According to Countryaah, Adams died and was followed by Bernard St. John. The Democratic Workers Party won the election and Prime Minister Errol Barrow promised to change the policy towards the United States, which had otherwise been stable for the past 10 years. Barrow died in 1987 of a heart attack and was followed by Erskine Sandiford. Two years later, a split in the Democratic Labor Party led to the formation of a new opposition group, the National Democratic Party, led by Richard Heynes.
The continued decline in sugar production and interest rate increases exacerbated inflation in 1989. The funds used to reduce the government deficit caused the fear of greater unemployment to rise and led to widespread strikes. The industrial sector nevertheless slowed down, foreign exchange reserves improved, hundreds of Panama companies declared interest in establishing the island, and an investment agreement in the tourism sector was signed with Japan.
In an attempt to distance itself from CARICOM protectionism, Barbados asked for a renegotiation of the treaty that year. With a view to favoring local agriculture, the government itself imposed certain restrictions, especially against the import of vegetables from Guyana.
During the following year, serious discrepancies occurred between the sugar refiner’s owners and the government regarding sugar prices, while the workers threatened to strike if their demands were not met. Tourism employed 15% of the workforce on the island, which in 1988 received more than 450,000 foreign visitors.
In 1991, the Labor Party was re-elected with 49% of the votes cast, even though in the election two of the 20 seats so far lost. The unrest and demonstrations that followed the government’s adoption of an 8% pay cut for civil servants culminated in a general strike in November. Despite strong criticism, Sandiford continued in the post of prime minister.
In 1992, the government borrowed from the IMF $ 64.9 million and the prime minister introduced new public sector wage cuts and reduced social benefits, raised interest rates and initiated privatizations in the oil and cement industry.
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After two successive finance ministers resigned, Sandiford also undertook this task at the end of the year, in an effort to transform the country into a financial center. The tourism sector experienced a turnaround during 1993. That year, this sector accounted for more than $ 500 million in revenue, equivalent to a third of the country’s gross domestic product.