sought to clear and tighten irregularities encountered since taking office. No problem there. The problem however is this is now the middle of November. Some persons seeking loans may have lost whatever opportunity there is in securing early loans to pay overseas suppliers for stock. November and December is not time to be ordering stock. That is the time to bring in the stock.
Dr Esther Suckoo who had too much on her plate to start with retains her portfolio except for Environment. Except for a continuation of previous programs started under the BLP, nothing significantcomes to mind since she took up the post. And Greame Hall Nature Sanctuary is still a talking point! Tagging ‘Environment’ with ‘Family, Youth Affairs’ and ‘Sports’ was a complete lost to me. Where was the connection? That may work 40, 30 or 10 years ago. In this day of age, ‘Environment’ deserves greater respect. It was like a toss up to see where it would land. Pity it didn’t land on Agriculture’s shoulders. It landed on Water Works instead. This writer strongly believe Agriculture and Environment goes hand in hand. Or give Environment its own Ministry. If in Thompson own words, Barbados is not to become a concrete jungle under his watch, then the decisive action to take away environment from Dr Esther Suckoo must be applauded. Let’s hope Lowe don’t played football with it. Or fall asleep. Whichever comes first.
Next. Estwick have shifted from Ministry of Health to Economics Affairs. He was ardently passionate on economics issues during the election time. So he is in familiar territory. So expect to see more robust behaviour from him as he stoutly defends government economics decisions designed to help the country through the rough seas ahead. That will also include clashes between him and Mottley. Ten months in office have given David Thompson enmought scope to evaluate this team weaknesses and strengths. With Estwick, Mcclean, D. Boyce, Hudson, Sealy and himself on the front line, Prime Minister David Thompson has assembled his front line posse to dealt the likely fallout of any global financial & economic crisis heading our way.
The question is are these changes in response to the recession on the horizon or a new way of goverance or both?
Cabinet shuffle [ would update corrections later]
- Dr E. Suckoo – Family, Youth Affairs, Sports
- D. Lowe – Environment, Water Works
- F. Struart - Deputy PM etc
- D.Thompson – PM, Finance, Civil Service etc
- Hudson – In’tl Transport
- Estwick – Economics Affairs, Trade, Industry
- D. Inniss – Health
- C.Sinckler – Social Care, Urban Commission
- R.Jones – Education, Human Development
- M.Lashley – Housings & Lands
- R.Sealy – Touirsm
- S.Blackette – Culture
- Boyce – Transport & Works
- H. Benn – Agriculture
- M.Mcclean – Foreign Affairs, Trade
- P.Todd – Minister of State – PM’s Office
- D.Boyce – Finance, Investment, Telecommunication
- A.Walters – Labour, Immigration
- I.Sandiford – P.S – PM’s Office
What I miss is listed below: