Barbados Prime Minister Freundel Stuart has slammed rating agencies that have downgraded the Caribbean island's credit rating.
"Rating agencies can downgrade your credit rating, your ability to borrow money, but they cannot downgrade you as a people,” Stuart said during a meeting of the ruling Democratic Labour Party at The Alexandra School in St. Peter.
He went on to reiterate that “no rating agency in the world can downgrade Barbados,” according to CaribFlame.
In March, Standard & Poor downgraded Barbados' credit rating from B- to CCC+. Since then S&P has issued two further downgrades on the island. September marked the most recent downgrade when it slashed Barbados' long-term local currency sovereign credit rating from CCC+ to CCC.
Stuart's term in office has seen the island's credit rating downgraded a total of 18 times. It has included credit rating demotions from Moody's as well.
“What they will say and what they have been saying is that rating agencies downgraded Barbados 18 or 19 or 20 times, whatever it is,” Stuart said at the DLP meeting.
“You can’t talk about the country’s credit rating without at the same time trying to link that to the credit rating of the average man and woman in the communities of Barbados. There are so many other aspects to a person rather than whether they can borrow money or not, and as it is true of an individual, so also of a country.”