Political System

Hailey Husfelt



Barbados is a politically stable parliamentary democracy. Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and his Democratic Labor Party won a five-year term in office in 2013. Barbados has transformed itself from a low-income, agricultural economy producing mainly sugar and rum into a middle-income economy built on tourism and offshore banking that generates one of the highest per capital incomes in the Caribbean. However, tourism revenues have declined, and financial services and construction have never fully recovered from the Great Recession that began in 2008. The government is trying to diversify away from tourism, which has been the main source of external vulnerability. In 2014, in an effort to reduce its large fiscal deficit, the government imposed an asset tax on banks and laid off 3,000 public-sector workers.
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