Commonwealth warns Caribbean debt will soar

VICTORIA, Seychelles – A report by the London-based Commonwealth Secretariat is warning Caribbean countries if they continue on their current development path, by 2050 they will face unmanageable debt, poor growth and greater socio-economic problems.

The report, launched at the Fourth Global Biennial Conference on Small States in Seychelles, looks at the current policies and trends in seven Caribbean countries: The Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana.

Titled, Achieving a Resilient Future for Small States: Caribbean 2050, the report makes a 34-year projection across different sectors and shows five out of the seven countries would have a debt-to-gross domestic product ratio above 100% – dangerous levels if growth continues to lag.

Projections also suggest interest expenditure on debt is likely to sap public finances, reducing funds for development and giving rise to greater socio-economic problems.