BLP’s mad rush
Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler has charged that the Barbados Labour Party is in a mad rush to get back close to the Treasury.
Sinckler levelled this charge at the BLP on Friday night while addressing the official opening of the campaign office of the St. Michael North East branch of the Democratic Labour Party on Spooner’s Hill, St. Michael.
The St. Michael North West MP said: “It is time the constituency of St. Michael North East gets a breath of fresh air. Ignore the sceptics, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and his team are battle ready. The BLP never took an opportunity for introspection after the last general election. There is just a mad rush to raid the Treasury. They are addicted to money.”
Taking a critical look at the DLP’s major critics, Sinckler said: “Journalist Pat Hoyos never says anything positive of the DLP’s economic policies. Columnist Harry Russell never says anything positive about Barbados. Clyde Mascoll is a political dead, while over the past five years, journalist Sanka Price has moved away from writing about sex, gossip and other light matters to be a serious political analyst.”
Addressing the Al Barrack issue which centres on a more than $60 million debt owned by the state, Sinckler told his audience that the architects and engineers had warned Government officials that the contract for the Warrens office complex should not have been awarded to the contractor.
Sinckler recalled too that late Prime Minister David Thompson had promised to pay Al Barrack a lump sum initially, with the remainder being paid in installments, but Barrack had insisted on the full amount at one time.
He then charged that Nation Publishing Company journalist, Sanka Price was now suggesting with “righteous indignation” that the DLP should pay Barrack. The St. Michael North West MP however gave the assurance that the DLP would pay the debt of the BLP, noting that in spite of the harsh economic times, the DLP was protecting civil servants’ salaries.
Sinckler repeated his charge that if a BLP government attempted to cut the deficit, civil servants would be retrenched.
He said: “The BLP is the party of retrenchment. If they intend to cut the fiscal deficit, they will cut subsidies and transfers to statutory boards. This will lead to retrenchment at these agencies.”
Acknowledging that Government could be indebted to the private sector in the amount of $49 million, Sinckler however said if a comparative study was done it would show that businesses owed government $79 million and the VAT office $361 million.
Sinckler told guests that businesses deducted $150 million from workers and never paid it into the National Insurance Department.
Addressing the issue of declaration of assets, Sinckler extended an invitation to Opposition Leader Owen Arthur to meet him in Heroes Square so that independent auditors could examine the accounts of the St. Peter Development Fund and the quantum of the divorce settlement with his first wife.
“No one from St. Peter can intimidate a man from Black Rock,” Sinckler said. (NC)